Arthur J. Gallagher Buys Canada Broker Christie-Phoenix & Its Affiliate, Discovery

November 3, 2015

Arthur J. Gallagher, the international broking division of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. outside of the United States, has extended its investment in Canada with the acquisition of retail insurance broker Christie-Phoenix (Victoria) Ltd. and its affiliate, Discovery Insurance Services Ltd.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The deal builds on the 2014 Noraxis acquisition which, together with Gallagher’s existing Canadian operations, created one of Canada’s largest retail brokers with more than 800 people, new and enhanced niches and extensive regional spread, the broker said in a statement.

The acquisition of Christie-Phoenix and Discovery broadens the geographic reach of Gallagher by establishing a firm foothold in British Columbia, the company added.

Established more than 40 years ago and led by Managing Partner Chris Flint, Christie-Phoenix is based in Victoria and Vancouver. It is a full service brokerage, which offers “a broad range of insurance products to commercial and individual customers across British Columbia.”

“Over the past 30 years, it has built a particular strength in realty, providing competitive insurance solutions to property management firms and individual business owners of strata,* commercial retail and industrial buildings,” Gallagher explained.

Discovery is also based in Victoria, was founded more than 20 years ago and specializes in personal lines insurance.

“As we continue to build on our existing strength in niche segments for mid-market commercial customers across Canada, strategic expansion into British Columbia was a natural next step – but we needed the right partner,” said Ken Keenan, CEO of Arthur J. Gallagher in Canada.

“Christie-Phoenix, with its strong local leadership team, great growth prospects and first-class reputation offered a fantastic fit,” he added. “We very much look forward to working with Chris and the team in harnessing our collective strengths to deliver even better insurance solutions for our BC and wider Canadian customers.”

Chris Flint, managing partner at Christie-Phoenix, commented: “Joining Gallagher, with its international reach and depth of expertise will not only benefit our existing customers but undoubtedly help us attract top talent to further diversify our offering. Gallagher is known for partnering with brokers that are best in geography and niche – and we’re delighted to be the latest example of that.”

Grahame Chilton, CEO of Arthur J. Gallagher International, added: “Our strategy for international growth is all about strengthening specialisms, while ensuring customers gain dedicated regional resource. This deal does both – and with its large and diverse economy, securing quality access to British Columbia was a priority for us.”

* In strata housing, the owners own their individual “lots” – which can be condos, townhouses, duplexes or even single family homes – and together own the common property and assets as a strata corporation. In British Columbia, over a million people live in strata housing.

Source: Arthur J. Gallagher

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