Canadian Underwriter

Navacord announces its biggest deal yet

May 24, 2023   by David Gambrill

Business signing a piece of paper at a desk with an oversized pen

Print this page Share

Navacord has invested heavily into its wealth management and group benefits capabilities, acquiring RWAM Insurance Administrators Inc and Programmed Insurance Brokers (PIB) Inc.

“As Navacord’s largest transaction to date, the partnerships with RWAM and Programmed Insurance Brokers Inc. underscore Navacord’s dedication to fostering collaboration and innovation in the insurance and wealth management sector,” the brokerage said in a release Wednesday announcing the deal.

Incorporated in 1988, RWAM Insurance Administrators is one of Canada’s largest third-party administrators of group insurance benefits, serving more than 250,000 Canadians from coast to coast.

Programmed Insurance Brokers Inc. (PIB), headquartered in Elmira, Ont., is a national multi-line insurance and financial services agency, providing tailored multi-line insurance and wealth management solutions to businesses and individuals — including P&C insurance, group benefits, wealth, and retirement planning.

Combined, RWAM and PIB have about 300 employees and write more than $307 million in gross written premium (GWP).

Navacord bills itself as Canada’s fourth-largest commercial brokerage, writing more than $3 billion in annual premium.

Navacord president and CEO Shawn DeSantis welcomed the strategic significance of these partnerships.

“The addition of these two partners represent a significant milestone in our journey of providing unparalleled services and expanding our market presence,” DeSantis said of the deal. “By joining forces with RWAM and PIB, we strengthen our expertise, broaden our reach, and deepen our commitment to delivering excellence to our clients.”

RWAM emphasized how the deal would maintain its autonomy while providing the firm with a broader scope.

“[Navacord’s] decentralized model allows us to keep our autonomy, maintaining our partner relationships, while benefiting from the alignment with a national organization,” RWAM CEO Carole Yari commented. “This collaboration presents a unique opportunity for both companies to combine our strengths and deliver even greater value to our clients.”

Also this week, Optimum Strategies Inc, a family-run, Vancouver-based group benefits and succession planning firm, announced a deal with Dehoney Financial Group, a Navacord company.

Established in 1982, Optimum Strategies is an independent financial services firm providing professionals and business owners with advice and services related to employee benefits, executive disability insurance, and life insurance. Optimum serves clients in many industries, including mining, manufacturing, software development. Typically, its client companies have five to 50 employees, although Optimum has clients with more than 100 employees as well.

Dehoney Financial Group (DFG) has more than 30 employees, with the majority working in Vancouver’s head office, plus a growing team in Calgary, Alberta. DFG provides group benefits (life, dental, health, critical illness, and disability insurance), retirement consulting, corporate and personal insurance solutions and third-party administration.

“We were looking for a partner who could help us write the next chapter and whose values aligned with our own,” says Chuck Grossholz, Optimum Strategies president. “The team at Dehoney Financial Group really understands and embraces our goals.”


Feature image courtesy of