WWW.INSURANCEBUSINESS.CA ISSUE 5.02 | $12.95
Meet 50 young professionals who are rewriting the future of Canada’s insurance industry
TOO LATE TO THE TECH PARTY?
Brokers are jumping on the tech bandwagon – but can they keep up?
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CHANGING WITH THE TIMES
Crawford & Co.’s Ian Muress on what the industry needs to do to innovate
THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
How to ensure a seamless transition across every platform
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executive executiveand and professional professional lines lines
builder’s risk builder’s risk
lifesciences sciences life
WE CAN TAILOR THAT WE CAN TAILOR THAT COVERAGE FOR YOU. COVERAGE FOR YOU.
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Jimmy Walker 2016 PGA Champion Burns & Wilcox Brand Ambassador
PLAY AGAINST THE COMPETITION NOT WITH THEM.
To succeed in golf, you need to trust your own swing. This same autonomy is crucial to specialty insurance. Our company is 100% dedicated to our retail clients, independent from large banks and private equity. With no retail affiliations, the only agenda we have is yours. Trust the MGA who works as your partner, not your competitor— Burns & Wilcox.
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UPFRONT 04 Editorial
No one does adaptation like an insurance broker
Expect more from your insurance carrier FEATURES Expect more from your insurance carrier BROKERAGE INSIGHT
Execs from Lloyd Sadd Insurance Brokers discuss how they’ve driven success by investing in talent
Crawford & Co. international CEO Ian Muress offers his thoughts on how insurance companies can spur innovation
Commercial General Liability Cyber Risks Insurance Commercial General Liability Directors and Officers Liability Cyber Risks Insurance Environmental Impairment Liability Directors and Offi cers Liability Life Sciences Environmental Impairment Liability Professional Life Sciences Liability Property/Inland Marine/Cargo Professional Liability www.insurancebusiness.ca Umbrella and Excess Liability Property/Inland Marine/Cargo Umbrella and Excess Liability
Finding the silver lining on the arrival of driverless cars
10 News analysis
Insurance brokers are embracing technology, but is it too little, too late?
New appointments, new products and the latest acquisitions Will Canada finally get a long-overdue flood map update?
16 Technology update
How the Internet of Things could reshape traditional insurance
YOUNG GUNS 2017
08 Head to head
14 MGA update
From top-selling producers to the founders of insurtech startups, these 50 young professionals are changing the face of Canada’s insurance industry
A look at the world’s biggest risks – and how companies are managing them
GET WITH THE PROGRAM
Markel Canada reveals how it’s empowering brokers with customdesigned programs and more
The industry is forging ahead with Big Data, and regulators can’t keep up
PEOPLE 54 Career path
South Western Group’s John Barclay approaches every opportunity as a learning experience
55 Other life
In the rink with insurance broker and hockey coach Brad McAllister
HelpingFEATURES brokers with effective insurance solutions 1966 HelpingSEAMLESS brokers withsince effective
insurance solutions since 1966 Calgary TRANSITIONS How to move customers effortlessly Montreal Calgary from digital channels to analog ones Toronto Montreal Vancouver Toronto
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Why the cup is half full I
t was Benjamin Franklin who said that “there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes.” Perhaps if he had been around today, he would have contemplated a third: the adaptability of the insurance broker. It seems no matter how gloomy the picture may be for society, insurance brokers prove flexible enough to adjust to their new environment. In today’s unsettled climate, there is evidence of this adaptability around the world. In Canada, there is an expectation of recovery after the Fort McMurray wildfires, the direct and indirect costs of which a MacEwan University survey estimated at close to $9 billion. In New Zealand, the sentiment is that brokers and insurers have reacted much more positively to the Kaikoura earthquake of 2016 than they did to the Christchurch rumble in 2011. In the UK, the initial doom and gloom of the Brexit vote has largely been replaced by feelings of resilience, boosted by the fact that even after so much time has passed, little to nothing has changed.
It seems no matter how gloomy the picture may be for society, insurance brokers prove flexible enough to adjust to their new environment And while other nations may question the arrival of Donald Trump into the world’s most lauded hot seat, a survey from Reagan Consulting revealed that among brokers in the US, there is optimism for the year ahead, even though growth last year fell to its lowest levels since 2011. Why? Because, in the eyes of many brokers, the new president marks the arrival of an economically focused administration – those in the sector are projecting 6% organic growth during 2017. Additionally, although reports of robots and automation have cast a shadow over future job security in the insurance industry worldwide, 42% of those surveyed in the Guy Carpenter Annual Market Pulse Survey 2017 suggested that technological innovation actually represented the biggest opportunity to grow their business in the year ahead – placing it ahead of new products (25%) and new geographic markets (13%). So what stands behind this incredible resilience, positivity and bounce-backability? Perhaps we need look no further than this issue’s Young Guns. These newcomers to the industry are not only learning from their more experienced colleagues, but are also becoming the teachers, explaining new threats and creating new solutions. Thanks to their emerging brilliance, the Canadian insurance industry’s cup will always be half full, never half empty. The team at Insurance Business Canada
www.insurancebusiness.ca MAY/JUNE 2017 EDITORIAL Managing Editor Paul Lucas Writers Lucy Hook, Libby Macdonald, Tim Garratt, Joe Rosengarten, Lyle Adriano Copy Editor Clare Alexander
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The first five days after a purchase is critical. Stephen Newport, VP of Innovation & Digital Solutions, Economical Insurance
What do customers remember when their policy is up for renewal? The time their broker took to not only help them understand their new policy but to genuinely connect with them. Economical supports our broker partners with insights into digital technologies that can automate that flow of information at every stage of the customer journey, helping you build their loyalty through ongoing, positive, and truly unforgettable experiences.
Get ready for the future, with us. economical.com property
Economical Insurance includes the following companies: Economical Mutual Insurance Company, The Missisquoi Insurance Company, Perth Insurance Company, Waterloo Insurance Company, Family Insurance Solutions Inc., Sonnet Insurance Company, Petline Insurance Company. ÂŠ2017 Economical Insurance. All rights reserved. All Economical intellectual property, including but not limited to EconomicalÂŽ and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of Economical Mutual Insurance Company and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates and are registered and/or used in Canada. All other intellectual property is the property of their respective owners.
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What lies ahead
Overall risk score, 2017
of finance professionals say forecasting risk is as hard or harder than three years ago
anticipate that forecasting risk will be more challenging three years from now
Overall risk score, 2016
Overall risk score, 2017
What issues, trends and factors pose the greatest threats to the world in 2017? THE WORLD is no stranger to political risk in 2017. China and Russia top the list of countries most likely to influence the risk landscape this year, due to factors such as succession risks, conflict and regional instability. But the West is by no means immune from events that stoke geopolitical risk – the ongoing ramifications of the UK’s Brexit vote are still playing out on one side of the Atlantic, while
Overall risk score, 2016
the consequences of last year’s US presidential election continue to be felt on the other. Both events – along with contentious elections in places like France and the Netherlands – point to the rise of protectionism, nationalism and anti-establishment parties in countries worldwide. This apparent turning of the tide raises new concerns for insurers – and therefore brokers and their clients.
of companies have made efforts to mitigate exposure in response to current and emerging threats
WHICH COUNTRIES ARE MOST AT RISK? In looking at political, economic and operational risk worldwide, Marsh found that Africa, the Middle East and parts of South America are still the least stable in terms of their ability to deal with such shocks as economic calamity or abrupt political changes. However, a closer look at some key countries reveals that stability has fallen slightly across the globe over the past year. RISK SCORE
of organizations have maintained liquidity due to the threat of geopolitical risks
Source: Marsh & McLennan/Association for Financial Professionals, January 2017
MITIGATING RISK WITH DATA Given the current climate, more companies are committing to using risk data and analytics to inform decision-making.
How is your organization using risk data and analytics? To improve risk identification (50%) To inform the overall business strategy (43%) To enhance risk mitigation (34%)
WHICH RISKS ARE MOST LIKELY? According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report, geopolitical risks (shown in orange below) have taken on more prominence in recent years in terms of the risks businesses feel are most likely to happen.
To support major transactions (25%) To facilitate risk reporting (21%) To optimize insurance programs (17%) Source: Marsh & McLennan/Association for Financial Professionals, January 2017
Chronic fiscal imbalances
Chronic fiscal imbalances
Extreme weather events
Rising greenhouse emissions
Rising greenhouse emissions
Cyber attacks Water supply crisis
To understand risk-bearing capacity (28%) To inform decisions on specific risks (26%)
2015 Interstate conflict with regional consequences Extreme weather events
Large-scale involuntary migration
Extreme weather events
Extreme weather events
Large-scale involuntary migration
Unemployment or underemployment
Failure of national governance
Failure of climatechange mitigation and adaption
Major natural disaster
Water supply crisis
State collapse or crisis
Interstate conflict with regional consequences
Large-scale terrorist attacks
Mismanagement of population aging
Unemployment or underemployment
Major natural catastrophes
Massive incident of data fraud/ theft
Technological Source: World Economic Forum
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Overall risk score, 2017
Overall risk score, 2017
Overall risk score, 2016
Overall risk score, 2016
Overall risk score, 2017
Overall risk score, 2017
Overall risk score, 2016
Overall risk score, 2016
Overall risk score, 2017
Overall risk score, 2017
Overall risk score, 2016
Overall risk score, 2017
Overall risk score, 2016
Overall risk score, 2016
Overall risk score, 2017
Overall risk score, 2017
Overall risk score, 2017
Overall risk score, 2016
Overall risk score, 2016
Overall risk score, 2016 Source: Marsh/BMI Research
WHICH RISKS WILL HAVE THE MOST IMPACT? When it comes to the risks that would have the greatest impact, recent Global Risks Reports put environmental calamities right up there with societal and gepolitical risks, while economic risks have taken a backseat.
Water supply crisis
Failure of climatechange mitigation and adaption
Weapons of mass destruction
Rapid and massive spread of infectious diseases
Weapons of mass destruction
Water supply crisis
Weapons of mass destruction
Water supply crisis
Weapons of mass destruction
Unemployment or underemployment
Interstate conflict with regional consequences
Large-scale involuntary migration
Failure of climatechange mitigation and adaption
Critical information infrastructure breakdown
Failure of climatechange mitigation and adaption
Severe energy price shock
Major systemic financial failure
Major systemic financial failure
Water supply crisis
Water supply crisis
Food shortage crisis Chronic fiscal imbalances Volatility in energy and agricultural prices
Chronic fiscal imbalances
VIEW FROM THE C-SUITE Almost half of the executives at companies surveyed by Marsh & McLennan are concerned about geopolitical risks, especially those at larger and public companies. All companies
Extreme weather events Water supply crisis Major natural disaster Failure of climatechange mitigation and adaption
Annual revenue less than $1 billion 42%
Annual revenue at least $1 billion 53%
Publicly owned 52%
Privately held 45%
Concerned Source: World Economic Forum
Source: Marsh & McLennan/Association for Financial Professionals, January 2017
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HEAD TO HEAD
Will driverless cars be good or bad for insurance? Technology is leading automotive insurance down a new road – but are brokers prepared to travel it?
Technical director AXA Insurance
Senior vice president and chief risk officer The Cincinnati Insurance Companies
Insurance leader Future of Mobility Practice Deloitte Consulting
“Automated vehicle technology could drastically reduce the number of accidents on our roads, and insurers are at the heart of making that happen. In addition, driverless vehicles could impact society in a number of positive ways – providing modes of transport for those currently unable to drive, tackling congestion, lowering emissions and reforming city planning. Motor insurance has been compulsory in the UK for more than 80 years, but the industry has only made an underwriting profit once since 1993. We should be welcoming any disruption with open arms – and with insurers leading the charge in driverless, it puts us very much in control of our destiny.”
“The insurance industry has always supported innovations that help save lives. We’re learning that potential life-saving benefits could come from removing distracted humans from driving. And risks related to cars will still need to be managed, even if the potential liability shifts from driver to manufacturer. While it’s still too early to know exactly what impact driverless cars will have on our industry, we know that we cannot sit and wait for this change – or any change – to happen. Carriers need to understand what’s coming and develop strategies that help agents serve their clients as the world around us evolves.”
“We believe we will see a seismic shift from traditional personal lines policies to a future in which personal and commercial lines will blur and combine very closely as car-sharing and ridesharing begin to change lifestyles. For the players who are extremely focused on personal auto policies and don’t have commercial lines capabilities, without a strategy to adapt, driverless cars represent a long-term existential crisis. For those who are have strong commercial lines capabilities, knowledge on how to underwrite and price product liability, and who are dynamic in their thinking, the change driverless cars represent is potentially very good.”
THE NEW KINGS OF THE ROAD It’s just a matter of time before driverless cars dominate the world’s highways, according to a study from IHS Automotive, which foresees a future in which 76 million vehicles with some level of autonomy are sold globally between now and 2035. The study predicted that autonomous vehicles that allow for driver control will be on roads worldwide before 2025, and that vehicles with no means of driver control will follow by 2030. IHS Automotive believes that at some point after 2050, almost all vehicles on the road will be self-propelled.
