August 2, 2016 by Canadian Underwriter
Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. announced on Tuesday that it has acquired Erb and Erb Insurance Brokers Ltd.
Waterloo, Ont.-based Lackner McLennan (LMI) said in a press release that the acquisition occurred on Friday.
Kitchener, Ont.-based Erb and Erb and Lackner McLennan will continue to operate as their own entities for the “next few years to provide continuity for both staff and clients, providing the same level of service clients have come to expect,” Lackner McLennan said in a press release.
Both firms have been recognized for their aggressive pursuits of new technology solutions, offering mobile apps, digital marketing, and online bind and purchase options. Over the next few years, the firms will continue to bolster product offerings, service and technology advances to create a dynamic and expanding business.
“We are excited to welcome the staff at Erb and Erb to our Lackner McLennan team,” said David Stark, CEO of Lackner McLennan, in the release. “There is an excellent alignment of values and goals between our two organizations and we know this acquisition will position us to better serve our clients.”
James Chmiel, president of Erb and Erb, said that although it likely would have been advantageous, the insurance broker did not entertain any offers from insurance companies, brokers or other entities outside of the Waterloo Region. “Our priority was and is the long term well-being of our staff and clients,” he said. “This commitment governed all of our decisions.”
Stephen Bleizeffer, a partner at Lackner McLennan, noted in the release that the industry is “witnessing incredible technology advancements that will have a deep impact on how we do business. As a result, we recognized the importance of gaining resources, strength and scale to position the firm for future success. We at Lackner McLennan look forward to celebrating Erb and Erb’s 100th anniversary in 2019.”
Another partner at Lackner McLennan, Cameron Yule, pointed out that both companies are passionate about their communities and strong supporters of charities and non-profit children’s organizations, among others. “We feel this change will result in greater, positive benefits for all our clients and our community,” Yule said.
“Having a combined market share greater than $55 million of gross written premium means we have more clout and authority to work with our insurance partners on behalf of our clients” to be able to provide better products, said Dean McKillop, a partner at Lackner McLennan.
Lackner McLennan has been a Kitchener-Waterloo brokerage for more than 70 years, offering personal and commercial insurance. The business going forward will be operated by six partners and a staff of dedicated insurance specialists and support personnel.
Erb and Erb Insurance is one of Waterloo Region’s largest independent insurance firms, with offices located in downtown Kitchener. The company’s 65 employees offer a broad suite of personal and commercial insurance, as well as life insurance and financial services products.