Companies to Watch - July/August 2011
Company: XN Financial Services Canada
President: Dan Anber
Year Founded: 2001
# of Employees: 52
Public or Private: Private
Premiums written, 2010: $60 million
Providing insurance for people who work abroad, XN Financial Services (Canada) Inc. started out as a personal project for company president Dan Anber.
Anber used to work for The Chubb Corporation. Over 20 years with the carrier, his assignments took him to four countries (Canada, England, France and the U.S.). Each move represented an insurance quagmire. Anber would have to protect his belongings in transit, belongings in storage, obtain liability insurance for his family, health and dental insurance, and he’d have to arrange for insurance covering vacant properties.
It was a struggle to bring the pieces together.
“We had this notion of creating a platform of insurance products that catered to individual corporate employees who are relocated all over the world, and provide them with a very specialized insurance solution that would accompany them throughout their journey,” Anber says.
When he left Chubb, Anber connected with Ron Reshefsky (chairman, XN Holdings Inc., parent company of XN Financial Services Canada) to develop solutions for a globetrotting clientele.
Reasons to Watch
XN Financial represents two important brokerage trends: the drive to embrace technology, and specialization.
The firm developed a web-based customer-service platform enabling assignees – individuals assigned by their employers to work abroad – to subscribe to insurance products.
“All of the technology and back-office service and support are out of the Montreal office for the world,” Anber says.
As well, XN Financial aims to distinguish itself by providing specialized products, such as political-risk insurance for assignees working in unstable regions. “If I have to get up at three in the morning and evacuate the country, I leave my $100,000 of belongings behind,” Anber says.
“We tend to work in areas that are niche-focused or where technology can act as an accelerator.”
XN Financial won the business of a Canadian college with an international connection. While the institution maintains several campuses in this country, it also operates a campus in the Middle East.
“We now insure a large group of Canadian teachers and their spouses and dependents,” Anber says.
He notes the win could be a step towards more Middle East business. The college campus is close to a country that will host the FIFA World Cup in the future.
“They are expected to bring in a million expatriate employees, contractors, and infrastructure people to build out stadiums, roads and infrastructure,” Anber says.
XN Financial is in an excellent financial position, Anber says. “But the problem is if we wanted to go out there and grow our business through acquisition or expand in certain territories, we couldn’t do it on our own. We need to bring in a capital provider.”
XN Financial is on a careful search for a partner. “We don’t want to go into the private equity groups…. We need to find a partner who understands our business model.”
XN Financial has retooled its web-based customer service site – originally designed for an international clientele – for the Canadian market.
“There’s an opportunity to offer Canadian-centric products to individuals, and small and medium-sized businesses that really want an intermediary,” Anber says.
Last fall XN Financial unveiled XN Special Risks Canada, enabling agents and brokers to submit insurance applications in a one-step, real-time, paperless process.
“Ninety-five per cent of the business we do is through insurance brokers and agents,” Anber says. “Empowering them to have a much more efficient, cost-effective way of placing small transactions at a higher margin… is really the focus.”
XN Financial matches donations employees make to their preferred charities. The company has supported CARE Canada – which offers programs for women and girls living in poverty – and Montreal food banks.
Head Office: 600 De Maisonneuve Blvd. West, Suite 2310
Montreal (Quebec) Canada
Telephone number: 514-908-1835
Copyright 2011 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the July/August 2011 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine.