Willis North America, a unit of Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Avalon Actuarial Inc., a leading Canadian employee benefits brokerage and actuarial consulting services firm.
Since 1990, Montreal-based Avalon Actuarial has been a leading provider of innovative products and services focused on group insurance, retirement and pension plans, and other risk management services for corporations and public entities. Avalon Actuarial’s 45 employees and leadership team will join Willis North America’s Canadian operations and continue to serve clients from its existing offices in Montreal and Toronto. Willis Canada includes offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary and is supported by over 200 employees.
Vic Krauze, Chairman and CEO, Willis North America said, “We are thrilled to establish a presence in the Canadian employee benefits market as we see strong demand for specialized employee benefit offerings and ample opportunity for growth. Avalon Actuarial’s extensive experience will allow us to further strengthen our capabilities in this area.”
Rick Hynes, President and CEO, Willis Canada said, “The acquisition of Avalon Actuarial provides an excellent opportunity for Willis to broaden our Canadian footprint, expand the service offering to our existing clients and prospects and further enhance our value proposition.”
Following the transaction, Avalon’s Jean-Robert Elie will serve as Executive Vice President and Canadian Human Capital Practice Leader; Christine Panet-Raymond will serve as Executive Vice President, non-traditional covers; and Claude Emond will serve as a Consultant to Willis. They will all report to Rick Hynes.
“By joining Willis, Avalon Actuarial goes from local to global,” said Claude Emond. “It is exciting to be able to build on our success over the past two decades and join a global state-of-the-art network of brokers and consultants. Willis greatly enhances the geographic reach and depth of expertise we can now offer to our clientele.”
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Terms of the transaction are not disclosed.