SSQ Insurance and La Capitale Insurance and Financial Services announced Jan. 29 that the two companies will merge operations at some point in the future, once the firms receive regulatory approval and approval from members. The new, as yet unnamed entity will employ more than 4,700 employees, serving 3.5-million members and clients.

Poised for faster growth

“La Capitale and SSQ Insurance are two companies of similar size with complementary operations. La Capitale is a leader in property and casualty insurance while SSQ Insurance is well known for group insurance,” the companies said in a joint statement. “The merger of equals, which brings the two companies together as equals, will be a driving force for each organization. The new company will be poised for faster growth and improved competitiveness at a time when the insurance industry is evolving rapidly.”

The company’s head office will remain in Quebec City. Combined assets under management will total more than $20-billion; the company's consolidated premiums will be worth $5-billion. Both say a process will be set up to decide on the name and image for the new company going forward. Once the new entity is in place, Jean St-Gelais is expected to serve as chair of the company’s board of directors, while Jean-François Chalifoux will serve as CEO. Jean St-Gelais is currently chair of the board and CEO of La Capitale, while Jean-François Chalifoux is CEO of SSQ Insurance.

Combining strengths

“We are delighted to combine our strengths and work as a team to create the biggest insurance mutual in Canada,” Chalifoux said in a statement Wednesday.

“In the rapidly changing world of insurance we concluded that an alliance between La Capitale and SSQ Insurance is the best way forward for both of our organizations,” adds St-Gelais. “We have a genuine desire to work together to create a major new Quebec insurance company with more power for faster growth. It’s a promising and substantial undertaking.”