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New MGA Forum Launched in Canada

The CAMGA will represent all managing general agents (MGAs) in the country. It will provide a platform for industry discussion, networking and support. CAMGA will run an annual convention, as well as monthly ‘meet the market’ events around the country to allow MGAs to engage with retail brokers.

There are lots of external influences that affect the running of an MGA. This new forum, modelled around similar MGA associations in the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, will enable MGA colleagues to work together to solve industry-wide issues.

Gross written premiums transacted by MGAs across Canada have exceeded CA$3.5 billion, which is a substantial percentage of the premium spend in the Canadian market. The importance of the MGA market is growing rapidly, thus heightening the need for a forum like the CAMGA.

“This is something entirely new in the Canadian market. There have been attempts to put together a forum previously, which has meant engaging with an association down in the States. However, help for Canadian MGAs seems to have been diluted, which is why we think it’s important to get this forum started now,” said Gary Hirst, membership secretary.

“A lot of people who work in or run MGAs have a similar outlook on the industry. This forum gives a chance to ask colleagues from a different MGA for help and advice in answering a particular question and finding adequate solutions.”

The forum will also play an important role in education, regulation, recruitment and digital innovation. It will have an ethical code of conduct and will provide clarity for the industry and the regulators around exactly what an MGA does.

‘Meet the Market’ events and the annual convention will be totally MGA focused with fewer distractions offered by industry suppliers. Education will be primarily focused on MGAs, their workflow and responsibilities.

Forum initiators have established a relationship with the Managing General Agents’ Association (MGAA) in the UK. Notes have been swapped on what UK membership finds important and that information will be rolled out to Canadian membership.

“We already have support from quite a large cross-section of the industry,” said Hirst. “The next step is for us to come up with a constitution. Over the next few weeks, we will be writing to all MGAs in Canada to ask what they want from the forum. Once the constitution is agreed, we can start to implement various findings and employ people to work specifically for the MGA forum.

“We are looking for founder-status MGAs at the moment, which doesn’t mean parting with any cash. We are just looking for intellectual capital, and a few people willing to help us put together a constitution. The more MGAs that get involved, the better. We want people to feel engaged with the forum, so that together we can start engaging a lot more with the industry, software companies and our retail brokers (who really are the lifeblood of MGAs).”

The MGA forum is currently asking for nominations for chairman or president. This role will last for 12 months to allow lots of people the opportunity of implementing any ideas they have. The nominating process can be done by email and will be part of the engagement with all MGAs in the next few weeks.