News Releases

G&F Financial Group to sell general insurance business to The Co-operators

May 11, 2012
9:00am

BURNABY, BC, May 11, 2012 /CNW/ - G&F Financial Group (G&F) announced today an agreement to sell its general insurance assets and Autoplan appointment to The Co-operators, a leading Canadian-owned multi-product insurance company. G&F will continue providing life, disability, critical illness, and credit insurance to members through its G&F Insurance Services subsidiary. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close June 30, 2012.

The acquisition will increase The Co-operators presence in British Columbia, where 45 of its 512 insurance/financial advisors in Canada are currently located. Over the past 15 years, The Co-operators has nearly tripled the number of retail locations it has in the province.

"These two organizations share co-operative values and have deep roots in Canadian communities dating back more than 66 years, so it was a natural fit," said Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators. "We've been very pleased with the growth we've achieved in the province in recent years, and look forward to the opportunity to serve more British Columbians in the years ahead."

G&F is committed to expanding its network of branches throughout the Lower Mainland. The sale helps the credit union focus its energy and resources on growing membership and assets through its core business offering: full service banking and wealth management. It will also provide general insurance employees with better opportunities for career development through a strong, national organization that values the insurance expertise they bring.

"Not unlike other credit unions in our region, we recognized that a strong general insurance offering would require a significant internal investment, which would exceed the revenue we could generate from the business," says Bill Kiss, Co-CEO of G&F. "We opted to free up capital and use it to modernize and expand our branch network instead."

Members will benefit from excellent service, convenient locations, and a wide range of insurance products offered by The Co-operators. G&F general insurance staff will be offered permanent positions with The Co-operators. Affected policyholders will be notified of the change in ownership and their insurance coverage will remain intact with no changes to their premiums or coverage until renewal, at which point The Co-operators will offer similar policies.

G&F Financial Group (Gulf and Fraser Fisherman's Credit Union)
Established 71 years ago, G&F is British Columbia's 10th largest credit union with approximately 27,000 members and over $1 billion in assets under administration. Twelve branches span the Lower Mainland throughout six regions, including Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Port Coquitlam, Surrey, and Richmond. Headquartered in Burnaby, the Credit Union provides a full range of products and services, including retail and business banking, investment advice, insurance, commercial lending and is linked to a Canada-wide Exchange ATM network. In 2012 G&F was named to BC's Top Employers list by the editors of Canada's Top 100 Employers. For more information, visit www.gffg.com.

The Co-operators
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $38 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is ranked #1 among the 50 Best Corporate Citizens in Canada by Corporate Knights, and listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada. As a proud member and supporter of the co-operative sector, The Co-operators is pleased to celebrate 2012: The International Year of Co-operatives. For more information, visit www.cooperators.ca.

For further information:

Media contacts:
Steven Comin
Associate Vice-President, Marketing
G&F Financial Group
(c) 604.729.4009
scomin@gffg.com

Leonard Sharman
Senior Advisor, Media Relations
The Co-operators
(t) 519.767.3937


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