Volpe family had run local insurance company since 1959
By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — A Gilford resident has purchased Melcher & Prescott Insurance Agency, but the family that has operated the company for two generations will remain on as “directors emeritus,” according to a company Facebook posting.
Michael Sherman assumed ownership on Nov. 1, bringing a lifetime of experience in meeting insurance needs.
“I’ve been in the business since finishing undergraduate school in 1974,” Sherman said. He worked for and became chief executive officer of the Dawson Companies, a financial services firm based in Ohio, with offices in Florida and Virginia. After that business sold in 2012, he worked with the acquiring company through 2015. A non-compete agreement prevented him from working in the business until this year, and he said Melcher & Prescott is “the first of the acquisitions I intend to make in New Hampshire, Ohio, Florida, and Texas.”
Sherman said he is “excited to have the opportunity to acquire a business going back to 1862.”
But, he said, “My wife, Audrey, is the most excited with the purchase, because she gets to spend time here.”
Audrey Sherman is a third-generation Moultonborough resident, and with Michael she returned to the Lakes Region six years when they purchased a home in Gilford.
“My wife is ecstatic because she’s a New Hampshire girl and enjoys the winter and fall seasons,” he said.
He also said it is important to preserve the culture of Melcher & Prescott, something Tom and Chris Volpe also emphasized.
In a message to clients on Wednesday, Chris Volpe, president of the Melcher & Prescott, said, “In Mike, we feel that the combined effort of two generations of our family will be advanced in the interest of our clients, employees, and insurance carriers; guided by the moral, ethical and business principles which have been fundamental to our corporate culture.”
The Volpe family has operated Melcher & Prescott Insurance Agency since 1959. The sale, he said, provides “access to funding capital to promote growth through agency acquisitions, knowledge of specialty markets, and expertise in specialty lines of business and market segments, including surety bonding, construction, financial and professional services, and the specialized homeowners market.”
Volpe continued, “Mike is a highly experienced and knowledgeable agency owner in an industry in which we see so many private equity-based ‘non-insurance’ owners acquiring local independent agencies.”
The Volpes will continue as consultants as the business grows.
“I did not buy it to stay the same size,” Sherman said. “I’m looking for growth and employment opportunities for people in the Lakes Region.”
HPM Insurance acquires Byse Agency
LACONIA — HPM Insurance of Amherst and Bedford is expanding into the Lakes Region with the purchase of the Byse Agency, Inc.
Incorporated in 1932, the Byse Agency has its home office in Laconia, with branches at Bristol Insurance Agency in Bristol and Franconia Insurance Agency in Franconia Notch.
Jeffrey Flanders, president of the Byse Agency, said, “We decided to join HPM Insurance as we wanted to ensure our clients and employees would continue to appreciate what we had built while providing access to additional resources to move the agency forward.”
Lyle Fulkerson, president and chief executive officer of HPM insurance, was unavailable for comment on Thursday.