After a relatively smooth process, the National Association of Insurance Brokers and the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers will become one group effective July 1, it was announced at a press conference on Tuesday.

The two Washington, D.C., groups' public and industry affairs operations have ''always been complementary, and the merger will result in a more effectively, efficiently run'' organization, said Jane Hill Fleming, senior vice president of broker Sedgwick in Nashville, Tenn., and the new co-chairman when the groups merge.Merging will ''streamline our advocacy roles. Our grass roots capabilities are strongly enhanced and entrenched by this merge. It eliminates a redundancy in our efforts, she added. ''Most important, we will now have one clear and consistent voice on public policy issues.''

Merger discussions were completed in the spring and the NAIB and the council approved it May 20 and May 22, respectively. NAIB, founded in 1934, represents 26 members brokers. The council, founded in 1913, represents approximately 260 U.S. agents and brokers.

The council, in a statement, said that ''consolidation within the financial services arena is occurring at every level. Whether it is mergers and acquisitions affecting insurers, reinsurers, banking and security firms as well as insurance agencies and brokerages, all corners of this cast sector of commerce has been affected like no other time in history.''

The new group, which will retain the council's name, will be led by its president, Ken Crerar. In a statement, he said that as ''a member of the management team, I'm excited by the two groups as an entity. I look forward to moving ahead aggressively'' on legislative issues as a larger player.

While the NAIB's Barbara Haugen and Anne Flanagan are expected to stay on once the groups are merged, NAIB President Carl Modecki will not.

''We have not yet finalized all staffing,'' Ms. Fleming said.

Here's the lineup: As of July 1, the council's chairman, John C. Adams Jr., executive vice president of Hilb Rogal & Hamilton Co. in Daytona Beach, Fla., will serve as co-chairman with Ms. Fleming until the council's annual meeting in October. The NAIB will hold its final meeting May 31-June 2 in Colorado Springs.

Then, at the council's October meeting, its vice chairman, James J. Kilbride, chairman of Morse, Payton & Noyles Insurance in Portland, Me.; and Christopher M. Collins, managing director of J&H Marsh & McLennan in New York, will become co-chairmen.

A single chairmanship will be reinstated in October 1999.

Officers from both organizations have been selected to sit on the new council executive and nominating committees.

The organization's board will consist of the council's existing board plus 12 new seats designated for current NAIB members.

During the press conference, Mr. Adams noted that memberships dues will be maintained ''as is.''

But Ms. Fleming said combining the two groups will require a smaller budget, resulting in a surplus of funds.

''We're looking at how to allocate that,'' she said.