Acquisition allows QFS to expand in Atlantic Canada

par Donna Glasgow | August 19 2011 07:19PM

On June 30, managing general agency Qualified Financial Services (QFS) closed a deal to acquire Marketing Concepts Group, an Ontario-based MGA. Kevin Cott, CEO of QFS says in addition to strengthening its presence in Ontario, this deal will allows QFS to expand into Atlantic Canada. “It gives us access to several hundred advisors firmly connected with Marketing Concepts across the Atlantic region. It gives us physical presence (in the Atlantic region) through an office located in Nova Scotia...So it means we are represented in six of the 10 provinces.”

QFS bought bought 100 per cent of the shares in both Ontario-based Marketing Concept Group’s (MCG) parent company and the operating company. Mr. Cott declined from revealing the sales price.

The MCG name will continue to be used, but will be merged with the QFS name. “Now when you call our offices, we will answer Qualified Financial Services Marketing Concepts Group,” he said.

Nick Simone, president of QFS said MCG’s principals are not staying on (Klaus Zabel and Marlene Tufts) but many key staff members will continue to work with QFS MCG.

Mr. Simone said this acquisition was not about increasing the quantity of advisors with whom they do business. “Our growth is very very strategic. We’re looking for quality advisors…We’re not looking to become the biggest in terms of numbers, but we are looking to become big in terms of the quality of the advisor we bring on board.”

Is QFS looking for more acquisitions? Mr. Simone says the company is particularly looking to make an acquisition in western Canada so that QFS becomes a national organization. He expects this goal will be achieved fairly quickly. “I would say before the end of 2012 we will be a national organization.”

Asked whether they are already in acquisition negotiations, Mr. Simone replied, “With several people.”

The reaction to the MCG acquisition from their existing advisors has been very positive said Mr. Cott. “I think the QFS advisors saw this as our commitment to a longterm program and it cast away any doubts about whether we were an acquirer or an accquiree.”