Canada's largest independent broker makes US entry

Front Row acquisition gives brokerage first US operations

Canada's largest independent broker makes US entry

Mergers & Acquisitions

By Jen Frost

Westland Insurance, Canada’s largest independent brokerage, has bought Front Row Insurance Brokers, marking its entry into the US market.

The acquisition adds another key vertical under Westland’s corporate advisory and specialty practice, the business said.

Front Row offers insurance and risk management solutions across the entertainment industry, serving businesses in film production, music, theatre, live performance, and commercial photographers.

The acquired firm has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Los Angeles, Nashville, and New York.

Front Row is expected to retain its name and logo, and its 55 strong “specially trained” team of staff are set to remain on board.

“Front Row is an incredible complement and accelerator to Westland’s commercial strategy,” said Jamie Lyons, Westland president and chief operating officer.

“They have deep expertise as a market-leading entertainment insurance broker and have incredibly strong brand equity in Canada and the United States.”

Lyons hailed the leadership team at Front Row as “passionate leaders”, and said the brokerage had an “outstanding reputation as film and entertainment experts.”

“Westland's vision to expand their specialty practice to include entertainment, arts and culture was immediately attractive to us,” said David Hamilton, president and CEO, Front Row.

“Westland’s size and strong insurance company partnerships mean we can pitch our popular client-first service model to more storytellers, in new territories,” Hamilton said. 

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