The Branson-based insurance company, Akers & Arney, merged with the Springfield-based Ollis & Company  July 1, to create Ollis/Akers/Arney, the companies announced this week.

    “Everyone at Akers & Arney is delighted to be united with such a respected insurance and business consulting firm as Ollis and Company,” said David Arney, former president and CEO of Akers & Arney, and  now a chief operating officer at Ollis/Akers/Arney. “This merger creates a stronger organization with more opportunities for our employees, and our clients will see enhanced service and additional products.”

    Arney went into more detail on what one of those products would be.

    “(Ollis/Akers/Arney) will now offer a more comprehensive wellness program,” Arney said. “The new program should see healthcare costs for customers go down.”

    Akers and Arney was established in 1952 — known at the time as Akers Real Estate — by Elven Akers. Elven died in 1969 and left the agency to his son, Edd Akers.

    It wasn’t until 1987 when Arney joined the company that the name was changed to Akers & Arney Insurance Associates.

    According to Arney, the merger between the two companies made sense.

    “Ollis & Company was the oldest insurance company in the Springfield area and we were the oldest in the Branson area,” Arney said. “We would collaborate with each other all the time, share information, that sort of thing.”

    A press release lists Edd’s son, John Akers, who joined Akers & Arney in 1992, as vice president. According to Arney, Edd is still with the new company, just not in a management position.

    “Edd is still with (Ollis/Akers/Arney) he will be active in the community and working with the customers he already has,” Arney said “We’re glad he is still here and can also help in  a mentor role as well.”

    According to the release, the Ollis/Akers/Arney is 100 percent employee-owned and expanding the services the two firms offered individually.

    Customers of the original two firms will continue working with their original teams, according to the release, as well as use the former location of Akers and Arney.

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