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Kingston, Ont.-based Empire Life Insurance Company announced on Friday its investment in the Gryphin Advantage Inc. as a minority shareholder.

The Gryphin Advantage is an independent managing general agency (MGA) based in southwestern Ontario that provides life insurance and investment products to Canadians through a network of 1,600 advisors, a release said. The company was founded in 1998 by Rod Millard, who is president and CEO and will continue to lead the firm.

In the release, Millard said the agreement will allow his firm to continue to grow while maintaining full control over daily operations. “With a solid investor like Empire Life behind us, we are excited about Gryphin’s future growth while maintaining full independence,” he said.

Mark Sylvia, president and CEO at Empire Life, said strong independent MGAs ensure choice for advisors and consumers. “Gryphin has a strong management team with a proven track record of revenue growth,” Sylvia said in the release. “As smart investment managers, we see this as an attractive investment opportunity.”

Sylvia also said that the move is positive for the independent advisor channel, saying that both Empire Life and Gryphin “place the highest value on the relationships we have with our advisors and the role advisors play in helping Canadians select the best financial products and solutions for their needs.”

“We have always supported our independent distribution partners and will continue to make investments to support existing independent MGA organizations who are interested in growing their business,” Sylvia said.