Fostering Talent With BrokerUnion Insurance

By Norah Black, VP Marketing & Communications, IBAO | Photos by Jason Gordon 

“We started a brokerage, we pulled together great people, we created a culture of welcoming new talent. That’s what BrokerUnion is about.”

Long before Muqit Aziz stepped into the insurance industry, he understood the importance of creating diverse teams to truly thrive as an organization. 

“Building teams, pulling together resources of all kinds—this is my expertise. I love developing leaders and inspiring leadership. It’s a little bit the secret to our success.”

This success involves founding BrokerUnion in 2020, winning Small Brokerage of the Year in 2022 and opening their fourth office earlier this year. 

Humble Beginnings 

Born in Bangladesh, Muqit immigrated to Canada to complete his degree before moving to Dubai where he thrived in the dynamic and multicultural environment. His career led him to become Chief Operating Officer of a large multinational company based in Germany. But it was Dubai where he discovered his passion for entrepreneurship and independence. When he moved back to Canada with his family in 2016, his aspirations quickly grew.

“I initially worked for a direct writer—it had been difficult to find something without Canadian experience. That’s something we all face when we come from elsewhere. You don’t have the connections. But I wanted my own book of business and the opportunity to build something new.”  

Starting a new brokerage was a challenge. Establishing yourself requires a book of business, but securing a contract is nearly impossible without one. 

By chance (or LinkedIn) Muqit met Royal Leung, CEO of BrokerTeam Group, an insurance brokerage management company. Royle recognized Muqit’s entrepreneurial spirit and the two formed an equity partnership where BrokerTeam acquired shares in BrokerUnion. Together, they leveraged their expertise and pitched carriers, emphasizing their commitment to preserving the brokerage channel and encouraging new entrants. 

“It was a difficult sell at the beginning. But we had support from three major carriers who said they’d give us a shot. After that, all the other carriers said yes.”

Embracing Diversity

BrokerUnion’s success isn’t just about Muqit’s perseverance, but his commitment to diversity. 

“We’re very GTA-focused, so we mirror what’s happening here. People are always on the move. They don’t have time, they want convenience. They want us to speak their language, which we do—we speak 23 languages. We’re there when and how our clients need us.”

The brokerage expanded rapidly—currently 35 brokers, each specializing in various languages and cultures. 

“My operational background is running larger companies and operations. So my inclination, always, is to grow. The whole idea—my wish—is to grow our brokers to a certain level and spin them off into their own brokerage. If we want to preserve the broker channel, we need to make sure we’re all contributing to the growth of the model.”

Which obviously, I love.

This attitude facilitates their approach to talent acquisition. BrokerUnion welcomes newcomers from diverse backgrounds, recognizing that transferrable skills from other industries only enrich the broker channel. They offer training and underwriting experience, helping newcomers adapt to the intricacies of insurance. 

“We need to encourage more people to join the broker channel. You just link their business to our business—if you can do that, and if you’re genuine, you’ll be able to attract more people. I truly believe attracting new talent is the key to success. We want to be known as the brokerage most welcoming to new people coming into this industry.”

Building the Future

Muqit not only believes that attracting new talent to the industry is crucial for its evolution, he knows it. Experience taught him that insurance offers a path to independence. He emphasizes that the industry must be more transparent and actively engage with newcomers, highlighting the transferable skills and opportunities it offers.

“People don’t know our industry. Everyone wants to be a realtor, a mortgage broker, they want to get into financial services. They don’t understand what an opportunity the brokerage model is. It’s huge to own something. The only reason I fell into insurance was how much I wanted to be independent. We’ve been able to bring in people from different industries and leverage their expertise to build this brokerage.”

Muqit is passionate about creating leaders within the company, and his leadership style reflects it. Titles are external identifiers. Internally, the team operates based on specialization. Subject matter experts are empowered to make decisions and lead initiatives. The company’s agility, fostered by this collaborative environment, has been a key driver of their rapid growth.

“We make decisions as a team. It gives people the chance to evolve as leaders and provides a sense of purpose. Our team puts in the hours because they believe in the brand, they believe in the company, they have a feeling we’re going somewhere. Money’s important, but when you’re part of something and can see things are happening, it’s exciting.”

Something Bigger 

Muqit says winning Small Brokerage of the Year only drove his passion to grow and thrive. 

“It was such a feather in our cap. I was so sure we weren’t going to win, I didn’t even prepare a speech. It’s certainly made us more confident. It’s helped attract talent and solidify our presence in the market. 

“And beyond that, it’s solidified our desire to belong to something bigger. We need to come together as leaders. It’s not about competing against one another—we can collaborate and bring more ideas to the table. We’ll evolve, and that’s very, very important.”

As BrokerUnion continues to foster diversity, their vision of a larger, more collaborative brokerage model is something worth celebrating. 

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