‘Brokerage of the year’ discusses acquisition strategy

This award-winning brokerage reveals not only its strategies for growth but also its secret to sustaining that growth in the long-term

Insurance News


The success of any brokerage is reliant on a number of factors, but for Hamilton-based Morison Insurance Brokers Inc, it all comes down to staff.
“They’re all very committed to their jobs,” said brokerage president Fred Morison. “They like to help customers, and I think if you like your job, you do a better job helping people.”
Morison Insurance Brokers Inc was just named “Brokerage of the Year” at the IBAO Awards of Excellence, and part of their successful growth strategy revolves around expanding through M&A activity.
“It’s very tough to grow, and you have to be imaginative,” Morison said. His firm has acquired 20 brokerages in the past 21 years, and while some have been “challenging,” they’ve all successfully merged with Morison Insurance Brokers over time.
This is a considerable feat, since Morison can’t be picky in choosing other firms with a similar culture to his own.
“Any target is a good one. This industry is such that you can’t really pick and choose. I suppose there are some brokerages where we say ‘thanks, but no thanks,’ but really you have to acquire them and then be able to make the changes that you need without too much disruption, and then carry on,” he said.
Morison attributes that to his brokerage’s corporate culture, as well as the positive outlook conveyed by his employees.
“Whatever the nature of this office, over the years, we have been able to keep a lot of people with very little turnover,” he said.  He believes that these “committed and cheerful” employees aid in maintaining stability and ensuring that clients feel secure in placing their business with the brokerage.
“At the end of the day, you can buy all the brokerages you want. But if customers are leaving out the back door, it’ll never work,” he said.

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