Specialization Creates Opportunity for Partner Agency Grimes Insurance & Financial Services

Sep 29, 2022

Sherry Burrell and David Yoak, Oakbridge’s newest partner agency principals, have worked together for over 25 years and along the way, created a special book of business. Their agency, Grimes Insurance & Financial Services, is a leader in writing coverage for professional apprentice training schools and dental practices.

“We bought the business from Jim and Betty Grimes, who were retiring. But Jim couldn’t quite commit to retirement and stayed on as a producer. He initiated and grew the trade school program which now has clients in 45 of the 50 states. We’re one of the few independents that caters to those beneficial apprentice programs,” Burrell says. Their dental practice business has followed the same organic growth pattern.

“We also have considerable expertise in Director and Officer (D&O) coverage, particularly for nonprofits,” Yoak adds. For 23 years, the two have owned the agency, focusing on organic growth in areas with high potential. Grimes also writes a good deal of property and casualty (P&C) for businesses and individuals.

The agency, founded in 1976 by the Grimes in Decatur, Georgia, is now based in Duluth, a small, exurban town outside Atlanta. “With the exception of those two programs, we’ve pretty much stayed in our lane, geographically. We know our clients personally and we’re active in the local community,” Burrell adds.

As Oakbridge’s newest partner agency, Grimes’ book of business boosts an expanding suite of specialties. Burrell’s expertise in Applied Epic software also strengthens Oakbridge’s back office resources. “The team at Grimes has been remarkably successful at building and cementing a reputation for superior client service nationally. They’ve carved out an exciting niche and it boosts our offerings. Their commitment to their clients, each other and to growing their business make them an ideal partner for us,” says Robbie Smith, Oakbridge’s CEO.

“This is a great step for us,” Burrell says. “We’ll be able to expand coverage options for our existing customer base, especially in employee benefits and risk management. This gives us a strong position in the Atlanta market.”

“Most importantly,” Yoak adds, “our cultures and values are the same. Our team is like family. We care about our community and the clients we serve. Oakbridge has the same outlook and priorities. We’re excited about the future. It’s an excellent fit!”

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