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Westland brokerage moves in an easterly direction


November 13, 2020   by Jason Contant


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Westland Insurance’s mergers and acquisition strategy continues in an easterly direction from its roots in British Columbia. Just days after closing its first-ever brokerage acquisition in Ontario, Westland Insurance Group Ltd. announced its second acquisition in Manitoba.

On Nov. 10, Westland announced the closing of its acquisition of MIG Insurance Group, effective Nov. 6. Headquartered in Portage La Prairie, Man., MIG Insurance was founded in 1995 and provides residential, auto, life, travel, recreation, farm and commercial insurance services through its eight branches in the province. With this acquisition, Surrey, B.C.-based Westland will be adding more than 50 employees in Manitoba.

“MIG is an innovative, digitally advanced brokerage focused on providing product solutions that exceed customer expectations,” Jamie Lyons, Westland’s president and chief operating officer, said in a press release. “We’re excited to be expanding our footprint in Manitoba with such a prominent and well-respected broker, and we are fortunate to be partnering with MIG’s owners’ the Gilbert family, in a province that is very important to Westland.

“We look forward to serving our customers in Manitoba, and would like to welcome the whole MIG team to the Westland family.”

iStock.com/Kritchanut

At the end of August, Westland closed its first Manitoba deal with King Insurance, a family-owned brokerage in Winnipeg that offers residential, auto, business, life and disability insurance.

“Manitoba is a very exciting province for Westland Insurance and we are thrilled to be entering the market through the acquisition of King Insurance,” Lyons told Canadian Underwriter in September. “Our intention is to continue exploring additional opportunities in Manitoba, while also moving further eastward by acquiring additional best-in-class brokerages across Canada.”

Earlier this month, Westland Insurance moved into the Ontario market with the acquisition of Gillons Insurance Brokers Ltd., effective Nov. 2. The “significant and substantial milestone” supports Westland’s expansion strategy to become a national insurance brokerage, Westland said when announcing the deal Nov. 4.

Gillons was founded in 1924 and has 11 locations throughout northwestern Ontario. It is headquartered in Fort Frances, Ont., and its professional insurance advisors are experts in residential, auto, life, travel, recreation, farm and commercial insurance services. Gillons adds 11 branches and over 90 employees in Ontario.

Related: Westland Insurance reveals its M&A strategy for the future

Westland Insurance has been very active in M&A this year. Among others, its recent acquisitions include:

  • Forestburg Agencies Ltd., effective Jan. 31. The full-service brokerage provides personal and commercial services, specializing in the agricultural and oilfield industries in central Alberta.
  • Johnson Agencies. Serving Leduc, Alta., and surrounding areas since 1967, the brokerage provides residential, auto, recreation, commercial, farm, travel and life insurance.
  • Hedderick Insurance Agencies. Located in Pincher Creek, Alta., Hedderick has provided residential, commercial, recreation, farm and auto insurance since 1949.
  • Nauroth & Associates, a family-owned brokerage serving the Prince George, B.C., area for more than 25 years. Their expert advisors offer auto, residential, commercial, travel and life insurance. (The acquisitions of King Insurance, Johnson Agencies, Hedderick Insurance Agencies and Nauroth & Associates all closed Aug. 31.).
  • The insurance brokerage business of Saskatchewan-based Innovation Credit Union, which was expected to close Oct. 1.
  • Ironside Insurance Brokers, a family-owned brokerage in Carstairs, Alta. It offers residential, auto, life, travel, recreation, farm and commercial insurance.
  • G&E Insurance, providing insurance products to Picture Butte, Alta., and it surrounding areas for more than 35 years. Their professional advisors provide residential, auto, travel, recreation, farm and commercial insurance.

With all these acquisitions, Westland Insurance now has about 150 locations and over 1,600 employees in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

 

Feature image via iStock.com/notviper


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