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The tech revolution? From mobile apps to digital signatures to social media content, the broker channel is embracing the technologies it once feared. But has it caught up with the pace? IT’S NOTHING new to say that technology is drastically changing the landscape for businesses across all industries and continents. But while insurance – and specifically the broker channel – is often criticized for being too slow to adapt to the technologies that are revolutionizing other markets, the signs suggest that the industry might finally be having its moment. “I actually think it’s a little bit of a myth that insurance in general, and our broker channel in particular, are averse to technology,” says Michael Howe, senior vice president of product management at insurance software provider Applied Systems. Howe says two years ago, he would have agreed that some in the industry remained
izing that technology is the way forward. “All the things that [businesses are] trying to do, technology can help them. And it seems obvious to say that, but we actually see people acting on that.” While tools such as mobile apps and digital management systems can make brokers’ jobs easier, technology is also revolutionizing the way they can engage with clients – who, in turn, are expecting a higher level of customer service in the digital age. Consumers are becoming more accustomed to immediate, 24/7 accessibility, and increasingly expect service providers to offer apps in which they can access their information and take action at any time
“People now get that technology, and enabling their business with technology, is no longer optional” Michael Howe, Applied Systems tech-phobic, but changes in the last couple of years suggest that’s no longer the case. Applied saw the user base for its mobile app surge by 162% year-overyear, the company announced last month, suggesting that brokers are not just going digital, but are also embracing mobile. “I think there’s a general recognition now that technology is not to be feared,” Howe says, adding that brokers are gradually real-
of the day, says Matt Bevan, president of brokerage D.G Bevan. He points to digital signatures as a great example of how a simple technology is enabling brokers to provide a speedier, more convenient service. “Many brokers are moving in this direction, especially for personal lines,” Bevan says. “This is a solution that provides efficiencies on both the broker and client sides
of the transaction. A prospect can find our company from a search on their phone, after a quick call or online chat, we can email them an e-signature document. A few taps on their phone, and they have a policy.” Social media – not typically considered an essential function in the insurance industry – is also fast becoming a vital part of a brokerage’s offering. More and more brokers are feeling the pressure to keep their social media presence up-to-date, says Stanislav Kojokin, partner at brokerage KASE Insurance. “Just like any service industry, brokers would like to stay connected with their clients and engage them in the activities of the business,” he says, adding that there are firms that produce insurance-related content for brokers to make online media easier to manage. “As a result, many brokers are making sure to have mobile-friendly websites and active social media accounts,” Kojokin says.
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THE CONSUMER MIGRATION
of consumers use some form of digital research before buying insurance
of millennials believe having a mobile service is very important
of millennials believe social media is an effective customer service channel, compared to 27% of baby boomers But despite undeniable steps forward in the digital space, the outside perception of the industry as a whole may not have caught up just yet. “The insurance industry has developed
tive to see the industry moving forward.” The pace at which technology is growing is forcing a new perspective in the industry, according to Kaufman, but with a large portion of its workers “greying and looking
“The insurance industry has developed a reputation for lagging behind in regard to embracing new technology” Daniel J. Kaufman, Burns & Wilcox a reputation for lagging behind in regard to embracing new and emerging technology,” says Daniel J. Kaufman, senior vice president and managing director at Burns & Wilcox. More insurers in both the standard and specialty markets are investing in technologies ranging from mobile tools to predictive analytics, Kaufman says, and while investment has been slow, he adds that “it’s posi-
toward retirement,” a lot more needs to be done to attract the next generation of digital natives. “It’s no secret that the insurance industry is facing an inevitable talent shortfall,” Kaufman says. “Young, tech-savvy professionals cannot be expected to follow an insurance career path unless it is recognized that our industry is heavily investing in emerging technology.”
of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others Sources: PwC, IDG Research Services, Microsoft, Ambassador
Looking ahead, the consensus is that technology will continue to drive the pace across the globe. Kaufman believes technology and big data present a significant opportunity for all lines in the insurance industry to enhance operational proficiencies and better understand the risks and needs of client. “People now get that technology, and enabling their business with technology, is no longer optional,” Howe says. “They know they can’t bury their head in the sand and hope it goes away.”
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INTELLIGENCE CORPORATE ACQUIRER
Vision Insurance specializes in commercial group insurance and is the exclusive insurance provider for the Ontario Opticians Association
Steele & Ferraro
Steele & Ferraro’s experience in handling farm insurance will complement BrokerLink’s Farm Advantage program
Global Bankers Insurance
Global Bankers has acquired the credit life and disability insurer and its subsidiaries from Enstar Group
The purchase gives HUB’s Quebec unit access to Claude Picard’s commercial lines book of business
TIPI Insurance Partners
IMI Brokerage Company
The merger expands TIPI’s reach in Western Canada and creates Canada’s largest indigenous-owned insurance agency
Simply Business has more than 400,000 customers and offers products from broad range of carriers
H.W. Kaufman has merged its Canadian and US risk solutions operations into one division, which will be known as Afirm
BICO introduces new legal expense product
Merger creates Canada’s largest indigenousowned brokerage
TIPI Insurance Partners has merged with Saskatchewan-based IMI Brokerage Company, expanding its reach in Western Canada and creating the largest indigenous-owned insurance agency the country. Founded in 1993, IMI primarily operates in Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC, providing First Nations clients with life insurance, group benefits and pension services. “Our vision is simple,” said TIPI CEO Nathan Ballantyne. “We are building a financial services powerhouse that is owned by and for indigenous people, where the benefits of ownership can flow back to our communities.”
BICO Risk Management has launched a new legal expense insurance product for personal injury litigation, which will be underwritten by Omega General Insurance Company. The insurer had previously entered into an agreement with provincial regulators FSCO and FICOM in September 2016 to restrict the issuance of new legal cost indemnity contracts until a long-term solution could be developed. With the launch of BICO Legal Cost Protection, all pre-existing indemnity contracts issued by BICO will remain in effect, but outstanding indemnity contracts will be converted to the new product.
5/04/2017 2:27:42 AM
PEOPLE Desjardins releases new flood coverage
Desjardins has announced that policyholders who live in low- to mid-risk areas will automatically receive coverage for overflowing waterways and dam breaks. The new endorsement carries no extra charge for those in low-risk areas, but mid-risk clients will have to pay an additional premium to receive the new coverage. “We listened to our customers and designed this coverage with them in mind,” said Desjardins General Insurance Group president and COO Denis Dubois. “This gives clients the flexibility to adapt their coverage to suit their needs and their reality.”
Ironshore expands terrorism coverage
Ironshore has announced that it will boost its insurance capacity for terrorism and sabotage coverage to US$400 million. The specialty coverage is being offered worldwide through the Lloyd’s Pembroke Syndicate 4000 platform. Ironshore’s terrorism and sabotage coverage offers protection against damage to commercial and residential property – including business interruption – resulting from terrorist attacks. The coverage is provided on either a full value or first loss basis. Optional policy extensions can cover loss due to malicious damage, strikes, riots and civil commotions.
Chubb unveils wider product range
Chubb has unveiled an expanded range of multiline cyber peril endorsements for its Global Cyber Facility solution. The package offers limits of up to $100 million and helps companies assess their cyber and data privacy risk, incorporates loss control services, and provides access to post-breach services. “We recognize that policies differ from carrier to carrier, and our endorsements were designed with customization in mind,” said Chubb North America financial lines EVP Michael J. Tanenbaum. “Each policyholder will be able to tailor their policies to fill the gaps of their specific policy portfolios.”
William D. Anderson
Sun Life Financial
Brit Global Specialty USA
Senior vice-president, cyber and technology
Assistant vice-president and product line leader, casualty
Senior vice-president, sales and distribution
Assistant vice-president, programs
Chief underwriting officer
IBAC appoints former MP as its new CEO
The Insurance Brokers Association of Canada [IBAC] has announced that Peter Braid will serve as its new CEO. Braid served as an MP for Kitchener-Waterloo from 2008 to 2015, holding the position of Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Communities with the Conservative party. Prior to his stint in Parliament, Braid worked as director of operations at Sun Life Financial, as an account manager with Waterloo-based Quarry Integrated Communications and as a communications specialist in the constituency office of former MP Walter McLean as a part of the Immigration and Refugee Board.
Canadian Broker Network names new chairman
The Canadian Broker Network [CBN] has chosen Mike Robinson, the president and CEO of PBL Insurance, to serve as chairman, replacing outgoing chairman and Capri Insurance Services president Tim Miller. Miller served as chairman of the group for three years, fostering higher levels of collaboration between the members, growing the membership and laying the groundwork for CBN’s strategic direction. “On behalf of the CBN, I’d like to personally thank Tim for his insights and support,” said CBN managing director Lorie Phair. “His guidance has helped to set us on a successful course for the future.”
5/04/2017 2:27:46 AM
Updated flood maps coming to Canada? Proper flood maps would greatly impact MGAs that offer flood coverage – for better and worse
flood maps could actually do more harm than good to consumers. “Floodplain maps are politically toxic – nobody wants to take the lead in developing them and releasing them publicly,” Feltmate said at the 2017 Flood Risk Summit. “Governments that would support developing floodplain maps would take a lot of heat from current homeowners, who may be now identified as being in a floodplain. All of a sudden you have a $1 million home that is stigmatized and devalued down to half its current value, where it’s unsellable.”
“Floodplain maps are politically toxic – nobody wants to take the lead in developing them”
Canada has not seen a proper floodplain map since 1996, when a previous Liberal government enacted budget cuts that effectively shut down Environment Canada’s Flood Damage Reduction Program. In March, however, Federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale announced that Environment Canada would restart the project in collaboration with the private sector.
Updated floodplain maps, which would reflect current changes in climate and topography, would allow the government, developers and insurers to take pre-emptive action to save homeowners from building in vulnerable areas and save them millions of dollars in water damage costs. However, according to Dr. Blair Feltmate, head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo,
ENCON appoints chief underwriting officer
Ottawa-based MGA ENCON has announced the appointment of Stefanie McKay as its new chief underwriting officer. McKay is a 17-year veteran of the MGA who previously served as an underwriter in the directors & officers department and was most recently SVP of ENCON’s errors & omissions underwriting department. As chief underwriting officer, McKay will be responsible for leading and developing underwriting strategy across all lines of business within the firm’s underwriting management division.
As controversial as the decision is, it provides an opportunity for MGAs and the industry as a whole to play a more active role in protecting properties from flooding. “There isn’t anything we can do about the unpredictability of the seasons, which is why it’s so important that brokers help their customers understand what they could be exposed to and assist them with choosing the right coverage for their needs,” said Barry Owen, Aviva Canada’s assistant vice-president of personal lines propositions. “Brokers now have several markets offering flood insurance, but not all products are created equal, so they need to understand the differences.”
CFC Underwriting raises transaction liability limits
CFC Underwriting has increased the available limits of its transaction liability insurance product suite across all the territories it operates in, offering limits up to US$50 million in North America. The new offering is backed by various Lloyd’s syndicates. “Transaction liability insurance continues to gain traction, with an increasing proportion of deals using this cover as both a risk management and deal facilitation tool,” said Matthew Giddings, transaction liability practice leader at CFC Underwriting.
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Gary Hirst President and CEO
The MGA space hasn’t peaked yet
CHES SPECIAL RISK
Years in the industry 33 Fast fact Hirst spent nearly three decades working in the London insurance market before moving to Toronto in 2012
What sets CHES Special Risk apart from other MGAs? CHES Special Risk has a large selection of supporting insurers who are exclusive to us, allowing us to offer insurance solutions and innovation not available from other MGAs, who often have the same capacity as one another. We offer quotations within 24 hours of receiving a completed submission and issue a policy within 24 hours of binding
Has the MGA space peaked, or is there more room to grow? We don’t believe the MGA space has peaked or is saturated. We have recognized a number of areas of growth that are currently untapped by both domestic insurers and MGAs. Combined ratios of 100% or more in domestic insurers’ results will hinder their growth. As investors become frustrated with negative returns, along with poor servicing and high legacy costs, we believe CHES is well poised to take advantage of areas of weakness in the marketplace.
What changes do you anticipate for the industry? We believe that there will be areas of capacity reduction, leading to a hardening of insurance premiums and capacity in certain sectors in the market, which is fuelled by the lack of new insurer startups in the Canadian market. This gives MGAs room to expand, and offer capacity and pricing to a growing independent broker
Canadian MGA partners with Dutch firm
Eagle Underwriting Group has partnered with Dutch P&I specialist RaetsMarine to offer P&I and charterers’ liability insurance in Canada. The partner ship will allow Eagle Underwriting to combine its expertise with RaetsMarine’s specialist knowledge and service platform. “Our mutual expertise, in combination with the bespoke insurance solutions that we offer, results in what we believe to be a fresh and unique proposition to the Canadian market,” said Eagle Underwriting chairman Bernie Cissek.
population that doesn’t want to commit income to one insurer. Many insurers have acquired market share by purchasing broker offices, with these ‘brokers’ becoming a tied agent to their owners and the potential for a conflict of interest. This gives the policyholder a lack of choice in the marketplace, leading to a greater opportunity for the independent broker and MGA.
Now that insurers are slowly warming up to fintech applications, should MGAs be worried? The advent of fintech applications has to be only a good thing for the man in the street. Costs of workflow and administration are increasing year-over-year, and are then reflected in the premiums being charged. Fintech will lead to reduced costs for the industry and increased efficiency, with, we hope, the result that insurance will no longer be a grudge buy. Fintech has its place in the market for the ease of doing business, but the revenue being earned by both the broker and MGA for this type of policy is marginal, as the applications tend to be focused on the smaller end of the premium spectrum. CHES Special Risk is investing in online applications to deliver product to only independent brokers – they are able to access a large suite of products, which they will be able to quote and bind themselves, and to white-label our offering with their own organization’s branding. That way the independent broker is able to retain their value proposition and benefit from reduced costs and increase efficiency in the process.
IMUA forms regional advisory committee
The Inland Marine Underwriters Association [IMUA] has established a Toronto-based regional advisory committee. Sam Slade, vice-president of Gen Re’s Toronto branch, will chair the committee. Other officers include Mauricio Zani of Burns & Wilcox and Gord Rider of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance. “[The advisory committee] will provide education and a forum for issues that are of common concern to companies doing inland marine insurance business,” said IMUA president and CEO Kevin O’Brien.
Sentinel Group purchases Saskatoon MGA
Saskatoon-based independent financial services firm Sentinel Group has acquired ASF Advisory Group, a Saskatoon-based MGA that also has advisors in Alberta and Manitoba. The purchase comes on the heels of a major reorganization last fall, when Sentinel Group merged with Calgary-based Connect Financial. “Our growing strength in the financial services industry will help us provide greater prosperity and security for our advisors and their clients,” said Sentinel Group CEO Fred Wing.
