Planting seeds. Britton Gallagher started more than 70 years ago in Solon, Ohio, as a real estate/insurance agency. Fred Britton opened a simple, combination practice where he sold insurance to people who bought homes through his agency. He grew the business in the 1940s and through the early 1950s when his son, Don Britton, joined the firm as a college graduate. Don took over the insurance side of the business from his dad, and he slowly developed that into a strong commercial insurance arm. He took in a partner, Jim Gallagher, who focused on life insurance. That’s when the firm became known as Britton-Gallagher.
Growing our own. The firm thrived as its commercial insurance business deepened, and Britton-Gallagher moved into a farmhouse in 1982. Jim Gallagher left the business, and Don brought in John Hazen as partner, who founded the construction practice. Then, Tom Brackett joined as partner on the commercial insurance side of the business. And in 1986, Bruce Ball came on board as a salesperson. In 1988, Hal Rindels joined the team. Ball and Rindels are partners in the firm today and continue to drive its success. Each new partner focused on launching a specialty industry. Bruce developed Life Sciences, and in the 1990s Eric Treend came on board and started the Pyrotechnics group. Bob Treend (Eric’s father) developed the Employee Benefits practice. Pyrotechnics opened the door to other nonconventional industries that face challenging exposures, regulatory demands and unusual supply chains including Amusement, headed by Drew Tewksbury. The firm continued to expand its footprint by developing niche practices and honing expertise in competitive industries. Today, Britton Gallagher serves 20-plus industries, from advanced materials to childcare, metals and machinery, athletes and entertainers and beyond.
Building for tomorrow. As Britton Gallagher continued to grow, expand its global footprint and develop niche practices. The firm outgrew its Solon facility and moved downtown to the top floor of One Cleveland Center, in the heart of downtown Cleveland. Our new headquarters reflects the commitment of the fast-paced, progressive firm we are today, competing worldwide in the life sciences, entertainment and benefits arenas.
Our offices overlook Lake Erie—there are no cubicle walls to obstruct the view. Our modern venue and inspiring views are a testament to diligence, feet on the street and hard-won success. But we haven’t forgotten our roots. And to be sure, we installed reclaimed wood panels throughout our office and installed a gallery of pictures taken by our team. We even recreated our Solon old hangout by installing a competitive pool table and employee art gallery. Our location has opened doors to new business because we are readily accessible to athletes, entertainers, high-net worth individuals, competitive clients in the life sciences industry and beyond.
Expanding our footprint. Intellectual capital is our greatest competitive advantage as a private, independently owned insurance brokerage firm. We never miss a detail, we’re fiercely dedicated to our clients, and our client service-based model continues to drive the business forward and into new arenas in the U.S. and abroad. Britton Gallagher works with companies across the globe and our pyrotechnics division is a licensed resident broker in all but one of the Canadian provinces.