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Wheaton Van Lines acquires high-end Boston mover

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Wheaton Van Lines Inc. is making a strong move into the high-end corporate relocation business with its acquisition of Boston-based firm Clark & Reid Co. Inc.

Indianapolis-based Wheaton, the fourth-largest van line group in the nation, closed on the acquisition on Friday afternoon, firm officials said Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 1910, Clark & Reid specializes almost exclusively in executive relocations—in essence, moving employees for corporate clients. In 2006, the firm posted $28 million in revenue, and reported about 150 employees a year later, according to the Boston Business Journal.

In 2009, Clark & Reid ranked No. 1 in overall customer satisfaction in the annual Nationwide Relocating Employee Survey administered by Trippel Survey & Research LLC.

However, the firm downsized significantly after the mid-2000s, and had about 30 employees at the time of last week’s acquisition, said A.J. Schneider, executive vice president for Wheaton. He declined to reveal its most recent revenue figures.

Olympia Moving and Storage Co., a Wheaton agent that operates in Boston, will assume the operations of Clark & Reid. Eight of Clark & Reid’s employees, principally those who worked directly with clients, will make the transition. Those clients have included such names as Fidelity, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.

The value in the acquisition for Wheaton is the stellar reputation of Clark & Reid and its client base, Schneider said. Wheaton plans to maintain the same high level of service, and both add value and expand its reach by throwing its national network behind the brand.

“The transition will be seamless, and corporate clients will find they have the same move managers and personnel with whom they’re familiar and that there will be no disruption in service,” said Wheaton CEO Mark Kirschner.

This is the second major acquisition for Wheaton in two years. In 2012, it purchased Hillside, Ill.-based Bekins Van Lines, which was expected to add $80 million to Wheaton’s $170 million in annual sales.

Snapping up Bekins boosted Wheaton’s standing in the $16 billion moving and storage industry from sixth-largest to No. 4.

Wheaton executives said Monday that the success of the Bekin purchase helped pave the way for more mergers.
 

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  • Acquisition
    Clark & Reid earned their good reputation for a reason. We should only hope that Wheaton will be wise enough to indeed keep the employees and follow the same operational methods as they state they would.

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  1. You are correct that Obamacare requires health insurance policies to include richer benefits and protects patients who get sick. That's what I was getting at when I wrote above, "That’s because Obamacare required insurers to take all customers, regardless of their health status, and also established a floor on how skimpy the benefits paid for by health plans could be." I think it's vital to know exactly how much the essential health benefits are costing over previous policies. Unless we know the cost of the law, we can't do a cost-benefit analysis. Taxes were raised in order to offset a 31% rise in health insurance premiums, an increase that paid for richer benefits. Are those richer benefits worth that much or not? That's the question we need to answer. This study at least gets us started on doing so.

  2. *5 employees per floor. Either way its ridiculous.

  3. Jim, thanks for always ready my stuff and providing thoughtful comments. I am sure that someone more familiar with research design and methods could take issue with Kowalski's study. I thought it was of considerable value, however, because so far we have been crediting Obamacare for all the gains in coverage and all price increases, neither of which is entirely fair. This is at least a rigorous attempt to sort things out. Maybe a quixotic attempt, but it's one of the first ones I've seen try to do it in a sophisticated way.

  4. In addition to rewriting history, the paper (or at least your summary of it) ignores that Obamacare policies now must provide "essential health benefits". Maybe Mr Wall has always been insured in a group plan but even group plans had holes you could drive a truck through, like the Colts defensive line last night. Individual plans were even worse. So, when you come up with a study that factors that in, let me know, otherwise the numbers are garbage.

  5. You guys are absolutely right: Cummins should build a massive 80-story high rise, and give each employee 5 floors. Or, I suppose they could always rent out the top floors if they wanted, since downtown office space is bursting at the seams (http://www.ibj.com/article?articleId=49481).

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