April 27, 2021 by Greg Meckbach
Kings Mutual CEO Cara Cameron is not staying on after the Nova Scotia-based insurer merges with Heartland Farm Mutual Inc.
If approved by regulators, the Kings-Heartland deal, initially announced on Jan. 18, will take effect June 30. The merger was approved on April 26 by both mutual insurers’ policyholders. It still requires regulatory approval, Waterloo, Ont.-based Heartland announced a day after policyholder approval.
Kings Mutual announced on April 23 that Cameron (pictured) will not continue with Kings following the proposed amalgamation with Heartland. Kings Mutual is based in the Annapolis Valley community of Berwick, about halfway between Kentville and Canadian Forces Base Greenwood.
The mutuals previously said Heartland CEO Louis Durocher will continue as CEO of the new company. When the proposed merger was first announced in January, the firms said at that time that Cameron would become vice president and chief operations officer for Heartland’s maritime operations.
Cameron “has been an integral part of the company’s management and leadership team for the past 14 years” and “shared she is very supportive of the amalgamation and wishes both Kings and Heartland much success in the future,” Kings said in a release.
“Under Ms. Cameron’s leadership, Kings Mutual has continued to thrive and look for new opportunities to serve its policyholders. They sincerely thank her for her commitment and dedication to the Kings family and wish her well in her future endeavours,” Kings Mutual chair Lynn MacLean stated in a release.
Heartland was formed in 2016 by the merger of North Waterloo Farmers Mutual Insurance with Thamesford, Ont.-based Oxford Mutual Insurance Company.
Heartland and The Kings ranked 58th and 99th, respectively, in the Canadian P&C market in 2019, according to the 2020 Canadian Underwriter Statistical Guide. Heartland and The Kings had net premiums written of $112.2 million and $12.2 million, respectively, in 2019.
The combined firm will be based in Waterloo with the Nova Scotia office serving as a regional headquarters for Heartland.
In Canada, mutuals insurers can merge with other mutuals, said Victor Adesanya, vice president of insurance at DBRS Morningstar, in an earlier interview. For example, La Capitale merged with SSQ, Adesanya said this past November. He was commenting in the context of Intact’s proposed deal with Tryg A/S to acquire RSA. Adesanya was interviewed before Heartland and Kings announced their deal.
For their part, La Capitale and SSQ, both based in Quebec City, completed their merger in July of 2020. Known now as Beneva, the combined firm formed by SSQ and La Capitale is Canada’s largest mutual insurer when you include life insurance premiums. Wawanesa remains Canada’s largest P&C mutual.
Beneva CEO Jean-François Chalifoux was asked this past November, during KPMG Canada’s 29th Annual Insurance Conference, why La Capitale and SSQ officials wanted to merge.
“The world is changing fast,” Chalifoux replied. “Both [La Capitale and SSQ), in our strategic plans, came to the conclusion that size matters more and more going forward as we needed to invest in technology and digitization. Both CEOs, management teams and boards felt that we would become stronger together than if we continued to compete against each other.”
Photo courtesy of The Kings Mutual Insurance Company