The Co-operators acquires Premier group of companies

GUELPH, ON and VANCOUVER, BC, April 10, 2015 /CNW/ - The Co-operators and the Premier group of companies today announced that The Co-operators has acquired Premier, one of the leading full-service managing underwriting agencies in Canada. Premier's management team, including CEO Troy Moreira, will remain in place and the company will operate as an independent entity as part of The Co-operators group of companies.

Established in 1989, Premier now has more than 100 employees in five offices in Canada and the United States, and administers more than 80,000 insurance policies. It handles product development in-house, and distributes its extensive product offerings through 4,000 broker locations. Premier offers professional liability, environmental lines, construction risks, specialty casualty, general property, specialty personal lines, and is well-known as a pioneer in pleasure craft insurance.

"We are committed to preserving Premier's nature as a managing underwriting agency, benefiting from strong relationships with domestic and international underwriting partners," said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "We're pleased that the management team will remain in place and will operate the company in its current structure, which will ensure the continuation of its productive partnerships with brokers, clients and staff. The deal will create new opportunities for future growth for both sides."

Premier will benefit from the backing of The Co-operators, a national multi-product insurer with solid manufacturing capability, capital strength and human capital. The two organizations have enjoyed a successful relationship for more than a decade, primarily through The Co-operators commercial insurance subsidiary, The Sovereign General.

"Premier celebrated its 25th year in business last year, and this deal will cement its future for the next 25 years," said Moreira. "The same approach to business that has allowed us to excel and grow since our founding will continue to drive our success in the years ahead. The future looks bright for Premier and our partners."

About 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 listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean's magazine. For more information, visit www.cooperators.ca.

About Premier Group of Companies:
Established in 1989, Premier is one of the leading managing underwriting agencies in Canada. Based in Vancouver, Premier has five office locations and more than 100 employees in Canada and the United States. Its extensive product offerings are distributed through 4,000 broker locations. These include marine insurance, professional liability, environmental lines, construction risks, specialty casualty, general property, and specialty personal lines products. The group of companies includes Premier Marine Insurance Managers Group Inc., Premier Canada Assurance Managers Ltd., and Pacific Coast E&S. For more information, visit www.premiergroup.ca.

SOURCE The Co-operators

For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators, 519-767-3937; Troy Moreira, Premier Group of Companies, 604-669-5211

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