Aurrea Signature now one of Quebec's top MGAs

par Alain Thériault | October 28 2016 11:30AM

Having gathered together six brokerage firms, Aurrea Signature is now one of the largest five managing general agents (MGAs) in Quebec.

Aurrea Signature began in January 2015 as a pilot project launched by Pro Vie Assurances with the support of Humania Assurance. The organization, which will officially become an MGA and collective service provider on November 2, has been propelled by the growth of its six distribution partners.

"All of Aurrea's distribution partners have experienced significant growth recently," said Richard Gagnon, CEO of Humania Assurance and the new firm's largest shareholder, and Christian Laroche, the second-largest shareholder and Aurrea's president. The two executives visited The Insurance and Investment Journal's offices on October 21. Among other things, Laroche revealed that business at Groupe Pilon is up by more than 26%. "Torrus Groupe Financier has been incredibly successful over the last twelve months and Gestion FTM is already showing significant signs of growth after just a few months," he added.

"We consider ourselves to be in the top five in terms of business volume," said Laroche. "We are calculating our share based on total premium volume in Quebec, using statistics from LIMRA." Gagnon went on to extol the broad range of Aurrea's suppliers, which includes 17 insurers as well as Investia Financial Services for mutual funds.

Focus on Quebec

The new group is focused specifically on the Quebec market, although some of its partners deal with advisors located in New Brunswick and the Ottawa region of Ontario. It is positioning itself as an umbrella organisation that provides a multidisciplinary, one-stop shop and pooled services to its partners. The partners retain a degree of autonomy in that they may transfer some or all of their shares to Aurrea. They also allocate a portion of their bonuses to fund the delivery of these services. The collective intends to seek other partners and is not putting any limit on the number.

Aurrea will provide services for life insurance (including living benefit products), mutual funds, group insurance, as well as multidisciplinary services in general insurance, travel insurance, and mortgage referrals. The services of a call centre, search engine optimization, and employee benefits will also be part of the package. The collective will provide AGEman's back-office administration platform for new business, compliance, accounting and financial analysis, as well as training services.

No president for Pro Vie

At the moment, Pro Vie Assurance does not intend to find a new president to replace Christian Laroche, who created a vacancy when he left to take over Aurrea. "Pro Vie is currently led by two directors. One manages activities in the Montreal region and west of Quebec City, and the other oversees Quebec City and eastern Quebec," explained Laroche.