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Univest buys Valley insurance company for $4.2M

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Univest Corp. of Pennsylvania, of Souderton, and its insurance subsidiary, Univest Insurance Inc., of Lansdale, has acquired Sterner Insurance Associates Inc. of Coopersburg.

Sterner is a full-service firm providing insurance and consultative risk management solutions to people and businesses throughout the Lehigh Valley and Berks, Bucks and Montgomery counties.

Ronald R. Flaherty, president of Univest Insurance Inc., said this morning that Univest paid $3.9 million in cash and assumed some liabilities. It also bought the Sterner Insurance building in Coopersburg, reflecting a commitment to the Lehigh Valley market, he said.

The buyout was effective July 1, and Univest will keep open Sterner’s Coopersburg and Wyomissing offices, operating as Univest Insurance.

Alan F. Sterner founded Sterner Insurance and served as president and CEO of the agency. From a single employee in 1994, Sterner Insurance is now a 21-person firm specializing in commercial insurance, employee benefits, personal insurance, life insurance and business continuation planning. Univest Insurance will retain all 21 employees, Flaherty said.

Sterner will serve as senior vice president at Univest Insurance and be responsible for leading the Lehigh Valley and Berks County insurance operation. Flaherty said the Univest Insurance team now will have 95 employees.

“This stretches our markets up into the Lehigh Valley,” Flaherty said, noting that it’s part of the company’s long-term growth strategy.

This acquisition is Univest’s eighth insurance acquisition since the corporation started expanding its financial solutions beyond traditional banking in 1999. Flaherty said he joined the agency more than five years ago.

“We are pretty aggressive in growing the insurance operation,” Flaherty said. “This was a piece that was missing for us.”

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Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh.

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