British Columbia-based CapriCMW and Alberta-based Rogers Insurance have announced that they have merged and will be known as Acera Insurance.
The merger will create a company with 1,000 employees located in more than 50 offices across Alberta, B.C., Ontario and Yukon. It will become one of Canada’s largest independent brokerages with $1 billion in gross written premium, Rogers Insurance said in a press release Tuesday announcing the deal.
The independent and employee-controlled companies consolidate a wide range of professional expertise and decades of experience in custom insurance, risk management and group benefits. Both brokerages offer a variety of personal and commercial insurance, including home, auto, transportation, travel, cyber liability and aviation, among many others.
Acera Insurance Services Ltd. will be led by chairman and president Andrew Kemp, CEO Lee Rogers and chief operating officer Bruce Rabik.
“Rogers Insurance and CapriCMW have had a collaborative relationship for nearly 20 years and together will achieve additional scale and capacity, creating valuable opportunities for new and long-term employees,” the release said. “With over 350 employee shareholders, the unique employee share ownership model that has been integral to the success of both companies will remain a central part of ongoing plans for attracting and retaining talent, enabling team members to share in their impact on the company’s ongoing growth and invest in its future.”
Lee Rogers told Canadian Underwriter Tuesday that share ownership is available to employees after one year of service and is offered annually. The 350+ employee shareholders collectively hold majority ownership. “Because ownership is widely distributed throughout employees, all of our team members have a clear view of the operations of the company and how our continued success is directly related to their hard work. They see the results and rewards of this success, which strengthens their commitment to our long-term growth.”
As part of the transaction, Acera Insurance will bring on Clairvest, a Toronto-based middle market private equity firm, as a minority partner. “As a minority investor in this transaction, Clairvest will not be involved in the day-to-day operations of Acera Insurance,” Rogers said. “However, they will be an excellent partner to us in achieving our long-term objectives to grow and expand across Canada with two parallel strategies for both the P&C and benefits areas of our business.
“We will pursue acquisitions and partnerships with like-minded independent and locally-owned brokerages from coast to coast, while our organic growth strategy will centre on significant investment in attracting, developing and retaining the best talent in the business,” Rogers added. “The acquisitions and integrations space in Canada is fast-paced and dynamic; partnering with Clairvest enables us to compete more effectively with large U.S. investors that are acquiring brokerages and leading industry consolidation.
“We believe that there are lots of independent, locally-owned brokers in Canada that want to achieve the benefits of scale while maintaining their independence and Canadian ownership – our model is an alternative to what has become predominant in the industry.”
Kemp said Acera Insurance “will continue focusing on our growth across Canada, leveraging the stability and strength of the deep expertise, insights and experience of both companies. We are excited for this next chapter as we unite as one company, expanding our capabilities to deliver new products, services and solutions.
Rogers added that the company is “well-capitalized to execute on our expansion plans and believe our structure will allow for various investment strategies that might differ from many of our competitors.”
Acera Insurance provides custom and risk management solutions for personal and commercial clients nationwide, including “comprehensive employee benefits capabilities.” The name Acera is derived from the word “Acer,” the genus (or scientific family name) for the Maple tree. “The name symbolizes the depth and strength of the new organization while recognizing the history and core values of two locally owned companies, reflecting the combined entity’s future as it expands nationwide.”