Ambitious brokerage makes third acquisition in three years …

Northwest Insurance Brokers has bought Bundaberg-based Goldtrain Financial and Investment Services, an authorised representative of Ausure Insurance Brokers, Insurance Business can reveal, and is soon to launch a life insurance arm.

The deal, which was completed on 1 January, brings Northwest Insurance’s total GWP to more than $5m.

Goldtrain owners Ray and Sue Forman have moved over with the business and will work for Northwest until they retire. Ray will continue to obtain new business as an account executive; and Sue will provide administrative and sales support. Trina McCracken has also moved over to Northwest Insurance as an account executive. She will also be responsible for sales, administration support and renewals.

Explaining the reasons behind the deal, Coe told Insurance Business: “I have known Ray and Sue for many years. They are good friends of mine and we trust each other. They wanted to semi-retire and we wanted to broaden our base. They will stay with us for the next couple of years until they fully retire.

“The fact that we can double our size and bring in more people means that both our customers benefit from more staff. Goldtrain has a very strong commercial and business portfolio and we target SMEs. It’s a perfect fit.”

This deal marks Northwest’s third acquisition in the three years since brokerage owner and manager David Coe returned to the industry in 2010.

Coe plans to launch three more branches in Queensland over the next three years by buying more businesses and building a new general insurance portfolio.

“When I came back to insurance the aim was to build a small book and work from home but opportunities have been coming my way.”

Coe has also set up and registered Northwest Life, which will provide life insurance to customers. Coe said the offering is to go live in a matter of weeks.

He said there is a growing number of customers who would prefer not use financial planners.

“I am getting a lot of clients asking for life insurance and they don’t always want a financial planner,” he said. “I remember when life insurance was simple and easy but now financial planners get so bogged down in the complexity of it all, clients don’t want to be sold a raft of different products. There are clients who you have to do that but there is a growing number of people who just want black and white life insurance and nothing else. I have a least a dozen clients waiting for our offering.”

Northwest Insurance Team Bundaberg

The team: (L-R) Blake Coe, Sue Forman, Matthew Ballantyne, Trina McCracken, Ashleigh Vagg, Ray Forman and David Coe.