Bo Bittle buys interest in Fayetteville insurance firm

by Paul Gatling ( 1,059 views 

Independent insurance agent Bo Bittle of Fayetteville has purchased a 50% ownership interest in Fayetteville firm Armstrong-Hailey Insurance Co.

Bittle, 39, acquired the portion of the business previously owned by Steve Hailey, who co-founded the company in 2002 with Rob Armstrong.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The change in ownership took effect Oct. 19. Hailey is leaving the agency to pursue other interests.

“It’s unexpected to have an opportunity like this so early on,” Bittle said. “But it’s the right place at the right time. I have known Rob and Steve both for quite a while, and they were both extremely supportive of me when I started my own business.”

Bittle launched his own independent agency, Bittle Insurance Agency, this year. Until then he had built his career in the financial services sector, working for some of the state’s largest and most recognizable companies including Arvest Bank, Signature Bank of Arkansas and Stephens Inc.

Armstrong-Hailey now has seven producing independent agents. An updated name for the company to reflect Hailey’s departure has not been determined.

Like Bittle, Armstrong, 54, is a Fayetteville native. He started his professional career in 1987 working for his family’s manufacturing business — Chicago-based Armstrong Brothers Tool Co., which opened a Fayetteville facility in the 1970s.

Armstrong continued with the business after the company was acquired by The Danaher Corp. in 1994. In 1997, he was promoted to national accounts manager and moved back to Fayetteville.

“The Armstrong family has been a part of Fayetteville for a long time, so the opportunity for us to work together made a lot of sense,” Bittle said.