Canadian Underwriter

The latest commercial brokerage to snap up an employment benefits firm

August 4, 2022   by David Gambrill

Closeup shot of an unrecognisable businesswoman calculating finances in an office

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In keeping with the trend of Canadian commercial insurance brokerages offering expanded financial services, Westland Insurance Group yesterday acquired one of Ontario’s largest employee benefits consulting groups, The Winch Group.

The Winch Group is a full-service brokerage specializing in employee benefits, financial planning, and estate and retirement planning.

“Expanding in the benefits consulting business with the acquisition of The Winch Group Inc. represents an exciting new chapter for Westland,” comments Jamie Lyons, Westland’s president and chief operating officer.

“Providing employee benefits is a vital part of operating any business, and The Winch Group’s reputation and experience in this area is outstanding. Adding their significant expertise and professionalism bolsters our commercial expertise and we’re excited to welcome them to our team.”

Trading $2.5 billion of premium, Westland is among the largest and fastest-growing independent insurance brokers in Canada. It has a national presence with more than 200 locations and 2,200 employees from coast-to-coast.

Established in 1994, The Winch Group has Ontario offices located in Burlington, Cambridge, Woodstock, London and Chatham and St. Catharines, as well as offices located in Halifax, NS, and Boston, in the United States.

The Winch Group’s website lists a team of 12 advisors and account managers with more 115 years of collective experience in the employee benefits space. They handle more than $100 million in Life & Health premiums, and pension assets exceeding $2 billion. The firm works with more than 625 businesses and 700 organizations.

“The Winch Group Inc’s foundations are similar to Westland’s as they have a strong commitment to client satisfaction and providing exceptional service and advice,” said Donna Barclay, Westland’s executive vice president of commercial lines and Eastern Canada operations. “We’re very excited to welcome Gary Winch and J. Scott Guest and their team to our Westland team.”


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