October 8, 2019 by Jason Contant
The trend in brokerage mergers and acquisitions (M&A) remains strong with no sign of abating, as three large brokerages scooped up no less than eight firms in the past week.
On Oct. 2, Hub International announced that it had acquired Saskatoon-based Regency Advisory Corporation, an employee benefits consulting firm.
Two days later, it bought Ottawa-based ProCorp Financial Inc., a boutique benefits and retirement consulting firm specializing in estate planning, group benefits, life insurance, critical illness insurance and disability insurance, among others.
Then, on Oct. 8, Hub announced the acquisition of PDF Financial Group, a Toronto-based independent brokerage offering consulting and outsourcing services for employee benefit programs, human resources and related financial advice.
The same day Hub announced its first acquisition in October, Intact Financial Corporation’s BrokerLink subsidiary said Jamber Insurance Services and Routh Chovaz Insurance Brokers had joined the company, effective Oct. 1.
Jamber has provided insurance solutions to Calgary and surrounding areas since 1999, including personal home, auto, condo, watercraft, commercial and travel insurance. Jamber also offers group home and auto programs to eligible employers, association members and unions.
For its part, Mississauga-Ont.-based Routh Chovaz Insurance Brokers specializes in personal auto, property and commercial insurance, as well as group health benefits, travel and life and disability insurance.
If that wasn’t enough acquisitions for one week, Navacord Corp. reported Oct. 3 it had conducted a strategic expansion into Saskatchewan with the addition of Hoffmann Kool Insurance and Life Line Insurance, effective Oct. 1.
Saskatoon-based Hoffmann Kool Insurance has provided a broad range of personal and commercial insurance products and motor vehicle licensing for over 30 years; Life Line has been providing clients a wide selection of products and services in Saskatoon and throughout Saskatchewan for over 40 years, including personal and commercial lines and life insurance, among others.
“With eleven partnerships announced so far in 2019, we have tripled our business in five short years,” said T. Marshall Sadd, executive chairman of Navacord, in a press release. “We are pleased at how our business model resonates with brokers and consider 2019 to be a banner year.”
On Oct. 2, Navacord said it already surpassed the billion-dollar premium threshold with the addition of Waypoint Insurance Services, effective Oct. 1. Owned and operated by employee shareholders, Waypoint is one of the largest independent insurance brokerages in British Columbia, with auto, home, business and travel insurance offerings, among others. It has been serving local communities for over a century with 15 offices on Vancouver Island, two in North Vancouver and one in Surrey.
This latest round of acquisitions comes as no surprise to Mike Berris, partner and practice group leader with Vancouver-based P&C advisory and consulting firm Smythe Advisory. “The market for P&C brokerages and books of business is strong and will likely continue to be robust in the foreseeable future,” he wrote in August in the firm’s Property & Casualty Insurance Brokerage Report 2019, which examined the financial performance of brokerages from a Canada-wide sample.
“It’s non-stop mergers and acquisitions,” in the Canadian P&C space, noted Adam Mitchell, president of Ontario brokerage Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers, also in August. “Everybody is running for scale and relevance, as everybody has to keep investing to keep up. This [mega amalgamation trend] trend isn’t slowing down. It’s just going to keep going that way for the foreseeable future.”