"Actively looking" brokerage gives lowdown on latest acquisition

Chief operating officer believes consolidation will persist

"Actively looking" brokerage gives lowdown on latest acquisition

Mergers & Acquisitions

By Terry Gangcuangco

Athabasca-based Canadian Special Risks came under the Westland Insurance umbrella at the start of the month, joining Westland’s growing number of acquired businesses. When the deal for the commercial broker in Alberta was announced, Westland pointed to the invaluable insight that Canadian Special Risks would bring.

Here, Westland chief operating officer Don Thompson (pictured) lifts the lid further, sharing how the transaction came about and what changes are to be expected for both camps and their clients. Thompson also predicts a continuing consolidation among industry peers. 

Insurance Business: What was it about Canadian Specials Risks that led you to a decision to acquire it?

Thompson: Our decision to acquire Canadian Special Risks was driven by several key factors. We were impressed by the passion, expertise, and knowledge demonstrated by the leadership team at the brokerage.

Additionally, they had established a strong connection with their clients. This client-centric approach aligned well with our own values. Lastly, Canadian Special Risks possessed superior knowledge of a specialized segment of the market.

IB: What will this expansion mean to your business clients in Alberta?

Thompson: The expansion will significantly benefit our business clients in Alberta. They’ll gain access to a customized product and service offering tailored specifically to their business needs.

IB: What will be the biggest change to the Canadian Specials Risks team?

Thompson: The Canadian Special Risks team will experience several positive changes. They’ll now have the support of Westland’s back-office capabilities. Additionally, the team will have the exciting opportunity to expand their program into other markets through the Westland network.

IB: Where else in the country are you looking to extend your reach?

Thompson: We’re actively looking to extend our presence across the country through our comprehensive insurance offerings, including property and casualty insurance, group business solutions, digital services, employee benefits, and private client services.

IB: What’s your outlook for the rest of the year when it comes to the insurance broking sector?

Thompson: We anticipate two ongoing trends in the insurance broking sector. Firstly, consolidation of brokerages will persist. Secondly, the competition for broking talent will remain fierce, emphasizing the importance of attracting and retaining skilled professionals in our industry.

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