SSQ Insurance partners with BiogeniQ

SSQ Insurance is pleased to announce its partnership with BiogeniQ in a move to offer group insurance customers an innovative solution to treat depression. BiogeniQ is a company specializing in the field of pharmacogenomics that combines the science of genetics with pharmacology.

Treatment of depression often requires a patient to try several treatment strategies before the right drug or approach is clearly identified. Aware of this fact, SSQ Insurance will be offering the services of BiogeniQ to some of its insured members who are on disability as a result of depression. Insureds who agree to participate in the process will receive a genetic test kit from BiogeniQ to collect a small sample of saliva for analysis.

SSQ Insurance will not receive any results of the test conducted and analyzed by BiogeniQ. With the consent of the insured, BiogeniQ will send each test result directly to the attending physician, who will be able to use this additional information to help identify the appropriate treatment approach and forego the less effective ones. The purpose of the test is to reduce the risk of side effects and improve overall treatment effectiveness.

“This agreement with BiogeniQ reflects our commitment to providing our insured members with innovative solutions that promote health and well-being, and once again demonstrates SSQ Insurance’s leadership in this area. Thanks to our agreement with BiogeniQ, SSQ Insurance customers will be able to consider a treatment that is better suited to their situation and possibly a faster return to a fully active life. By the same token, this practice could ultimately help control the cost of group insurance plans for policyholders,” said Éric Trudel, Senior Vice-President of Strategy and Product Management at SSQ Insurance.

“Studies show that personalized treatment based on pharmacogenomic analyses serves to shorten the duration of disability due to depression and increase the chances of remission. We are enthusiastic about our partnership with SSQ Insurance to make this avant-garde service accessible and make a difference in the lives of many insureds,” said BiogeniQ founder Étienne Crevier.

BiogeniQ services will be offered by SSQ Insurance to some of its insured members and possibly extend the offer to the rest of its clientele thereafter. SSQ Insurance will also evaluate the possible use of pharmacogenomics in the treatment of other diseases.

About SSQ Insurance
Founded in 1944, SSQ Insurance is a mutualist company that puts community at the heart of insurance. With assets under management of $12 billion, SSQ Insurance is one of the largest companies in the industry. Working for a community of over three million customers, SSQ Insurance employs 2,000 people. Leader in group insurance, the company also sets itself apart through its expertise in individual life and health insurance, general insurance and the investment sector. For more information, please visit

About BiogeniQ
BiogeniQ helps people take control of their health by offering simple, appropriate and relevant recommendations based on their DNA. Through collaboration with healthcare professionals, genetic testing is delivered in a responsible and ethical manner. Since its foundation in 2013, BiogeniQ has won numerous awards in the area of health and new technologies, including the life sciences innovation award from the Association pour le développement de la recherche et de l’innovation du Québec (ADRIQ), as well as the award for most innovative young company in Quebec. Since 2018, BiogeniQ has been a division of Biron Groupe Santé. For more information, please go to


SOURCE SSQ Insurance

Fairfax investing $648 million in Seaspan Corp to double investment in shipper

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is investing $648 million in Seaspan Corp. to bring its total stake in the shipping company to roughly $1.3 billion.

CEO Prem Watsa says in a statement the investment represents one of its largest in a public company and demonstrates its faith in the shipper’s growth prospects.

Hong Kong-based Seaspan leases and manages the huge container ships that form the backbone of the global shipping industry.

Seaspan says Fairfax subsidiaries will be making the investment through the exercise of warrants and that it will help its balance sheet.

Fairfax had made an initial investment of $324 million in Seaspan in February and entered into an agreement to double that investment in March.

Fairfax is a Toronto-based holding company involved in property and casualty insurance that also holds a diverse investment portfolio.

FirstOnSite Restoration Reinforces Leadership Team in British Columbia

Source: FirstOnSite Restoration

FirstOnSite Restoration, Canada’s leading independent disaster restoration services provider, has fortified its leadership team in British Columbia with the promotion of Erik Hecht to Director of Operations, and the addition of Frank Wood as Business Operations Manager.

