Canadian Underwriter

SPECS acquired by New York consulting firm

September 17, 2019   by Greg Meckbach

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Specialized Property Evaluation Control Services, better known as SPECS, has been acquired by J.S. Held LLC, an American consulting firm, the companies announced Tuesday.

SPECS, based in Langley, B.C., does property damage assessments, restoration consulting, construction project administration, risk management, facility services, and catastrophic response. The SPECS team of engineers, construction specialists, estimators, and appraisers support the insurance, legal, and construction communities from 18 offices across Canada. The company was founded in 1995 in Edmonton by personal property appraiser David Wallace, currently the president of SPECS.

J.S. Held is based on Long Island in Jericho, N.Y., about 20 kilometres east of New York City.

“SPECS will join the J.S. Held team of over 750 consultants around the globe. Existing SPECS clients will now have access to J.S. Held’s suite of specialized services including surety services; project and program management; equipment consulting; forensic architecture and engineering; forensic accounting; and environmental, health, and safety services,” J.S. Held said Tuesday in a release.

J.S. Held did not release the price it paid for SPECS.

Founded in 1974 by Jerome S. Held, J.S. Held is currently led by Jonathon C. Held, appointed CEO in 1985.

In addition to its Langley head office (about 40 kilometres east of Vancouver) SPECS also has a business development and marketing office in Burlington, Ont., about 40 km southwest of downtown Toronto. SPECS’s other 16 offices are in Victoria, Kelowna, Prince George,  Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Regina, Winnipeg, London, Ottawa, North Bay, Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax, Moncton and St John’s, Nfld.

In addition to the U.S. and Canada, J.S. Held has offices in Britain, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Colombia. Its offerings include consulting services for restoring property after water and fire damage. It also employs estimators, fire origin and cause investigators and forensic accountants.

The acquisition by J.S. Held of SPECS comes five weeks after Intact Financial Corp. announced it agreed to buy disaster recovery firm On Site Restoration and three months after PERILS AG announced it has acquired Toronto-based Catastrophe Indices & Quantification Inc. (CatIQ), which provides information on Canadian catastrophes to the insruance industry and other stakeholders.

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