Canadian Underwriter

Brokerage launches new specialty entity

January 28, 2022   by Jason Contant

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Brokerage Wilson M. Beck Insurance Services (WMB) has officially opened the doors to a new specialty entity in Vancouver. 

Wilson M. Beck Insurance Services (Specialty) Inc., or WMB Specialty, will operate as a commercially-focused insurance brokerage as part of the Wilson M. Beck Group, WMB Specialty managing partner Victor Lange tells Canadian Underwriter in an interview. 

The entity will focus on specialized areas of insurance and hard-to-place risks, including natural resources, technology and start-ups, private equity, Indigenous business, and manufacturing, to name a few, WMB says in a press release. In addition to traditional property and liability insurance, the team will support and specialize in complex insurance placements. This includes initial public offering solutions, mining, cannabis, recycling, hospitality, franchises, and healthcare. 

Lange says the idea behind the launch of the specialty brokerage was to “create a group of people that have a focus on niches that they are entrenched in.” For example, principal Tom Canning is a specialist in mining insurance; principal Barzin Assadi specializes in healthcare, start-ups and risks which require specialized risk analysis; and principal Jack Schmidt understands Indigenous business.

“In B.C., there are over 200 different Indigenous communities, and they’re all slightly different. You’ve got to understand them, rather than just come in and say, ‘I can do property insurance,'” Lange says. “So, it’s having people that are entrenched in these different niches so they can understand the clients, be involved in the communities, be involved in their associations, and understand their actual insurance needs to be able to provide specialized risk advice, not just insurance policies, but risk advice to those particular niches. Especially coupled with a hard market, which we’re still in, you need that additional knowledge to get deals done.”

WMB adds in the release that “with more than four decades of combined experience in the insurance industry, the WMB Specialty partners are excited to bring together their knowledge, networks, and work ethics to provide exceptional service to their clients and develop new business.”

Lange says WMB Specialty plans to continue to expand. “It’s really around the right opportunity and having like-minded people, passionate about their clients,” he says. “We will continue to expand the niches which WMB Specialty can provide.”

With offices in B.C., Alberta and Ontario, WMB focuses on construction, home warranty and surety bonds, but also offers other types of commercial insurance, auto and personal lines, and financial services.

“We pride ourselves on providing service, which is what the client needs rather than using a templated service model that is provided to every client,” Lange says.

WMB president David Beck adds that “we’re very happy to welcome the Vancouver team to the WMB family. The specialty insurance expertise that the partners bring to the firm will be of huge benefit to our clients and our existing offices.” 


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