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TECHNOLOGY UPDATE NEWS BRIEFS RSA launches connected home insurance pilot Global insurer RSA is launching a connected home insurance pilot that aims to harness the potential of smart home technology to improve safety and reduce loss. The test will run various household scenarios, including simulated water leaks, to determine the different applications of connected home technology, prove that the sensors used will work without issue and showcase that the systems can be controlled without interfering with homeowners’ activities. “There is huge potential for insurers to help make our customers’ homes safer and easier to monitor through connected devices,” said RSA’s Kenny Leitch.
New initiative to help Canada become a blockchain hub
The Canadian Security Administrators [CSA] has recently launched a Regulatory Sandbox Initiative to help guide and work with blockchain startups in a relatively regulation-free environment. Originally developed to facilitate the secure transaction of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, a blockchain is a distributed database designed in a way that it is resistant to any outside attempts to modify data. “The CSA’s initiative is a clear answer to the increasing number of businesses interested in using innovative products, services and applications all across Canada,” said CSA representative Sylvain Théberge.
CFC Underwriting unveils app to respond to cyber incidents
Specialist firm CFC Underwriting has launched a new application that
promises to respond to cyber incidents within minutes. The app enables policyholders to report a claim with a click of a button and receive immediate support from CFC’s global cyber incident response team. “We wanted to make it as straightforward as possible for policyholders to access our help,” said Anthony Hess, head of incident response at CFC. “Using the app, it will take just seconds to notify us that something has gone wrong and less than half an hour for our network of experts to respond.”
New telematics app launches in Canada US-based mobile telematics developer DrivSafe is bringing its app, which helps auto insurers evaluate the driving habits of policyholders and aids in providing relevant discounts, to Canada. The app works by comparing the driving behaviour of individual drivers to other motorists; each driver is issued a personalized report card. Dimensions such as distance travelled, speed, time of day, geographic footprint and distractions while driving are monitored by the app, which also offers safe driving tips.
Pen Underwriting Canada creates comprehensive cyber insurance
In response to the lack of uniformity in the cyber insurance market, Pen Underwriting Canada has rolled out a new ‘comprehensive’ cyber product that covers any media form, including a business’s social media pages. The policy also covers lost or stolen physical documents. “Right now there isn’t a standardized cyber wording out there – they’re all completely different,” said Glenn Woodard, underwriting director at Pen Underwriting Canada. “Our [policy] covers any media form. If it’s on Facebook or any media, our coverage will respond.”
Insurers’ role in the Internet of Things The IoT can help insurers accurately determine risk, but it also has its disadvantages The concept of the Internet of Things [IoT] sounds like something straight out of science fiction: connecting everyday objects to each other and the internet thorough embedded computing devices, which allow the objects to send and receive data. Just about any device with an on and off switch can be a part of the IoT, and its applications are limitless. In the insurance space, the IoT has long played a role in commercial lines, helping insurers and their clients keep track of business vehicles and shipping containers, among other things. Only recently have IoT applications in the P&C, life and health sectors been considered. Through interconnected devices, non-commercial insurers can determine risk based on individual customer characteristics and use the knowledge to better serve customer needs. For instance, usagebased insurance [UBI] takes data from a connected car or home, allowing insurance companies to offer applicable coverage and set appropriate premiums. Wearable tech that tracks user health habits can be used by life insurers to gauge the average well-being of its policyholders and issue discounts to healthy individuals. IoT applications can also improve the way insurers identify and address preventable losses, potentially lowering the cost of insurance for all. The knowledge of possible risks
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based on collected data can transform insurers from being reactive (paying restitution for claims) to proactive (approaching clients and providing them with prevention solutions). But while the IoT promises many bright things for the insurance sector, it is not without its flaws. Some experts believe the IoT exposes devices to shared vulnerabilities, making the systems prime targets for hackers. “When devices are connected, one device’s vulnerability becomes a problem for the entire network,” said Anne Hobson, a tech policy fellow at R Street, in a report tackling the shared vulnerabilities of IoT systems. “[The] scale of interconnection among today’s devices magnifies the consequences of insecurity.”
“The Internet of Things changes the underlying need to have insurance” Another related insurance concern is that current technology won’t considerably lower insurance costs. Connected devices could even threaten insurer revenues once they start eating into premium prices. “[The IoT] changes the underlying need to have insurance,” said Sean O’Neill, a partner at Bain & Co. “If you take down the severity and frequency of losses, that’s basically what premium dollars support.”
Jodie Kaufman Davis Corporate vicepresident and managing director BURNS & WILCOX CANADA
Years in the industry 3 Fast fact One of IBC’s 2016 Young Guns, Davis practiced law for eight years before moving into insurance
Disruption has already arrived How much technology should the insurance industry be using? Should insurance be tapping more into Big Data? Technology and Big Data present a significant opportunity for the entire insurance industry to deepen our understanding of clients’ needs. Technology allows our industry to remain flexible and up-todate. New software has the ability to minimize redundancies and maximize client service. Burns & Wilcox is currently investing in bespoke technology to help redefine how MGA, wholesale and E&S specialty markets service risks in the future.
What emerging technologies do you think will disrupt the insurance sector? Emerging technologies are already beginning to disrupt the insurance sector, and new technology will continue to be developed that will bring many changes to our industry. Mobile tools, predictive analytics and Big Data are just a few of the major developing areas in insurance. Investment in technology from the insurance industry as a whole has been slow, but it is positive to see the changes made thus far. While we need to embrace these changes in technology, we also should understand that the importance of relationships will not change. Insurance will continue to be a relationship business, not just a screen.
In the era of ‘alternative facts,’ do current media liability insurance policies go far enough? Media liability insurance is more important today than ever before. Traditional policies simply cannot capture the breadth and depth of threats that publishers, broadcasters and authors are dealing with on a daily basis. Professional liability is the fastest-growing line within Burns & Wilcox today, and media liability, along with cyber and privacy policies, has contributed to that double-digit growth.
How do you think the Internet of Things will affect insurance? How does one write a policy for a system of interconnected devices when the failure of one device could affect the entire system? The Internet of Things can have a sweeping impact on business interruption and cyber losses, many times creating a domino effect. As more smart devices become interconnected, vulnerability increases. Anything that is connected to the internet has the ability to cause widespread damage if a breach occurs. When creating a policy, it’s important to look at the specific exposures of the individual client. If they were involved in designing the software, a tech errors & omissions policy would be needed. However, many times it is most likely a combination of cyber and privacy insurance to cover business interruption with a tech E&O policy to balance the risk.
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The dangers of Big Data Big Data might be the next big thing – but, writes Peter Kochenburger, the industry’s use of it is outstripping the traditional capabilities of regulators BIG DATA gives insurers the ability to collect vast amounts of personalized information, create new predictive models and apply them to a variety of insurance functions, thereby enhancing the marketplace for insurance consumers. Unrestrained, however, Big Data will also negatively disrupt insurance regulation and essential insurance functions. One concern is Big Data’s ability to evaluate consumer behaviour. Price optimization – the ability to predict how much a premium can be increased before a particular consumer is motivated to shop around – is the most recent battleground. This practice may well constitute unfair discrimination by differentiating among consumers with the same risk characteristics based on their propensity to comparison shop, and several states have issued bulletins banning the practice. Perhaps building on this theme, several data analytics vendors are promoting claim optimization. This is good news if it means settlements will be quicker, fairer and more efficient. But the ability to ‘optimize’ can also mean establishing settlement offers on the statistical likelihood that the claimant will accept the offer, rather than on the fair value of the claim itself. In this area, the law is clear: Insurers are required to pay claims at their full value and not negotiate them downward based on unrelated factors, such as a policyholder’s need for a quick payout. Neither practice is new, but Big Data allows companies to engage in them in a far more sophisticated manner, to the detriment
of insurance consumers. It also challenges regulators’ ability to fulfill a number of traditional supervisory functions, including evaluating insurer rating and underwriting plans, and enforcing laws against discrimination. There is a growing gap between the industry’s use of Big Data and regulators’ ability to supervise it. These models are increasingly complex, can include more than a thousand rating factors for a single insured, and are
cost of insuring their homes from flood, or continuing the partial subsidization of rates – in essence, spreading some of the risk to all federal taxpayers. An article in the Redwood Times last October about wildfires and insurance rates noted that for some homeowners, rates had more than doubled in five years due to more individualized risk assessments and developments in fire metrics. “Today, insurance companies can zero in on the risk to a specific home and price the policy specific to that address,” said a state insurance regulator quoted in the article. Big Data sharpens the divergence between risk precision and risk spreading. However, there are instances where we as a society want to subsidize policyholder risk; the best example may be forbidding health insurers from using an insured’s health status or pre-existing condition in setting rates. There are also good reasons why individuals who can legally drive (despite a series of accidents) should be able to obtain affordable auto insurance, and assigned risk plans are often subsidized in part by the voluntary market.
“These models are increasingly complex and are often created by third-party vendors over whom regulators have uncertain authority” often created by third-party vendors over whom regulators have uncertain authority. The most difficult challenge presented by Big Data and predictive analytics probably lies in its greatest potential: to align risk more precisely, perhaps down to the individual policyholder level. While this ability enhances actuarial fairness, it also fragments risk pools and reduces risk spreading, another essential insurance function. To use an ‘old’ Big Data example, credit scoring might result in the majority of policyholders paying less than without its use, but since the overall premiums collected are not reduced, it also means a minority is paying more – sometimes a lot more. The political battles over the US National Flood Insurance Program’s rates for residential flood coverage illustrate the dilemma between charging homeowners the full
Determining the appropriate risk allocation is neither an actuarial decision nor one to be made by private actors, but a matter of public policy, meaning our elected officials and regulators will be responsible. If the political system in the US is as fragmented as many believe, effective legislative guidance may not be forthcoming, leading to a continuation of de-facto subsidization (the National Flood Insurance Program), or essential insurance products becoming far more expensive and a growing number of policyholders being priced out of the market. Professor Peter Kochenburger teaches insurance law at the University of Connecticut Law School. He is a NAIC consumer representative, was elected to the American Law Institute in 2013 and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1986.
5/04/2017 2:29:08 AM
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GREAT EXPECTATIONS Crawford & Co. CEO Ian Muress considers the change new technologies will bring to the insurance industry, along with the opportunities they will create
IAN MURESS, CEO of international operations at Crawford & Company, is approaching four decades in the claims space – and in the next decade, the industry veteran expects insurance to transform significantly. “I would say the industry could be unrecognizable from what we now know,” he says, “with likely insurer and broker consolidation, the growth of new markets in the rising economies of the East, and markets in Dubai, Singapore, and Hong Kong becoming less reliant on London with local capital and skill sets available.” For the past 15 years, Muress has occupied executive roles at Crawford & Co., the world’s largest publicly listed independent provider of claims management solutions to insurers and self-insured entities. Based in London, today he heads up Crawford’s international businesses outside of the US. As such, he’s attuned to the threats and opportunities currently facing the industry – particularly disruptors. “Disruption is often seen to be driven by technology, and certainly this is right, but it is aligned to, and mostly about, anticipating customer expectations of service,” he says. “Customer expectations have evolved – they want their needs met immediately and available on numerous platforms, reflecting their lifestyles and work patterns. We need to find the insurance solutions that meet those expectations.” He points to the use of artificial intelligence to automate back-office tasks and handle high-volume, rules-based work.
“Once programmed, AI systems can replicate decision-making processes and apply them more quickly and more efficiently than human operators,” he says. “What is clear is that AI has evolved in the past 18 months and is here to stay, and needs to be factored into future planning in order for companies to remain competitive.” While many in the industry have reacted to technological advances with dismay, Muress describes the recent activity around disruption and change as “very healthy.”
believe the industry is in the midst of a hugely turbulent period in which many of the services and income streams it has relied upon are being questioned and attacked by innovators. This doesn’t necessarily mean all innovation is going to come from outside the industry.”
The insurtech threat Worth nearly $5 trillion, the global insurance industry faces challenges from insurtech firms – businesses with a mission to develop new technologies that will revolutionize the
“Customer expectations have evolved, and they want their needs met immediately and available on numerous platforms, reflecting their lifestyles and work patterns. We need to find the insurance solutions that meet those expectations” “It is forcing the industry to consider entrenched positions and develop new ways of doing business that put the customer at the heart of what we do,” he says. “Comparison websites should really have been called ‘disruptors,’ but their emergence took place in a different business environment, and they weren’t being chased by such a huge cohort of businesses as seems to be the case now. “Don’t get me wrong,” he continues, “I
client service experience for insurance customers across the globe. One insurtech startup that has attracted considerable attention is Lemonade, said to be the world’s first modern peer-to-peer insurance company. It initially provided homeowner’s and renter’s insurance in New York, but has applied for a licence in 46 US states and the District of Columbia, hoping to be available to 97% of the US population in 2017.
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PROFILE Name: Ian V. Muress Company: Crawford & Company Title: Executive vice president and CEO, international operations Age: 59 Years in the industry: 36 Fast fact: Muress oversees all of Crawfordâ€™s business outside the United States, including the UK, Europe, Canada, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
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But the burgeoning insurtech space brings with it opportunities for incumbents to form new partnerships. Muress highlights Crawford’s foray into the ‘gig economy’ through its $36 million acquisition of a majority stake in WeGoLook, a business focused on making it easier for consumers to verify information so they can more easily make important decisions. “WeGoLook [is] an online and mobile platform that deploys thousands of people called ‘lookers’ from a nationwide network to inspect and verify information, helping clients make real-time decisions,” Muress explains. “We are
“The industry could choose an entrenched position, given that it faces something of an existential threat once vehicles learn to drive for themselves,” he says, “but where there is change, there is opportunity, and it is pleasing to see insurers put their best foot forward.” Muress believes it is incumbent upon the industry as a whole to embrace advances in technology. “Disruption is happening now, and even if you don’t belong to the millennial age group, you can still be part of the future. Either you want to be part of disruption or you might want to collaborate, but to not work with
“The forward-thinking insurance business should embrace skills like analytics, coding and applied mathematics because these are the types of backgrounds that will drive innovation and allow them to think beyond today’s methodologies” looking to bring the WeGoLook model to the UK, Australia and Canada in 2017. The model is very portable, in that the technology and business architecture readily lends itself to a ‘lift and shift’ model. It’s good to go. We are very ambitious about how quickly we can push this out into the international businesses, and we’re working on a very successful, established model coming out of the US. It is our belief that the demands of both insurers and customers can be met quickly and easily with applications such as this.”
