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Higginbotham adds agency focused on entertainment industry

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Fort Worth-based Higginbotham has added a Dallas agency to its portfolio. Ascend Insurance Brokerage, an independent agency in Dallas serving the entertainment industry, will give Higginbotham additional in-house expertise in entertainment coverage, including event cancellation and non-appearance, while Higginbotham expands Ascend’s service capability into all lines of commercial and personal property/casualty insurance and employee benefits.

Higginbotham has an office in Dallas and another six offices in the broader DFW area. Part of the firm’s growth initiative is to strategically unite with other growing insurance firms having industry concentrations that add to Higginbotham’s lineup of more than 20 industry verticals for commercial customers.

“We’ve employed a partnership culture that directly benefits clients,” said Higginbotham Chairman and CEO Rusty Reid. “Through one broker, clients with highly specialized risks, like those in entertainment, get the expertise they need and access to all our resources. Ascend’s hands-on industry experience will bring a unique breadth of knowledge and strengthen our current capability in the rapidly growing entertainment space.” 

Ascend CEO Paul Bassman added, “I’m excited to bring the additional risk management services Higginbotham’s partnership affords us and deliver extra value to our entertainment clients. At the same time, it opens up channels for Ascend to serve other industries and keep growing.”

Higginbotham named Bassman a managing director. The 13-person group will operate as Ascend, A Higginbotham Company until consolidating with Higginbotham’s office at 15660 North Dallas Parkway.

Ascend is primary asset for artists, festivals and venues as they explore specific insurance needs. Currently the company acts as a vital resource for Joe Bonamassa, Future, Machine Gun Kelly, Gary Clark Jr., the legendary Stone Pony and other venues in Asbury Park, NJ, Stubb’s BBQ in Austin, TX, Metro Chicago, the Life Is Beautiful Festival, Pitchfork Music Festival, Beaver Productions, P1440 (Kerri Walsh Jenning’s new volleyball league) and others. Past clients include C3 Presents (Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits Festival), Brooklyn Bowl, Bowery Presents, City Winery, Twenty One Pilots, Chris Stapleton and many more. On the film side, the company has handled the interests of A GHOST STORY (directed by David Lowery, starring Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Kesha), TILL DEATH (directed by Aharon Keshales, produced by Cinestate and Arts District Entertainment, starring Jason Sudeikis, Evangeline Lilly) and SATANIC PANIC (produced by Cinestate, starring Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell, Hayley Griffith, Ruby Modine).

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