Avia Collinder, Business Reporter
General insurance and pensions-management company, Desmond Mair Insurance Brokers Limited, has acquired the general-insurance portfolio of Lawe Insurance Brokers.
The transfer of business will happen on September 2.
Lawe Insurance will continue to operate, but will now only offer life, health, disability, and international health insurance, as well as critical illness insurance from its offices on Barbados Avenue in New Kingston.
Gregory Mair, the managing director of Desmond Mair Insurance, declined to disclose the size of the portfolio acquired and cost of the transaction, saying his company was a private operation.
In a joint statement issued to Sunday Business, the two insurance brokerages indicated that the transaction allows each to focus on their strengths.
"Desmond Mair Insurance Brokers' primary and main focus is general insurance and they have executed general- insurance acquisitions prior. Lawe Insurance Brokers, on the other hand, while having a general-insurance portfolio, its key strengths and focus are in the areas of major international health insurance, life, disability, critical illness and employee benefits," said the statement issued by Gregory Mair and counterpart Patrick Lawe.
Desmond Mair Insurance has been in the general-insurance business for more than 80 years. The brokerage, with a staff of 20, serves mainly corporate accounts and preferred individual clients.
Lawe's staff complement is currently 40, five of whom are in the general-insurance division.
The statement notes that at least one staff will be reassigned to Desmond Mair.
"With the capacity for growth, Desmond Mair Insurance Brokers may consider other acquisitions in the future, which fall in the markets that they specialise in and cater to," the brokerages said.
Managing Director Patrick Lawe told Sunday Business that his company will be ramping up its operations in the near term for the health and life business that it retains.
He said the planned expansion might necessitate a move to larger offices, but not immediately.
The company, Lawe adds, grew 30 per cent over the periods 2011 and 2012.
Lawe Insurance Brokers commenced operations in 2004. Its website indicates that 80 per cent of staff and agents are shareholders of the company.
The company became known for its US-dollar health-insurance products, which promised access to medical care worldwide and coverage of medical expenses of up to US$1 million per year. The insurer for this product was Lloyd's of London.
Desmond Mair, headquartered at 59 Hope Road in Kingston, provides general-insurance coverage for motor, marine & aviation, fire, personal accident, group personal accident as well as employee benefits. It also offers pension, claims, group health, and risk-management services.