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«There is still room for creativity in the independent brokerage» — Robert Bournival


Hubert Roy

27 June 2017 07:00

Robert Bournival | Photo : Réjean Meloche

Robert Bournival is in the wrong against those who believe that it is essential to leave an insurer to own 100% of a brokerage firm. According to him, the independent brokers can still be very creative to promote their business.

If Mr. Bournival was held to meet the Journal of insurance, on June 13, it is to launch a cry from the heart to the independent brokers who inhabit Quebec. He implores them not to give up in the face of claims forIntact Insurance and theAlliance for a brokerage stronger. «Don’t let go !» their lance-t-il.

Mr. Bournival was asked to the Journal of the insurance to grant him an interview to discuss the issue. He also stressed that brokers have asked to meet with the Newspaper, not wanting to do it themselves, for fear of retaliation. «I’m the only broker that can take position as I am today without the fear of retribution,» -he said.

Mr. Bournival has taken a position as a free agent. It no longer has an employment relationship with Deslauriers + Associates since June 1st. It still works as a consultant at the rate of three days per week. It also offers its services as a consultant to other firms, the self-employed who feel the need to call him.

«It is doing very well ! »

Why this public release of the share of Mr. Bournival ? He says to have nothing against the model ofIntact Insurance Quebec. It regrets, however, that this model of either a publicly traded company that must deliver growth for the sake of its shareholders, in a context where it is particularly difficult to generate. But where the shoe hurts really is when it is said by some that the brokerage network will not pass through the changes to come if the rule of 20% is not abolished.

«It is doing very well in this moment ! Lussier insurance and financial services is the largest firm in Quebec, and it is independent with $ 400 million of dollars ($M) premiums. This is not the case that to allow an insurer to further fund a broker is that will allow the network to pass through. That Intact want to grow by all means, is this necessarily good for the brokerage network ? «

And he adds that it has spoken to other insurers to brokerage of the issue. There is not a single which is in agreement with the position of Intact, does it. At the time of the closure of the present text, the 15 June, Aviva Canada, Promutuel Insurance and The only insurance the general had made it known publicly their opposition to the proposal Intact.

The importance of the title of broker

During the interview with the Journal of insurance, Mr. Bournival has also put emphasis on the use of the title of broker. «This is what differentiates us. The broker may not be the one who manufactures and distributes. As a dealer, many manufacturers offer me products. If I only had one, is that I offer a choice ? «

What is it, then, firms that concentrate with an insurer in personal insurance, but provide access to several insurers on the side of the company ? For Mr. Bournival, if these firms sell 100 % of their shares, they will not be brokers.

«If they sell to 100 % of an insurer, will they be free to think ? The manufacturer will impose its views ? It’s done in personal insurance. Why is it that this would not be the case in insurance companies ? The ministry of Finance will be pressure for these firms are removed as broker. This would in any case be logical that they do remove individual insurance. «

A lobby declined

Mr. Bournival are also questions about the strength of the lobby and of the representations that these brokers could do. «How can I go and make representations to the dealer for problems related to my situation or that of my clients if I am possessed by an insurer ? Same thing when I’m sitting in front of the customer ? Can I make representations on his behalf ? During a disaster, it will represent that : the customer or the insurer? Is that this really would be transparent if ever the insurer wants to provide it ? If you are a broker, you are dealer in the soul. There are not two hats. «

Is it too late to take action ? Not, thinks Mr. Bournival. He believes, however, that the independent network will go down to its end if the rule of 20% is abolished. «The network will then be able to die a natural death. I don’t want to be a signatory to it. The independent brokerage still has the strength and creativity to renew and cope with the new technologies available on the market. «

For example, it highlights the fact that many young people have invested the brokerage recently using the technology. «And it’s working well for them. We are in a false debate. Why should it change everything ? An independent broker who wishes to make an acquisition will easily find liquidity. At least three banks appear to be large-scale to provide loans, which is relatively new. It is false to say that there is a lack of liquidity in the market at this time. There will always be a place for independent brokerage. The client will always search for a price, but it also seeks a council. There will always be a demand for independent brokers. «

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