Trisura Guarantee a Top Small & Medium Employer for Fifth Year in a Row

Trisura Guarantee a Top Small & Medium Employer for Fifth Year in a Row

After months of anticipation, Mediacorp Canada Inc. has released their coveted list of Canada’s top small and medium employers. And, for the fifth consecutive year, Trisura Guarantee is thrilled to be one of them.

Canada's 2021 Top Small & Medium Employers logoWinners of the competition, now in its eighth year, are selected based on several factors, including physical workplace, work atmosphere and health, wellness and financial benefits. This year, however, the editors of the Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employer list also looked for how organizations approached the unique challenges of the pandemic. In an unforeseen landscape, it has been necessary for companies to be flexible, quick to respond with solutions and helpful with employees’ concerns.

Richard Yerema, the managing editor of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, explained that this year’s leading companies were successful in creating the a smooth transition from working in the office to working remotely. “Not only were [the top companies] able to transition employees to working from home right out of the gate, but many already had policies in place that allowed for flexible work,” he said. “It was simply a matter of extending existing benefits, such as home office allowances and internet subsidies, to make the full transition.”

For the 2021 competition, it was important that the selected organizations offered the right benefits to help employees be as comfortable as possible with all the uncertainties we were all facing.

Over the past year, Trisura remained agile and was quick to respond to the urgency of the pandemic. The “virtual door” remained open for employees who had concerns or simply wanted to chat. Known for the social work culture, Trisura also hosted online team events, such as catch-ups and game days.

“Once again, we are truly honoured to receive the recognition as a Top Employer In Canada,” Trisura’s senior vice-president of Human Resources, Cindy Grant, says. “This past year, like everyone, we faced new challenges but worked diligently to support our team with appropriate resources to be successful. Our entire team from Halifax to Vancouver–makes the difference with their unwavering commitment to delivering on our philosophy of excellence, discipline and passion in everything we do.”

Trisura was also recognized for important initiatives and offerings, such as prioritizing and encouraging employee personal development through training and education, as well as a generous benefits program. Learn more about what makes Trisura Guarantee a 2021 Top Small & Medium Employer here.

 

About Trisura Guarantee:

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company is a Canadian specialty insurance and surety company with offices across Canada, providing customized solutions and expertise through a select broker network. Trisura Guarantee is uniquely positioned to satisfy Canadian risks in Contract, Commercial and Developer Surety, Directors’ and Officers’ Liability, Fidelity, Professional Liability including Media and Cyber Liability, Warranty and Property and Casualty products.

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Trisura Group Ltd., a leading international specialty insurance provider operating in the surety, risk solutions, corporate insurance and reinsurance segments of the market. Trisura has three principal regulated subsidiaries: Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company in Canada, Trisura International Insurance Ltd. in Barbados and Trisura Specialty Insurance Company in the U.S. Trisura is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “TSU.”

About Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers list:

Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers is an annual editorial competition published by Mediacorp Canada Inc. The list recognizes small and medium enterprises that excel in workplace culture, as well as innovative and progressive human resources initiatives. The competition is open to employers whose head office is in Canada and have less than 500 employees globally. Qualifying companies are commercial, for-profit organizations. For more information about the competition and selection criteria, visit the Canada’s Top 100 website.

Deposit Protection Insurance: DPI Unpacked

Deposit Protection Insurance: DPI Unpacked

By Peter Williams

 

Every year a significant amount of new home transactions are pre-sales. This is especially true in the multi-unit markets around our provinces’ urban centres. Pre-selling gives developers a level of revenue certainty, gives banks comfort that the product has committed buyers and from that, allows construction financing to flow once agreed-upon sales targets are achieved. Pre-selling a significant amount of the total units has become a standard practice in our market. 

Prior to 2005, all funds received as deposits for purchases of homes had to be held in trust until the project was completed and the unit was delivered to the new homeowner. Millions of dollars sat idly in trust accounts for years while projects came out of the ground and were eventually completed. 

What changed on January 1, 2005, were sweeping changes to the Real Estate and Development Marketing Act. The changes allowed developers to now use those pre-sale deposit funds to pay for direct project costs for the projects themselves. This was a landmark change and allowed all that hard-earned capital to be put to work building the project it was earmarked to buy. Not only did these changes make sense, but they were also embraced by the industry. 

Despite the obvious benefits to the developer, uptake on the product was slow at first. It took some time for all stakeholders to become familiar with and comfortable with this new form of project financing. There was a learning curve. Now we can say, deposit protection insurance (DPI) is mainstream; it is a box to be checked for most brokers arranging the capital stack for their developer clients. 

For the developer, the economic benefits are compelling. They will save the spread between the annual premium rate of the DPI and the costs of capital of the debt replaced by the deposits. The savings are significant and are there every year until project completion and the unit turned over to the homeowner. For the banks, the credit ratios are improved and some projects on the line may move forward with the improved financial metrics. 

To apply, it is recommended the developer use an experienced broker to assist in putting together the information. The information itself is fairly straightforward with most of it mirroring what the developer has already provided to the primary lender. This along with a questionnaire and construction lending agreement are generally what is required to move forward. The underwriting process of DPI follows a similar path to that of the other lender(s).

This includes reviewing the viability of the project from a financial perspective. Examining the overall budget and proforma’s, along with key credit metrics, are important in determining the financial wherewithal of a project. This is done in conjunction with reviewing the developers overall financial strength and project experience. 

The development team is an important factor when a project is reviewed for DPI. This includes: project lenders, general contractor, subtrades, architect, consultants (structural, geotechnical, building envelope, mechanical, electrical), lawyer, marketing firm, mortgage and insurance brokers. A strong development team assists in mitigating the challenges that arise on projects. This provide stakeholders with an increased level of confidence that solutions are found swiftly and implemented effectively.  

As with all forms of construction, issues can arise during the different stages of the building process. The construction approach to that risk is assessed at the outset. This includes the developer’s project experience and key staff if they’re self-performing. If an arm’s-length general contractor or construction manager is hired, the merits of the form of contract are considered (fixed price vs construction management). Subtrade risk is an important factor, as the quality of subtrades can have a substantial impact on a project and its schedule. Contract performance risk and subtrade payment risk can be further mitigated and managed through construction bonding. Performance and Labor & Material’s bonds are an important tool developers can utilize to manage construction risk and control major cost components. 

Your broker’s experience is important through the underwriting phase and ultimately in the Facility Agreement you ink with the DPI provider. Some of the key aspects of your facility are the security provided, the premium charged and the deposit release terms. The earlier funds are released, the sooner economic benefits are realized and for a longer period. Once terms are agreed upon and finalized, security is then drafted up in conjunction with the lenders in the capital stack. When the security is finalized funds can then flow into the project according to the agreed-upon release terms. 

The savings are substantial and the product has evolved into an important and mainstream component of development financing. It’s a competitive and dynamic market out there and your broker will guide you through the process and ensure you get the best deal.

 

The views expressed in this article are exclusively those of the author; they do not necessarily reflect the views of Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company, its affiliates or partners.