Winnipeg-based Trimont Financial Ltd.,a subsidiary of The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, has agreed to acquire Western Financial Group and Western Life Assurance from Desjardins Financial Corp., a subsidiary of Lévis, Que.-based Desjardins Group, for $775 million, the companies announced Thursday.
The transaction includes Western's primary business units: its brokerage network; Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions; Coast Capital Insurance Services and Western Life Assurance. The deal, which is subject to standard closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.
"Wawanesa has a long history of supporting the success of insurance brokers, and this investment reflects our continued commitment to the broker channel," says Jeff Goy, Wawanesa's president and CEO, in a statement. "Today's announcement will ensure that Western Financial Group remains a trusted, familiar local broker in communities across western Canada."
Goy notes that Westerns' brokerage network will continue to offer customers a broad range of products from a wide range of insurers and will continue to operate under the Western Financial Group name. There are no plans to close or relocate any of Western's existing brokerage locations. All of the Western companies will continue their respective regular operations.
"Western is a great organization with a great team behind it. We want to thank them for their commitment and continued hard work," says Denis Berthiaume, Desjardins Group's chief operating officer, in a statement. "Within Desjardins, we remain committed to our other distribution networks and partnerships across the country and focused on growth with them," he adds.
With over 1,700 employees, Western provides personal and business insurance services through 157 office locations and affiliates in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec.
Wawanesa is one of the largest property and casualty insurers in Canada with $3 billion in annual revenues and assets of more than $9 billion. Trimont Financial provides direct supports to local brokers to assist with succession planning, growth, capital investment and other needs.
Photo copyright: rawpixel/123RF