Canadian Underwriter

McDougall merges with 100-year-old brokerage

April 5, 2023   by Jason Contant

Business team success and partnership

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McDougall Insurance has merged with 100-year-old brokerage Rayburn Insurance Brokers Ltd., a fourth-generation family-owned business located in Tweed, Ont. 

Rayburn Insurance has been in business since 1922. The brokerage serves Tweed, Northbrook and surrounding areas, offering home, auto, commercial, farm, cottage, and watercraft and recreational insurance. 

“We have a long history and a respectful relationship with this brokerage and current owner Adam Woolfrey and his father Paul Woolfrey,” McDougall said in a press release. Adam Woolfrey is Rayburn’s principal broker, while Paul Woolfrey is past president. 

“All employees will remain with the organization and their office location, phone number and name will not change,” McDougall said, adding that the deal was effective Apr. 1. “We are fortunate to have merged with such a well-respected brokerage.” 

The deal comes on the heels of McDougall’s announcement late last month that Christian Hutchison has been appointed president of the brokerage. He succeeds Don Staton, who served as president for eight years. 

Hutchison was previously vice president of operations and oversaw the growth of the company’s western region offices. Stanton, who has been with the company for 28 years, was named senior vice president. 

In addition, Lorne McDougall assumed the role of vice president of corporate development and operations. He has been with the company for six years, and previously managed the brokerage’s IT systems. 

McDougall is one of Ontario’s largest P&C brokerages, representing more than 50 carriers. It was founded in 1946, and has more than 450 employees and operations across 40+ branches. The brokerage offers home, auto, commercial, recreational, farm and life insurance. Its annual premium base was also approximately $500 million as of last October. 

Definity Financial Corporation increased its ownership interest in McDougall from approximately 25% to 75% in October 2022. At the time, Definity said the partnership was for a cash consideration of $217 million (subject to post-closing adjustments), bringing Definity’s total investment to $251 million. 

Definity expected to generate operating income before taxes and minority interests in excess of $40 million annually, compared to $8 million annually for the 12-month period ending Dec. 31, 2021. Brokerage CEO Ross McDougall said the partnership “will enable us to accelerate our growth plans and further our ambition to reach an annual premium base of $1 billion.” 


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