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Westland expands into two new provinces


December 7, 2022   by Jason Contant

Business merger and acquisition concept

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Westland Insurance has entered into Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick for the first time, making it one of the largest insurance brokers in Atlantic Canada.

The western Canadian-based brokerage announced Tuesday the acquisition of Hyndman Insurance Group, Sears Insurance, Hyndman & Company and Hickey & Hyndman. This Group of affiliated companies is one of the largest and oldest insurance brokers in Canada.

Hyndman & Company dates back to 1872 when Hyndman Insurance was founded. Collectively, Charlottetown-based Hyndman Insurance Group has 100 employees and 13 locations. The Group offers a variety of commercial insurance, including surety bonds, farm insurance, marine insurance and commercial general liability, among others.

Westland president and chief operating officer Jamie Lyons — who will become president and CEO of Westland on Jan. 1, 2023 — said the brokerage is excited to serve new clients. “We feel there is great cultural alignment with Hyndman and the provinces of P.E.I. and New Brunswick,” Lyons told Canadian Underwriter.

“Strengthening our presence in Atlantic Canada is a big part of our national strategy…” he said. “Hyndman is a unique business given the longevity and history it has enjoyed and is a fantastic complement to our Nova Scotia teams. We’re confident it will be a smooth transition and are excited to move forward with the team under the leadership of Gordie Walsh as vice president, Atlantic.”

Westland trades more than $2.5 billion of premium and offers personal, commercial, farm and specialty insurance as well as employee benefits. With this latest acquisition, is now of the one largest insurance brokers in Atlantic Canada with nearly 200 employees and 19 locations.

The brokerage currently doesn’t have locations in Newfoundland and Labrador or the territories, “although we do serve these markets,” Lyons said. “We have explored, and will continue to explore opportunities for growth, as well as physical presence in these regions.”

Westland’s latest acquisition is its 26th in the last 12 months.

In October, it bought Arrow Insurance Agency, Emsland & Associates Insurance, and IBMG Canada Inc. Arrow Insurance is Westland’s first location in the city of Fort St. John, B.C.; Emsland & Associates adds a location in Kamloops, B.C.; and IBMG Canada “increases Westland’s presence in the strategically important Greater Toronto Area.”

In September, Westland recorded another first when it entered a new industry vertical and the U.S. market with the acquisition of Front Row Insurance Brokers, one of the largest film and entertainment insurance brokers in North America.

In other brokerage M&A news, SIB Corp. (operating as StoneRidge Insurance Brokers) has acquired Safeway Insurance and Financial Services Inc., expanding its personal and commercial insurance presence in the Greater Toronto Area. Safeway, founded in 1966, provides P&C insurance products as well as life insurance and investment options.

SIB Corp. has already completed seven transactions so far in 2022, with another three expected to close by the end of the year, SIB Corp. president and CEO Ted Puccini said in a release when the deal was announced.

 

Feature image by iStock.com/nespix