Canadian Underwriter

Brokerage M&A deals heat up in Winter

December 5, 2018   by Jason Contant

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Brokerage mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are ramping up in Canada, with two separate deals in Ontario and Saskatchewan announced Tuesday.

In Ontario, Burrows Insurance Group Inc., located in Peterborough and Oshawa, Ont., joined BrokerLink.

In Saskatchewan, Andrew Agencies Ltd. acquired Wawota Agencies (2000) Ltd., which serves Wawota, Sask. and the surrounding area.

Burrows Insurance’s president Bill Burrows said BrokerLink’s reputation was an important part of the decision to join. “We’ve worked hard to build a positive reputation with our customers and the Oshawa and Peterborough communities,” Burrows said. “It was important to become part of an organization that would keep this reputation alive. We knew this would happen with BrokerLink. The team has, and continues to build, positive connections with customers and local communities.”

Established in 1991, the BrokerLink companies together constitute one of the largest Canadian property and casualty insurance brokerage operations, with more than 135 offices and 1,800 employees across Canada, Alberta and Atlantic Canada. The companies are subsidiaries of Intact Financial Corporation. Burrows Insurance is a family-owned brokerage providing auto, property, commercial, recreational and life insurance for over eight years.

With the addition of Wawota Agencies, Andrew Agencies will have its 18th location. The Wawota office will be rebranded to Andrew Agencies and owners Darren and Kathy Olson will retire. The remaining staff will be staying on and will be supported and complemented with existing product specialists from Andrew Agencies.

“Our decision to sell the business to Andrew Agencies was based on the similarities of the two companies – one family business to another,” said Darren Olson. “We feel that our clients will continue to be best looked after by their organization.”

Andrew Agencies was established more than 100 years, in 1913, as a general insurance and travel agency in Virden, Man. Today, it is a multi-line brokerage operating in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Wawota Agencies provides home, auto, farm and commercial coverage.