Hub International Limited (NYSE: HBG) and (TSX: HBG) today announced the acquisition of O'Neil & Company Limited, an insurance brokerage that serves the Ottawa, Canada region, by Gifford Associates Insurance Brokers Ltd., a member of Hub's Ontario group of companies.
Founded in 1935, O'Neil is a personal and commercial property and casualty brokerage with a specialty in serving natural resource companies, primarily those in the forestry industry. It has annual commission revenue of approximately $473,000 (Cdn$750,000). Gerry O'Neil, the son of the original founder, will continue as President of O'Neil & Company, which will operate with Gifford Associates in the Retail Division of Hub Ontario.
Speaking of the acquisition, Larry O'Donoghue, President of the Retail Division of Hub Ontario, said, "The expertise in the forestry industry and the committed, talented management that O'Neil brings to our Ontario operations is a tremendous asset for us. With the O'Neil team on board we can expand our reach into the natural resource industry and in the Ottawa area, while providing their clients with the breadth of our product line."
Nelson Tilander, Chief Executive Officer of Hub Ontario, noted that the acquisition of O'Neil & Company contributes to the continued growth in market share for Hub Ontario. He commented, "Gerry has a lifetime of experience and relationships in this business and has built a team that is dedicated to the same degree of high quality client service and support that is ingrained in the Hub culture.
Integrating our resources will be a smooth transition that will benefit both operations."
Gerry O'Neil, commenting on joining Hub International, said, "The solid reputation of the Hub Ontario companies and their demonstrated success with integrating operations, combined with our complementary fit with Gifford Associates, were very compelling reasons to join the Hub team. We fully recognize that the improved access to the insurance market can only help to serve our clients better."
Hub International currently has nine large "hub" brokerages, including Hub Ontario, that have significant market presence in their geographic regions in the U.S. and Canada. Each hub provides insurance brokerage services and manages the various smaller Hub International brokerages in its territory. The hub brokerages are responsible for growth through sales, service and acquisitions, while the head office, located in Chicago, IL, coordinates access to the insurance market, expands the use of best practices among the hubs and manages the acquisition of additional hub operations.
A leading North American brokerage, Hub International has grown rapidly since its formation in 1998 through mergers, acquisitions and organic growth. It provides a broad array of property and casualty, life and health, employee benefits and investment and risk management products and services through offices located in the United States and Canada. Hub International's strategy is to expand its market share in the highly fragmented North American insurance broker industry by acquiring quality brokerages in key geographic regions serving middle-market commercial businesses, to leverage its decentralized approach in order to differentiate its services and to capitalize on its scale to provide broad product offerings to its clients through multiple distribution channels. Additional information on Hub International can be found at its website: www.hubinternational.com.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements which reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance. These forward-looking statements relate, among other things, to our plans and objectives for future operations. These forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. These uncertainties and other factors include, but are not limited to, risks associated with implementing our business strategies, identifying and consummating acquisitions, integrating acquired brokerages, attaining greater market share, developing and implementing effective information technology systems, recruiting and retaining qualified employees, fluctuations in the premiums charged by insurance companies with a corresponding fluctuation in our premium-based revenue, any loss of services of key executives, industry consolidation, increased competition in the industry, fluctuation in the demand for insurance products and the passage of new legislation subjecting our business to regulation in jurisdictions where we operate. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Additional information regarding these risks and other factors that could cause Hub International's actual results to differ materially from our expectations is contained in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as otherwise required by federal securities laws, Hub International undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.