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Industrial Alliance acquires BBA Financial Group

By Hubert Roy Serge Therrien Alain Thériault | November 17 2015 11:36AM

iA Financial Group head office in Quebec City.

iA Financial Group (Industrial Alliance) has signed an agreement to purchase the operations of Quebec managing general agent BBA Financial Group on Dec. 1, 2015. This confirms the news that we reported last week.

The agreement provides that, after this date, BBA will become a division the National Financial Insurance Agency Inc. (NFIAI), which is part of iA's subsidiary Investia. The parties have not disclosed the value of the transaction. Sources close to the deal have estimated that it is worth somewhere between $12 million and $13 million.

In an official announcement made on Nov. 13, iA Financial Group indicated that the conclusion of this transaction is subject to both board and regulatory approval, as well as "other closing conditions." iA also said that this transaction is part of its growth strategy, which reflects its "strategic focus on adding new distribution in its retail insurance and wealth management operations".

In comments sent to FlashFinance.ca, a sister publication of The Insurance and Investment Journal, BBA's CEO Lise Bouchard said that this partnership was a natural one.  "In the context of a rapidly changing industry, notably marked by major technological changes where there is more and more emphasis on compliance requirements, as well as the need to offer our representatives high quality continuing education and a solid range of products to distribute, this alliance is the best one BBA could conclude, and it is in the interest of our advisors," she wrote.

Bouchard also indicated that she will remain in charge of the BBA division following this transaction. iA says that BBA has about 200 advisors, while on its website the MGA lists the names and functions of forty employees.

"We are pleased to welcome the employees and advisors of BBA to our team," comments Louis DeConinck, president of Investia. "Through this strategic acquisition, National Financial Insurance Agency continues to grow and definitely ranks among the major players in the Canadian industry. We also want BBA's clients to know that we will do everything we can to serve them to their satisfaction and that they can count on the professionalism and expertise of our entire organization."

BBA offers products from the major suppliers in the industry. Founded in 1984, NFIAI describes itself as an MGA with a sales force of more than 700 advisors and which has contracts with most of Canada's large insurers.

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