Rogers McLean Shaw Insurance Brokers Ltd. has found stability by embracing change for the past 65 years. President Doug Laird is dedicated to enhancing the personalized services his business offers clients, and he believes this is accomplished by welcoming opportunities to evolve and grow—even in the midst of a global pandemic.
In 2020, his business partner, Gail Tory, relinquished her title of CEO and took on a different role in the company. This presented Laird with the opportunity to become the majority owner. Laird paused to think about what he wanted the most. The answer was the same as when he first got his insurance licence decades ago – to provide truly tailored insurance solutions for customers. He didn’t feel his customers would get that if he sold the firm, so he decided to push forward.
The transition included a partnership with Calgary-based Rogers Insurance Ltd. and Ryan Lyster, now managing partner at Rogers McLean Shaw. As the financial, legal, and administrative work for the new partnership began, COVID-19 hit, Laird’s staff was sent to work from home, and everything went on hold.
“It’s been quite a year!” he understates.
Despite the setback, McLean Shaw’s sound business practices and reputation won the day. The process restarted, the partnership was completed, and Rogers McLean Shaw emerged stronger than ever. One thing that has never waivered is the firm’s dedication to providing experienced services backed by integrity, trust and stability; and for Laird, stability is the best thing he can give his clients right now.
Laird explains, “The economy and the pandemic are affecting everyone, and in the midst of that is the explosion of firms merging under national banners, and the rise of the online/teleservice insurance industry. As an independent broker we can focus on responding in person to our clients and use our networks and experience to dig deep and provide solutions. The familiar faces our clients started out with years ago are still here providing our personalized service, and the partnership with Rogers increases the depth and reach we have to find solutions on a daily basis.”
“While our size, scale and capacity are national in scope, being an employee-owned operation allows us to be more entrepreneurial when customizing best-in-class insurance and risk management solutions for our clients,” says Lee Rogers, President of Rogers Insurance, one of the largest employee-owned insurance firms in Canada. “We look forward to working with Rogers McLean Shaw to expand our human approach to insurance to businesses and individuals in Edmonton.”
“We take pride in providing strategic guidance and creative options to our clients, whether they are a start-up, established business, or if they are in need of personal lines of insurance,” adds Lyster. “Our recent partnership with Rogers Insurance has and will continue to significantly enhance the experience we offer both our clients and staff. Regardless of the industry, we now have the expertise and resources to offer Edmonton business owners options they likely have not received in the past.”
Laird agrees, adding the expertise and personalized service insurance brokers offer can help put business owners and individuals at ease when discussing difficult topics, such as planning for catastrophic loss and disaster. When those conversations do take place, they involve more than finding a policy and an ideal premium. Rogers McLean Shaw is entrusted with protecting the things clients have worked hard to achieve–the very things clients depend on for the wellbeing of their businesses, families and livelihoods. The firm takes this responsibility very, very seriously.
“Each call connects you to a human that wants to help,” says Laird. “These days you can get insurance online, through a bank, and even directly written – meaning some of our own insurers are competing against us. But there is something to be said in that personalized service. We bring the value. We don’t overlook gaps in your coverage. We collect all the right information. We are honest and we focus on long-term solutions.”
In addition to being customer-focused, Laird ensures the Rogers McLean Shaw team stays abreast of industry trends and how they impact clients.
“Over the past 10 years, 90 per cent of Canada’s insurable catastrophic natural disasters happened in Alberta,” he points out. “Underwriters account for this, tightening their capacity and attaching appropriate premiums. This, along with an increase in digital services due to COVID and the state of the economy are just a few drivers behind the industry’s fluctuations. Providing stability to our clients is paramount. We remain the firm they can trust to defray their risk as the world changes around them.”
Rogers Mclean Shaw is an active member with several industry partners including the Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta, the Insurance Institute of Northern Alberta and The Edmonton Executive Association. Thanks to the partnership with Rogers Insurance, they are now a proud member of the Canada Broker Network (CBN) and it’s 100+ years of collective experience, advocacy and expertise in protecting clients with unparalleled service and products. Further, the CBN relationship supports a shared belief of the long term viability of the independent broker distribution because it offers better value for the customers, and that employee-owned and operated brokerages embedded in local communities will always outperform other competitors.
Laird and Lyster are also very proud of the community work of the organization and staff. Although they are humble about it, Rogers McLean Shaw team members are always giving back with donations and volunteering time to support Edmonton’s local sports teams, to eradicate homelessness, to support the arts, the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation and more.
Rogers McLean Shaw has been a part of Edmonton’s history since 1956, when Dr. Charles Allard’s brother-in-law, Al McLean, founded the firm. Now, 65 years later, Rogers McLean Shaw has weathered every storm that has affected its clients, from economic upheavals to natural disasters to a global pandemic. The firm remains the steadfast anchor for those looking to insure their risks. Laird and his team know that it’s more than insurance. It’s about taking responsibility for your personal assets, your business, and your loved ones. With Rogers McLean Shaw, you can do this with confidence.
Laird is thrilled to partner with Rogers Insurance, evolving the firm to provide best-in-class service Edmontonians can always count on. He thanks Gail for the opportunity, thereby keeping the firm boutique and independent. He thanks his employees for remaining committed through times of change and for their support of their clients. Finally, he thanks his family, friends and the Edmonton Executive Association for their incredible support and encouragement.
Things change, sometimes faster than what is comfortable, but Rogers McLean Shaw has been here for 65 years, ensuring that as the world changes, Edmontonians have a dependable way to assess, mitigate and insure their risks.