The San Luis Obispo-based insurance firms announced Wednesday that the firms will combine under the name Morris & Garritano, consolidating both operations into Morris & Garritano's offices on Laurel Lane at the end of the year.
Staff at both companies will be retained, and clients' day-to-day contacts won't change, said Brendan Morris, chief executive officer of Morris & Garritano, which was founded in 1885.
Gray & Troy, which specializes in employee benefit insurance, will add 10 staff members to the team, which will boost the number of total employees to more than 100.
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Gene Gray, Steve Gray and Dan Troy of Gray & Troy will serve in their roles as risk advisers within Morris & Garritano's Employee Benefits department, along with Troy becoming a shareholder in the firm.
"Our clients will be able to take advantage of increased depth in employee benefits services and a wider spectrum of insurance offerings," Troy said.
Troy also noted the "perfect timing" of the move, given changes in health care legislation as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
"We'll not only have stronger relationships with insurance carriers, we'll also be ready to cater to the needs of our clients as regulations continue to evolve within the health care industry. We feel this proactive preparation will do the most good for our clients and the services our staff can provide," Troy said.
Kerry Morris, COO at Morris & Garritano, expects the transition to be a smooth one.
"Our companies operate very similarly in terms of our processes and the high caliber of service we provide for our clients," she said. "I know I share the feelings of our company leaders when I say how excited we are for this new chapter in our business."
Both firms and have a rich history in San Luis Obispo.
Gene Gray, founding partner of Gray & Troy, founded Morris & Garritano's Employee Benefits Department in 1978, growing the department over a span of 21 years. He started his own employee benefits practice with his son-in-law, Dan Troy, which became Gray & Troy.
"Joining with Morris & Garritano is a natural fit for us on many levels," said Gray, adding that he sees the return as a homecoming. "I feel confident knowing our staff and our clients will continue to thrive now and for generations to come."