Canadian Underwriter

Navacord continues to expand its construction practice with latest partnership

November 5, 2018   by Jason Contant

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Effective Nov. 1, commercial brokerage Navacord Corp. continued to expand its construction practice with the addition of Westmount Guarantee Services Inc. as a broker partner.

Founded in 2011, Markham, Ont.-based Westmount Guarantee provides Tarion bonds (developers’ surety), condominium deposit insurance and surety products for residential projects across Ontario. Devoted exclusively to the condominium market, its leadership team consists of president Jim Emanoilidis and vice president Brian Argue.

Navacord trades under different broker partner brands across Canada. With this latest partnership, the commercial brokerage gains “access to a new product line; an area that we didn’t play in traditionally,” Navacord president and CEO Shawn DeSantis told Canadian Underwriter Monday. “This is a different type of surety, which fits very nicely as it’s a complement to our business. Expanding and continuing to build out our construction practice was one of the reasons Navacord was attracted to the Westmount Guarantee business.”

The partnership expands Navacord’s construction capabilities, especially given the growth rate of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), DeSantis said in a press release Nov. 2. Calling Westmount Guarantee the “deposit insurance authority” in the province, DeSantis said their approach “gives them a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

DeSantis predicts three areas of further growth for the commercial brokerage: continued expansion in the GTA, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia.

“The products that Jim [Emanoilidis] and Westmount Guarantee sells will fit very nicely in the Vancouver marketplace,” DeSantis added.

Looking into the future, Navacord will be adding “a number of partners,” both specialized industry segments and non-specialized segments. “We look at these mid-market segments: everything from construction, energy, transportation and car dealerships,” DeSantis said by way of example. “What we are trying to do is continue to build out these practices and solidify our position as true experts and the specialized individuals in these segments.”

Westmount Guarantee is the second transaction to close in November, along with Saskatchewan’s Henderson Inc. With offices in Regina and Moose Jaw, Henderson’s target markets include commercial auto, agriculture, information technology and manufacturing.

Five brokerages have joined Navacord this year.

Based in Toronto, Navacord is a national insurance brokerage offering risk management and consulting solutions, including property & casualty, employee benefits, retirement, loss control, claims management, surety and personal insurance. It specializes in construction, transportation, hospitality, real estate, manufacturing, oil and gas, and architects and engineers’ errors and omissions.

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