By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Gamble and Associates Insurance, a company that began in Sarnia in 1948, has become part of the Chicago-based insurance brokerage, Hub International.
Hub’s acquisition of Gamble, a company with 75 employees working at nine locations in southwestern Ontario, was announced this week.
Gamble president Barry Hogan will join Hub Ontario as president of its new Hub Gamble division.
“We’ve been in the Sarnia-Lambton, Chatham-Kent, London community for years and years and years,” Hogan said.
“This just allows our business to continue to grow, while at the same time not disrupting our client base.”
Hogan said will be “business as usual” for Gamble’s clients and staff, following the change.
“But we have a whole depth of tools now available to us we can utilize to help grow the business.”
Hub said in a press release the acquisition doubles the company’s offices in Ontario to 18, with more than 650 employees.
Hogan said the name of the division will change to Gamble Hub International Insurance Brokers.
“We’ve already started ordering some signs, and that process will slowly happen,” he said.
Notices will also be sent to Gamble’s customers in the coming weeks to let them know about the change and “assure them that it’s business as usual from the standpoint of their daily needs,” Hogan said.
“It’s the tools behind the scenes that are really going to help us grow.”
Along with Sarnia, Chatham-Kent and London, Gamble has offices in Petrolia, Forest, Wallaceburg, Ridgetown, Thamesville and St. Thomas.
“Southwestern Ontario is an important community to the economic development of Ontario and Hub is excited to be making the Sarnia-Lambton area a new home for our organization,” Robert Keilty, president and CEO of Hub Ontario, said in a press release.
Bill Gamble started Gamble Insurance in 1948 out of his house in Sarnia.
“Bill was well, well known around the community,” Hogan said.
In the early 1970s, Hogan’s father, Barry Hogan Sr., purchased Gamble Insurance and it continued to expand in the following years.
Hogan, 42, has been involved in the business for more than 20 years.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Hogan said that along with the opportunity to continue growing, a key consideration in the decision to become part of Hub International was a desire to provide stability.
“We wanted to make sure that we were committed to the area,” he said.
“We plan to be here.”
Hogan said a photo of Bill Gamble is still on display in the company’s lobby.
“We don’t want to forget our roots,” he said.
“We just want to continue to grow on where we’ve come from.”
Hub International was formed in 1998 with the merger of 11 Canadian insurance brokerages and expanded the following year to the U.S. and Western Canada. The headquarters moved to Chicago in 2001 and the company’s website says it is now ranked among the largest insurance brokers worldwide.
“It’s very exciting times,” Hogan said.
“When we look out we just see there’s great opportunity, and that’s why we wanted to partner with such a great organization.”