Mark Woodall details progress made in establishing a Canadian MGA association

The industry leader spearheading the creation of a Canadian MGA association details the substantial progress made in developing AAMGA’s counterpart.

Risk Management News


Although Canada’s MGA association has yet to be formally established, its members are already casting wide influence within national borders and beyond.
“We have over 10 MGAs in Canada that have now joined the American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) as full members, and we’re talking with a number of other MGAs as well,” said Mark Woodall, president and CEO of Specialty Risks Insurance Managers. “We’re also talking with a number of other MGAs about the benefits of membership, and numerous MGAs are sending Canadian-based underwriters to some of the training facilities in the US created by AAMGA.”
Woodall is leading this crusade with the help of Grant Kimball from Angus Miller Insurance.  Together, they are working in conjunction with the AAMGA to ensure a well-founded establishment of its Canadian arm and facilitate ongoing collaboration between the two organizations.
In fact, many Canadian MGAs attended the recent AAMGA Annual Meeting in Maryland, and were prominently involved with the conference.
“As Canadian MGAs, Grant and I had the opportunity to join others in meeting with both the incoming and outgoing presidents of the AAMGA, as well as the opportunity to meet and review issues with the chairman of Lloyd’s and participate on a panel discussion,” said Woodall.
Woodall praises AAMGA for its cohesiveness, and says that the process of forming its Canadian counterpart has already forced the fragmented nature of Canadian MGAs to “disappear.” 
“The Canadian part may not be 100% formalized as of yet, but the bond is there between MGAs to make it work and make it go forward,” said Woodall. “It’s clearly adding to our level of professionalism, and when you have companies like the Co-operators that want to invest in members of our group, that’s a clear reflection of how highly they view us.”
The association hopes to tackle such issues affecting MGAs as:
  • Professionalism
  • Licensing across the country
  • Engaging with regulatory bodies
  • Establishing standards for new entrants
While Woodall and other industry leaders have expended tremendous effort to make these strides, they feel that the benefits of a robust MGA association make it all worthwhile.
“It was a lot of work to get it off the ground, but it’s been like a snowball in the sense that you can now feel it gaining momentum and feel it growing,” Woodall said. “We’re not just a small secondary component of the market anymore; we’re a dominant portion of it. Going forward, we have to meet our goals and show that we’re no longer second-class citizens.”

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