Intact Financial Corporation Announces Leadership Changes

Press Release:

Charles Brindamour, Chief Executive Officer of Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) As of Nov 14, 2017 Intact announced changes to the roles and responsibilities of members of the company’s leadership team, effective January 1, 2018.

“With consumer expectations changing at an accelerated pace and our recent entry into the U.S. market we are better positioning ourselves to adapt to our new North American scope, accelerate our customer driven transformation, optimize our distribution of services to Canadians across all channels and build on our outstanding talent,” said Charles Brindamour, CEO.

Building on his deep knowledge of all distribution channels and disruptive mindset, Louis Gagnon currently President, Service and Distribution will become President of Canadian Operations, overseeing all channels in addition to Personal and Commercial Lines and our Marketing operations.

Leveraging his extensive knowledge of specialty lines and proven track record of execution, as recently announced, Mike Miller continues as President of U.S. Operations and North American Specialty Lines.

Building on his considerable knowledge of claims, IT, data and large operations, Mathieu Lamy will become Chief Operating Officer for IFC, with North American accountability for Claims, Technology, Intact Lab and Data Lab, Ventures and People operations.

Louis Gagnon, Mike Miller and Mathieu Lamy will report to Charles Brindamour.

Jean-Francois Blais currently President of Intact Insurance will be retiring from Intact, following a considerable contribution to the business. He joined the company six years ago through the AXA Canada acquisition, playing a pivotal role in the successful transition of employees and brokers.

“I would like to acknowledge and thank Jean-Francois Blais for his contributions over the past six years. He has made a strong impact in the broker network and played a pivotal role in the development of Intact Insurance,” added Charles Brindamour.

About Intact Financial Corporation

Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) is the largest provider of property and casualty (P&C) insurance in Canada and a leading provider of specialty insurance in North America, with close to $10 billion in total annual premiums. The Company has over 13,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than five million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada and the U.S. In Canada, Intact distributes insurance under the Intact Insurance brand through a wide network of brokers, including its wholly-owned subsidiary BrokerLink, and directly to consumers through belairdirect. In the U.S., OneBeacon Insurance Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary, provides specialty insurance products through independent agencies, brokers, wholesalers and managing general agencies.

SOURCE Intact Financial Corporation

Media Inquiries: Canada: Stephanie Sorensen, Director, External Communications, 416 344-8027,; U.S.: Carmen Duarte, Director, Marketing and Communications, 781 332-7268,; Investor Inquiries: Ken Anderson, Vice President, Investor Relations and Treasurer, 855 646-8228 ext. 87383,


Allianz Global Assistance Canada named Top Employer in Waterloo Area

Press Release:

Allianz Global Assistance Canada, a leading travel insurance and assistance provider, has been named one of the Top 15 Employers in the Waterloo Area. The area’s top employers are selected annually by Mediacorp Canada Inc. which manages Canada’s Top 100 Employers project and the job search engine, now used by more than 5.4 million Canadians annually.

With more than 800 employees at its regional facilities, Allianz has been a valuable contributor to employment and to the community in the Waterloo area since 1988.

Among the qualities a company must have to be named a Top 15 employer are an exceptional work environment, strong financial and family benefits, training and skills development and a commitment to community involvement.

“This is an honour that each and every one of our employees can be proud of,” said Teresa Straatsma, Vice President, Human Resources, Allianz Global Assistance Canada. “It’s recognition of the great work environment we are focused on fostering, fueled by the professionalism, engagement and skilled talent of our people.  They further exemplify the “helping” nature of our business through the tireless volunteer hours our employees contribute each year to the community as a whole.”

Employees of the Kitchener-Waterloo facility annually contribute thousands of dollars to more than a dozen charities and volunteer their time and expertise to many organizations in the community. As an example, this year they assisted Dreams Take Flight and Air Canada by greeting and registering hundreds of children and their families for a trip to Walt Disney World, while also providing travel insurance coverage to participants. In doing so, they helped make some dreams come true for local children who suffer from serious physical illnesses, mental health challenges and come from disadvantaged situations.

“Although we’re a global organization, we’ve been part of the Waterloo Region for nearly 30 years, and have always been strongly committed to our local communities,” said Dan Keon, Senior Director, Market Management. “We provide emergency assistance and travel insurance for millions of Canadians travelling the world and it is just as important to extend that compassion and assistance to the communities in which we work.”


