ING buys Ontario arm of Grey Power Insurance Brokers

ING extends its reach into the over-50 market with its purchase of Grey Power Insurance Brokers.

ING Canada Inc. is buying Grey Power Insurance Brokers Inc., giving it a solid foothold in the growing, and profitable, Ontario market for middle-aged insurance clients.

The deal, announced Monday, gives ING control over the brokerage, which is the largest in the Grey Power network with about half its total business.

ING will now control four of the eight Grey Power brokerages in Canada.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Shares of ING Canada (TSX:IIC.LV)fell 41 cents Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange to close at $54.80.

The Grey Power network is a loose affiliation of insurance brokers that specializes in property, travel and auto insurance for Canadians over 50 years of age. It has 14 offices in Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia.

Grey Power Insurance Brokers is the Ontario arm of the network, with $68 million in annual premiums and 100 staff in five satellite offices across the province.

ING does not expect to make any major changes at Grey Power. It will leave current management and operations in place.

"We're very pleased with this transaction," said Ron Griffiths, Grey Power's president and co-founder. "We expect both clients and staff to derive benefits through this direct association with ING Canada ... We look forward to growing with them."

ING spokesman Shawn Murray said the acquisition will give ING control over Grey Power's management and distribution. It gives ING a solid presence in the over-50 age group, one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative parts of the property insurance business.

It gives ING a chance to bundle some of its own products through the Grey Power network.

But the deal will not bring an immediate injection of new business because Grey Power markets the products of Trafalgar Insurance Co. of Canada, which ING acquired in 2004 through its purchase of Allianz Canada.