LIFE AND HEALTH INSURANCE

Desjardins sells Western Financial Group and Western Life Assurance to Wawanesa subsidiary

by The Insurance and Investment Journal Feb. 16, 2017 01:30 p.m.Desjardins sells Western Financial Group and Western Life Assurance to Wawanesa subsidiaryPhoto: Freepik

Desjardins Group is selling Western Financial Group and Western Life Assurance (Western) to Trimont Financial Ltd., a subsidiary of The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company. The total value of the transaction is about $775 million, the companies announced Feb. 16. Desjardins acquired Western Financial Group in 2011 for $440 million.

The deal includes Western’s primary business units: its brokerage network, Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions, Coast Capital Insurance Services and Western Life Assurance. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017 subject to standard closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Continued commitment to the broker channel

“Wawanesa has a long history of supporting the success of insurance brokers, and this investment reflects our continued commitment to the broker channel,” said Wawanesa’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Goy.

Goy said Western’s brokerage network will continue to offer customers products from a wide range of insurers and operate under the Western Financial Group name. There are no plans to close or relocate any of Western’s existing brokerage locations.

Shared values and customer focus

“We are also pleased that ownership of Western will remain in the cooperative-mutual sector, given Wawanesa’s shared values and customer focus,” said Denis Berthiaume, Desjardins Group’s Chief Operating Officer. Desjardins acquired Western Financial Group in 2011.

Western has more than 1,700 employees and provides personal and business insurance services through 157 office locations and affiliates in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec.

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