Financial product sales

par Alain Thériault | August 20 2000 09:01PM

Introduced less than two years ago into Quebec, the parachuting of financial advisors in P&C agencies is already paying off. Formulas are mushrooming, with insurers AXA Assurances, ING Canada and Zurich leading the way. Now it’s the distributors’ turn, solo or in tandem.

Omnicourtage, a Montreal MGA and a pioneer in this sector, unveiled results that have the industry salivating. “It’s a very strong development,” said David Medeiros, Omnicourtage Vice-President and General Manager, describing life insurance distribution by P&C agencies. Fuelled by this approach, sales have apparently skyrocketed 106% in group insurance, 80% in disability insurance and 25% in life insurance in the first six months of 2000. Segregated fund volume soared 152% for the same period. To put these figures into perspective, Mr. Medeiros said that 55% of its sales are generated by P&C agencies.

Solid growth has been observed since February 1999, when Omnicourtage and Groupe Cloutier, one of the largest MGA firms in Quebec, announced that they were joining forces with ING Integrated Financial Services (IFS) to heavily develop this concept. At the time, Omnicourtage had placed about 40 life insurance agents in its P&C agencies. Today, over 72 financial advisors operate in 40 P&C agencies, including five under the agreement with IFS, Mr. Medeiros said.

Omnicourtage’s parent corporation Groupe Cloutier is in charge of promoting sales of financial services within P&C agencies by capitalizing on their clientele. Omnicourtage currently has contracts with 12 carriers.

Omnicourtage has accumulated over $20 million in life insurance premiums to date, and other distribution agreements are in the works.

HUB joins the fray

HUB Group is another Quebec player that adopted this formula. NILA Financial, an MGA acquired by HUB in 1999, controls these activities. Serge Assayag, President, anticipates quick results even though the program has practically just begun. “We have placed five life insurance producers at Martin Insurance & Risk Management, the P&C brokerage firm that represents the HUB group’s bridgehead in Quebec. Referrals are steadily flowing in, and business is growing,”  revealed Mr. Assayag, who believes he can place eight to ten brokers at Martin.

And not just any producers, he stressed. According to Mr. Assayag, there is room for producers who would like to see their portfolios grow sharply. “The P&C referral system to life insurance is not harnessed extensively in the industry, often it is not tapped into at all! Life agents who submit $50,000 today and want to submit $100,000 have come to the right place.”