Canadian Underwriter

Why this broker sold into the independent broker channel

May 6, 2018   by Jason Contant

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When Ron Bagnell was looking to retire, handing over his brokerage to the family was not an option, so he sold into the independent broker channel.

“My children had no interest in taking over the business, so I knew that at some point, I would have to approach a forward-thinking broker to merge with,” Bagnell, the president of Bay Insurance & Financial in Tantallon, N.S., told Canadian Underwriter Friday.

On Thursday, Bay Insurance & Financial merged with Archway Insurance. “Their relaxed attitude towards the M&A really gave me a comfort that things would go smoothly,” Bagnell said.

Bagnell noted it’s a personal decision how a broker decides to sell the business. “But I think you have to have a good idea of what and where you want to be after the process is completed.”

For him, he wanted to “keep the office location and the staff, and respect that we have been in the community for 13 years.” As well, he wanted the option of continuing to work in the business at the number of hours he wanted.

Bagnell will take on a commercial consulting role with Archway, and he plans to retain his life and health benefits business. “I will be semi-retired at 55,” he said.

Archway is an Atlantic-owned, independent insurance brokerage. It is one of the largest independent brokers in the region; including the merger with Bay Insurance, it now has 23 locations covering all of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It is headquartered in Amherst, N.S. and has more than 150 employees, offering personal, business, group and life insurance.

Bay Insurance & Financial offers auto, home, marine, business, life, health, travel and disability insurance, as well as financial planning.