Great West Lifeco to acquire financial services firm Financial Horizons Group

WINNIPEG _ Great-West Lifeco Inc. (TSX:GWO) has signed a deal to acquire Financial Horizons Group, which has 30 offices across Canada.

Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.

Financial Horizons is a managing general agency that provides insurance and other products and services to financial advisers.

Great-West says the existing management team, including Financial Horizons founder and chief executive John Hamilton, will remain in place and continue to run the business.

Hamilton is the second largest shareholder in Financial Horizons after San Francisco-based private equity firm Genstar Capital, which owns a 72 per cent stake.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

The ILScorp offices will be closed Monday, May 22, 2017, to mark the Victoria Day holiday.

The ILScorp offices will be closed Monday, May 22, 2017, to mark the Victoria Day holiday.

Long weekends are an excellent break from the craziness of work. Unfortunately, they can often slip away quite quickly, somehow leaving you with more to do than before the weekend started and no idea of where your time went. So how can you make the most of your long weekend?

First, get your CE done. Does it sound lame? You bet. Will you be glad you did it? Yes. Get online and get to work. You know you’re going to be completely slammed at the end of  May, that’s just how things work.

So a least get a head start this weekend, spend a few hours completing your CE requirements, instead of fruitlessly trying to find time at the end of the month when you’re stressed out. With ILScorp accredited continuing education courses, you have unlimited access anytime and anywhere you have an internet connection. You can complete your CE on the patio, at the beach or wherever the long weekend takes you. True, not many people like looming continuing education deadlines, or studying/working on the weekend, but nearly everyone likes the bragging rights of when they’re DONE. Just focus on how much better things will feel afterwards.

The best part? Completing your CE online with ILScorp is fast and easy. You’ll have time to do all the long weekend fun stuff, and you won’t have to feel guilty or stressed.

ILScorp and ILSTV wish you a productive, safe and fun May long weekend. Your weekly dose of insurance news returns to your inbox on May 24.

Please note our offices will be closed Monday MAY 22.

You can still purchase or renew your ILS CE Subscription online and access your courses anytime and anywhere you have an internet connection.

 

Plug’n Drive launches the world’s first Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre in Toronto

Today, representatives from the Ontario cabinet, utilities and organized labour officially opened the Plug’n Drive Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre in northern Toronto. It’s the world’s first experiential learning facility dedicated to electric vehicle (EV) education and awareness – and it’s completely free for consumers.

Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre Official Ribbon Cut – May 17, 2017

“The EV Discovery Centre will serve as an EV hub for consumers throughout Ontario and for visitors from around the world,” Cara Clairman, President and CEO of Plug’n Drive said. “We are providing a one-stop-shop where consumers can explore and test-drive the latest EV models – alongside charging solutions at home and on the road.”

Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan aims to expand EV sales to 5 per cent of all new vehicles sold by 2020. The EV Discovery Centre is a key component in accomplishing this goal.

“We are investing proceeds from Ontario’s carbon market into Plug’n Drive’s Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre to encourage more Ontarians to make the switch to low-carbon transportation and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” Minister Glen Murray added. “As part of Ontario’s Climate Change Action, we are helping to tackle emissions from the transportation sector, which is the single-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the province.”

The EVDC is a learning centre that provides visitors with the knowledge they need to consider an EV for their next vehicle purchase. After visitors have expressed interest, the EVDC will refer them to an EV-certified dealership in their area.

“Our research shows that Ontario needs effective EV education and awareness raising initiatives, such as Plug’n Drive’s EV Discovery Centre, to speed up EV sales,” Clairman concluded. “EVs are fast, dependable and affordable – and they are a key part of a low carbon future for the region and beyond.”

