Canadian Underwriter

Why the Sedgwick-Cunningham deal is good for adjusters

December 6, 2017   by Jason Contant, Online Editor

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Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., a global provider of technology-enabled risk and benefits solutions, announced on Wednesday it has signed an agreement to acquire Cunningham Lindsey, a global loss adjusting, claims management and risk solutions firm.

Both companies have a Canadian presence, with Sedgwick Canada licensed across all provinces and territories and Cunningham Lindsey with offices in Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.

“With a presence across Canada, Sedgwick is now positioned with the Canadian Independent Adjusters’ Association (CIAA) as our third national firm with over 200 adjusters,” said CIAA President Monica Kuzyk. “This is significant as we look to gain leadership leverage within the claims environment and create new opportunities for professional development for our members.”

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Kuzyk added that the purchase of Cunningham Lindsey by Sedgwick/Vericlaim provides an opportunity to transform their business model and grow strategically. “The reality is, we know that action is required within our industry to remain relevant and competitive in the years ahead,” she said. “Developing strategic partnerships, creating synergy by improving business capabilities is a path to growth.”

Monica Kuzyk, president, Canadian Independent Adjusters’ Association (CIAA); vice president, Curo Claims Services

Catherine Bennett, director of public relations with Sedgwick, said in an email to Canadian Underwriter that acquiring Cunningham Lindsey broadens Sedgwick’s international footprint, making it more than 20,000 employees following the close of the transaction. Cunningham Lindsey has about 6,000 employees in 600 offices across 60 countries.

Bennett said that the transaction is subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals and expected to close “sometime next year.” Additional details of the transaction will not be disclosed.

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Marie Gallagher, branch manager with Kernaghan Adjusters, told Canadian Underwriter in an email that the acquisition overall could actually benefit smaller independent adjusting firms in Canada in the long run.

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“During a merger, the market tends to go through some right sizing,” she said. Elaborating, she said the change arising from an acquisition may “resonate with both staff and clients as a call to action about their future, and will certainly make people question whether there are opportunities elsewhere – especially for those, like myself, that have been through a merger before and prefer to be employed by a smaller, privately owned company.”

Although there will be less competition in the marketplace, at least among large/international independent adjusting firms, there may well be further consolidation, just as there will be with insurers, Gallagher added.

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