Source: The Co-operators
Karen Higgins, current VP Finance, Life Operations, The Co-operators, has been appointed to the role of Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective June 1, 2018.
The Co-operators today announced the appointment of Karen Higgins as its new Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer (EVP & CFO). Higgins has spent the last 20 years in progressive senior financial roles within the insurance and financial services industry, including the last 10 within The Co-operators organization leading a number of key financial initiatives.
“Karen’s reputation as a respected and effective leader is highlighted in her track record of building high performing teams, particularly during times of significant change with a keen focus on motivation, development and succession. Over the past 10 years, her impact has been evident across the organization through the trusted business partnerships she’s built to deliver exceptional results,” says Rob Wesseling, President and CEO. “After a rigorous search that included many highly qualified internal and external candidates, we’re confident that Karen is well positioned to take on her new responsibilities.”
Higgins joined The Co-operators in 2008 as VP, Corporate Finance. In 2011 she took on the role of VP Finance, Property and Casualty Operations (CGIC, COSECO, CUMIS General) where she led a team responsible for financial analysis, decision support, reporting and planning. In 2017 she took on her current role leading the finance team within Life operations (CLIC and CUMIS Life) where she oversees financial analysis and valuation of the organizations, in support of business strategies, initiatives and operations. Before joining The Co-operators, she held similar leadership roles at Clarica Life, Sun Life and Seniors Money Limited.
“The opportunity to lead the finance organization at The Co-operators is a privilege, particularly as we develop our new four-year organizational strategy,” says Higgins. “Succeeding Bruce West in this role is an honour, and after 11 years of such profound leadership, where he built a strong foundation of great people and processes, I have big shoes to fill. I am very excited to carry this forward into the future, while working with our partners to build on our solid performance, seize new opportunities and challenges, and lead our organization to further success.”
Higgins earned her Chartered Director designation through The Directors College in 2016 and her Chartered Professional Accountant designation in 1990. In addition to her Honours BA and Business diploma from Wilfrid Laurier University, she completed Harvard Business School’s Leadership program and the Change Management program from Wharton Business school.
She is actively involved in her community as a board member (Vice-Chair) of St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph and the St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation.
Higgins replaces EVP and CFO, Bruce West, who announced his retirement earlier this year.