La Capitale Insurance and Financial Services and SSQ Insurance have today announced their intention to combine operations and “create a major new Quebec insurance company.”
Together, they will become the biggest mutual insurance company in Canada, with approximately 4,700 employees and more than 3.5 million members and clients from the offset. Combined assets under management for the combined entity will total more than $20 billion, and consolidated premiums will be worth about $5 billion.
It’s still very early days in the state of the merger. No decision has yet been made on the name or image of the new company. There are other steps to complete before the merger can be finalized, including approval from the regulatory authorities and the mutualist members at their respective meetings, as well as amendments to each company’s private bills.
“We’re delighted to combine our strengths and work as a team to create the biggest insurance mutual in Canada,” said Jean-François Chalifoux, current CEO of SSQ Insurance, and expected chief executive for the new company. “Together, we’ll be better able to meet current challenges of staying competitive and versatile, developing our workforce, and keeping up with technology. Both our companies are on solid financial ground. Together, we will be even stronger.”
La Capitale and SSQ Insurance are similar sized companies with complementary operations. La Capitale is a leading provider of property and casualty insurance, while SSQ Insurance is best known for its group insurance offerings. As a combined entity, the two firms will marry these capabilities together to offer nationwide solutions from a head office in Quebec City.
Jean St-Gelais, current chair of the board of directors and chief executive of La Capitale, is expected to take on the chair of the board position for the new company. He commented: “In the rapidly changing world of insurance, we concluded that an alliance between La Capitale and SSQ Insurance is the best way forward for both our organizations. It’s a strategic positioning. We have a genuine desire to work together and create a major new Quebec insurance company with more power for faster growth. It’s a promising—and substantial—undertaking.”