Since January 2021, BrokerLink has invested significantly and expanded into more than 20 communities in northern Ontario – from North Bay to Thunder Bay – through its recent acquisitions of three well-established brokerages, Rivet Insurance, Gougeon Insurance and Cambrian Insurance.
Race to the north
As demographics change and people have more choices deciding where to live as a result of remote work capabilities, northern Ontario communities are growing and so are the insurance business opportunities.
“BrokerLink is committed to being a strong investor and contributor to these dynamic northern communities, and the expansion into northern Ontario is part of our goal to grow our footprint in the provinces in which we do business,” says Joe D’Annunzio, President, BrokerLink. “We have progressive acquisition plans across Canada which we hope to achieve by the end of 2021.”
BrokerLink’s expansion nationally, has been made up of strong community-based brokerages that specialize in personal, commercial and specialty insurance operations, as illustrated by its recent purchases of Rivet, Cambrian and Gougeon Insurance.
Acquiring employees with diverse insurance experience is a key benefit. For example, the acquisition of Gougeon Insurance, a specialty brokerage with a 95-year legacy, included former owner and president, Judy Gougeon and her team of commercial insurance specialists.
“These new team members gain access to an expanded marketplace and can showcase their specialty insurance expertise,” D’Annunzio explains. “In turn, BrokerLink benefits by adapting Gougeon’s specialized insurance solutions for our markets across Canada, in lines of business that include: mining, resorts, outdoor attractions, transportation and more.”
The next frontier
In addition to the three Northern Ontario brokerages acquired over the past 12 months, BrokerLink has closed deals with Ontario-based John F. Smith Insurance Brokers, plus several in Alberta: Rocky Mountain Agencies Co. Ltd.; All City Insurance Ltd.; Air-Alta Insurance (Airdrie) Ltd.; Centre Street Insurance Inc., and Gold Key Insurance Ltd.
The company is well on its way to achieving its year-end goal at a pace that rarely slows for BrokerLink’s acquisition team led by Paul Meyer, Vice President. As someone used to being on the road all over Canada, Meyer has closed most deals from this past year over the phone or in virtual meetings but he’s as busy as ever.
“Our door is always open to broker principals considering future options for their brokerage,” says Meyer. “These discussions take time and it’s not an easy decision to make at first, but our model is such that we align with brokerages that share our values, which means there is strong human capital with a laser focus on providing exceptional customer service. We have more than 2,000 employees nationally – which includes a strong percentage from acquisitions – our strength is our people and we take good care of them.”
30 years of growth and success
BrokerLink celebrates its 30 year anniversary this May. Since being founded in Alberta in 1991, the company has grown to become one of Canada’s largest property and casualty insurance brokerages, with more than 150 branches and 2,000 employees in Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador.
“I am very proud to lead a company that has grown so successfully over a 30 year period, by focusing on the fundamentals of delivering exceptional customer service and I’m excited about working with our team to continue to build on this success for many years to come,” says D’Annunzio.
Since 1991 we’ve had a vision: to build a network of trusted insurance brokers across the country, working directly in the communities we serve. With more than 150 branches and 2,000 employees, we’re proud to say that BrokerLink has become one of Canada’s largest property and casualty insurance brokerages.
BrokerLink Inc. is a subsidiary of Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC), a certified Kincentric 2020 Best Employer in Canada and is considered one of Canada’s top employers for young people. For more information, visit: BrokerLink.ca or follow on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.