Western Financial Group Completes Acquisition of Falkins Insurance Group

High River, AB (Jan. 6, 2014) – Western Financial Group has announced that it has acquired full ownership of Falkins Insurance Group Limited, the largest general insurance brokerage in the Kootenays. Western first announced that it had entered into a strategic partnership with Falkins by acquiring a 20% ownership stake in May 2005. Western increased its ownership position to 40% in August 2010 with the opportunity to acquire full ownership of Falkins by December 31, 2013. As part of the acquisition, all 11 Falkins branches and more than 100 employees will become a part of Western.

“We are thrilled to have finalized our ownership position and officially welcome the Falkins team to the growing Western Financial Group of companies,” said Jeff Burke, president and CEO of Western Financial Group. “This acquisition is a major milestone in Western’s history and allows us to increase our presence in British Columbia, offering more choice to our existing and potential customers.”

Since first announcing the strategic partnership, Western has increased its presence in the Kootenays by securing the naming rights for Western Financial Place, as well as serving as the title sponsor for the inaugural Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo in 2013.

“The transition over to Western is an exciting opportunity for both our staff and customers,” said Pete Stefano, senior vice president, corporate with Falkins. “Western’s large network provides our customers with more options, and their commitment to their values of truthfulness, fairness, value and loyalty has been a great marriage for Falkins. Through the acquisition, we’re now able to offer a wider selection of insurance products and banking services.”

Moving forward, customers will see a brand transition but the exceptional customer service will remain unchanged. In addition, all Falkins employees will continue to serve their communities as part of Western.

About Western Financial Group

Western Financial Group is a diversified insurance services company that serves more than 790,000 customers across Western Canada. Founded in 1996 and headquartered in High River, Alberta, Western provides personal and business insurance services through more than 160 locations and affiliates and online at www.westernfinancialgroup.ca. With a skilled team of approximately 1,800 employees, Western is committed to building the strongest insurance organization in Western Canada.

Western Financial Group is a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada.

About Falkins Insurance Group Limited

Falkins Insurance Group has been providing peace of mind to its customers for 115 years. The brokerage began selling insurance in the Gold Rush town of Fort Steele, British Columbia in 1897 and relocated to Cranbrook in the early 1900s, where it continued to expand and meet the needs of the region for the following 100 years. Falkins Insurance is the largest general insurance brokerage in the Kootenays, with 11 offices and more than 100 professionals. The company sells personal, travel, auto, and commercial insurance and operates its own claims service.