23 April 2018 13:30
Sébastien Gabez | Photo : Réjean Meloche
APRIL Canada has made the acquisition of the agent general for ontario in collective Benecaid. The company has 22 000 insured persons and approximately 60 million euros in premiums, while the canadian market was 17 billion euros in premiums in 2017. APRIL has acquired 93 % of the shares of Benecaid and the management team, which remains in position, retains the remaining 7%. The amount of the acquisition has not been revealed.
In an interview to the Journal of insurance,Sébastien Gabez, chief financial officer and vice-president, Québec at APRIL Canada, explains that the transaction is part of the commitment of the company to maintain its business model focused on niche areas. «Benecaid is intended for the collective insurance for small and medium-sized enterprises, it is very tucked away, unlike the mass market of large listed companies. «
Diversification in APRIL Canada also reflects more the essence of the APRIL Group, which is specialised in health insurance, in particular. «The core business of APRIL is not necessarily the damage insurance. The acquisition of Benecaid is part of this desire to export our know-how internationally, » adds Mr. Gabez. It also states that Canada is not the first country in which APRIL applies this strategy of diversification, but that the parent company sees Canada as a vehicle for development.
He argues that the business model of Benecaid is very close to that of APRIL Canada. «Their desire to be close to the distributors, as we are with our brokers and the desire to develop niches,» says Mr. Gabez.
A stand-alone entity
For the moment, Benecaid will not be absorbed by APRIL. «We recognize that we have two business models different, so we will leave them to live not independently, but rather autonomously to develop their market as they have done during all these years. «
Benecaid is mostly known in Ontario and in other canadian provinces, but little in Quebec. Mr. Gabez indicates that it is possible that their products are available in Quebec possibly. «We must first take the time to analyze the needs of our brokers quebec and the offer of Benecaid, in order to ensure that all match. «