Canadian Underwriter

Three large Canadian brokerages announce separate M&A deals

April 8, 2021   by Jason Contant

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Three large Canadian brokerages have announced recent acquisitions of other brokerages.

On Thursday, Westland Insurance reported it closed its acquisition of MBS Insurance Brokers, effective Apr. 1. Navacord Corp. added LL Renaissance Insurance Brokerage Canada Limited to its ranks, while Cal LeGrow and Synex Business Performance acquired in a deal announced Mar. 30.

Westland’s latest acquisition adds a new retail office in Edmonton and 24 employees. This is Westland’s second location in Edmonton, “which adds a significant presence in the city,” the brokerage said in a press release. Westland currently has 22 brokerage locations in Alberta.

MBS Insurance Brokers has provided insurance services for more than half a century. They offer residential, auto, life, farm, commercial and travel insurance.

This is Westland’s fourth acquisition since Feb. 1. The brokerage has made acquisitions in Moose Jaw, Sask., Saskatoon, and Brandon, Man. Hapanovich

Navacord said Tuesday it has added LL Renaissance to its team. With a head office in Toronto, but servicing clients from coast to coast, LL Renaissance will work closely with Navacord brokerage Jones DesLauriers Insurance Management Inc. to strengthen Navacord’s leadership within the automotive industry.

LL Renaissance offers property and casualty solutions, with specialty products for auto dealerships and deep expertise spanning the automotive, marine, property management, construction, professional indemnity, hydroelectric and pharmaceutical industries.

Navacord reported at the end of March it had recently completed $1.06 billion in financing, a portion of which is to be used to take advantage of M&A opportunities.

“Navacord will use the proceeds from new first and second lien term loans to replace its previous term loan and other debt,” the brokerage said in a release. “Additionally, Navacord plans to use the proceeds to fund near-term M&A opportunities and other strategic growth activities and return capital to its employee shareholders.”

Also at the end of March, Cal LeGrow Insurance and Financial Group and Synex Business Performance (Synex Group) acquired (GTI), which includes 19 locations in the Atlantic provinces. Cal LeGrow Insurance and Synex Group are executive founding members of the Canadian Broker Network.

With the purchase of GTI, the combination of the three brokerages will manage over $345 million in premium volume across the region.

Jeff LeGrow, chairman and CEO of Cal LeGrow, will serve as joint chairman of Cal LeGrow and GTI. The acquisition will also strengthen the Synex Group’s market share in eastern Canada, boosting the Quebec-based brokerage’s total premium volume to over $285 million.

GTI employs more than 130 people across 19 locations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. GTI manages over $85 million in premium volume annually across a range of products for individuals and business — including auto and home insurance, and recreational vehicle, life, commercial and group insurance.


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