About the EV Discovery Centre

The centre is a public-private partnership between Plug’n Drive, the Province of Ontario, TD Bank Group, Ontario Power Generation(OPG), Power Workers’ Union (PWU), Toronto Hydro and Bruce Power. Located at 1126 Finch Avenue West in North York, the centre features:

  • Indoor showcase of the latest EV models and charging stations from leading manufacturers
  • Toronto Hydro powered: Four public charging stations in the test drive zone
  • PWU sponsored interactive digital displays to engage consumers on EV technology, Ontario’s electricity sector, climate change and other related topics
  • The OPG Power Place: training facility for corporate and stakeholder engagement events for up to 100 people sponsored by Ontario Power Generation
  • Bruce Power Coffee Bar: complimentary for visitors surrounded by educational exhibits on home charging
  • TD Zone offering information on EV exclusive financing and insurance options

About Plug’n Drive
Plug’n Drive is a non-profit organization committed to accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles to maximize their environmental and economic benefits.

SOURCE Plug’n Drive

For further information: Media contact: Brian Millar, Plug’n Drive, 647-717-6941 (day), 647-780-6806 (night), brian@plugndrive.ca

Canada’s life and health insurers support progressive trade agenda

Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA)

As global leaders with significant international operations, Canada’s life and health insurers are strong supporters of the Canadian government’s international trade agenda.  Today, CLHIA released a position paper outlining key trade priorities for the industry.

“The life and health insurance industry supports the Government’s efforts to increase our international trade”, stated Frank Swedlove, President and CEO of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA). “We’d like to see the Government finalize free trade agreements in key markets with a strong emphasis on financial services.”

Key trade priorities for the life and health insurance industry include: ensuring that the interests of Canada’s financial sector are well-represented in all of Canada’s free trade agreements; and, that agreements include coverage of new and emerging trade issues such as the cross-border flow of information and rules governing the commercial operations of State Owned Enterprises.

Three of Canada’s insurers rank in the top 15 insurance companies in the world and operate in over 20 countries “Our international operations bring clear benefits to Canadians and we look forward to working with the Government to ensure we continue to bring value to the Canadian economy.”  added Mr. Swedlove.

About the CLHIA

Established in 1894, the CLHIA is a voluntary association whose member companies account for 99 percent of Canada’s life and health insurance business. The industry is very active internationally, with operations in over 20 countries. Canadian life and health insurers have over $800 billion worth of assets invested on behalf of foreign policyholders and payout almost $78 billion worth of benefits outside of Canada. 45 million individuals are protected by these foreign operations and 138,000 people are employed in support of Canadian operations abroad.

SOURCE Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc.

For further information: Wendy Hope, Vice President, External Relations, (613) 691-6001/whope@clhia.ca

Rogers Insurance partners with Megson FitzPatrick Insurance

 

Rogers Insurance Ltd.

Rogers Insurance Ltd. is pleased to announce they have partnered with Victoria, BC based Megson FitzPatrick Inc. effective May 5th, 2017. This partnership will begin with Rogers Insurance obtaining a minority shares purchase of Megson FitzPatrick.

Rogers Insurance COO, Bruce Rabik, says, “This partnership strengthens both organizations tremendously. Our market access and capabilities are expanded even further than before”.

Both brokerages are committed to strengthening the independent broker model and believe Rogers Insurance and Megson FitzPatrick Insurance will benefit from the expertise and capabilities of each brokerage – providing more comprehensive expertise and service offerings to their clients in addition to an expanded network of insurers to work with.

Jay Tuson, CEO, Megson FitzPatrick, adds, “We have long been searching for a brokerage model that provides the strength of scale, a willingness to invest in the future, a commitment to building a great culture for our team and the ability to provide competitive perpetuation solutions.  Rogers Insurance has allowed us to customize a partnership that I believe is unique in the market and speaks to addressing many of the challenges small to medium size brokers are facing today.  We are proud to partner with Rogers Insurance and look forward to the prosperity of both brokerages moving forward”.

