The trend of M&As continues in Canada. In the latest development, Financial Horizons Inc., a large MGA, announced the acquisition of another MGA, Audis Canada Ltd.
The transaction is expected to close by October 31, 2012. It involves the purchase of 100% of the shares of Audis Canada by Financial Horizons in exchange for cash and shares in Financial Horizons’ parent company, Granite Global Solutions.
“This is a very positive move for our brokers,” says Dan Powell, president of Audis Canada. “I have been looking for an organization that shared my priority of providing our brokers with the best service in the industry and Financial Horizons shares that priority.”
He adds, “This is a great opportunity for all of the Audis staff and brokers, and it further enhances our relationships with the life companies.”
Once completed, Financial Horizons will have 5,500 plus brokers, over $4.2 billion in Segregated Fund Assets and in excess of $300 million of life premium in force.
“This is another major step in the growth of Financial Horizons as the leading MGA in Canada,” says John Hamilton, president and CEO of Financial Horizons. “The addition of Audis gives the company representation across Canada, and the expertise and experience that Dan [Powell] brings to the Financial Horizons’ management team is immense.”
Byren Innes, senior vice president and director, NewLink Group points out that Financial Horizons’ recent acquisitions have been with firms mostly on the VirtGate back-office system, directly or indirectly.
“While not a show-stopper in an acquisition, having the same operating system allows for far greater speed of integration and modest or no disruption to staff and advisors,” he says. “We are talking days and weeks instead of months and years.”
Ultimately, this speed, ease and lack of disruption has to translate into value, either for the seller, buyer or potentially both, adds Innes.