Upon the completion of a bachelor degree in Commerce at the University of Moncton, Pat Durepos entered the general insurance industry in his hometown of Grand Falls New Brunswick through the purchase of a small brokerage called Victor Durepos General Insurance. What was a two-person operation in 1971 grew with the progressive acquisition of over 16 brokerages throughout the province. The brokerage, now called Alliance
Assurance Inc. (AAI; www.alliance-assurance.com), employs 53 individuals with annual revenues of $34, 000, 000. In 1999, Alliance Assurance Inc., embarked into the insurance premium financing market to form Advantage Financing Inc. The latter serves brokers in all Canadian provinces with the exception of Quebec. AAI is currently under the stewardship of President, Lily Durepos.
Throughout his career, Durepos has participated in many insurance related activities. He has served on the board of the New Brunswick Insurance Broker’s Association and in 1977 assumed its presidency. This role led him to represent his province at the National Insurance Brokers Association. In 1985, he was named President of what is now known as the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC). At IBAC, he became the founding chairman of the Accredited Insurance Broker (AIB), a precursor to the current educational program called the Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB). Currently one of its Governors Pat enjoys the numerous roles he has held in the national organization made possible by the longevity of his commitment.
Durepos has been the recipient of numerous awards, including Atlantic Canada Brokers’ Man of the Year in 1987, Broker of the Year in 1992 awarded by Atlantic Canada Brokers as well Business of the Year presented by the New Brunswick Economic Council in 1998. In 1999, he was the recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for New Brunswick. In 2006, Durepos was honored as the recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Atlantic Provinces with a national leadership citation.
Durepos’ continued interest in real estate prompted the start of a hobby-business, which eventually grew into a separate organization now called Place Broadway Ltee / Broadway Place Ltd (PBL; www.broadway-place.com). Today PBL has 45 properties throughout New Brunswick totaling 380,000 square feet of rental space. His son Denis, who joined the businesses in 2000, is a shareholder and acts as PBL’s chief operating officer.
Technology has and continues to play an important part in Durepos’ career. For example, AAI acquired its first computer in the mid 1970s. In the mid 1990s, AAI became an important client for Keal Computer Services Inc. (www.keal.com) and the relationship eventually transformed as Durepos acquired shares in Keal. After the turning of Y2K, Keal acquired the Insurance Broker Management System division from CGI. The acquisition allowed Keal to enter the Canadian market of software development for insurance and financial services brokers. Today Keal, owned by Vertafore, is the second largest provider to the Canadian independent broker channel as measured by the number of users served. It employs 75 employees with clients in every Canadian province and manufactures four products, offers hosting as well as network services and maintains numerous alliances to fulfill its client needs. Keal’s client base includes the top insurers in Canada.
Living in New Brunswick but commuting to all parts of Canada on a weekly basis introduced a need for more efficient and faster travel. GRD Air Inc. was formed by Durepos to provide a transport service to a group of six like-minded New Brunswick businesses. GRD Air Inc. will operate charter service to Central United States and Canada using a seven seat Turbo Prop Piper Cheyenne 111.
Durepos’ numerous business ventures have not kept him from continued involvement in service and community work. His early community involvement took the form of Secretary-Treasurer of the student federation at the University of Moncton. His community dedication over the years is evidenced in his participation in numerous social clubs such as the Richelieu Club. He served as president of the Rotary Club and the Grand Falls Golf Club, and has been a director of the Grand Falls General Hospital as well as the District 32 School Board. Durepos was the founding president of the Community Futures Committee, now known as the Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC) and has acted as a national director of the RDEE Canada (www.rdee.ca).
On the provincial scene, he is a past director of Bruncor Inc., as well as the New Brunswick Telephone Company (NBTel) where he sat on the pension and audit committees. He played a direct role in the amalgamation of the Atlantic Provinces telephone companies acting as NBTel’s chairperson for the independent committee.
Durepos is presently a director of NB Liquor (www.anbl.com), a provincial crown corporation responsible for the purchase, importation, distribution and retailing of alcoholic beverage in NB.
In 2013, Durepos accepted to join the board of Corruven Inc (www.corruven.com) as director. He hopes to help this start-up company move into a multinational player with a new era of light weight composite panels.
Durepos values mentorship and investing in people. He has provided many seminars and lectures to varied audiences, including insurance industry groups throughout Canada as well as guest lecturing on entrepreneurship at Saint Francis Xavier University. Today he is a regular contributor to four national insurance and technology magazines including Canadian Underwriter, Canadian Insurance Top Broker, Journal de L’Assurance and The Insurance Journal. He enjoys roundtable discussions and never misses an opportunity to participate in these.