Peak Financial Group has announced that it acquired HBO Financial Services, a firm based in the West End of Montreal, from Boris Ozbalt.In an interview with The Insurance and Investment Journal, Peak President Robert Frances says that the acquired firm has an enviable reputation. “HBO has been around for over 20 years. This acquisition reinforces our will to grow because it is our first in two years. We are very proud to have made this move in Quebec, where very large US and Canadian firms are actively buying up firms.” Frances says that this transaction positions his firm in the top five in the Quebec market, even perhaps the top three.
There are no longer many such firms for sale in the market, he continues, and even fewer on the Anglophone side in Quebec. Beyond western Montreal, HBO’s reach extends to western Quebec and Ottawa. This transaction brings Peak›s assets to about $7.5 billion. The exact transaction amount was not disclosed.
Peak will now deal with 1,500 advisors. HBO had about 200, 40 of whom are very active. HBO is also renowned as a living benefits specialist. Ozbalt, who has taught insurance at McGill University, will remain active within Peak
Frances is also approaching other firms regarding future acquisitions. He says that these discussions are getting easier as Peak expands.
“Quite often, these entrepreneurs want their business to stay in the hands of other entrepreneurs. Independence from the network is important to them too. The bigger we get, the more they will think that we are here to stay. It’s our 23rd year of operations. Also, my succession is guaranteed thanks to our management team in place. It works in our favour. There will always be room for an independent firm like ours, even if we are the last independent firm standing. They know we’re there,” he says.