September 18, 2018 07:00
Yan Charbonneau | Photo : Denis Méthot
By the brokerage firms he owns, Yan Charbonneau now wants to position itself as a consolidator in the canadian scale. Thus, it aims to bring together a volume of a billion dollars.
By acquiring Deslauriers + associates, two years ago, Mr. Charbonneau has positioned itself as the consolidator of the independent brokerage in Québec. The evolution of the market grows, however, to revise its ambitions upwards, he explained in an interview in the Journal of the insurance.
“There was an opening in the market to consolidate firms who specialize in business insurance. And as the players get bigger, to provide the best service offer, have 100 million dollars in bonuses ($Million) alone will not suffice. Use Mr. Mrs. all the world is one thing, but for the client entrepreneur, it takes expertise. It is also difficult to recruit the skilled labour in a small firm, ” says Mr. Charbonneau.
Other acquisitions followed over time, including Couture Rochette, Quebec city, and then that of Renaud Insurance, also in the national Capital. “We want to position ourselves as a player head in Canada. We see consolidation in all industries. It is necessary to come to have the same scale as our customers. If they consolidate to Toronto or Calgary, they need to be followed. There is a place for this, especially as the consolidation is less advanced elsewhere in Canada. This is an opportunity for us and our customers. It is the strength of our group. We win battles that were difficult to win before. “
$ 125 Million by the end of the year
At the time of the interview in June, the companies owned by Yan Charbonneau in the broker had a premium volume of $ 90 Million. It always keeps the aim of reaching the bar of $ 125 Million by the end of the year, by way of acquisitions.
“We want to come out of Quebec this year. You should be able to perform a first acquisition outside of Quebec. We must go to the west. We will not drop any at any price. We want to build on the expertise we have and use it to make a first purchase, ” he says.
To achieve its ambitions, the canadian, Mr. Charbonneau wants to first go through the GTA, or the greater metropolitan area of Toronto. He says that it is not closed to other options. As an example, he points out that if he had been told two years ago that it would buy Couture Rochette, he would have laughed.
Another reason to grow outside Quebec : as volume to acquire. “There are still firms that are interesting to acquire, others less so. It should not be forgotten that not all of the opportunities that are favourable to its business. “
It also reminds us to have started with a volume of $ 40 Million by purchasing Deslauriers + partners two years ago. “Now we have $ 100 Million, on a market of three billion dollars. Once that is removed the concentration of volumes and other considerations, it is less available to acquire. “
Build a complete offer
If Mr. Charbonneau now feels ready to tackle the canadian market, is that it has a foot in all insurance requirements. Through its three entities, damage insurance, in addition to the one he has in life insurance, it can make a complete offer to its customer.
Deslauriers + associates, is aimed at the market conventional companies, while Couture Rochette is intended for the SMES and large companies. Deslauriers Insurance target the insurance to individuals, whereas with Group and AFL, a general agent in financial services, he is paid the life insurance, group insurance and investments.
“The damage insurance covers risks associated with goods of our client contractor. It does not cover if one of its employees fell in battle for any reason. We want to offer all protection to the client, in a single place. It was, therefore, a box where we can cover the special needs of our customers, but also a box where you can cover those of the mass. “
Mr. Charbonneau agrees that there is a complexity to manage all these brands. He works with a firm specializing in image brand to review its strategy in this regard. He would like to present to a global brand, which would present the strength of its group, but also of what a group can offer the client.
His challenge : keep the credibility of each entity in the group. “We don’t want to erase what we already have in our brands current. The names of these entities are well known among our clients, especially in the markets that we aim for. Each company has its own reputation. It is an element not to be overlooked. “
To support his claims, he gives as example the case of Power Corporation, which owns several brands, that work well within the group, whether Canada Life, Great-West or London Life insurance or Mackenzie Investments and Investors Group in the investment industry. “It is this strength that we want to go looking for it, without erasing the images of the brand high that we have already,” says Mr. Charbonneau.
Preserve the culture in place
Also present during the interview, Carl Couture, Raynald Rochette and Pelletier, say they have at heart to preserve this culture focused on the customer, but also a healthy work environment for employees. These are the values that they have moussées in building their business. They have repeated many times during the interview.
Carl Couture insists on the culture of specialist Couture Rochette. With Yan Charbonneau, he said that his office can now bring their specialties to the medium-sized and large companies in several business sectors in Canada. “We’ve always wanted to be a specialist. This is what sets us apart “, he adds.
Raynald Rochette said that the notion of risk manager of the client takes more and more of its meaning. “Most businesses do not have the means to have a risk manager full-time. It is this role that we play for them. “
Gilles Pelletier noted that, with such an approach, the notion of trust makes sense, especially as it is well known in the market that the average premium in Couture Rochette is $ 100,000. “We must all submit to it, to get a clear picture of its risk. We must bring this expertise. It goes by our knowledge in liability, umbrella, errors and omissions (E&O) or liability insurance directors and officers (D&O). “
The three men claim to have been trained in the school of Marsh & McLennan, where the notion of culture to the customer is very strong. “We had the culture and the focus. It we stayed. This is what we put forward on day 1 where we introduced a Couture Rochette, ” said Carl Couture.