DEFIANCE, Ohio, May 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- First Defiance Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: FDEF), based in Defiance, Ohio, and Andres O'Neil & Lowe agency based in Bryan, Ohio have announced that First Insurance & Investments, Inc, a wholly-owned insurance agency subsidiary of First Defiance, has acquired the employee benefits business line from Andres O'Neil & Lowe, effective May 20, 2010. The transaction involves a portfolio of business with approximately 600 customers concentrated in the northwest Ohio area.
"We are pleased to announce this transaction and expand our employee and group benefits services into new market areas," said William J. Small, Chairman, President and CEO of First Defiance. "We welcome the new customers and look forward to providing them with First Insurance's many options in employee benefits."
In connection with the transaction, First Insurance has employed three group benefit sales staff and two support staff who were located in the Bryan, Archbold and Bowling Green, Ohio offices of Andres O'Neil & Lowe. Joining the First Insurance team are Mike Kurivial, Ben Otley, Jim Wyse, Megan Wyse and Lana Ellison.
"The acquisition of the business line will be seamless to our customers, and the transaction is made even better by the addition of the current employee benefits sales and support staff in those markets," said Donald P. Hileman, President and CEO of First Insurance. "Customers will maintain their policies as is, and will continue to be served by the people they know and trust."First Defiance Financial Corp. First Defiance Financial Corp., headquartered in Defiance, Ohio, is the holding company for First Federal Bank of the Midwest and First Insurance. First Federal operates 33 full service branches and 45 ATM locations in northwest Ohio, southeast Michigan and Fort Wayne, Indiana. First Insurance & Investments specializes in property and casualty and group health and life insurance, with offices in Defiance and Bowling Green, Ohio. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.fdef.com. Safe Harbor Statement This news release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21 B of the Securities Act of 1934, as amended, which are intended to be safe harbors created thereby. Those statements may include, but are not limited to, all statements regarding intent, beliefs, expectations, projections, forecasts and plans of First Defiance Financial Corp. and its management, and specifically include statements regarding: changes in economic conditions, the nature, extent and timing of governmental actions and reforms, future movements of interest rates, the production levels of mortgage loan generation, the ability to continue to grow loans and deposits, the ability to benefit from a changing interest rate environment, the ability to sustain credit quality ratios at current or improved levels, the ability to sell OREO properties, continued strength in the market area for First Federal Bank of the Midwest, and the ability of the Company to grow in existing and adjacent markets. These forward-looking statements involve numerous risks and uncertainties, including those inherent in general and local banking, insurance and mortgage conditions, competitive factors specific to markets in which the Company and its subsidiaries operate, future interest rate levels, legislative and regulatory decisions or capital market conditions and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009. One or more of these factors have affected or could in the future affect the Company's business and financial results in future periods and could cause actual results to differ materially from plans and projections. Therefore, there can be no assurances that the forward-looking statements included in this news release will prove to be accurate. In light of the significant uncertainties in the forward-looking statements included herein, the inclusion of such information should not be regarded as a representation by the Company or any other persons, that the objectives and plans of the Company will be achieved. All forward-looking statements made in this news release are based on information presently available to the management of the Company. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. SOURCE First Defiance Financial Corp.