Investors acquire ING Canada

ING Canada is rebranding as Intact Financial Corporation following the acquisition of the company from its previous Dutch owners.

The now wholly Canadian company owns online insurance brand Belairdirect, 50-plus insurer Grey Power, and a brokered insurance division called ING Insurance, which is also being rebranded as Intact Insurance.

Last week, Canadian investors acquired ownership of ING Canada from Amsterdam's ING Group for approximately $2.2 billion. Its new brand won't be made official until it is approved by shareholders in May, but the brokered insurance division's rebranding is effective immediately.

"By becoming a truly Canadian and independent organization, we have the unique opportunity to launch a new brand that speaks to what consumers are looking for from an insurance company, and a brand that reinforces our customer orientation," stated Charles Brindamour, chief executive of ING Canada.

The Intact name comes from branding agency GWP, which has been working with ING companies since 1996. GWP is the longtime agency of record for ING Direct, the consumer bank that remains in the hands of the Dutch ING Group. The Toronto agency has also worked on and off with other ING brands, including Grey Power and ING Insurance, on various positioning projects.

While GWP is not the agency of record for Intact, its executive creative director Philippe Garneau said his company is "working hard to become indispensable" to the insurer by managing its brand while the new owners reorganize the client-side marketing team.

According to a release from ING Canada, "[Intact] will roll out in the upcoming weeks a comprehensive rebranding, marketing and advertising campaign across the country that will also benefit its network of 1,800 insurance brokers across the country."

It claims an 11% share of the fragmented Canadian market for property and casualty insurance, and Brindamour has hinted at plans to grow further through acquisitions. ING Group, meanwhile, still owns ING Bank of Canada, a separate subsidiary operating as ING Direct. --Jeromy Lloyd with files from Canadian Press