North Bay Business Journal

Monday, July 12, 2010, 3:30 am

EPIC opens new branch in Petaluma


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    Office to be headed by North Bay veterans of Wells Fargo, ABD

    PETALUMA — A group of North Bay insurance veterans are starting the region’s first Edgewood Partners Insurance Center, a retail, property-casualty and employee benefits brokerage. They all left Wells Fargo Insurance Services for EPIC’s newest California operation, just opened in the Petaluma Marina Business Center.

    Bill Merget

    Mike Ryan

    Bill Merget and Mike Ryan, both formerly of ABD Insurance and Financial Services, which was acquired by Wells Fargo in 2007, serve as principals for EPIC’s new branch as of June, the company said. Collectively, Mr. Merget and Mr. Ryan have been working in the North Bay insurance sector for more than 35 years.

    “Mike and I are really excited about getting back the to the essence of the brokerage business as part of  a responsive, entrepreneurial,  ‘no walls’ organization that is all about delivering service excellence and value,” Mr. Merget said.

    The two will  jointly oversee aspects of EPIC’s business growth operations in the North Bay, which will include strategic planning and management, new business development, strategic market and vendor operations as well as client satisfaction, according to EPIC.

    Joining Mr. Merget and Mr. Ryan are Wade Gordon and Jennifer Heliotes.

    EPIC's new office is located in the Petaluma Marina Business Center.

    Mr. Gordon will join EPIC as a senior account executive after seven years with ABD then Wells Fargo Insurance. In his new role, his responsibilities will include designing, marketing, implementing and managing the insurance programs for some of EPIC’s biggest North Bay clients. A 26-year insurance veteran, Mr. Gordon previously focused on client satisfaction within the wine, technology, nonprofit, manufacturing, geothermal and legal services industries.

    Ms. Heliotes will work as EPIC’s North Bay account manager, overseeing day-to-day management and administration of insurance programs as well as the delivery of client service. She’s worked and lived in the North Bay for the past 30 years. While with ABD and Wells Fargo Insurance, she oversaw management of programs for some of the Petaluma office’s largest accounts, including clients in the life science, construction, medical and financial services industries.

    “Wade, Jennifer, Mike and I all worked together very collaboratively and successfully for many years at ABD, and I’m delighted that we are able to continue to do so here at EPIC,” Mr. Merget said.

    In addition to the new Petaluma office, EPIC’s Bay Area division includes locations in San Francisco, San Mateo and San Ramon.

    EPIC was founded in 2007 and now has nearly 300 employees throughout California, as well as in Baltimore and Atlanta. It has nearly $60 million in revenues, putting it in the top 50 retail insurance brokers in the U.S., and it is the fifth-largest privately held brokerage in the state.

    “Bill and I are delighted to be a part of this change,” Mr. Ryan said.

    CORRECTION, July 23, 2010: Wade Gordon joined EPIC as a senior account executive. EPIC has nearly 300 employees in California. The original article had incorrect information.

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