iA Financial acquires majority stake in general online insurance broker Surex

High strategic value from P&C digital expertise, increased distribution capabilities and synergy opportunities

Quebec City, QC (Nov. 2, 2021) – iA Financial Corporation Inc., the holding company of iA Financial Group, is pleased to announce the acquisition of 70% of the shares of two Canadian companies specializing in insurance technology: Surexdirect.com Ltd and Surexdirect.com (Ontario) Ltd (collectively “Surex”). As a leading player in digital Property and casualty (P&C) insurance distribution in Canada, Surex combines online self-serve capabilities with experienced advisors.

Surex was founded in 2011 and serves all of Canada, except the province of Quebec. The company offers Canadian consumers the possibility of obtaining online, in just a few minutes, more than a dozen quotes from insurers through the Surex.com platform, providing the best price-to-P&C coverage, especially for car, home and business insurance.

“The acquisition of this tech-enabled P&C distributor represents a high strategic value for iA Financial Group given its digital expertise, distribution capabilities and high synergy potential”, said François Blais, Executive Vice–President, Dealer Services and Special Risks, at iA Financial Group. “It allows us to better serve our distribution networks across Canada and, at the same time, to improve the client experience by offering a broader range of financial products.”

“We are very excited to have a partner of iA Financial Group’s stature with whom we share common values, such as authenticity, quality customer experience and the importance of social and community engagement”, stated Lance Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer at Surex. “We will continue to focus on a solid growth, an outstanding service offering and a leading digital platform.”

The head office of Surex is located in Alberta. The company employs nearly 200 employees. Surex has served over 50,000 clients to date, processing over 60,000 policies annually, representing an annual premium volume of over $130 million. Surex is on pace to processing over 30,000 new policies this year. The two co-founders of Surex, Lance Miller and Matt Alston, remain minority shareholders.

This transaction is effective immediately. It is financed from cash on hand and reduces the Company’s solvency ratio by about one percentage point.

About iA Financial Group

iA Financial Group is one of the largest insurance and wealth management groups in Canada, with operations in the United States. Founded in 1892, it is one of Canada’s largest public companies and is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols IAG (common shares) and IAF (preferred shares). For more information, visit ia.ca.

iA Financial Group is a business name and trademark of iA Financial Corporation Inc. and Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.

About Surex

Surex is Canada’s fastest growing online insurance marketplace. Quote, compare & buy online, with access to instant proof of insurance. The company was named on the Canadian Business’ Growth 500 list the last three years, as well as on IBC’s Top 10 Insurance Brokerages in Canada for 2021. For more information, visit www.surex.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain statements relating to strategies used by iA Financial Group or statements that are predictive in nature, that depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or that include words such as “may”, “will”, “could”, “should”, “would”, “suspect”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “plan”, “believe”, “estimate”, and “continue” (or the negative thereof), as well as words such as “objective”, “goal”, “guidance”, and “forecast” or other similar words or expressions. Such statements constitute forward–looking statements within the meaning of securities laws. In this news release, forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, information concerning possible or assumed future operating results. These statements are not historical facts; they represent only expectations, estimates and projections regarding future events and are subject to change, particularly in light of the ongoing and evolving COVID-19 pandemic, its effect on the global economy and its uncertain impact on our operations.

Although iA Financial Group believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. Certain material factors or assumptions are applied in making forward-looking statements, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include, but are not limited to: general business and economic conditions; level of competition and consolidation; changes in laws and regulations, including tax laws; liquidity of iA Financial Group, including the availability of financing to meet existing financial commitments on their expected maturity dates when required; accuracy of information received from counterparties and the ability of counterparties to meet their obligations; accuracy of accounting policies and actuarial methods used by iA Financial Group; insurance risks such as mortality, morbidity, longevity and policyholder behaviour, including the occurrence of natural or man–made disasters, pandemic diseases (such as the current COVID-19 pandemic) and acts of terrorism.

Potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic – Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had major, unprecedented implications for both society and the economy. The overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still uncertain and depends on many factors, such as the progression of the virus, the emergence of new variants, the duration of the pandemic, potential treatments and therapies, the availability of vaccines, the effectiveness of government measures to slow the virus’s spread and the impact of those measures on the economy. As a result, we cannot accurately predict the total bearing the pandemic will have, but the impact on iA Financial Corporation’s business and financial results could be material. However, despite the short–term negative impacts of the pandemic on its results, iA Financial Corporation remains financially solid. In addition, iA Financial Corporation’s business continuity protocol has continued, ensuring that the quality of service clients receive is similar to or better than before the pandemic and enabling employees and advisors to continue to work safely and securely.

Additional information about the material factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations and about material factors or assumptions applied in making forward-looking statements may be found in the “Risk Management” section of the Management’s Discussion and Analysis for 2020, the “Management of Risks Associated with Financial Instruments” note to the audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020, and elsewhere in iA Financial Group’s filings with the Canadian Securities Administrators, which are available for review at sedar.com.

The forward-looking statements in this news release reflect iA Financial Group’s expectations as of the date of this document. iA Financial Group does not undertake to update or release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this document or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.

SOURCE: iA Financial Group

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