Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Monday, October 24, 2011
Almost unnoticed in September was the purchase of Manitoba's largest independent insurance broker Horizon Insurance by Hub International of Chicago.
Horizon has operated in Manitoba for 100 years founded by Louis Leipsic. Today it is has 18 locations and 180 staff. It also owns the locations of Ryan Gateway Insurance. Not a small company by any stretch.
The acquisition by Hub is supposed to help the company in terms of products and expansion. Hub has an interesting background. It was founded in Canada and moved to the States. It has been on a tear with insurance companies being snapped up left and right across North America.
By all accounts, Hub buys an insurance broker and leaves them intact with their head office forming a super regional office. However, B.C.'s biggest independent brokers with nearly 600 employees seems to have lost their own website in favour of Hub's. hardly the local presence you might want to have for such a large company.
The best business for a place is one where there is a strong local head office and independence to charity, sponsorships and have your local execs out in the community.
I hope that is the case with Horizon.
I have seen too many times when a local company is purchased and then they chop or eliminate any head office staff or have thing run by a small supervisory staff who have no authority to do much of anything including things like the United Way.
Horizon still has a website and identifies who runs the company and who they are. Barton in B.C. doesn't list anyone as far as I can tell. Not good.