Embracing change Muress says he’s been pleased to see organizations such as the Association of British Insurers taking a positive role in developing the framework for liability insurance, particularly around driverless cars, allowing change in the industry to occur.
change is not an option.” Illustrating the point, he recalls events that kicked off at Crawford & Co. back in 2009. “We saw the need for more complex skill sets to meet the claims needs of the future, so we developed our complex claims offering, Crawford Global Technical Services,” he says. “It became increasingly clear that dualqualified adjusters were an essential piece of our solution. We needed engineers, forensic accountants, surveyors, cyber experts, all of whom would also be adjusters.” Muress says the days of fixed roles in underwriting, claims or distribution are long gone. “The forward-thinking insurance business should embrace skills like analytics, coding and applied mathematics,” he says, “because these are the types of backgrounds that will drive innovation and allow them to think beyond today’s methodologies.”
CRAWFORD & COMPANY BY THE NUMBERS
Year Crawford & Co. was founded by Jim Crawford, an insurance claims manager
Year Ian Muress joined Crawford & Co. as CEO for UK and Ireland
Number of countries where Crawford & Co. serves clients and handles claims
Crawford & Co.’s global revenue in 2015
Number of global claims handled by Crawford & Co. in 2015
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2017-03-28 3:05 PM 5/04/2017 2:29:55 AM
COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS 2017
YOUNG GUNS These 50 rising stars represent the fresh new face of Canada’s insurance industry
NAME AIG Insurance Company of Canada
PAGE COMPANY 41 Candace Colquhoun
Anderson McTague & Associates Ltd.
Avant Insurance Brokers Ltd.
Benson Kearley IFG
Brant Mutual Insurance Company
Burns & Wilcox Canada
CHES Special Risk Inc.
Chutter Underwriting Services
Diamond Insurance Group Inc.
Dyberg Insurance Group Inc.
F.E. Coyne Insurance
Groupe Ostiguy & Gendron
Guardsman Insurance Services Inc.
Thomas Watson Jr.
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IN TODAY’S competitive market, remaining relevant in a pool of immense talent can be a challenge. Yet these 50 young professionals have risen above the pack by bringing a unique blend of 21st-century moxie and old-school work ethic to Canada’s insurance industry. After receiving an overwhelming response from insurers and
THOMAS WATSON JR.
DYBERG INSURANCE GROUP Location: Alberta Age: 28 Years in insurance: 9
GUARDSMAN INSURANCE SERVICES Location: Ontario Age: 29 Years in insurance: 11
In 2013, Dyberg Insurance Group recognized Scott MacInnis’ experience and vast knowledge of the insurance industry by making him a partner at the young age of 25. Throughout his career, MacInnis has primarily focused on servicing small to mid-size business insurance accounts, including commercial property, general liability and commercial auto. MacInnis is currently the chair of the Edmonton council of the Professional Young Insurance Brokers of Alberta; he previously served as director-at-large for the association.
NAME Guild/HMS Insurance Group
brokerages across the nation, nominations were narrowed down to the following list of young men and women who have already made their mark in the business. From company leaders and local brokers to philanthropists and tech innovators, these individuals – all age 35 or younger – are inspiring peers around them with their commitment and expertise.
PAGE COMPANY 35 Brett McGregor
Hoffmann Kool Insurance
Jones DesLauriers Insurance Management Inc.
Jones DesLauriers Insurance Management Inc.
Jones-Dooley Insurance Brokers
Peter S. J. Dooley
KASE Insurance Inc.
LJ Stein Canada
Lloyd Sadd Insurance Brokers Ltd.
Metrix Professional Insurance Brokers
Moller Insurance Ltd.
Nuera Insurance Inc./InsureLine Brokers Inc.
A recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his community involvement, Thomas Watson Jr. is a thirdgeneration insurance broker who entered the industry while finishing his undergraduate degree at Saint Paul University. In 2013, Watson purchased Guardsman Insurance Services from his grandfather. As an insurance broker, Watson is dedicated to looking after his clients by finding creative, individualized solutions to meet their needs. Outside of the office, Watson is a dedicated community volunteer. He is a board member of Voice Found, a charity that educates the public about childhood sexual abuse, works with adult survivors and helps trafficked individuals. He is also treasurer of the Canadian Chiari Association, which raises awareness and provides support for Canadians living with this rare disease.
NAME Oracle RMS Peters Insurance Agencies Ltd. Platform Insurance Management Inc. Reid & Bradley's Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada Sharp Insurance Shaw Sabey & Associates Ltd. Travelers Canada Tredd Group of Companies Inc. Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company Troy Wotherspoon Insurance Services Ltd. Unica Insurance Western Financial Group Wilson Insurance Ltd. Zensurance
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COMPANY Daniel Italiano Jonathan Brown Matthew Francis Daniel Reid
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COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS 2017 JONATHAN HINES
New business sales manager
WILSON INSURANCE Location: New Brunswick Age: 33 Years in insurance: 10
Jonathan Hines has been a top producer within Wilson Insurance since 2001, and has achieved a new business closing ratio of nearly 100%. He also earned a spot on IBC’s Elite Brokers list in both 2014 and 2015. Hines became a partner at Wilson Insurance in 2012 and led the opening of its Moncton branch in 2013. Since then, he’s been responsible for sourcing and negotiating contracted appointments with 10 new insurers. He’s also in charge of growing the company’s mid-market client portfolio, along with its resources and capability, in order to expand the size and complexity of Wilson Insurance's key accounts. As a producer, Hines recognizes the frustration clients have with the insurancebuying process, and has thus committed to help his clients “better understand their risks and see insurance as a tool that can be customized to fit their overall risk management strategy and scaled to fit their risk tolerance, as opposed to [being] simply an expense with little tangible value.” Outside of his day job, Hines keeps busy as member of the Downtown Moncton Rotary Club, where he previously served as a board member and currently is a youth exchange counsellor. He also conducts presentations on a variety of riskand insurance-related topics for industry groups and associations.
Since 2013, Jim Moller has led Moller Insurance in terms of gross written premium. Promoted to his role as new business sales manager in 2016, Moller looks forward to continuing to work his way up the management ladder at his family’s brokerage. In addition to his insurance career, Moller sits on the board of directors at Springvale Church in Stouffville and is a member of Stouffville Networking Professionals.
PLATFORM INSURANCE MANAGEMENT Location: Ontario Age: 32 Years in insurance: 8
ANDERSON MCTAGUE & ASSOCIATES Location: New Brunswick Age: 25 Years in insurance: 7
One of the founding partners of Platform Insurance management, Matthew Francis has played an integral role in helping to build one of the country's fastestgrowing insurance firms. His prior experience includes working with multi-national, regional and family-run brokerages; he also has experience in the real estate development and capital markets industries. Last year, Francis helped Platform win the award for Best Brokerage (Over 10 People) at the Insurance Business Awards, in addition to driving new business growth for the Toronto-based brokerage.
MOLLER INSURANCE Location: Ontario Age: 29 Years in insurance: 8
Even before he received his bachelor’s degree, Gregor McAvity was already working as an assistant underwriter at Anderson McTague. Eventually, he was promoted to commercial underwriter; at present, his main responsibility within the company is maintaining a balancing act between underwriting SME businesses and forestry equipment, and working on business development and marketing while consulting directly with company president Chuck McTague. McAvity is currently working toward his CIP designation, and is a member of both the Insurance Institute of Canada and the New Brunswick Association of Insurance Women. He recently spent three months in London, working directly with Lloyd’s syndicates and brokers, where he was able to learn the workings of the London market and of Lloyd’s underwriting.
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VANESSA VILLANUCCI Sales and service agent, Economical Select ECONOMICAL INSURANCE Location: Ontario Age: 24 Years in insurance: 5
Coming from a family of insurance professionals, Vanessa Villanucci knew she wanted to get into the industry. Starting her career at age 19 in an administrative position at a large truck insurance company, Villanucci was soon granted the opportunity to work at a small MGA, where she was surrounded by brilliant and driven women – including her mother – who have become her mentors. Now at 24, Villanucci is committed to taking her career to new heights. “My largest personal accomplishment thus far in my career would be obtaining my CIP and CRM designations in a year and a half,” she says. “I am currently pursuing the advanced CIP and then FCIP. My current position has allowed me to grow my leadership skills by training new employees and conducting meetings, and with a meticulous eye for detail, I am continuously looking to enhance the efficiency within the team environment.”
ERIC SCOTT Senior underwriter, casualty MARKEL CANADA Location: Ontario Age: 29 Years in insurance: 7
Eric Scott has been instrumental to the development of Markel Canada’s recently launched cyber product. Scott and his colleagues spent a year performing market research, collaborating with brokers, reviewing policy wordings and undertaking other marketing initiatives, all of which have contributed to the success of the product in the market. Within the same year, Scott also co-led the launch of the company’s cross-border initiative, which involved a short assignment in Richmond, Virginia, to collaborate with the team there and formalize a cross-border workflow. When asked about his success, Scott points to the importance of mentoring. “I have been extremely lucky in my career to work under supportive managers and mentors who have spent time and energy to develop my underwriting skills and technical knowledge,” he says. “As a result of that support, especially during my first few years in the industry, I quickly gained the confidence that I think all underwriters need to make their own decisions, know when to collaborate and, at the end of the day, create solutions that can benefit all parties. That has been the most rewarding aspect of my career thus far – developing strategies to close a deal to everyone’s benefit.” He also praises Markel for having “a culture of flexibility and quick decision-making” that has helped fast-track his underwriting career and empowered him to find creative solutions.
KENT PITKIN National director, commercial lines APRIL CANADA Location: Ontario Age: 35 Years in insurance: 13
When Kent Pitkin joined April Canada in 2015 after stints at Aviva and Munich Re, he brought with him the idea that MGAs are not just the market of last resort for substandard risks. Instead, he says, “MGAs provide a valuable service for access to alternative markets to assist brokers in writing any piece of business.” Working with the April team and broker force on innovative solutions and products, Pitkin has been instrumental in bringing April to the top of the MGA spectrum. Learning about new aspects of the insurance world has provided Pitkin with a valuable outlook, and he’s keen to pass his knowledge on to others. “I have worked in many different lines of business and companies to help develop a knowledge base that can be used to train and educate my staff and brokers, as well as help to find unique solutions to risk,” he says. “There is no better way of learning than real-world scenarios, and having that experience to share is very important to me.”
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COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS 2017 JONATHAN BROWN Commercial and personal lines producer PETERS INSURANCE AGENCIES Location: Alberta Age: 33 Years in insurance: 12
In 2005, Jonathan Brown started in insurance in the life and A&S sector. After working his way to district manager for the Calgary area with Combined Insurance, he decided to switch to general property & casualty insurance in 2009. Since 2014, Brown has been with Peters Insurance Agencies, currently as commercial and personal lines producer. In addition, Brown is involved with the Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta, where he serves as a director-at-large on the Professional Young Insurance Brokers board and chairperson of the communications committee. He also recently took on the role of vice-president for PYIB.
DANIEL REID President, partner REID & BRADLEY’S Location: Ontario Age: 31 Years in insurance: 11
DANISH YUSUF Founder and CEO ZENSURANCE Location: Ontario Age: 34 Years in insurance: 6
To launch Zensurance, a technology company that focuses on SMEs in the brokerage space, Danish Yusuf and his partners raised venture capital, hired a team of six and solicited the support of three insurance companies to support their vision. In just a few short months, the company has already helped hundreds of customers with their insurance needs, including sub-brokered policies across Canada and in the US. In describing his typical workweek, Yusuf reveals his passion for the intersection of insurance and technology. “I love being able to take a problem we identify on Monday, designing a solution on Tuesday, building the solution on Wednesday/Thursday and then launching it live by Friday,” he says. This exceptional efficiency and focus on technology has earned Yusuf's company several accolades. Zensurance was named PayPal’s hottest and most promising Canadian fintech company, was the winner of Bank of Montreal’s Next Big Idea in Fintech event, and was one of Canadian Innovation Exchange’s top 20 most innovative companies in Canada.
Daniel Reid’s insurance career began in 2006 at an international brokerage firm in Winnipeg. After 18 months, he moved back to Ottawa to pursue his career in his hometown at Marsh, where he managed commercial clients and was responsible for the maintenance and development of business. After spending more than 10 years working on various association insurance programs, large/mid-market commercial risks, market negotiation/product development and captive development, Reid decided to open his own brokerage firm in the nation’s capital, capitalizing on a void he felt was opening up in the market due to the trend of many independent brokerages selling to corporate Canada.
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COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS 2017 ANDREW CILINSKY Director, financial services Regional director, Southern Alberta WESTERN FINANCIAL GROUP Location: Alberta Age: 31 Years in insurance: 11
Between both of his roles at Western Financial Group, Andrew Cilinsky is accountable for more than $150 million in premium. Cilinsky oversees Western Financial’s largest region, which accounts for more than 200 employees, 14 offices and $25 million in revenue. Since he took on the role of regional director for Southern Alberta for all lines of insurance in 2015, Cilinsky has grown the region and the company’s financial services division year-over-year, despite challenging economic times. In 2016, Western Financial recognized Cilinsky with its 2016 Record Breakers Award for Top Sales Director – Western. “Being able to contribute to my team’s career growth, both personally and professionally in the insurance industry, is incredibly rewarding,” he says.
