Will brokers survive: experts divided

Published: June 10, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones




The future of the Canadian broker network is currently a buzz topic. At Gore Mutual’s Fast Forward conference, two experts took starkly different views. One’s forecast places plenty of uncertainty around brokers, while another thinks it could revolutionize what a broker is and does.

“In my view there’s probably going to be 70, 90 brokers across Canada seven or eight years from now,” Aly Kanji, President and Chief Executive Officer at InsureLine said. “I just don’t think small, independent brokers can survive. I don’t think you can compete in the face of the consolidation that’s going on and the super brokers that are forming.”

Kanji’s prediction proved to be controversial and was not shared by Traci Boland, president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario. Boland received applause and laughter from the crow for answering Kanji’s prediction with a simple “no”.

“Times are challenging,” she said. “I think we have lots in front of us. I think that if brokers do work together we’ll be able to succeed and that’s what’s going to happen. I believe that small can win.

“There’s collaborative brokers out there right now that still have their independence, still have their small brokerages, still have their whatever cooperation is working for them… but are working under a technology umbrella so their prices are better. They’re able to share the data – they’re able to share the information they have so that vendors are coming at you every which way.”

Boland even believes the broker network can survive by brokers getting smaller:

“I think that one person brokerages might be the future. There’s a lot of technology out there and there’s a lot of individual brokers being licensed in Ontario that are starting start-ups,” Boland said.