Peoples Heritage Financial Group, Portland, Maine, said last week that it completed the acquisition of Morse, Payson & Noyes Insurance.

Morse, Payson & Noyes is Maine's largest insurance broker, with $125 million in policy premiums and 145 employees. It will be a subsidiary of the $6 billion-asset banking company's lead bank, Peoples Heritage Bank.

The insurance firm's management team and sales, service, and support staff will remain in place. "We view an entry into the insurance business as a critical step in maintaining our position as a highly competitive provider of financial services," said William J. Ryan, Peoples' chairman., in a prepared statement. He said he expected Peoples to expand its insurance operations by the acquisition of other insurance agencies through Morse, Payson & Noyes.

James J. Kilbride, chairman of Morse, Payson & Noyes, said the strength of his company's product offerings and its insurance professionals "will combine with the bank's extensive distribution system to give us an even stronger hand in our competitive business."

The insurance products offered by Morse Payson & Noyes include property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, and personal property; commercial property and casualty insurance; employee benefit insurance; and life, disability, and long-term care coverage.

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