MICHELLE ELLIOTT Account executive HUB INTERNATIONAL Location: British Columbia Age: 33 Years in insurance: 13
NICOLE FRIESEN Personal lines manager HOFFMANN KOOL INSURANCE Location: Saskatchewan Age: 33 Years in insurance: 10
For Nicole Friesen, insurance is about educating, which is always fulfilling work. “I love it when clients come in and you can explain insurance to them and make them feel like they have gained some insight to a product that they had no understanding about before,” she says. Friesen started out in the industry as a receptionist before becoming a personal lines CSR and then a personal lines broker. She was recently promoted to the role of personal lines manager, and is also in charge of refining the processes her office uses for its recently adopted Applied Systems and EPIC management systems.
An account executive with HUB International Insurance Brokers’ Strata division, Michelle Elliott began her insurance career eight years ago as a personal insurance advisor. In her current role, Elliott provides coverage and service to a variety of HUB’s strata clients. “The most rewarding part of my job is the time spent with clients, listening to their needs and helping provide solutions,” she says. Elliott has achieved continuous growth in new business revenue year-over-year, bringing in $300,000 in 2016. In recognition of her dedication and top performance, Elliott has received HUB’s top sales award, Platinum SHARP, for three consecutive years and was nominated for HUB’s Employee of the Year Award in 2013 and 2016. “She is a true advocate for her customers, making sure they are properly covered with the best coverage available,” a colleague says. “She has an excellent ability to negotiate the most favourable terms for her customer, while balancing the underwriting needs of our insurance partners.”
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PATRICIA SHERIDAN Senior property & casualty underwriter BURNS & WILCOX CANADA Location: Ontario Age: 34 Years in insurance: 10
Patricia Sheridan joined Burns & Wilcox Canada four years ago and currently serves as a senior property & casualty underwriter. Calling on nearly 10 years of insurance industry expertise, she reviews, underwrites and rates broker submissions for new and renewal business. Additionally, Sheridan mentors and trains employees by holding weekly training sessions with assistants in the property & casualty team. During her first year at Burns & Wilcox Canada, Sheridan rose to become the top new business achiever among the companyâ€™s property & casualty underwriters, and is still ranked as the top new business achiever among all underwriters in the group. She was also selected to attend an annual week-long convention with other underwriters in London, visiting Lloydâ€™s of London. Sheridan holds the Chartered Insurance Professional designation and is an active board member of the Young Insurance Professionals of Toronto. She views mentoring and training junior employees as her way of giving back to the industry, and is very focused on building and maintaining strong relationships with brokers and carriers.
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COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS 2017 JORDAN CRUMB Account executive F.E. COYNE INSURANCE BROKERS Location: Ontario Age: 32 Years in insurance: 8
Jordan Crumb has been immersed in the insurance business since childhood. Following in his late grandfather’s footsteps after university, Crumb joined F.E. Coyne,
Manager, private client group/ producer services
SHAW SABEY & ASSOCIATES Location: British Columbia Age: 30 Years in insurance: 7
A MasterChef and insurance professional, Dorothea VanHerwaarden has a plethora of accomplishments already under her belt at the age of 30. In addition to developing and launching Shaw Sabey & Associates’ private client group, which provides tailored, VIP service to high-networth clients, VanHerwaarden also more than doubled the group’s book of business within its first year. At the end of 2016, she expanded the department to provide personal lines service to the Shaw Sabey commercial sales team, and helped develop a unique service offering to help producers target and grow their personal lines business. “The most rewarding aspect of my career thus far has been to watch an original idea become a successful department that provides substantial growth to the company,” she says. “Working with management who do not restrict personal growth/ideas, provide support and act as mentors is rarely heard of in today’s industry. The sky's the limit!” In 2015 and 2016, Shaw Sabey recognized VanHerwaarden with its Entrepreneurial Award. This year, VanHerwaarden is part of the 2017 committee for Toast to the Coast, which brings together Vancouver's top professionals for an evening event featuring Oceanwise restaurants at the Vancouver Aquarium. One of VanHerwaarden’s more unique resume marks is as a contestant on the fourth season of MasterChef Canada. A lover of cooking, she enjoys spending spare weekends and holidays travelling to different cities and countries to gather content for the launch of her food blog, Theasty.
the brokerage where his grandfather worked for more than five decades. Crumb took over his grandfather’s book of business and has grown it exponentially by combining digital savvy with an old-school approach. Devoted to his hometown of Port Colborne, Crumb is involved with various local clubs and sports leagues, including the Port Colborne Bocce Club, Port Colborne Country Club and Club Castropignano, an Italian social club.
ORACLE RMS Location: Ontario Age: 27 Years in insurance: 8
A senior associate with Oracle RMS Insurance Risk Management Services, Daniel Italiano has more than five years of experience in insurance as a broker, and almost eight years of total experience in the industry. In the nearly four years he’s been with Oracle RMS, Italiano has grown his book to close to $1.5 million, and he continues to focus on growing with Oracle RMS while taking the time to mentor new producers. Extremely active in the business community in Vaughan, Italiano is the membership committee co-chair of his local BNI chapter, and is actively involved with the Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre as a mentor for young entrepreneurs. He is also an executive member of his local Knights of Columbus council, and he gives frequent seminars on the importance of insurance to at-risk youth with entrepreneurial aspirations. Additionally, Italiano is an active member of the larger insurance community in Toronto, including serving as the director of finance for the Young Insurance Professionals of Toronto.
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COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS 2017 JAMES BENNETT
Manager, executive solutions
INTACT INSURANCE Location: Manitoba Age: 33 Years in insurance: 13
Director, commercial and personal lines
TRISURA GUARANTEE INSURANCE COMPANY Location: Ontario Age: 32 Years in insurance: 10
James Bennett joined Trisura in 2011 and currently serves as manager of the executive solutions team, with a focus on directors & officers liability and fidelity bonding. Passionate about his work, Bennett is a key member of Trisura’s innovation team, helping to develop new products and services for the company’s brokers and clients. Outside of work, Bennett is an avid cyclist, runner and triathlete.
Recently promoted to the role of director of commercial and personal lines for Intact Insurance’s Prairie region, Tracy Bergman first joined the company in 2004 as a personal lines underwriter assistant. Prior to her current role, Bergman was the project lead for the Prairie region commercial lines profitability project, where her hard work and diligence resulted in significant improvement in Intact’s combined ratios. In 2014, Intact recognized Bergman for her work on the project by awarding her the company’s Bravissimo Award. Since then, she has continued her efforts to grow Intact’s operations, including expanding data expertise by identifying tools, techniques and strategies to leverage Big Data, and working with a team in Western Canada to find efficiencies and standardize workflow across regions. “One of the most rewarding parts of my job is working together with a team to come up with a solution to a new challenge,” she says. “I enjoy seeing the ideas develop and grow into a solution that is significantly better than any of us could have come up with on our own. I am extremely appreciative of the mentors I have had in my career, and I find it very rewarding to forward this on and spend time mentoring other up-and-coming insurance professionals.”
THOMAS WRIGHT Insurance advisor TREDD INSURANCE BROKERS Location: Alberta Age: 20 Years in insurance: 3
Four months after graduating from high school, Thomas Wright landed his first job in the insurance industry as a producer for a local life insurance company. What started as a way to gain professional experience and save some money before heading off to McMaster University the following year drastically changed once he began this career. Six months later, Wright joined Tredd Insurance Brokers as a commercial insurance broker. Within eight months at Tredd, Wright had worked his way up the ranks to account manager for Tredd’s Alberta-based welders insurance program. Wright was tasked with improving and revamping the program to keep it competitive in Alberta’s struggling economy. The end result was a program with improved procedures, enhanced coverage and a 41% reduction in liability premiums. Within the first two months of 2017, Wright wrote more than $42,000 in new premium, implemented online advertising campaigns and created a comprehensive marketing campaign for the new program. “The insurance industry is so complex, and there is not a day that goes by that I don't learn something new,” he says. “Everything is still so new to me that each day is exciting, and I love that aspect of my career.” Outside of insurance, Wright volunteers as an ambassador for Shelterbox Canada, a disaster relief charity, and judges at the Pre-Business School Network and other organizations that host business case competitions for students.
AMANDA BILLEN Junior underwriter RSA CANADA Location: Ontario Age: 26 Years in insurance: 3
An ambitious up-andcomer, Amanda Billen's insurance career began in 2014 with the RSA Special Initiatives team, where she performed system conversions. She quickly transitioned to a technical underwriting assistant role within the equipment breakdown insurance [EBI] team. Instrumental in redefining the role within the department, Billen took responsibility for various ad-hoc projects, including RSA governance and financial reporting functions. Thanks to her strong work ethic and dedication to continual development, Billen was promoted to junior underwriter in just six months. Since beginning her career with RSA, Billen has earned multiple recognitions from her peers through RSA’s Spotlight performance recognition program and participated in the company’s volunteer initiative at the Daily Bread Food Bank. She also co-led the 2016 EBI Cross Sell Contest within RSA, aiming to increase collaboration between the EBI team and Ontario property & casualty teams to drive top-line growth.
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PETER DOOLEY Managing director and broker JONES-DOOLEY INSURANCE BROKERS Location: Ontario Age: 34 Years in insurance: 17
Starting his career working part-time at his family’s brokerage, Jones-Dooley Insurance Brokers, while in high school, Peter Dooley obtained his RIBO license in 2003 while continuing to work part-time through university. Today, as a managing director and broker at Jones-Dooley, he is instrumental in maintaining the brokerage’s 96.8% client retention rate, which is “a great indicator that our office is meeting the needs of our clients,” he says. Scheduled to write his final CIP exam this spring, Dooley says the knowledge he has gained from the CIP program has been especially rewarding to his career thus far. Outside of his responsibilities at Jones-Dooley, Dooley is an active volunteer with the Ajax Rotary Club and a member of the Young Brokers Council.
ROBERT NAGY Account executive BRANT MUTUAL INSURANCE Location: Ontario Age: 33 Years in insurance: 7
Robert Nagy entered the insurance industry with high hopes, and he remains committed to his original vision. “When I started in this industry, I said that I would be the game-changer the insurance business needs, and I am striving to make that happen,” he says. “When I am able to educate a client first, I know that they’re happier and more confident buyers. Knowing that they’re 100% satisfied with my firm, their product and choice is what drives me to continue working hard. Knowing that a client has peace of mind is what I find rewarding.” Nagy holds several roles within the Brant community. For Brant Mutual, he manages a book of business valued at $700,000 in premium, maintaining a 96% retention rate. He also serves as the company’s employee campaign coordinator for the Brant United Way, which has resulted in the company receiving two headlining awards from the United Way in the last three years. Beyond his duties at Brant Mutual, Nagy serves as a director for both the Brantwood Foundation Board and the Brantwood Community Services Board. He is also an active member of the Rotary Club of Brantford, having chaired its PR committee and youth services committee, and takes part in many other community organizations, including a few local sports. In 2016, Nagy received the Brant News Readers’ Choice Platinum Award for Best Insurance Agent.
BRETT MCGREGOR President GUILD/HMS INSURANCE GROUP Location: Manitoba Age: 35 Years in insurance: 18
In the insurance business since 1998, Brett McGregor is now president of Guild/HMS Insurance Group, an independent and locally owned insurance brokerage with 55 employees and six locations in Manitoba. At Guild, McGregor specializes in insuring the rail and technology industries, as well as in D&O and cyber products. A firm believer in continuing education, McGregor has earned CAIB, CIP and FCIP designations. Active within the industry and in his community, McGregor enjoys giving back to the community by coaching sports and volunteering. In addition, he is past chair of the Brandon Area Community Foundation and was a member of the 2010 Memorial Cup organizing committee.
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COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS 2017 CHRIS SUTHERLAND Director of distribution, Western Canada DESJARDINS WEALTH MANAGEMENT Location: British Columbia Age: 35 Years in insurance: 12
Chris Sutherland worked in the film industry before transitioning into financial services. Now as director of distribution at Desjardins, Sutherland looks after the growth and expansion of the company’s network in Western Canada, and works with advisors who are looking to grow their businesses in partnership with Desjardins and its cooperative values. He says the most compelling aspect of his job is that it allows him to collaborate with many industry veterans and to constantly learn and develop his knowledge of insurance. In addition to his responsibilities at Desjardins, Sutherland is a member of Advocis, GAMA International and the Vancouver Club, and has been nominated for LIMRA’s Distribution Rising Star Award.
JOSHUA KEARLEY Program specialist BENSON KEARLEY IFG Location: Ontario Age: 35 Years in insurance: 5
Finding a niche is pretty much the name of the game for a lot of brokerages these days. Joshua Kearley got that advice from his father five years ago when he first joined the family business. Having recognized that the beverage industry in Canada was experiencing rapid growth, Kearley proceeded to create a unique commercial program called Beverage Protect and crafted a comprehensive risk management approach for wineries, breweries and distilleries in Canada. He was recognized as the top commercial new business producer at BKIFG in 2014, and helped the company achieve its best year yet in 2016, reaching $100,000 in new business premium. To help direct his career path, Kearley made a list of goals four years ago, all of which he has now accomplished. He has published an article in a prominent industry magazine (Brewers Journal) and educated future brewers and winemakers on risk management and insurance by serving as a lecturer at the Niagara Teaching Brewery and Wine Makers program. Kearley also wanted to be involved with long-standing associations in the beverage industry, which he accomplished by becoming a member of the Master Brewers Association’s safety panel. Finally, he considers landing a spot on IBC’s Young Guns list as a top goal, as it places him alongside “a group of capable young brokers.”