“The strength of our team in B.C. reflects our determination to provide the very best in restoration service to homeowners and businesses in times of crisis,” says Dave Demos, CEO, FirstOnSite Restoration. “We are confident that with the leadership and experience in place, we will continue to deliver the highest standards of performance and customer experience and continue to raise the bar in our industry.”

As Director of Operations, Erik will be responsible for overall operational execution across all FirstOnSite’s British Columbia locations. He has close to 20 years’ experience in senior level leadership and operational management, and has established a solid reputation with his teams, clients and end users throughout his career. He is also leveraging his extensive experience in the Fire Protection and Life Safety industry by leading FirstOnSite B.C. safety programs.

Frank Wood brings more than 20 years of property management experience to his new role as Business Operations Manager where he will lead our team of Project Managers in the region, and drive process and consistency to all areas of business. His extensive experience in leadership, business performance and customer service will help drive FirstOnSite’s commitment to providing exceptional experience. Frank will be an important member of the team, accountable for regional growth, team development, and client relations.

The Co-operators Group Limited Appoints New Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer

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.

New Course – Individual Disability Income Insurance and Related Policies

This course will focus on individual disability income insurance policies, also referred to as disability insurance of disability income replacement insurance. The information provided is of a general nature and is not intended to be an intensive study of this area of insurance.

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Classify basic categories of individual disability, accident and sickness policies
  • Describe general information related to individual disability income insurance policies

Become an ILScorp group member to save even more.

Included as part of the ILScorp Life/A&S CE Subscription.

Access Duration from the Date of Purchase: 6 months
Credit Hours: 1
Credit Type: Life/A&S – Technical
Credit #: AIC #48000; MB#30085
Accrediting Provinces: BC, AB, SK, MB, ON


Hub International Acquires The Shares Of Quebec-Based The dElta Group

Hub International Limited (Hub), a leading global insurance brokerage, announced today that it has acquired the shares of Les Avantages Sociaux Delta Inc., operating as The dElta Group. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

With offices in the greater Montreal area, The dElta Group is a multidisciplinary benefits brokerage that provides support and actuarial services for group insurance and retirement plans, as well as human resources and disability management, for mid-size and large businesses in Canada. The company is the result of an amalgamation of Les Advantages Sociaux Delta Inc., Ressources Humaines Delta Inc., and Le Groupe Financier Tanner-Deland Inc.

“Since founding The dElta Group more than 20 years ago, our goal has always been to be a strategic employee benefits and HR partner for clients,” said Roger d’Eschambault, Founder and Chairman of The dElta Group. “By joining Hub, we gain scale and the infrastructure for tremendous growth given the multitude of additional resources and capabilities that exist within Hub. This will allow us to provide even more tailored benefits solutions for our clients while maintaining our highly personal approach to administering benefits and retirement plans.”

The dElta Group team will join Hub Quebec, and d’Eschambault will report to Stephen Blais, President of Hub Quebec.

“The dElta Group has earned a strong reputation in the employee benefits and retirement industry based on its experience, relationships with the pension plan providers in Canada and a client-centric approach to servicing hundreds of Canadian companies,” said Blais. “We’re excited to welcome The dElta Group team to Hub as they will strengthen our benefits and retirement offering throughout Canada.”

“We remain committed to acquiring firms that are focused on enhancing the client experience through a culture of collaboration and building a robust set of complimentary services that round out the benefits and HR experience for our clients,” said Mike Barone, Hub’s North American President of Employee Benefits. “The dElta Group is a great fit for our strategy, and we’re thrilled to welcome Roger and The dElta Group to Hub.”

About Hub’s M&A Activities
Hub International Limited is committed to growing organically and through acquisitions to expand its geographic footprint and strengthen industry and product expertise.  For more information on the Hub M&A experience, visit

About Hub International
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Hub International Limited (Hub) is a leading full-service global insurance broker providing property and casualty, life and health, employee benefits, investment and risk management products and services. From offices located throughout North America, HUB’s vast network of specialists provides peace of mind on what matters most by protecting clients through unrelenting advocacy and tailored insurance solutions. For more information, please visit

Media: Marni Gordon
Phone: 312-279-4601
M&A: Clark Wormer
Phone: 312.279.4848


SOURCE Hub International Limited

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