|Founder 👔||Barry F. Lorenzetti|
|Headquarters 🏙️||2001 McGill College|
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Area served 🗺️
|Barry F. Lorenzetti, CEO|
John Wright, EVP
Jacques Dufresne, EVP
Bertrand Lauzon, CFO
Number of employees
BFL CANADA is the largest employee-owned and operated commercial insurance broker and consulting services firm in Canada. BFL CANADA has offices in 10 cities (Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Winnipeg, Waterloo, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax) and close to 600 employees.
BFL CANADA (which takes its name from its founder Barry F. Lorenzetti's initials) was founded on December 14, 1987 when Barry Lorenzetti and his colleagues, Joseph Paré and Tom Sleeper as well as Besso (a London based brokerage firm) signed an agreement to officially create the Montreal based firm. Howard Green, was a partner at J. Besso and Co. Ltd. in London and he introduced Mr. Lorenzetti to the founder of Besso and after several meetings, Besso agreed to take a 70% interest in the start-up, Joe Paré, Tom Sleeper and Barry F. Lorenzetti taking up the balance of 30%.
The first BFL office on 1801 McGill College Avenue, in downtown Montreal, was located above the largest underground business and shopping complex in the world, Montreal’s “RÉSO” the same building as Mr. Lorenzetti's former employer and new competitor, Sedgwick.
- Ed Gathercole and four of his co-workers joined BFL in December 1988. Their specialty was in the Film and Entertainment Business in Canada.
- Frank Howden and his marine insurance team was another early addition to the firm in 1989
- In 1991, René St-Onge joined the team, establishing a municipalities practice group.
- In 1994, Bob Nicholls joined BFL Montreal.
- In 1997, Daniel Binette joined BFL from Dale Parizeau. Today, Daniel is Managing Vice-President, Quebec/Maritimes Region.
In the spring of 1991, due to some serious financial problems of specific Insurers with whom Besso had placed significant shares of their business within the London Market, Jardine, an international broker, bought the London Besso. On May 17, 1991, BFL concluded an agreement to buy back the Besso shares over the following five years making BFL a truly independent, 100% Canadian-owned broker.
Expansion to Toronto
- In 1994, Ken Walker was asked to establish a pied-à-terre for BFL in Mississauga, Ontario.
- BFL acquired a Toronto-based specialist insurance brokerage firm by the name of Classic Equine in 1996.
- In 1996, as well, Bob Nicholls was sent to become interim manager of the new Toronto office.
- Jeff Roth is now the Toronto's office branch manager.
TSW Management Services
In 1995, BFL developed a plan to consolidate smaller brokers' volumes into a wholesale operation in response to a corporate policy that was forcing the local manager of a large international carrier to reduce the number of brokers his company worked with in Quebec. The company was named TSW Management Services.
Expansion across the country
- In 1999, BFL opened up an office in Québec City, followed in March 2001 by a one-man operation in Halifax
- In 2003, BFL opened an office in Ottawa
Alan Johnson a partner in the Vancouver-based broker Stewarts Insurance Services Inc, helped BFL's expansion to Vancouver. Along with his partners, his preference was not to sell locally, as they did not want to lose employees due to redundancy or restructuring.
In 2005, Penny Dyte was hired to start BFL’s Alberta operations. As Managing Vice-President, Penny was also appointed to BFL’s National Operating Committee. Her first mandate was to open BFL’s new office in Calgary.
Origins of the “BFL Lion”.
A lion first appeared in the BFL company letterhead when Besso had their 70% interest in the firm, at the beginning of its operation. The letterhead featured a lion sitting atop the world. When Besso was acquired by Jardine in 1991, BFL requested permission to continue using the same logo. They were turned down. BFL took the lion and changed its position, placing it not atop, but instead, in front of the globe. This was the lion’s first move, and BFL promptly had it trademarked by its corporate lawyer, Stan Selinger. The BFL lion has evolved a great deal over the past 20 years, but it is still dominant in the company emblem.
Current Head Office and Senior Management
The Head Office in Montreal moved into the 2001 McGill College Avenue building in 1998. Barry Lorenzetti has appointed two Executive Vice Presidents to oversee Western Canada and Eastern Canada. Jacques Dufresne is responsible for the Eastern Region  whilst John Wright manages the Western Region. They are both members of the Executive Management Committee.
BFL CANADA proudly supports various charitable organizations, including:
- Hockey Canada and the Hockey Canada Foundation
- Skate Canada
- The Canadian Cancer Society and other cancer charities
- City Reach Care Society
- The Alzheimer Society
- Toronto General Hospital and The Alexander Family Foundation
- Shriners Hospital for Children
- The CHU Ste-Justine
- Welcome Hall Mission
- The Kidney Foundation of Canada
- Le Centre de l'Épanouissement de l'enfant Pinocchios (C.E.E.P.)
- Road Hockey To Conquer Cancer 
BFL CANADA Consulting Services Inc.
BFL acquired a Benefits consulting division, BFL CANADA Consulting Services Inc. (CSI) in 2008.
CSI opened in 2011 a new Quebec City office. In addition, a new President, Mr. David Vanasse, took the helm in 2012. BFL CSI operates in Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City, and, through partnerships, in Alberta and BC.
Lockton Global LLP
April 19, 2012 – BFL CANADA announced that it will be a founding partner in the Lockton Global LLP partnership. BFL CANADA will remain an independent business as are all Lockton Global partners.
Barry F. Lorenzetti was a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000 and BFL was recognized as one of the 50 Best Managed private companies in Canada on two occasions, 2000 and 2001. In 2012, Mr. Lorenzetti won the Established Leader National Award from the Insurance Institute of Canada.
- "BFL CANADA assurance" (PDF). Manitoba horse council. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- "Penny Dyte, Vice-President of Operations for Alberta". Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- "Appointment Executive Vice President Eastern Region". Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- "Hockey Canada foundation and alumni". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- "Skate Canada bring a friend day" (PDF). Skate Canada. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- "BFL CANADA and the Canadian Cancer Soiety - Annual report" (PDF). Canadian Cancer Society. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- "Corporate Social Responsibility Award - BFL Canada". City reach care society. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- "Alzheimer society of B.C - BFL CANADA". Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- "Road Hockey To Conquer Cancer - BFL CANADA". Road Hockey To Conquer Cancer. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- "BFL CANADA becomes founding partner of Lockton Global". Canadian insurance top broket. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- "Lockton global and BFL CANADA". Lockton Global. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- "Canada's best managed companies". Deloitte. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- "2012 Established Leader Award". Retrieved 24 October 2012.
A first historical book called BFL - The first 20 years was written in 2007 by Barry F. Lorenzetti with the support of Michael Sarazen. The book was published internally and has no ISBN.
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