The Empire Life Insurance Co. said Thursday that it bought six financial services firms and formed its own managing general agency (MGA), called TruStone Financial Inc.

TruStone “will run as an independent MGA with full control over its day-to-day operations,” Empire Life CEO Mark Sylvia (now also CEO of TruStone) said in a release.

TruStone was formed through the amalgamation of:

  • Life Management Financial Group Ltd.;
  • LMF Investor Services Inc.;
  • Paradigm Financial Advisors (North) Inc.;
  • Paradigm Financial Advisors Inc.;
  • Dwight Goertz & Associates Insurance Agency Ltd.; and
  • Pacific Place Financial Services Inc.

“These firms were owned by a number of shareholders, among them the principals who are staying on as the TruStone Financial Inc. leadership team,” an Empire Life spokesperson told Investment Executive.

Michael Williams, former partner of Life Management Financial, will lead TruStone as chief operating officer, and the other principals of the purchased firms will be part of the TruStone senior management team.

“We are all very excited to be forging this new path with Empire Life,” Williams said in the release. “It will be business as usual for us and the advisors we work with. As TruStone Financial Inc., we’ll continue doing what we always have, helping our clients meet their financial goals, and the support of Empire Life will give us more capacity to grow in the Canadian marketplace.”

Sylvia said, “Empire Life has enjoyed long-standing, solid business relationships with all of the parties involved. We share the same deep belief in and commitment to independent financial advice and the critical role it plays in helping Canadians select the financial products and solutions that best match their needs.”

TruStone will operate as a member of BridgeForce Financial Group, a Canadian-owned and operated MGA with over $2.8 billion in assets under management.

“We look forward to continuing the long-lasting relationships we have with our business associates now operating as TruStone Financial Inc. and Empire Life, and to the opportunities this positive event brings to all of us,” stated Allen Wong and Mari-Jayne Woodyatt, co-presidents of BridgeForce, in the release.

The six firms acquired by Empire Life were previously member companies with BridgeForce Financial Group. “That relationship will continue,” with TruStone, Empire Life told Investment Executive. “It’s business as usual for the advisors that work with BridgeForce and TruStone.

Also on Thursday, MGA Hub Financial Inc. said it acquired the assets of Mississauga-based The President’s Group Insurance Agency Inc.

Hub, a subsidiary of Chicago-based Hub International Ltd., has 15 offices across Canada.

Transaction terms weren’t disclosed.