An Ontario-based insurance group with a mutual insurer as strategic partner has acquired Stan Darling Insurance, a local brokerage with four offices, in a deal announced Wednesday.
The insurance group is led by Kevin McKinnon and its strategic partner, The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group (CMIG).
Brokerage M&A continues apace in the Canadian P&C industry, with other transactions and partnerships announced recently. Westland Insurance entered a new industry vertical (film and entertainment insurance) and the U.S. for the first time; and SIB Corp., operating as StoneRidge Insurance Brokers, partnered with DeJong’s Insurance Ltd.
Led by McKinnon, the insurance group in the Stan Darling Insurance acquisition includes David Elliott, David Kennedy and Greg Kruk. All four in the insurance group represent more than 50 years of combined experience in operating and running insurance brokerages across Ontario.
The change of ownership was effective Sept. 7. The deal includes Stan Darling’s offices in the Ontario communities of Burk’s Falls, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst and Sundridge. Each location offers personal, residential and business insurance.
CMIG said in a press release the sale ensures all branches of Stan Darling Insurance remain committed to the community-based independent insurance broker channel. Under the new ownership, McKinnon will be taking on the role of managing partner in each office and will lead the existing team through the transition and beyond.
The sale and change of ownership of Stan Darling coincides with principal and owner Stephen Darling announcing his retirement from the insurance industry. He said his succession plan involved staying true to his commitment to the independent broker channel.
Stephen Darling will work with the brokerage in the near future to oversee the transition of all teams and the business. Jason Darling will remain on staff and move from partner to account manager.
The Darling transaction follows Westland Insurance’s announcement that it had entered a new industry vertical and the U.S. market for the first time with the acquisition of Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc., one of the largest and most respected film and entertainment insurance brokers in North America.
Front Row is a Canadian brokerage with operations in the U.S. It offers fast insurance and risk management solutions to the entertainment industry, including film production, music, theatre, live performance and commercial photographers. Front Row has eight offices across North America in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Los Angeles, Nashville, and New York.
Westland announced the acquisition on Wednesday, saying Front Row will retain its name, logo, website and all of its 55 specially-trained staff members.
On Thursday, SIB Corp., a national provider of insurance and consulting services, partnered with DeJong’s Insurance Ltd. to expand its personal and commercial insurance offerings.
Based in Calgary, DeJong’s represents clients across Alberta. It specializes in everything from personal home and auto insurance to large commercial businesses. It has been privately owned and operated by Tim DeJong and his family since 1962.
SIB has completed five transactions so far in 2022, with another six transactions expected to close in the next 60 days, SIB president and CEO Ted Puccini reported.
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