GENEVIÈVE MORIN Surety director and partner MP2B INC. Location: Quebec Age: 31 Years in insurance: 11
In 2016, Geneviève Morin became a shareholder of MP2B, which she describes as “the brokerage of tomorrow,” and this has fuelled her motivation to grow her network and advance even further within the industry. When asked what she finds most rewarding in her career, Morin says that “becoming an ally for my clients allows me to feel confident [and] accomplished, and every day at work is different.” Morin received RCCAQ’s Distinction Relève award in 2015. Outside of insurance, she serves as an administrator on the board of the Centre du Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui in Montreal.
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DAVID LEADBETTER Vice-president, sales and marketing JONES DESLAURIERS INSURANCE MANAGEMENT INC. Location: Ontario Age: 35 Years in insurance: 13
As vice-president of sales and marketing at JDIMI, David Leadbetterâ€™s primary focus is to coach and mentor producers, as well as define, create and communicate sales metrics to drive organic growth and lead JDIMI's marketing initiatives to support the sales strategy. One of his key responsibilities is building out the Producer to Partner Program developed by Navacord to train and retain future top producers in the industry. Throughout his career, Leadbetter has been recognized with Top Producer awards from multiple brokerages. In addition to his role at JDIMI, Leadbetter also sits on the board of the York Region Street Outreach Program and Inn From the Cold. Leadbetter is also a Canadian martial arts champion who has represented Canada on the world stage.
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COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS 2017 BEN HUNTER Managing director TRAVELERS CANADA Location: Ontario Age: 35 Years in insurance: 13
There’s a lot of talk in the industry about technological advancements, but Ben Hunter is someone who has ‘walked the walk,’ so to speak. Hunter was instrumental to the transformation of the technology segment at Travelers. Under his leadership, the segment became the fastest-growing one within the middlemarket organization in 2016. Hunter joined Travelers in 2015 as director of national technology; his accomplishments in that role led to his promotion to managing director of Eastern region middle-market operations just a year later. For Hunter, the most rewarding aspect of his work is witnessing the positive impact of his efforts not just in terms of financial results, “but more importantly, on the professional development and morale of the organization’s team members.” Outside of his duties at Travelers, Hunter is the 2017 co-chair and moderator for the NetDiligence Cyber Risk Summit in Canada. He also served as co-chair of the 2014 United Way campaign for Chubb Insurance’s Toronto branch.
MATTHEW STUDLEY Vice-president, financial services HUB INTERNATIONAL Location: Ontario Age: 31 Years in insurance: 6
Matthew Studley spent the first five years of his career working for one of Canada’s largest investment management firms, during which he learned a great deal about how his financial clients did business and the risks they had to contend with. He eventually joined the insurance industry, where he was able to combine his skills in finance with his knowledge of financial risks. “[The insight I gained] allows my team to save our clients both time and energy while obtaining customized insurance coverage in addition to the cheapest price,” he says. Since joining HUB in 2011, Studley has been instrumental in the growth of the firm’s specialty in the financial services sector, more than doubling its client base. Apart from looking after his clients’ risk and business growth needs, Studley also takes time to train new executives within HUB and serves as a mentor to help them grow extensively in their roles.
BRADEN BOSCH Founder and president NUERA INSURANCE Location: Alberta Age: 33 Years in insurance: 15
In the past two years, Braden Bosch has led his group of companies to acquire five brokerages and open up two startup offices. He and his team also made sure they were technologically updated by launching a custom-built online platform in 2015, which they’ve now expanded to cover three Western provinces and will extend to the rest of Canada by late 2017. As of this year, the online platform has achieved a year-over-year growth of 700%. What drives Bosch as an entrepreneur is helping people improve their lives. “The most rewarding part of my career is taking an unhappy or disgruntled customer and turning the situation around and having them leave thankful and satisfied with the outcome,” he says. “I have a deep passion for helping people, and in our business, this is something I can do every day.” Apart from serving as president of a handful of brokerages, Bosch is also a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and the Intact Broker Council, and was nominated for the Digital Innovation Award at last year’s Insurance Business Awards.
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COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS 2017 ARIAN EBRAHIMI
SHARP INSURANCE Location: Alberta Age: 34 Years in insurance: 4
KASE INSURANCE Location: Ontario Age: 27 Years in insurance: 8
In 2016, Arian Ebrahimi co-founded KASE Insurance after identifying the need for a boutique insurance firm in Toronto. KASE Insurance aims to be the go-to brokerage for specialized commercial products and tailored service. “My business partner and I started KASE Insurance with the goal of encouraging new brokers to enter the industry,” says Ebrahimi, who considers mentoring other brokers the most rewarding part his career. Ebrahimi has a CAIB designation and is working to complete his CPIB designation.
MARIETTE LEE Deputy underwriter CHES SPECIAL RISK Location: Ontario Age: 35 Years in insurance: 7
Mariette Lee joined CHES Special Risk after serving as an underwriting assistant at Zurich. While at Zurich, Lee was the committee lead for the firm’s Women’s Innovation Network, an initiative that promotes women’s career growth and potential while focusing on gender equality and diversity for all. Now as a deputy underwriter at CHES, Lee enjoys educating people on the benefits of insurance. “She believes that in order to fully master the industry, she has to get out there, meet the customers, build and maintain relationships, and deliver on the expectations of the customer by walking the extra mile,” a colleague says. Highly active in her community, Lee gives back by volunteering for various causes and events, including the women’s group Look at Me Now!, for which she visits women’s shelters to provide self-care sessions and kits.
Account manager, personal and commercial
Mohamed Adam has only been in insurance for around four years, but he has already achieved great heights, landing a spot on IBC’s Elite Brokers list in 2016. “The most rewarding thing about being an insurance broker, for me, is the satisfaction of helping a customer realize their goals and helping them make the right decision about insurance products,” he says. “[Another] rewarding aspect is being part of a team that constantly tries to help each other improve and grow as individuals, as well as collectively.” Outside of his role at Sharp Insurance, Adam is director of the Calgary Egyptian Community Centre, and he dedicates his time to volunteering at the local food bank and Canadian Blood Services. “Volunteering makes me feel like it is part of being human, and we are designated to help one another,” he says. “It gives me positive energy, helping me to focus more in my work.”
ERIC OSBORNE Director, commercial operations JONES DESLAURIERS INSURANCE MANAGEMENT INC. Location: Ontario Age: 33 Years in insurance: 12
Eric Osborne started his career with a multi-national insurer after being accepted into its early career acceleration program, and he worked his way through various commercial underwriting and leadership roles, including international initiatives. As director of commercial operations at JDIMI, he is responsible for the overall client experience strategy, which includes managing the brokering and IT divisions and leading a combined team of more than 80 people, all while maintaining the company’s innovative and differentiated approach in the marketplace. Osborne has a strong passion for leadership, for his clients and for the industry, always looking to “create change and [gain] positive feedback from valued clients.” He has received the Platinum Club Award for his professional accomplishments; outside of insurance, he is known for being the 2014 Canadian Amateur Kickboxing Champion.
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CANDACE COLQUHOUN Regional underwriting manager, financial institutions AIG INSURANCE COMPANY OF CANADA Location: Ontario Age: 30 Years in insurance: 6
Since her promotion to the role of regional underwriting manager in 2015, Candace Colquhoun has grown AIG’s financial institutions book of business, and has led her team to win several large E&O and cyber placements over the past 12 months. Colquhoun was also responsible for launching a national mentorship program in September 2015 through AIG’s Women & Allies Employee Resource Group, which she co-chairs. Knowing how challenging it still is for women in insurance, Colquhoun has committed herself to this cause. “The most rewarding part of my career has been mentoring other young professionals, specifically women,” she says. “Providing young professionals with the opportunity to network and to develop their individual skill sets to support their future career growth is always inspiring.” For her efforts, she was nominated for AIG’s Outstanding Woman of the Year Award in 2016, and won the Outstanding ERG Achievement Award for Career Development, thanks to her role as co-chair of the Women & Allies Employee Resource Group. In the same year, Colquhoun received the Young Insurance Professional of the Year Award from Young Insurance Professionals of Toronto.
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COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS 2017 COLE LEITCH President and CEO AVANT INSURANCE BROKERS Location: Manitoba Age: 33 Years in insurance: 16
Concerned about the growing consolidation happening in the insurance industry, Cole Leitch and his father founded Avant Insurance in March 2016, recognizing a significant demand for a “100% independently owned Manitoba broker who specialized in commercial P&C insurance and surety.” Since they ventured out on their own, their business has grown by more than 25% within the first year, with 100% client retention and three additional staff members added to their team. Leitch says the ultimate goal for the brokerage is to be “nimble enough to make changes as the market changes without too much bureaucracy.” He finds it important to mentor and educate other brokers and help them thrive in the industry, which he considers one of his favourite parts of his job. He is currently looking to expand his team and recruit more talent to help serve Avant’s clients and grow the brand.
JESSICA ANDERSON Manager, marketing and account administration
LUKE KEUN Commercial account manager ARCHWAY INSURANCE Location: Nova Scotia Age: 28 Years in insurance: 6
“The ability to learn and adapt to new operations, products, wordings and guidelines is what defines your capability as a broker, and I thoroughly enjoy learning each and every day,” says Luke Keun. As a commercial account manager at Archway Insurance, Keun finds the process of helping his clients handle one of the biggest costs for their businesses tremendously rewarding. He has successfully managed a large book of commercial business, ranging from small to large commercial operations, and has sustained growth in written and newly written premium. “Luke consistently exceeds the expectations of his clients, which has resulted in strong growth of his accounts and referral business,” says a colleague. Apart from his role at Archway, Keun serves on the board of the Young Brokers Network and is an active member of Sprynet Business Association.
METRIX PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE BROKERS Location: British Columbia Age: 30 Years in insurance: 9
Jessica Anderson has been in the insurance business for nearly nine years after joining the industry straight after university. Today, at Metrix Professional Insurance Brokers, she focuses on developing and servicing industry-specific insurance programs for associations or those with a common interest. She was recently promoted to the position of manager of marketing and account administration for the Vertical Group of companies. “I enjoy helping people, both clients and colleagues, whether it is educating clients on insurance coverages and terminology or assisting clients during a difficult claim,” she says. “I am also an insurance geek and love talking about insurance and bouncing ideas off of my coworkers. I am fortunate enough to work with a great team of seasoned professionals whose mentorship has been key to my success.”
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INSURANCE COUNCIL OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
MAXIME POULIN Executive vice-president and partner GROUPE OSTIGUY & GENDRON Location: Quebec Age: 34 Years in insurance: 13
Maxime Poulin and three other partners acquired Groupe Ostiguy & Gendron in 2015. Since then, the company has grown from 45 to 60 employees and has seen an increase in revenues of more than 10% a year. Poulin himself oversaw three acquisitions and exceeded new business targets while looking after insurer relations and the transitioning of key accounts. For Poulin, the success of the company is not just about the numbers. “We were able to work closely with the employees and management to create a thriving, productive, inclusive and fun work environment,” he says, “while achieving growth and maintaining solid relationships with the Ostiguy & Gendron founders and partners.” In 2016, Poulin received RCCAQ’s Distinction Relève award, a recognition of the most distinguished brokers under 35.
JOSHUA ELO Senior portfolio underwriter UNICA INSURANCE Location: Ontario Age: 29 Years in insurance: 4
In the few short years he has been in the business, Joshua Elo has already made a name for himself at Unica Insurance. In less than two years, Elo worked his way up from associate underwriter to senior portfolio underwriter, a testament to his passion, his ability to forge strong relationships and his knowledge of the industry. At work, Elo is dedicated to furthering Unica’s niche market strategy by demonstrating the benefits of the company to an exclusive group of broker partners. Outside of his work at Unica Insurance, Elo is a member of the Hamilton-Niagara chapter of the Insurance Institute and an educator at both the Hamilton-Niagara and the Toronto chapters of the Insurance Institute, where he inspires, energizes and guides the next generation of students into careers in insurance. This year, in addition to being recognized as an IBC Young Gun, Elo is the proud recipient of the IIO-GTA 2017 Instructor of the Year Award.
Our client, the Insurance Council of BC is a self-regulatory organization, established to licence and regulate the activities of life and general insurance agents, salespersons and adjusters. The Council serves and protects the public by regulating licensees under the Financial Institutions Act by promoting ethical conduct, integrity and competence. With over 35,000 licensees in British Columbia, it has become a model of efficient and effective oversight and leadership. It is highly regarded across Canada. They are looking for an:
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR The Executive Director provides leadership by working closely with the Council Board and staff within a Policy Governance framework to achieve the goals and strategic vision of the Council. He/she is responsible for building upon a high-performing organization that regulates the profession, protects the public interest, and establishes and maintains positive relationships with members, industry, government, and other stakeholders. The Executive Director establishes a clear, confident direction in the province and takes a prominent leadership role on a national stage for the evolvement of the industry. The Executive Director ensures efficient operations, proper regulation, ongoing promotion and growth, risk management and effective succession management of the organization. The successful candidate will have considerable experience in a regulatory, multi-stakeholder environment, with some exposure to the financial services industry. She/he will have demonstrated success in leading an organization both strategically and at a hands-on management level. An ability to create consensus and move the mission and vision of The Council forward in an increasingly complex environment. If you are interested and feel you have the experience that we are looking for please apply, in strict confidence, at http://tinyurl. com/Insurance-Council-ED-36098. If you have questions, please call 1-800-7905040 ext. 3727.
careers.wmc.ca TORONTO • CALGARY EDMONTON • VANCOUVER Tel: 604.687.0391 www.insurancebusiness.ca www.wmc.ca
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COVER STORY: YOUNG GUNS 2017 VANESSA LIU Producer TROY WOTHERSPOON INSURANCE SERVICES Location: British Columbia Age: 27 Years in insurance: 4
Since becoming a producer in her second year in the industry, Vanessa Liu has doubled her book of business and number of clients. She gives credit for this to her manager and colleagues, who have advised her and equipped her with home and commercial insurance knowledge. Liu has also consistently been among the top producers in her branch’s upsell contest, and was the winner in 2016. Liu finds insurance to be an empowering career choice. “I have the flexibility to manage my own time and use it efficiently and wisely,” she says. “[I also] get to use my knowledge and skills to solve real-world problems by helping people understand and get the most suitable policies.”