Allianz Global Assistance (Canada)

For more than 50 years, Allianz Global Assistance has supported travelling Canadians when they need it most with value-added travel insurance and assistance services. More than 800 employees support long-term partnerships with some of the best known brands in the travel and financial services markets. Allianz Global Assistance also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call centre services and claims administration for health insurers, property and casualty insurers and credit card companies. Allianz Global Assistance is a specialist brand of Allianz Worldwide Partners for assistance and travel insurance, and is the registered business name for AZGA Service Canada Inc. and AZGA Insurance Agency Canada Ltd. For more information, visit


Allianz Partners

Dedicated to bringing global protection and care, Allianz Partners is the B2B2C leader in assistance and insurance solutions in the following areas of expertise: assistance, international health & life, automotive and travel insurance. These solutions, which are a unique combination of insurance, service and technology, are available to business partners or via direct and digital channels under three internationally renowned brands: Allianz Assistance, Allianz Care and Allianz Automotive. This global family of over 17,500 employees is present in 76 countries, speaks 70 languages and handles 44 million cases per year, protecting customers and employees on all continents. For more information, please visit:





This year’s ‘Waterloo Area’s Top Employers’ are announced

With its rich history of reinvention and innovation, the Waterloo area has long punched above its weight when it comes to exceptional employers.  This year’s list of Waterloo Area’s Top Employers, released today, showcases the organizations that lead their industries in creating forward-thinking workplaces and progressive HR policies.


“Today, the Waterloo area is an integral part of Canada’s technology corridor,” says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, which manages the Waterloo competition. “But in the early days, many of these winners started in incubators affiliated with local universities. The region has a history of reinvention and innovation, and has nurtured the development of the high-tech industry, just as it has done for other industries before.”

This year’s list of winners includes familiar names such as Economical Insurance, OpenText and University Waterloo — as well as first-time winner Sleeman Breweries, singled out for its generous employee tuition subsidies and student co-op programs.  Also making the list is Toyota Motor Manufacturing, a long-time advocate of allowing employees to enjoy more time-off early in their careers, offering up to 19 days of paid vacation after an employee’s first year on the job.

Now in its 11th year, Waterloo Area’s Top Employers is a special designation that recognizes employers in Kitchener-Waterloo and the Guelph area that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work.  Employers were evaluated by the editors at Canada’s Top 100 Employers using the same criteria as the national competition: (1) Physical Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time-Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement. Employers are compared to other organizations in their field to determine which offer the most progressive and forward-thinking programs. The annual competition is open to any employer with its head office in the Kitchener-Waterloo or Guelph area; employers of any size may apply, whether private or public sector.

Founded in 1992, Mediacorp Canada Inc. is the nation’s largest publisher of employment periodicals. Since 1999, the Toronto-based publisher has managed the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, which includes 18 regional and special-interest editorial competitions that reach over 13 million Canadians annually through a variety of magazine and newspaper partners. Mediacorp also operates, the largest Canadian job search engine, which includes editorial reviews from the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project and is used by almost 7 million users each year. Together with Willis Towers Watson, Mediacorp also hosts the Top Employer SummitCanada’s largest conference for senior-level HR professionals.

The full list of Waterloo Area’s Top Employers for 2018 is attached. Detailed reasons for selection with hundreds of additional stories and photos were released on the competition homepage this morning.  The winners are also featured in a special online feature published by the Guelph Mercury Tribune today and in a special print and online feature that will be published by the Waterloo Region Record tomorrow.

Waterloo Area’s Top Employers
2018 Winners

Allianz Global Assistance, Kitchener
Centre for International Governance Innovation, The, Waterloo
Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc., Kitchener
D2L Corporation, Kitchener
Economical Insurance, Waterloo
Equitable Life Insurance Company of Canada, The, Waterloo
eSentire Inc., Cambridge
Farm Mutual Re, Cambridge
Gore Mutual Insurance Company, Cambridge
Intelligent Mechatronic Systems Inc. / IMS, Waterloo
Novocol Pharmaceutical of Canada, Inc., Cambridge
OCAS Application Services Inc., Guelph
Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan, Waterloo
OpenText Corporation, Waterloo
Reid’s Heritage Group of Companies, Cambridge
Sleeman Breweries Limited, Guelph
TextNow Inc., Waterloo
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. / TMMC, Cambridge
University of WaterlooWaterloo
Waterloo North Hydro Inc., Waterloo

SOURCE Mediacorp Canada Inc.

President of National Brokers Insurance Services awarded 2017 Canada’s Most Powerful Women

This prestigious distinction celebrates the incredible accomplishments of Canada’s top female executive talent as well as their organizations and networks.

On November 23rd at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Usher-Mesiano accepts the Entrepreneur Award, honouring women who operate successful businesses. WXN is Canada’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles. Usher-Mesiano also accepted this award in 2016.

“I am deeply honoured to represent my team and to be included in such an esteemed group of women,” says Joyce Usher-Mesiano, after being named a Women’s Executive Network (WXN) 2017 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner.

The “Unbreakable” theme of this year’s Leadership Summit and Awards Gala focuses on how we are made stronger for persevering through periods of challenge and come out the other side with a more powerful sense of purpose and drive.

“We have focused on integration, innovation, empowerment, experience and a strong sense of the community to best share the knowledge we have gained and our dedication to our customers.”

Usher-Mesiano leads 4 Canadian organizations: 1) National Brokers Insurance Services Inc. – helping companies/individuals develop innovative insurance strategies to create a successful/protected business and protect personal assets/liabilities (notable brands PharmaCover, Bloom Insurance, Platinum, BRISK) 2) National Union Insurance Group Inc. – developing niche insurance coverage for unions and associations 3) Monarch Intermediaries Inc.– providing second medical opinion reports within 5 days from top academic medical centres for those who are seriously ill or require surgery 4) Charitable fund co-founder of The BEfund (Butterfly Effect) – a small movement that will have a profound effect on the future of lung cancer care and awareness.

