Canadian Underwriter

Thompson leaving RSA Canada following Intact acquisition

June 1, 2021   by Greg Meckbach

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RSA Canada CEO Martin Thompson is leaving the company, says the insurer’s new owner, Intact Financial Corp.

Intact and Danish insurer Tryg A/S announced Tuesday they have completed their acquisition of London-based RSA PLC. As part of the deal, Toronto-based Intact acquires RSA Canada as well as some of RSA’s international operations.

“Martin Thompson announced that at completion of the transaction he would be leaving RSA,” an Intact Financial spokesperson told Canadian Underwriter Tuesday.

Canadian Underwriter had asked Intact whether Thompson has a role with the firm after the RSA transaction closes. An RSA Canada spokesperson referred an interview request with Thompson to Intact.

Thompson has been with RSA Group since 1997. In 2016, Thompson was promoted to CEO — from senior vice president of commercial insurance and global specialty lines — when Rowan Saunders left RSA Canada to become CEO of Economical Insurance.

“We thank Martin for his support leading up to close and wish him the best in his future endeavours,” the Intact Financial spokesperson told Canadian Underwriter Tuesday.

The three-way deal was initially announced Nov. 5, 2020. It is valued at about £7.2 billion, with Intact paying £3.0 billion and Tryg paying £4.2 billion. The British pound closed Monday at Cdn$1.71.

Tryg is acquiring RSA’s Sweden and Norway operations, with Intact and Tryg co-owning RSA’s Denmark operations.

Intact will own RSA’s operations in Britain, Ireland and the Middle East.

“It is a tough market, though a market where RSA has strong brands,” Intact CEO Charles Brindamour said, of RSA in Britain, during a virtual fireside chat on May 13 with Mario Mendonca, managing director of TD Securities.

“They are number 5. They have scale in home. They have scale in commercial lines and we are coming in at a fraction of book value,” Brindamour said of RSA in Britain.

In Canada, Intact will garner a 30% increase in premiums with the RSA acquisition,  Intact said June 1 in a release.

“When we look at it from a Canadian standpoint, post-closing we will be just north of 20% market share” in P&C in Canada, said Darren Godfrey, Intact’s senior vice president of commercial lines, during a recent virtual fireside chat with Barclays institutional sales manager Jeff Bigelow.

For a P&C insurer, size brings several advantages, Godfrey suggested.

“Digital is key here. More scale brings greater ability to invest in technology both internally for our own employees but also externally for our customers as well.”

Being larger allows a carrier to get better at rating, segmentation, risk selection and claims handling, Godfrey said on May 18 during the Barclays Americas Select Franchise Conference. “You now overlay RSA on top of that I think it just builds out that ability to further advance from those key underwriting, pricing and claims attributes.”

The deal also adds to Intact’s commercial specialty capabilities.

“We do not consider ourselves to be a global insurer,” said Godfrey. “Obviously the U.K., Ireland, Europe and a few other pieces came with the RSA transaction but the primary objective is not to plant flags.”

For the RSA operations outside of Canada that Intact now owns, Intact will be asking itself two key questions, said Godfrey.

“‘Do you have the scale to outperform?’ will be the first question we will ask some of these [RSA] businesses [outside of Canada]. Secondly, ‘do you add capabilities to our specialty lines platform?’ If the answer is no to both of them, then we will look at strategic alternatives. We are in no rush here in terms of some of those strategic decisions we want to make.”

Feature image via Productions

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3 Comments » for Thompson leaving RSA Canada following Intact acquisition
  1. Sue Pountney says:

    Dear Intact,
    “More scale brings greater ability to invest in technology both internally for our own employees but also externally for our customers as well.”
    Please keep in mind that in Canada your Customers are your Brokers. Not our clients. Build for us. We will build for them.

  2. Frank says:

    Not a good fit?

  3. Chris says:

    Intact need show more respect to their brokers instead of trying to have their cake and eat it too. Too much talk and not enough action on the efficiency within Intact who are not open to legitimate ideas from their brokers. Too busy taking over other insurers and not paying enough attention to doing a good job on making their widgets. Stop being so heavy handed with your brokers, we too are your customer not our clients. Listen to your brokers when they bring things to your attention that need to be corrected.

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