QFS appoints new president and pursues acquisition strategy

By Donna Glasgow | April 24 2011 02:28PM

Qualified Financial Services (QFS), a Toronto-based managing general agency, appointed Nick Simone as the company’s new president effective April 11. The news was announced by Kevin Cott who was previously QFS’ president and is now its chief executive officer.

Mr. Cott told The Insurance and Investment Journal that Mr. Simone is well known in the MGA and advisor channel through his prior role as president of Walton Capital Management Inc. By sharing leadership, Mr. Cott says he and Mr. Simone will be well positioned to further build the organization by working with QFS’ existing advisors and via cross-Canada acquisitions.

"By Nick and I sharing responsibility, there will be more time for us to spend with existing advisors and continuing to support their growth. It will also allow Nick to focus on the hands on…and for me to focus on the growth through acquisition."

Currently, QFS has operations in Ontario and Quebec, but is looking at potential acquisitions in B.C. and the Maritimes. "We’re involved right now in four potential acquisitions."

The MGA is also interested in acquisitions in other locations. "I want to be clear. We are very much interested in acquisitions in Ontario, acquisitions in Quebec and acquisitions in provinces west and east."

QFS, which is almost fifteen-years-old, has reached a new phase in its development, explains Mr. Cott. "We consider it to be a new milestone in our history. This is without question an evolution of an organization that came from being a one-contract MGA, to an MGA that now has multiple contracts across most of the carriers and to one that is now focused on acquisition and growth."

Mr. Cott says both he and Mr. Simone, at ages 50 and 53 respectively, are young compared to many other MGA leaders. "So in relation to other MGAs, we think we’re well positioned to help other MGAs who are looking for succession plans..."

He also is looking to attract new, quality advisors to QFS. "For advisors that are part of an MGA that may be waning or in its twilight years, we offer an opportunity for them to align themselves with an organization that’s not only in its middle stages of growing, but has two individuals that are quite some time away from retirement, sale or otherwise."

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