The full list of 2017 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winners can be found at

National Brokers Insurance Services Inc. is a leading Canadian full-service insurance brokerage
that specializes in providing custom-tailored solutions for organizations and individuals with commercial, personal, group and specialty needs. More information and details are available at       

SOURCE National Brokers Insurance Services Inc.

State Farm Canada becoming Desjardins Insurance

In January 2015, Desjardins Group the leading cooperative financial group in Canada with over $276 billion in assets completed the purchase of State Farm Canadian property and casualty and life insurance operations, as well as its mutual fund, loan and living benefits companies. As part of its ongoing integration plan, Desjardins announced today that the former State Farm Canadian business will gradually be rebranded Desjardins Insurance. The brand transition will officially begin on May 1, 2018, and will be completed by December 31, 2019.

“This is an exciting step in the evolution of Desjardins. We have a well-known and very strong brand, this will contribute to strengthening it across Canada,” said Guy Cormier, President and CEO, Desjardins Group. “Our vision is rooted in a cooperative mission which highlights community involvement and customer-focused values. Desjardins Insurance encompasses these shared values and commitments.”

State Farm clients in Canada will be served by their current agents who will transition to the Desjardins Insurance brand under the new Desjardins agent network.

“We are committed to the exclusive agent network, which provides clients and consumers the added value of personal service and advice from a trusted insurance professional in their community,” said Denis Dubois, President and Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins General Insurance Group. “Our clients will continue to benefit from the established relationships they’re used to, with full access to the insurance and financial products that fit their unique needs and goals.”

The goals for Desjardins Insurance will be to ensure the competitive pricing of its products and services, maintain the highest levels of customer service, strengthen its competitive position and enhance its digital capabilities. This is to best serve the evolving needs of its clients while remaining committed to further growth and development across Canada.

About Desjardins
Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the fifth largest cooperative financial group in the world, with assets of $276,3 billion. It has been rated one of the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. Ranked among the world’s strongest banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has one of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry.

Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company, underwriters of automobile and property insurance or Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company, underwriters of life insurance products.

SOURCE Mouvement Desjardins

Executives Say It’s More Challenging to be a Leader Today

Leading a business is only getting harder, recent research found. In a Robert Half Management Resources survey, 87 per cent of chief financial officers (CFOs) said it is more challenging to be a company leader today than it was five years ago.

But survey results also found many managers enjoy support from their teams. Seventy-nine per cent of workers surveyed expressed confidence in their leaders, while only 6 per cent do not feel confident at all.

Portrait of a young attractive business woman.

Provinces Where Leadership Challenges Have Risen Most
Below are the provinces where the difficulties of being in management have intensified the most over the past five years, based on the percentages of executives who said it is significantly or somewhat more challenging to be a company leader today.

  1. British Columbia (100 per cent)
  2. Alberta (98 per cent)
  3. Quebec (95 per cent)
  4. Manitoba (92 per cent)

Navigating the Changing Leadership Landscape
“Facing an ever-evolving corporate landscape, executives have to deal with the pressures of emerging trends that require them to continually reassess everything from technology and staffing challenges, to regulatory demands and compliance requirements,” said David King, Canadian president of Robert Half Management Resources. “Great leaders understand the fundamentals of their field, but also know that it is the ability to recognize new opportunities through innovation that will ultimately set their business apart.”

King reminds managers to look to their employees for support. “An engaged team is a committed team, and executives who address challenges and opportunities with their employees build a foundation of trust, and shared goals for business growth.”

Robert Half Management Resources details five challenges facing leaders today and the attributes needed to address them:

1. Taking a ‘big picture’ view. As CFOs whose work outside of finance has expanded in recent years know well, executives are no longer tasked with just overseeing their department. They must draw on their strong business acumen, understanding how their unit’s decisions and performance affect the broader organization.

2. Overcoming staffing challenges. Building a skilled team in the face of candidate shortages and retention concerns requires special talents. Business leaders today are tasked with fostering relationships with recruiting sources and developing an effective staffing management strategy, blending full-time personnel with specialized professionals who can be brought in on-demand.

3. Maintaining an edge over diverse competitors. Firms face threats not just from traditional competitors, but also increasingly from organizations disrupting the marketplace with new business models. Organizations need leaders who can anticipate changes in the competitive landscape and inspire innovation to stay on top.

4. Remaining compliant with evolving mandates. Regulatory pressures continue to mount for many industries and companies. Executives today need to be experts on the mandates affecting their business and understand how compliance is more than meeting a set of requirements and can instead help the firm prosper.

5. Keeping up with technology. As history has repeatedly shown, technology can change everything at a moment’s notice. The onus is on business leaders to monitor the technology trends affecting their organizations and positions and adapt accordingly.

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