Canadian Underwriter

National brokerage acquires two Ontario-based firms

March 3, 2022   by Jason Contant

Concept of a business acquisition

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Westland Insurance Group Ltd. has announced the acquisition of two Ontario-based brokerages: Stewart Morrison Insurance Brokers Ltd. and Transure Insurance Inc.

Stewart Morrison Insurance provides home, auto, business, farm and agribusiness, and lifestyle insurance. It has offices in Lindsay, Fenelon Falls, Bobcaygeon, Port Perry and Peterborough. For its part, Transure Insurance of Waterdown, Ont. offers a variety of personal and commercial products, with a reputation for trucking and transportation insurance.

Jamie Lyons, president and chief operating officer of Westland, notes in a press release Thursday announcing the acquisition that Stewart Morrison Insurance, like Westland, is a “second-generation brokerage that’s deeply rooted in its communities.

“As we continue our journey of national expansion, we’re honoured to be able to serve five additional communities in Ontario through the tremendous group of insurance professionals at Stewart Morrison,” Lyons says.

With the acquisition of Transure Insurance, “Westland deepens its investment in the transportation sector,” the larger brokerage says. Transure provides insurance solutions for the Waterdown, Barrie, Midland, Penetanguishene, and eastern Ontario areas.

Westland has more than 2,200 employees serving communities across Canada, from British Columbia to the Maritimes. Westland trades $2.5 billion of premium and describes itself as Canada’s largest independent Canadian-owned brokerage.

Already this year, Westland has made several acquisitions. Most recently, it acquired Campbell, Roy & Eldridge Insurance Services on Feb. 3. The Markham, Ont.-based brokerage offers a wide variety of coverages, including home, condo, auto, RV, motorcycle, boat, watercraft, business and trucking insurance, among others.

Its first acquisitions of 2022 were of Bunnell Hitchon Insurance Brokers in Brantford and Milton, Ont., and Rigby Insurance in Calgary. Bunnell Hitchon, founded in 1890, offers a variety of personal and commercial insurance, including home, auto, boat, motorcycle, commercial auto, farm, and contractors’ insurance, among others. Rigby provides home, auto, commercial and life insurance.

Westland also recently expanded its partnership with Blackstone Credit, which is investing $250 million towards the brokerage’s acquisition strategy. Blackstone’s total investment in Westland is more than $1.2 billion since its initial investment in January 2021. Not all of that is geared toward M&A, but the investment includes a facility dedicated to funding the brokerage’s acquisition strategy.


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