Rogers Insurance Ltd. is based in Calgary, AB with nine offices across the country and over 400 employees. One of the largest independent brokerages in Canada, Rogers provides commercial insurance, home and auto insurance, life and benefits, and high net worth insurance services. Rogers is employee-owned, and proud to be the most award-winning brokerage in Canada. Rogers is a member of the Canadian Broker Network (CBN) and Intersure, giving it affiliated offices across Canada, the US, and Mexico.

Megson FitzPatrick Insurance is based in Victoria, BC with six locations, including one in Vancouver, and over 100 employees.  Their vision is to transform and expand into an even stronger, more agile, independent broker, where decisions are always based on delivering the best customer experience. Megson FitzPatrick provides commercial, home & personal, auto, life and benefits insurance. They have several insurance programs that are distributed through British Columbia.

The new partnership of Rogers Insurance and Megson FitzPatrick Insurance will bring the collective employee count to over 500.

SOURCE Rogers Insurance Ltd.

For further information: Bruce Rabik, COO, Rogers Insurance, 403.296.2484, brabik@rogersinsurance.ca; Jay Tuson, CEO, Megson Fitzpatrick, 250.595.5212, jtuson@megsonfitzpatrick.com

Aviva boss promises to overhaul the way his firm sells insurance

By Victoria Bischoff and James Burton For The Daily Mail

Britain’s biggest insurer last night vowed to end a rip-off hitting millions of families.

In a victory for the Daily Mail, the boss of Aviva said it was wrong to charge loyal customers more every year.

Mark Wilson admitted the market was dysfunctional and promised to overhaul the way his firm sells insurance to ensure that all his 16million customers would have the best prices.

He called on the rest of the industry to follow suit.

The boss of LV=, which is the biggest car insurer, rallied to his call last night, admitting more needed to be done to help customers who stay with the same provider.

A Money Mail investigation revealed on Monday that loyal customers routinely pay three times the lowest market price for car and home cover.

In the worst cases they are charged £1,000 more than new customers, whose cut-price deals they effectively subsidise.

Speaking at Aviva’s annual meeting yesterday, chief executive Mr Wilson said: ‘There’s the broader problem of steep price rises when artificially low introductory discounts come to an end.

‘This means across the whole industry in the UK, when customers come to renew, they often get quoted more.

‘The market is broken. I don’t like it and neither do our customers. This dysfunctional market is a problem for the whole industry. And it requires an industry-wide solution. But we aren’t waiting for that.’

Mr Wilson promised to introduce a new product to ensure customers always got the best deal.

However, the firm would not reveal any more details. Richard Rowney, chief executive of LV=, told the Mail: ‘We agree that more needs to be done to support loyal consumers and we strongly believe that we need to tackle this together as an industry.

‘We will work to ensure that we continue to do what’s in the best interests of consumers, focusing on providing them with value for money and a great service.’

A spokesman for Direct Line said: ‘We will look at this new launch with interest.’

Mr Wilson told the Mail last night: ‘We’ve been working for the last 12 months on a product which rewards loyalty and offers our best prices to our existing customers and we plan to launch this later this year.

‘It’s time to tackle the broken system of steep price rises for insurance after artificially low introductory discounts end and we congratulate the Daily Mail on its campaign.’

Former pensions minister Baroness Altmann said: ‘Well done to the Daily Mail.

‘I’m delighted to see that Aviva is acknowledging these problems and it’s a really good step forward. It’s very often the most vulnerable people – the elderly and disabled – and those who work too many hours of the day who lose out because they don’t switch.’

Usually customers are offered better prices only if they threaten to leave.

At some insurers, as many as 80 per cent of customers roll over their insurance with their existing deal. The longer customers stay with their insurer, the more they are likely to be overpaying.

The renewal rip-off is thought to cost drivers £1billion a year.

James Daley, of consumer group Fairer Finance, said: ‘It’s great that Aviva are taking a stand and I hope that other insurers will follow suit … I’m sceptical that others will stop playing the game without heavy-handed intervention from regulators.’

A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers said: ‘The UK insurance market is highly competitive with most customers shopping around and lots of switching.’

Edited for ILSTV

 

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