Quebec: Industrial Alliance acquires BBA Financial Group

By Alain Theriault , Serge Therrien , Hubert Roy

iA Financial Group (Industrial Alliance) has signed an agreement to purchase the operations of Quebec managing general agent BBA Financial Group on Dec. 1, 2015. This confirms the news that we reported last week.

The agreement provides that, after this date, BBA will become a division the National Financial Insurance Agency Inc. (NFIAI), which is part of iA’s subsidiary Investia. The parties have not disclosed the value of the transaction. Sources close to the deal have estimated that it is worth somewhere between $12 million and $13 million.

In an official announcement made on Nov. 13, iA Financial Group indicated that the conclusion of this transaction is subject to both board and regulatory approval, as well as “other closing conditions.” iA also said that this transaction is part of its growth strategy, which reflects its “strategic focus on adding new distribution in its retail insurance and wealth management operations”.

In comments sent to FlashFinance.ca, a sister publication of The Insurance and Investment Journal, BBA’s CEO Lise Bouchard said that this partnership was a natural one.  “In the context of a rapidly changing industry, notably marked by major technological changes where there is more and more emphasis on compliance requirements, as well as the need to offer our representatives high quality continuing education and a solid range of products to distribute, this alliance is the best one BBA could conclude, and it is in the interest of our advisors,” she wrote.

Bouchard also indicated that she will remain in charge of the BBA division following this transaction. iA says that BBA has about 200 advisors, while on its website the MGA lists the names and functions of forty employees.

“We are pleased to welcome the employees and advisors of BBA to our team,” comments Louis DeConinck, president of Investia. “Through this strategic acquisition, National Financial Insurance Agency continues to grow and definitely ranks among the major players in the Canadian industry. We also want BBA’s clients to know that we will do everything we can to serve them to their satisfaction and that they can count on the professionalism and expertise of our entire organization.”

BBA offers products from the major suppliers in the industry. Founded in 1984, NFIAI describes itself as an MGA with a sales force of more than 700 advisors and which has contracts with most of Canada’s large insurers.

Economical Executive Changes

"Our new look is very distinct and will help to further differentiate our brand in the marketplace," said Economical's President and CEO Karen Gavan

Press Release:

WATERLOO, ON, November 17, 2015 – Economical Insurance today announced that Michael Gagnier has left the company to pursue other endeavours.

“We thank Michael for his leadership over the past three years as senior vice-president and chief information officer and wish him success in the future,” said Karen Gavan, president and CEO of Economical Insurance. “We appreciate Michael’s contributions to the company, most notably leading our IT transformation project.”

Economical also announced that Alice Keung has joined the company as interim chief information officer, effective immediately. Ms. Keung, a seasoned IT executive with extensive public and private sector experience, was named to the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada in 2004 and 2007. She brings to Economical significant expertise leading major technology transformations, establishing effective governance frameworks, and building high performance teams.

About Economical Insurance
Founded in 1871, Economical Insurance is one of Canada’s leading property and casualty insurers, with approximately $2.0 billion in annualized premium volume and $5.3 billion in assets as at September 30, 2015. Based in Waterloo, this Canadian-owned and operated company services the insurance needs of more than one million customers across the country. Economical Insurance conducts business under the following brands: Economical Insurance, Economical, Western General, Economical Select, Perth Insurance, Family Insurance Solutions, Federation Insurance and Economical Financial.
For further information, contact:
Media Inquiries:
Doug Maybee, manager, public and media relations Economical Insurance
(T)519.570.8249
(C)519.404.0989
doug.maybee@economical.com

London Ontario: The Co-operators acquires Bando & Brown General Insurance

Cooperators-logo-blue-2X

News Release:

GUELPH, ON, Nov. 5, 2015 /CNW/ – Co-operators General Insurance Company announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary has purchased Bando & Brown General Insurance in London, Ontario. The brokerage’s portfolio includes personal and commercial insurance policies.

Current clients of the brokerage will be notified of the change in ownership and their existing insurance coverage will remain in effect with no changes to their premiums or coverage for the current term of their policies. As current policies expire, clients will be offered comparable policies from The Co-operators.

“We’re pleased to be strengthening our presence and growing our agency distribution system in Ontarioand across the country, which is part of our growth strategy,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “Our new clients will benefit from the wide range of insurance and financial products, as well as the expertise, offered by Co-operators advisors.”

Clients will enjoy the exemplary service of a leading national insurance co-operative and have access to a full suite of insurance products including home, auto, life, travel, commercial and farm insurance.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $40 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products.

The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean’s magazine. For more information please visit www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE The Co-operators

For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators, 519-767-3937

John Hancock adds to broker dealer network in deal with Transamerica

BOSTON _ Manulife Financial (TSX:MFC) subsidiary John Hancock is expanding its broker dealer business in the United States with the acquisition of part of Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc.

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close within six months, were not disclosed.

However, the company said Tuesday that up 1,100 advisers from Transamerica working at roughly 50 firms across the United States will become affiliated with Signator Investors, the broker dealer arm of John Hancock Financial Network, along with about 90 employees who support TFA.

“This transaction will contribute to the company’s continued success by enhancing Signator’s presence among the country’s top broker dealers,” John Hancock president Craig Bromley said in a statement.

Manulife is a Toronto-based insurance and financial services company with some C$883 billion in assets under management. It operates as Manulife in Canada and Asia, and under the John Hancock banner in the U.S.

Signator Investors has a national network of independent firms and approximately 1,500 financial professionals across the U.S.

canada-press

The Co-operators honoured as one of the Best Employers in Canada

GUELPH, ON, Nov. 5, 2015 /CNW/ – Today, The Co-operators was ranked among the Aon Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt, which rated the organization as a Platinum Level employer. The prestigious list, based primarily on confidential employee surveys, was published in Canadian Business magazine today.

The Aon Best Employers Study is a unique piece of national workplace research that provides an in-depth view into employee and leader opinions, external benchmarking and identification of key priorities that drive engagement. Its data and analysis are used by employers such as The Co-operators to identify areas of strength and areas in need of improvement.

“A highly engaged workforce is invaluable to our organization because it means that our employees support our mission and work hard to provide financial security for Canadians and their communities,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “Our staff members make extraordinary efforts to provide first-rate service to our clients, and bring our co-operative principles to life. They appreciate working for a values-based organization, and that’s reflected in our engagement scores.”

Included in The Co-operators listing are The Co-operators Group Limited and Co-operators General Insurance Company of Guelph, Ontario; Regina-based Co-operators Life Insurance Company; HB Group/COSECO of Mississauga; and CUMIS of Burlington, Ontario. In addition, two other members of The Co-operators group of companies, Addenda Capital, based in Montreal, and the Sovereign General of Calgary, were included on the Best Small Medium Employers in Canada list, also announced today.

The Co-operators is a Canadian-owned co-operative well known for its community involvement and commitment to sustainability. As the survey results demonstrate, its more than 4,3000 employees across the country take pride in being part of the organization, share its values, and work hard to support its mission of providing financial security to Canadians and their communities.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $40 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean’s magazine. For more information visit www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE The Co-operators

A thank you from us – ILScorp

Over the past weekend, ILS Learning Corporation updated all of our servers and learning management systems to provide you the fastest and most secure environment for meeting your educational needs.

We want to say thank you for your patience and also apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Thank you ILScorp

All system updates and upgrades went superbly, and we are excited to share the new and improved e-learning experience with you!

Thank you again for trusting us to be your source for top quality insurance education in Canada.  We pride ourselves in bringing you the most accurate and up to date information through our online courses, and customer service.

 We look forward to sharing in your success.

 ILScorp

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