SYLVAIN RHÉAUME Senior commercial underwriter, property & casualty RSA CANADA Location: Quebec Age: 33 Years in insurance: 9
In 2016, Sylvain Rhéaume was recognized as one of RSA’s top 10 underwriters for new business in Canada. He also received his CIP designation in the same year. Rhéaume has been with the company since 2010, and is currently in charge of overseeing large manufacturing insurance accounts, while also specializing in major construction portfolios and specific projects. His experience with major construction projects has helped him develop this growing area of expertise and enabled him to handle some of the company’s more complex accounts. Outside of his duties at RSA, Rhéaume served as vice-president of L’Association de la Relève en Assurance du Québec from 2007 to 2014, and also was an ambassador for La Coalition en Assurance de Dommages (the General Insurance Coalition).
KYLE ALBERT President LJ STEIN CANADA Location: Alberta Age: 27 Years in insurance: 9
Following in the insurance footsteps of his mother and grandfather, Kyle Albert co-founded LJ Stein Canada in 2013 to serve cross-border clients; in 2014, he was promoted to president of the company. Since the firm’s founding, it has achieved significant growth with a focus on oil & gas and professional liability clients. “I feel the most rewarding aspect of my career is being able to solve the challenges that our clients have with their risk management programs,” Albert says. “The insurance industry is a very old industry, so being able to find creative solutions to our clients’ problems is very rewarding.”
HAILEY TASKEY Account executive LLOYD SADD INSURANCE BROKERS Location: Alberta Age: 29 Years in insurance: 10
At Lloyd Sadd Insurance Brokers, Hailey Taskey looks after the nonprofit and dealership sectors, which have been experiencing continuous growth. Since taking on a sales role three years ago, Taskey has managed to grow her book of business with great success. Taskey values the trust of her clients, which serves as one of her key motivations, along with the excitement that comes with the ever-changing environment of insurance. “Conquering obstacles and challenges and delivering a solution to a client or prospect is something I get excited about every day,” she says. “Being trusted and looked to for advice and making that win are the things that keep me going.”
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KEVIN WILLIAMS Senior casualty underwriter CHUTTER UNDERWRITING SERVICES Location: British Columbia Age: 26 Years in insurance: 6
In the summer of 2010, with no office experience and dressed in his dad’s suit, Kevin Williams joined Chutter Underwriting as a junior underwriter. He is the third generation in his family to be involved in insurance, and with the opportunity to work alongside well respected insurance professionals, he has gradually established his place in the industry over the past six years. In his role at Chutter, Williams has written a diverse range of liability accounts, ranging from complex manufacturing risks to specialized contractors, which have amounted to more than $20 million in premium in the past five years, as derived from both new business and renewals. He is currently finishing the requirements for his CIP designation and plans to pursue additional educational credentials to further his career. Outside insurance, Williams enjoys playing and watching hockey and has spent two years coaching minor hockey in BC.
SIMAR SIDHU President
SHAUNA PRIEBE Account executive HAL INSURANCE Location: Saskatchewan Age: 33 Years in insurance: 5
Shauna Priebe ventured into the insurance industry just five years ago, and in 2014, she joined the motor vehicle licensing department at HAL Insurance. Her expertise in the area proved to be a great asset for HAL, and she quickly climbed the ranks. Within a few months of coming on board, Priebe was promoted to commercial account manager in the company’s trucking insurance division. A lover of sports and fitness, Priebe presently manages HAL’s Western Canada division, which is tailored specifically to the sports and fitness industries, including a specialized off-season hockey program. Last year, Priebe was instrumental in doubling the practice’s book of business. “Having a passion for fitness and previously having been a SABBA competitor, I understand how necessary it is to insure these types of risks properly,” she says. “I feel rewarded knowing that at the end of the day, I am helping someone protect their future.”
DIAMOND INSURANCE GROUP Location: Ontario Age: 27 Years in insurance: 4
Before branching out on his own and establishing Diamond Insurance Group, Simar Sidhu was a top producer for two consecutive years for his previous employer. A finalist for the Young Gun of the Year Award at the 2016 Insurance Business Awards, Sidhu was also recently honoured by the Punjabi Business Professional Association for his accomplishments in the insurance industry. Sidhu considers his success a tribute to his father’s legacy. “To me, the most rewarding aspect [of my career] is having my family and friends tell me how proud they are,” he says. “For multiple years, my father, a businessman back home, wished to see his son walking in his steps.” Outside of Diamond Insurance Group, Sidhu is an executive board member for the Brampton West Liberal Riding Association and a member of the PROLINK Broker Network.
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Lloyd Sadd Insurance Brokers IBC sat down with Lloyd Sadd CEO Marshall Sadd and president Chris Huebner to discuss the partnerships and strategies that have resulted in more than 75 years of success for one of Alberta’s largest insurance brokerages
IBC: What is the history of Lloyd Sadd Insurance Brokers? Marshall Sadd: Lloyd Sadd Insurance Brokers is in its third generation of being in the Sadd family. The last transition was in 1999 when a couple of us bought out my father and his partners. At that time, the business had about 20 individuals, and we moved forward to transform the business into more of an employee-owned commercial brokerage. Our strategy was to transform Lloyd Sadd into a B2B broker that specialized in certain sectors while attracting talent with the opportunity to be owners.
IBC: How has Lloyd Sadd been able to stay so successful since its founding in 1941? Chris Huebner: For over 75 years, we’ve maintained a commitment to invest in people with expertise. We believe that this is a relationship-driven business, and it is important for us to have the top people in the industry servicing our clients on a day-to-day basis. We invest heavily not only in recruiting and retaining people to the organization, but also in education to help them succeed. MS: To add to that, we broadened our shareholder base by allowing individuals to participate in the equity of the firm. This has
allowed us to outperform our peers and continue to grow.
IBC: What makes Lloyd Sadd’s approach to service unique? CH: Our purpose statement is ‘expert advisors partnering with clients to help them succeed.’ I think what makes us unique is that we take that partnership approach with our clients. We always lead with risk management and advice before insurance and cost. ‘Listen, think, deliver’ is our tagline, so it really is about listening to what our clients do, how they do it, where their concerns are, what they need help with and then aligning our team to service that client appropriately.
IBC: Tell us about Navacord. How did it get its start, and what is its purpose?
MS: When we looked in the marketplace, there was no model that fit what we are – an employee-owned business. Our options were to sell to a big public or private equity firm, or sell to an insurance company. But there was an opportunity to create something in between what was available. We wanted to go up that middle path and keep our entrepreneurial spirit alive. When speaking with other brokers with a similar profile, themes started to emerge, such as how can we continue to find capital, how can we continue to develop new producers and talent, and how do we deal with the IT and digital expense coming at us? We thought, what if we could create an entity that could support local brands across the country and centralize some of those emerging themes? That was how Navacord came together.
MINDFUL OF THE COMMUNITY Heavily involved in the Alberta communities in which its employees live and work, Lloyd Sadd is a proud supporter of numerous organizations and initiatives. Each year, Lloyd Sadd raises more than $50,000 for local and regional charities through internal events as well as external event sponsorships and participation. “Edmonton is a very community-based city, where businesses and business leaders are attached to many different programs and community initiatives,” says Marshall Sadd. “We encourage our people to be involved in the community in whatever way they wish to – whether it is volunteering their time or money, or both. Our community is where we live, work and play, and it’s important for us to be involved by supporting these community initiatives in any way we can.”
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FAST FACTS: LLOYD SADD INSURANCE BROKERS TOP COMMERCIAL SPECIALIZATIONS Construction and surety Energy Hospitality Manufacturing and distribution Realty
“I think what makes us unique is that we take that partnership approach with our clients. We always lead with risk management and advice before insurance and cost” We partnered with Fairfax, a financial services holding company, and in 2014, Lloyd Sadd and Jones DesLauriers Insurance Management became the founding partners of Navacord. Navacord’s purpose is to provide those centralized resources, capital and leadership to the operating companies as a nationwide partnership of entrepreneurial brokers. To date, three others have joined the partnership group: Iridium Risk Services; Petrela, Winter & Associates; and JDI Consulting.
IBC: What is one of the key programs offered by Navacord? CH: When analyzing the average age of insurance brokers across Canada, you realize that
the average age is well into the 50s. Knowing what we know, we believed that we needed to bring in more dynamic young individuals to provide that client-facing service to the next generation of business owners and entrepreneurs. We created the Producers to Partners Program to attract young individuals to come into the insurance business as we support them throughout the process with education, mentorship, coaching, training and external development, allowing them to build their careers and ultimately buy into the business.
IBC: What are Lloyd Sadd’s goals for the year ahead? CH: For 2017, our goal is to have some
Number of offices: Two Year founded: 1941 Leadership: T. Marshall Sadd, CEO; Chris Huebner, president; Paul Constance, president, Calgary; Ryan Wardell, director, finance; Lana Leeb, director, human resources; Tammy Melnyk, director, information technology modest growth in a very challenging economy in Alberta. To achieve this, we are going to refocus our efforts to make sure we have great value proposition for clients while concentrating on driving more organic growth and instilling greater efficiencies throughout the business. Like a lot of companies that go through some challenging economic times, we look at all the little things that add up. That has become our key goal for 2017 – bringing together our leadership team and collectively working as an organization to make small differences that will continue to build a great brokerage.
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SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
Brokers, get with the program Emily Horsman of Markel Canada tells IBC how flexible programs and delegated authority agreements are changing the game for brokers
IN WHAT is an increasingly competitive and complex industry, insurance professionals at all levels are being forced to get creative in order to differentiate themselves from the crowd and achieve the sort of growth that signals success. In today’s world, companies like Amazon, Netflix and Uber have changed the way consumers expect business to be conducted. Other organizations have two options in the face of this new approach: either continue what they’ve been doing for years and risk being left behind, or modernize the business and product offerings and give themselves the best chance for success going forward.
Flexible solutions Flexibility is a core trait of modern business – a fact that hasn’t been ignored by Emily Horsman, the AVP of programs at Markel Canada. “We are flexible in terms of the programs we offer, and if a broker finds a gap in a product they are distributing, we’re able to create overall programs to meet those requirements for the industry or business in question,” she says. “We can create programs based on environmental exposures, specific E&O exposures or contractors’ risks. As long as we have the
overall product capability, we can work with a broker or MGA to create a program specific to them.” Given that the market remains soft and competition is increasing, Horsman believes this nimble approach to working with brokers is essential. And, as the legal environment grows more and more complex, there is an expectation for insurance to do more to help address customers’ needs. In creating programs that fit a specific need or niche, Markel is helping brokers build their competitive advantage with improved offerings, which makes the negotiation process much smoother. “We’ve had brokers come to us who are buying a particular type of policy individually, multiple times,” Horsman says. “Buying coverage that way is more expensive and certainly more labour-intensive than using a program. Brokers face challenges in differentiating their offerings, and programs allow them to do that across a larger scale.”
Increased autonomy In a further attempt to enable its partners to increase their value proposition, Markel is creating delegated authority agreements. Also known as coverholders,
these agreements allow brokers and MGAs to complete underwriting requirements and issue quotes and policies within an agreed rating and underwriting guideline structure. This means Lloyd’s-approved MGAs and brokers do not have to approach Markel with each and every risk. “Having the ability to underwrite their own risks within our parameters not only creates efficiencies across the board, it also builds more confidence on the broker’s end,” Horsman says. “When they’re out talking to prospects, brokers know exactly what capability they have in that niche of business.” In addition to speeding up the entire process, delegated authority agreements deliver something all brokers want: more control. As long as a Lloyd’s pre-approved broker comes to the table with a certain level of premium in their business case, Horsman and her team are happy to start the process of developing an agreement and having a conversation on the type of program the broker or MGA needs and how it can be implemented. “We can also be flexible when discussing and finalizing those agreements,” Horsman says. “We currently have delegated underwriting authority agreements with property, liability and E&O, and we can provide
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“Brokers face challenges in differentiating their offerings, and programs allow them to do that across a larger scale” Emily Horsman, Markel Canada agreements in any classes of businesses that we’re able to provide coverage for, to the right distribution platform.”
Areas of growth It’s been an extremely busy couple of years for Markel, and the company is firmly focused on continuing its pattern of impressive growth. In addition to expanding the programs and delegated authority sides of its business, Markel is also working to improve existing products, develop new
ones and revamp wordings. As a result, the company has been able to bolster its presence in certain classes of business. “We’re seeing impressive growth in specialty lines such as cyber and environmental, and we’re able to offer bolt-ons of those speciality products to existing lines,” Horsman says. “Certain niche industries, such as life sciences, are also definitely an area we have targeted for growth.” Another key area of current and future growth for Markel is its online capabilities.
The company has recognized the need to increase efficiencies and convenience for both brokers and MGAs at every step of the process, where the risk will permit. Markel’s online portal allows brokers to quote, bind and issue D&O, E&O and office packages for commercial clients. The company is currently considering increased portal capabilities that will allow for a greater breadth of product and more flexibility. “The benefits of this are significant – an efficient, low-touch way for brokers to grow business at competitive commissions, and convenience for clients, which also often increases retention for brokers,” Horsman says. “We expect to see significant growth in this area, both with one-off policies entered by brokers, but also through ongoing technological improvements that allow us to build online programs with our brokers.”
