During the course of a pandemic, it makes perfect sense for any company to err on the side of caution and beef up its resources. However, for certain insurance brokers in Canada, the crisis gave a chance for expansion, and they have continued to expand since the crisis began. OPTIS Partners, a company that provides advice services for mergers and acquisitions, estimates that there were 427 announced insurance agency/brokerage mergers and acquisitions in the first half of 2022, which is an increase from the 369 that occurred in the first half of 2021.
Billyard Insurance Group (BIG), which operates in the insurance broker industry, is among the most active companies in terms of mergers and acquisitions activities. Since Stephen Billyard and Cody Douma took over as president and vice president of the company in 2014, the company has had its sights firmly set on expanding operations on a national level. Only this year, the corporation established its footprint in Southern Ontario by opening its first national branch office in Alberta. At the same time, the company expanded into Nova Scotia, marking BIG’s first step in Eastern Canada. Neither of these events occurred in any other year.
And although BIG looks ahead with its goals for national expansion, the company continues to be engaged to servicing the residents of Ontario. This dedication is one of the reasons why Insurance Business has honored the company as one of the 5-Star Brokerages – Ontario for this year.
More information can be found at: 5-Star Brokerages – Ontario 022
Only in the province of Ontario does BIG now operate 52 different branches, the most recent of which is its brand-new office in Orangeville.
“Since we were operating out of a modest house in Welland, ON, a lot has changed,” noted Stephen Billayrd, who purchased the brokerage from his parents together with his sister in 2014. “We have seen a lot of growth and success since then.” “We currently operate 60 locations spanning four provinces, including Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. We have over 500 workers, and our gross written premiums amount to a quarter of a billion dollars” (GWP). The majority of that expansion has taken place during the course of the past four years; within that time period, we have really gotten things going.
“BIG originally started as a technology firm, but as it evolved, we found that we are both a technology and a people company,” noted Billyard. “BIG is a company that is both a people company and a technology company.” People still want to conduct business in the communities in which they live, and they still want a local broker to represent them in those dealings. Therefore, the provision of tools that simplify the process of buying and selling insurance is where our technological efforts are concentrated. We want to make it easy for our brokers to do their duties so that they may focus on providing excellent service to their clients.