Arthur J. Gallagher has expanded its footprint in Canada with the acquisition of retail insurance broker Christie-Phoenix and its affiliate Discovery Insurance Services. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Established more than 40 years ago and led by Managing Partner Chris Flint, Victoria and Vancouver-based Christie Phoenix is a full service brokerage offering 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. Its affiliate Discovery, also based in Victoria, was founded more than 20 years ago and specialises in personal lines insurance.
In line with Arthur J. Gallagher’s expansion plans in North America, the employee benefits advisory and insurance broker – which has offices in 31 countries – has acquired Christie-Phoenix. “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,” says Grahame Chilton, CEO of Arthur J. Gallagher International.
Ken Keenan, CEO of Arthur J. Gallagher in Canada, adds: “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,” he says. “Christie Phoenix, with its strong local leadership team, great growth prospects and first-class reputation offered a fantastic fit. 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 Canadian customers.”
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. The acquisition of Christie Phoenix and Discovery broadens the geographic reach of Gallagher by establishing a firm foothold in British Columbia.
Chris Flint, Managing Partner at Christie Phoenix, says he is “delighted” to join Gallagher, a move which he believes will benefit existing customers and help the firm attract top talent.
*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.