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GPL-Gallagher aims to become a major player in the insurance of aviation


Hubert Roy

May 29, 2018 07:00

Julien Vadnais and Louis-Thomas Labbé | Photo : Réjean Meloche

GPL-Gallagher update on the niches to develop. The company believes in the potential of the aircraft, despite the problems affecting this sector.

The brokerage firm has recruited Julien Vadnais, a specialist of this market in insurance, and give them the means of its ambitions.

GPL is not starting from scratch, since a good number of years the broker ofHéroux-Devtek, one of the major players in this market in Québec after Bombardier, assisting it in its growth, while the business had a turnover of around 18 million dollars (M$). It is now half-a-billion dollars today.

Targets and niches

Louis-Thomas Labbé, president and CEO of the company, adds that his firm aims more particularly the manufacturers and the operators of this market.

Why did you choose this niche ? This is because Gallagher also works this way. The american company has developed 31 niches of insurance. GPL may as well dig in and take advantage of the expertise acquired by Gallagher. This is the case for the aviation industry. “It gives us more visibility and credibility in the market. It was, however, someone who had a good background in this segment. This is why we went to look for Julien, ” said Mr. Labbé.

Mr. Vadnais has worked for ten years in the field of insurance. It is only in the aeronautical and markets that are adjacent, as for the insurance of helicopters and airplanes.

Become a one-stop shop

Mr. Labbé maintains the ambition to go and knock on the door of Bombardier a day. For the moment, he wants it to be GPL attack the entire ecosystem of the aerospace cluster. Not necessarily the small businesses that we have there, but that of medium-scale, which may have a turnover of 10 million to 30 million dollars (M$). “We want to become a one-stop shop for them,” he says.

In this sense, in its offer, the GPL includes the traditional segments of property, cyber risks, of responsibility, even their personal protection. “We think we offer something unique in the market,” said Mr. Labbé. “This is something that this type of customer appreciates,” said Mr. Vadnais.

Local Expertise

Another point of differentiation from competitors of the GPL is its local expertise, said Mr. Labbé. “Our leading experts are in Montreal, Quebec. Not in Toronto or Calgary. If you need expertise at the international, we can go get it later via Gallagher. People love this aspect, but also to be able to talk in their language from the outset of the game, our employees are fully bilingual. “

Despite all of this expertise and the fact of having a major customer of such as Héroux-Devtek, aviation accounts for only 3 % to 4 % of the$ 120 Million of premiums underwritten annually GPL. Mr. Labbé believes that aviation could account for 10 % of the portfolio of the company in the medium term, maybe even within three years, ” he said.

“We had opportunities to go look there. We must work to have a better visibility in this sector. The potential is there, ” said Mr. Labbé. It indicates, however, that it is difficult to establish its market share in the sector of aviation insurance in Quebec, the fact that there are companies scattered to the four corners of the province.

As for the insurers, the choice does not lack for GPL. A dozen insurers are interested in this niche in the country. Mr. Labbé adds that by adding the capabilities of Gallagher, it is more than 200 insurers that it has access to.

Referred to in artificial intelligence

Among the other niches that develops GPL, the real estate is one that occupies a place of choice. Elsewhere in Canada, this segment has experienced a real boom. Quebec is not at rest, ” said Mr. Labbé. GPL is well placed, ” he said, just like in the construction market.

Mr. Labbé also said to follow closely what’s happening in artificial intelligence. He said to see an area of opportunity for his firm, which already has two corporate clients in this segment. “We don’t want to escape. This is a segment that will fully give its fruits in the next five to ten years, ” he says.

Mr. Labbé also said to believe that the manufacturing sector will remain an attractive niche for his company. Logistics is another, for everything that is related to sea ports and maritime transport. The GPL does not touch the road transport.

Follow the money!

“It is necessary to keep track of where the money goes. The roads are falling across Canada. Canada is to rebuild. It is therefore certain that it was advantage to follow what is done on the side of infrastructure in the construction market. There are people in this segment who have insurance needs. It remains the most efficient mechanism to transfer risk. There is not a bank that can offer this. It is a model, awesome!!! ”


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