5/04/2017 2:31:08 AM
Winning customers’ digital minds and analog hearts
It’s never been easier for businesses to reach customers – but if your digital message is confusing and comes through too many channels, it can be disjointed, and you will lose customers due to the irritation factor. Anders SörmanNilsson explains
WHEN I was growing up, I used to despise the friction caused by the stitching in the back of my pants and the labels with ‘Anders Sörman-Nilsson’ that my mother insisted on hand-sewing into every piece of underwear and garment I used to leave home with. In fact, this rubbing annoyance could take the pleasure out of otherwise fun outdoor activities – or any situation that involved wearing these privately labelled threads. The thought behind this branding exercise was good – my items would be differentiated from the other kids’ garments and could be returned if I ever lost them. However, the fact that I didn’t have a choice in the matter, and that, seemingly, my mother superim-
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posed this discomfort on me, didn’t make the situation better. Of course, she always pointed out that I should be grateful for the fact that I even had clothes to put on my back. There may be a moral point of truth in her statement, but there is also an element of ‘shut up; be grateful; here’s what you are getting’ to this approach. It’s an approach that we, as customers and businesspeople, also see in the experiences we have with brands and the way we design our brand touchpoints for our clients.
Customer friction As customers, we experience this friction dealing with retail banks and their myriad concoctions of seemingly disconnected communication channels – mobile, desktop, branch, phone, snail mail – none of which seem to integrate with the other. As businesspeople, we also tend to design from our own channel convenience, rather than shifting to an empathy with the customer and how they want to experience your brand, your solutions and your products. And for every channel we add because a social media guru told us we should, our approach to marketing becomes more and more channel-additive, rather than integrative. When we don’t think through how these channels should interlink holistically, we are creating friction for our customers and making their transitions between their preferred modes of communication seem like a hassle. In fact, what we are doing is creating stitching and labels that give our customers an itch – an itch that will cause them to leave, or never do business with us in the first place. What customers are reminded of when they feel this annoying itch is your brand – hardly a situation you want from a branding perspective. And our attitude to this friction is similar to the attitude of the past – when the customer didn’t have a choice – of ‘shut up; be grateful; here’s what you are getting.’ The problem is, today and for the foreseeable future, the customer has a choice. Information asymmetry has become information symmetry, and we must design seamless transitions between digital and analog modes of communication to win the hearts and minds of tomorrow’s customers.
Digital disruption In my last book, I described the paradigm shift caused by a phenomenon known as digital disruption. Digital disruption is the revolutionary shift that is impacting all industries (and that includes insurance brokers!) caused by the digitization of information. As information moves from physical, analog formats to digital formats in the cloud, the old value of the physical information
design a website (WordPress), contract a web designer (99designs), get a team of developers (Freelancer.com), study your digital effectiveness (Google Analytics), start a TV channel (YouTube), create a landing page (Unbounce) or build an engaged tribe for your brand (Mailchimp). Never has the little guy had so much power to amplify his voice. Never before have you had the ability to go from being merely local to now being also regional,
When we don’t think through how channels should interlink holistically, we are creating friction for our customers and making their transitions between their preferred modes of communication seem like a hassle partly evaporates. Think about music, for example. Music used to hold more value in how we perceived a song when it was on a vinyl record or on a cassette tape, but now that music is simply a streamable subscription service, we don’t give it as much value anymore. This is the reason why today only 6% of the revenue for US recording artists comes from selling songs. The remainder comes from merchandise, concerts, sponsorship, brand ambassadorship deals, etc. The other impact of digitization is that the customer’s increasingly digitized, rational minds are being spoiled with real-time data – real-time data that they used to rely on you as an intermediator for. Digital disruption also means digital disintermediation and, in the future, potential displacement unless you shift your role in the value chain. When we lived in an age of information asymmetry, your expertise and insight was highly valued. When that insider information sits on aggregation websites and is available in an instant, what is your value going to be moving forward? The digital world kills those in the value chain who are either average at what they do or don’t add any value beyond what a digital interface can give you. But the digital world is also your saviour. Think about it. Never has it been easier to
national or global – all because of the fact that the same tools that are in the hands of your customers and prospects are also in your hands. The question is whether you are ready to use them.
Analog hearts I mentioned that customers’ rational, information-seeking minds are becoming increasingly digitized. But their hearts are enduringly both emotional and analog. However, they are expecting something different. As the customer shifts their customer journey and where they are accessing information, and how they are connecting to soothe their need for positive experiences, any friction that they can feel in the process of transitioning between digital and analog channels will annoy them. Your job is to design seamless transitions to ensure that you do not annoy them. The tools to do this are in the palm of your hand. So, how do you do this? One way is to think strategically about your brand touchpoints according to the Seamless Strategy Map from my strategy consultancy, Thinque (see page 52). This elegantly simple Strategy Map lets you plot out the various brand touchpoints you have with your customers. On the X axis you have the dimension between analog touchpoints (on the left) and digital touch-
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DIGITAL EXPERIENCE points (on the right), and on the Y axis you have pre-sale touchpoints (on the top), and post-sale touchpoints (on the bottom). Your job as a business leader is to map out the current and future brand touchpoints
The digital world kills those in the value chain who are either average at what they do or don’t add any value beyond what a digital interface can give you with your customers. This requires you to audit your current brand assets and assess how consistent they are in terms of visual look, tactile touch, messaging and tone of voice. Then you need to decide whether these brand touchpoints are more digital or more analog, and ask yourself whether you use them pre- or post-sale. Are there any gaps at the moment? If so, they need to be addressed. Gaps hint at overlooked opportunities. For example, have you claimed your Google Local/Business name? Is your blog mobile-optimized? Have you
SEAMLESS STRATEGY MAP
been actively getting involved in sponsoring the local junior football team? When was the last time you organized an event to give something back to your clients? Once you have audited your current brand assets and touchpoints, it is important to notice whether they are balanced. Are you more digital or more analog? Do you focus more on pre-sale activities, or are you engaging your clients post-sale as well – for example, to answer questions and generate referrals and testimonials? The ideal is to get a holistic balance to ensure that you are compatible with their increasingly complex customer journeys. But the touchpoints must be integrated. We shouldn’t be additive until the whole Seamless Strategy Map is integrative. For example, do you integrate your Mailchimp newsletter to automatically send out a mobile-optimized newsletter as soon as you post three new blogs? Does a new blog trigger a Tweet in your Hootsuite account? Have you set up a marketing calendar for the year that ensures some analog touchpoints, and do they direct your customers to a digital landing page with a special offer on an Unbounce page? What you’re starting to see is the integration of your brand touchpoints and the seamless transitions between them. This does require some thinking and experimenting, but it is well worth the effort, and your customers will thank you for being elegantly simple to find and easy to remember, and for providing engaging, beautifully designed and valuable content that connects both with their increasingly digitized, rational minds and their enduringly analog emotional hearts. The future is where we will spend the rest of our business lives, so we’d better get ready for it in a seamless fashion. Otherwise you may just give your customers the itch to leave you. Anders Sörman-Nilsson is the founder of Thinque, a strategy think tank that helps executives and leaders convert disruptive questions into proactive future strategies. As a futurist and innovation strategist, Sörman-Nilsson has helped executives and leaders on four continents map, prepare and strategize for foreseeable and unpredictable futures.
A1 A Fre A Un Un B Se Sp Ltd of Co D Ins Un Ins Ris G H Un L Ma Br Se Se P Ins Mu Ins Un We S Sp Co So Ca Ma Ma TS U We
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NEVER STOP LEARNING For John Barclay, every new challenge has been an opportunity to add to his skill set
The child of Scottish immigrants who arrived in Toronto with $100 between them in the late ’60s, John was raised with a work ethic that came to the fore when he took on his first formal employment at age 14, performing both administrative and manual labour to support the family business “My Dad said, ‘This is why you go to university – so you don’t have to do this forever’”
LIVES THE IMMIGRANT STORY
JOINS MARSH When contacts from Marsh reached out to John, he found himself joining the firm’s new associations team. It was an educational experience; John learned how to manage and work with clients and prospects while also managing and leading people “I remember deliberating and doing a pro and con list. I went from the buy side to the sell side. It was one of those opportunities – it was like a completely different world”
2009 MOVES TO SIMMLANDS Tired of living out of a suitcase, John took a job as president of Simmlands, building the company into a specialty insurance intermediary functioning as an MGA and underwriter “It was the perfect vehicle: small enough that you could get your arms around it. I took what I’d learned over the past 15 years and applied it in a niche way. It was a boatload of fun”
2017 SEES THE FUTURE IN YOUR POCKET Looking ahead, John believes navigating the impact of technology will be pivotal both for his company and the industry as a whole “That’s the next big scope of learning: the shift to a mobile customer preference, and how our industry is going to face that change. Insurance is an inefficient industry that will not be immune [to change]. That’s the next exciting challenge”
1990 FINDS INSURANCE John’s first foray into insurance came as a student – he paid his way through university by working as a recovery funds claims administrator. It was a bad time for the economy, and John’s job stuffing binders evolved as the situation changed
“As the economy got worse, the claims kept getting bigger and bigger, and just as I was about to graduate into a recession, they said, ‘Hey, you want to join us?’ I thought to myself, ‘Giddy-up!’”
ACHIEVES BALANCE After moving into a national management position at Marsh, John was put in the position of fixing programs in crisis mode “The process was really about learning how to balance the competing interests of brokers and clients. That was the learning process – distilling it down to the balance between those two competing tensions. No one was ever happy, which meant you were probably doing OK”
BRINGS LESSONS LEARNED TO SOUTH WESTERN John took his experience at Simmlands and parlayed it into a job on a much larger stage: CEO of South Western Group, where he relies on the same sense of pride and ownership “There’s a lot of things you didn’t have to worry about at [a larger company] – payroll and filling the photocopier. You keep learning; you learn the issues of running a business. It’s one thing to run a cluster inside a big business, but there’s a whole other level of learning when it stands on its own”
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TELL US ABOUT YOUR OTHER LIFE Email email@example.com
ON THE ICE Brad McAllister has played Canada’s favourite sport his whole life; these days, he guides the next generation on the ice WHEN ONE of Brad McAllister’s former coaches from the team he played on as a teenager, the Toronto East Ender Ti-Cats, spotted his potential and invited him to coach the team, it was an easy decision for the Whitby-based broker. “I have very fond memories of working with this organization,” he says. “The same guys are running it as when I was a player.” Brad’s involvement has led the team to a winning appearance at a qualifying tournament for youth
hockey prize the Silver Stick, as well as a place in the international championship, but for Brad, the real rewards come off the ice. “The players were 12 years old when I started coaching them – it’s been pretty cool seeing them grow as players and as teenagers,” he says. “I’m closer to them in age than the other coaches, so I can relate to them; I can be a friend to them, too.” Another skate down memory lane came in 2015 when Brad heard through the grapevine that his old high-school team would have to sit out the season for want of a coach. Brad ended up volunteering his services along with a friend, an involvement he has been asked to continue into the 2017 season. Coaching comes easily to Brad, who had already racked up almost a decade of teaching young players how to skate. Before he landed his coaching gigs, he worked as a skating instructor at a hockey school, teaching classes to kids as young as four – a commitment he somehow still keeps up as part of a very busy schedule.
Players Brad has coached who moved up to AAA level
Kilometres Brad has travelled to rinks during this coaching season alone
Games Brad has coached with the Ti-Cats (110 of which were wins)
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Fort McMurray: one year later Anthony Black, national catastrophe manager at RSA Canada, reflects on how the insurance industry has reacted to last year’s wildfire
HOW CAN INSURERS AND BROKERS WORK TOGETHER BETTER? Continuing education: Educating and informing the public on emergency preparedness, pre-planning and implementing preventative measures Technology: Enhancing the delivery of service and information by making support and resources readily accessible and convenient for the customer Product innovation: By working together to build products/coverage unique to catastrophes/ disasters, brokers and insurers can better meet the needs of the customer
I’VE BEEN working in the insurance industry for the past 20 years. During that time, I’ve seen many catastrophes devastate Canadians and force them to rebuild their lives. Working in insurance allows me to be a part of helping Canadians during these difficult times. In the case of Fort McMurray, I vividly remember watching on the news the harrowing escape of thousands of people who lived in the area and finding it unfathomable. I wondered what could possibly be going through families’ minds as they huddled in their cars after fleeing their homes, leaving everything behind, unsure of what they would return to. Once the wildfires were under control, it was up to us to assess the damage and respond accordingly. As we approach the one-year mark since the onset of the wildfires, I am happy to report that RSA’s claims are almost fully settled. This would not have been possible without the collaboration of the entire organization and our brokers. We are trained to be ready when a situation like this arises. I’m proud of the manner
in which insurance carriers, brokers, vendors, industry advocates and associations banded together and worked alongside all levels of government. It was a truly collaborative industry effort to ensure customers were safe and their immediate needs were addressed. Wildfires are quite unpredictable, and circumstances can change very quickly. In the case of Fort McMurray, municipal officials thought the fires would stay far enough away from town – until the wind changed and the fire jumped the local river, putting the town at risk. Given the unpredictability of wildfires, preparing for one is very difficult. However, sometimes it takes living through a disaster like this to highlight the importance of planning exit routes, practicing evacuations, preparing emergency kits and implementing precautions around the home. There is considerable awareness right now – in the media, from the insurance industry and from the government. Everyone in Fort McMurray is very aware – the scenery in and
around town is a constant reminder of the devastation suffered last year. However, as humans, we are creatures of habit. As time goes by and this disaster becomes a fading memory, we are prone to fall into a sense of false security. As we approach the one-year anniversary of the costliest disaster in Canada’s history, it’s an ideal time for brokers to connect with their clients. Reminding your clients to be prepared for a variety of potential disasters will help ensure that they are as ready as they can be, should another major catastrophe occur. As an industry, we have been witnessing the increased frequency and severity of disasters such as the Fort McMurray wildfires. With each incident, the industry’s response gets more and more robust. We at RSA have learned a lot over the past year, and are more committed than ever to providing our broker partners with the resources they need to help their clients when they need it the most. For more information on how you can best prepare your clients for a wildfire, please visit www.rsabroker.ca/climatesmart.
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2017 Young Guns