May 24, 2019 by Jason Contant
A family-owned brokerage in New Brunswick has become the latest brokerage to get into the employee benefits space.
Personal and commercial lines brokerage Vienneau Insurance announced earlier this week that it has expanded its commercial insurance offering by acquiring the employee benefits division of Dieppe, N.B.-based financial planning firm RoyByrns and Associates.
Some traditional P&C or commercial brokerages have shown an interest in acquiring employee benefits firms or divisions. Recently, large commercial insurance brokerage Hub International Ltd. has acquired more than a dozen Canadian employee benefits operations, such as Toronto-based Firstbrook Pointon Benefits Incorporated in February and Vancouver-based TRG Group Benefits and Pensions in January. Hub International Canada president Tina Osen told Canadian Underwriter in January that it is training its more than 4,000 employees in Canada to “speak the language of employee benefits.”
In the case of RoyByrns and Associates, it is best known in the area of employee benefits as an authorized agent for the Chamber of Commerce Group Insurance plan, offering this exclusive product to a number of Chambers of Commerce throughout New Brunswick. Vienneau will continue to serve these chambers, as well as offer group benefits to other local businesses who may not fit this plan, the brokerage said in a press release Wednesday.
Vienneau Insurance will operate the employee benefits division under the newly-created Vienneau Financial Services subsidiary. They will retain the services of RoyByrns’ existing employee benefits specialist, Susan Babineau, who will supplement their existing team of advisors.
Vienneau has been in business since 1948. They are the largest locally-owned independent insurance brokerage in southeastern New Brunswick, with 55 employees and offices in Shediac, Dieppe, Bouctouche and Saint-Antoine.
For its part, RoyByrns will keep operating under their existing name, and will focus on providing financial planning, investments, and individual life and disability insurance.