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Assurance Investment Partners Purchases Arison Insurance Services from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Date:7/1/2008

LOUISVILLE, Ky., July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Arison Insurance Services, Inc., has been sold to Assurance Investment Partners (AIP). Previously an affiliate of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky, Arison has six offices across Kentucky and sells medical, dental, life and disability insurance to groups and individuals.

The company will continue to operate under the Arison name and, effective today, all of the Arison employees will be employed by AIP. Paul Anderson, who served as vice president, will replace Tom Schifano as managing director of the agency.

"The sale of Arison Insurance will ensure our internal sales team can build on the successes of our core business and distribution models, while allowing Arison to benefit from a management team focused on developing an aggressive growth strategy," said Deb Moessner, president and general manager of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. "Long-term, I believe this transaction could lead to additional job creation and growth within Kentucky and surrounding states."

AIP was established by a team of insurance and merger and acquisition executives focused on building a national insurance brokerage agency that offers a broad spectrum of insurance, benefits, products and services. Founding partners for the firm include John Koko, a Florida-based executive who has more than 20 years of experience in revenue and operational strategy; Dan Needham, whose expertise is focused on business growth and business development; Christina Rashid, who leads AIP's financial strategy and client and development activities; and Jude Thompson, a former Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield senior executive.

While Arison was an affiliate of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, it has a system of relationships that spans across the state. According to Thompson, a key investor with AIP, Arison's proven reputation in the marketplace and its understanding of the industry made the agency an attractive investment option.

"Over the next several months, we will focus on implementing a strategy that will allow AIP to expand its reach within the Kentucky and the surrounding states," said Thompson. "The expertise and resources Arison brings to AIP support this goal and further strengthen our long-term plans."

About Assurance Investment Partners (AIP)

AIP was established by insurance and merger and acquisition executives to lead an aggregation in the insurance broker dealer industry. The four founding partners -- John Koko, Daniel Needham, Christina Rashid and Joseph "Jude" Thompson -- will combine their deep domain expertise with access to institutional capital. AIP will focus on creating a nationally branded top 50 independent agency offering a broad spectrum of insurance and benefit products and services with growth occurring organically and through transactions.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. (R)ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky is available at http://www.anthem.com.


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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
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