This is The Friday GAB, a weekly roundup of all the things happening in the group benefits industry. Send me your news and updates to firstname.lastname@example.org
Lots of happening this week. Let’s get into it
M&A activity continues and was very active this week.
In the wellness space, Loblaw’s continues is expansion in the health space by adding Lifemark to their roster. This will add to its growing role as a healthcare service provider. Within the Loblaw family, Lifemark will join Shoppers. "The acquisition of Lifemark strengthens our ability to support customers' wellness, adding new categories of care”
Not M&A but Livelii and Apollo are collaborating to offer self employed Canadians access o digital business insurance.
In investment news, Power Corps’s Portage Venture announced 616M close of it’s third fund. This make sit one of the largest early stage fintech focused venture funds in the world.
Continuing with the investment news, Curv Health raised $5.1M of seed financing which they will use to build a digital clinic that empowers employers and insurers to directly connect their members with independent healthcare providers.
Switching gears, CloudAdvisors officially launched their Bar Score. You can see them next week at the Benefits Canada Tech Insights events where vendors like CloudAdvisors demo their offering. I'm vacationing the week that the Tech Insights is on, so I'm nots sure if I'll attend.
Finally in insurer news
GSC is doing something with benefits administration and technology. Honestly I’m not sure what. Press Releases tend to be full of information and vague at the same time. You’ll want to speak to your local GSC Account Executive to find out more. They have partnered with CWIBenefits, a TPA, to facilitate this.
Wawanesa did something interesting. They are setting up a Customer Review council. The council will be made up of volunteer Wawanesa customers who review and resolve customer concerns. "These people are not industry experts, they are real customers who will “give a voice in a fair, open and unbiased way”.
Honestly I find this fascinating. On the one hand, it’s an interesting way to pull customers in, and maybe change the insurer “bad guy” image. It also gives customers a voice that (potentially) makes an impact they can see. On the other hand, this strikes me as free labour. Also, could this backfire? What motivation or unconscious bias will those joining the Council bring to the table?
And that's The Friday GAB.