Canadian Underwriter

Brokerage M&A round-up: Which four were bought?

November 9, 2020   by Jason Contant

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British Columbia-based Westland Insurance Group Ltd. has moved into the Ontario market, announcing that it has acquired Gillons Insurance Brokers Ltd.

The “significant and substantial milestone” supports Westland’s expansion strategy to become a national insurance brokerage, the brokerage said when it announced the deal last week. Westland’s latest acquisition comes on the heels of other deals announced this week by Navacord, The Co-operators and Hub International.

Westland closed the acquisition effective Nov. 2. Founded in 1924 and headquartered in Fort Frances, Ont., Gillons has 11 locations throughout northwestern Ontario. Its professional insurance advisors are experts in residential, auto, life, travel, recreation, farm and commercial insurance services.

With the latest acquisition, Westland adds the 11 Gillons branches and over 90 employees in Ontario. Post-acquisition, Westland will have over 140 offices in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

Also effective last Monday, Navacord brokerage Henderson Insurance announced the acquisition of HAL Insurance. “The deal strengthens Henderson’s position in the transportation sector and further deepens their expertise,” Navacord said in a release.

Henderson Insurance specializes in mid-market commercial insurance and risk management, with offices in Regina and Moose Jaw, Sask. HAL Insurance, was founded as Highway Agencies Ltd. in 1955 by the Saskatchewan Trucking Association. With roots in the trucking industry, HAL Insurance specializes within the transportation sector and adds its expertise across a range of other products, including commercial, personal, farm, and sports and events insurance.

The acquisition of HAL Insurance elevates Henderson Insurance’s leadership within the transportation sector and provides HAL with new-found scalability, increased access to markets and entry into new sectors, Navacord said in a statement.

In the coming months, HAL will transition to operating under the Henderson Insurance brand, “but colleagues, clients, industry associations, and partners alike can expect a continued commitment to service excellence and expertise with the added resources and strength of a national firm,” Toronto-based Navacord reported.

Saskatchewan has been identified as a key area of growth for Navacord, with HAL Insurance representing the fifth partnership in the province over the last 24 months.

Two other acquisitions — by The Co-operators and Hub International — were announced in the last week.

Guelph, Ont.-based The Co-operators said it acquired Linda Rioux Assurances, a Warwick, Que.-based brokerage offering home, auto, farm and commercial insurance.

“This is exciting news as we remain focused on strengthening our agency distribution system in Quebec,” said Patrick Décarie, The Co-operators’ vice president for the Quebec region.

Terms of the transaction were not revealed, but The Co-operators said any existing coverage will remain in effect for the current policy term; clients will also gain access to a full suite of insurance products, including home, auto, life, travel and commercial insurance.

Chicago-based Hub also acquired Stalco Insurance Ltd., a family-owned brokerage providing commercial and personal insurance.

With locations in Wainwright, Provost and Kitscoty, Alta., Stalco Insurance focuses on various industries including agribusiness. This “support’s Hub’s specialty practices by complementing and strengthening its existing capabilities,” the larger brokerage said last week. Adam Doyle, chief operating officer of Stalco Insurance, will join Hub International Canada West, reporting to Sarah Cameron, vice president of operations for the region.


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