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With a devoted team of nearly 1,800 employees at Western Financial Group, we continue to build one of the strongest and largest insurance brokerage networks in Canada. An ongoing series of acquisitions is an important element of our growth strategy.

1905

  • Alberta joined Confederation.
  • Hunt and Watt agencies started in the new town, High River.
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1950

Hunt and Watt merged with and continued serving residents as Hi-Alta agencies.

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1970s

Increasing competition requires greater specialization—Hi-Alta narrows its focus to insurance only.

Diane Liddell, Ray Johnstone, Dick Liddell, Wally Kemp and Hazel Dale in Hi-Alta location in High River

1993

Scott Tannas purchased the long-established Hi-Alta agencies.

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1996

  • May: Hi-Alta Capital Inc. was established in the spring and listed as a junior capital pool corporation on the Alberta Stock Exchange.
  • Western’s logo, still in use today, remains an unending source of employee pride. The image dates to 1996 and the founding of Hi-Alta Capital Inc.
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1998

  • Hi-Alta Capital Inc. renamed Western Financial Group.
  • The Guiding Principles—Truthfulness, Fairness, Value and Loyalty—were created and continue to define Western’s brand.

2001

A series of acquisitions makes Western Financial Group Agency Network Inc. the largest insurance broker network in western Canada. Everything started with the one Hi-Alta branch in High River.

2002

Formed as a registered charity, the Western Communities Foundation, to this day, supports and builds communities where employees live and work across the network.

2003

Bank West, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Western Financial Group Inc., opened its doors and took in more than $1 million in deposits on its first day.

2005

Western acquired the Federated Life Insurance Company of Canada and changed the name to Western Life Assurance Company.

2006

  • Grows to 88 branch locations + Bank West, Western Life Assurance Company
  • April: Employees celebrated the move into new High River, AB corporate office.

2009

July: The multiple local names of offices within the Western Financial Group broker network were brought under the Western brand.

2010

106 locations + Bank West, WLA, GIS, WFIC.

2011

  • Quebec-based Desjardins Group acquired Western Financial Group for $440 million.
  • September: Kenny Nicholls announced as Western’s chief financial officer (CFO).

2013

  • June: A milestone event—the WCF surpassed $1 million in funds raised.
  • July: A Western purchase—Coast Capital Insurance Services (CCIS) Ltd., was acquired from Coast Capital Savings credit union. 29 branch locations added to the network. Bank West divested.
  • December: The WCF donated $100,000 to remediate three High River school playgrounds after the southern Alberta floods. The ability for children to play was heralded as part of the return to normalcy.

2014

  • January: 11 locations added to the network after Western’s full acquisition of Falkins Insurance Group Ltd., the largest general insurance brokerage in the Kootenay region.
  • March: As families continued to remediate after the southern Alberta flood, the WCF contributed its largest-ever one-time donation—$171,000—covering sport registration fees for High River youth.

2015

March: The WCF donated a record 40 infrastructure grants, totaling $200,000, to support local public health, public housing, education, and recreation initiatives.

2016

  • 157 locations + WLA, GIS. Divested WFIC
  • May: Nearly $260,000 was raised through the WCF’s 11th annual Support the Cause event, a 5-km walk organized in communities across western Canada.

2017

  • January: Western Financial Insurance Company and its core brand Petsecure sold to Economical.
  • July: Western Financial Group is purchased by Trimont Financial, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, for $775 million from Desjardins Group.
  • July: Kenny Nicholls announced as CEO and president of Western.

2018

  • 168 locations + GIS. Wyatt Dowling Insurance Brokers joined Western.
  • June: Axion Insurance Services joined the network
  • August: 179 locations. DMW Insurance Ltd., joined Western’s network
  • September: The Western Communities Foundation surpassed $3 million raised.

Built on local roots, our customers are neighbours and friends. Sustained commitment to the people and communities Western serves is key because these are the places we live in and do business.

What does that mean for you?

Our team of licensed insurance experts offer an unmatched array of products that provide the right coverage for the best value. Customer relationships are important; we strive to be the best we can be.

 

Historic photos courtesy of the Museum of the Highwood