Unprecedented Times

Unprecedented Times

By Chris Sekine

 

The phrase “these unprecedented times” is one that has been overused during the past few months, but I can find no alternative that is more descriptive or accurate. Now that much nicer weather has arrived across Canada, many are venturing outside more often, finding that it eases some of the mental burden of being cooped up. While we all enjoy the nice weather, I believe everyone needs to remain vigilant about social distancing to protect the health of each other and to protect against further shutdowns of the economy.

While the past few months have been difficult for all of us, I’d like to provide you with an update about Trisura. We initiated our business continuity plan on March 16th, and since then, our staff have been working from home on a full-time basis. I’m very pleased that the transition was seamless and all of our service and business functionality have continued without disruption. I would like to thank the great staff at Trisura, our brokers and all of our business partners for enabling a successful transition to working from home.

One of our top priorities since the lockdown has been to keep you informed of the status of Trisura’s operations, as well as the assistance available to our brokers and insureds, including important resources. While trying not to overwhelm you with too many updates, we aimed to provide necessary and pertinent information to help you with both your business and your transactions and dealings with Trisura.

We recently reported Trisura’s Q1 results, and I am pleased that both Trisura Guarantee’s business in Canada and the consolidated business of Trisura Group Ltd. performed extremely well in the first quarter. Trisura Guarantee experienced almost 25% year-over-year growth in Q1, and we also reported an increase in underwriting income of over 30%, which produced an industry leading combined ratio of just over 82%.

On behalf of everyone at Trisura, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of our broker partners for your continued support, especially during these difficult times.

We understand it’s tough out there. The pandemic and the economic consequences are significant obstacles that every person and every business on the planet is facing. A broker friend of mine (Matt, you know who you are) recently gave me a book called The Obstacle Is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage by Ryan Holiday. The book was first published in 2014, but there is no better time to read this book than today from both a personal and business perspective. Thanks, Matt.

It is remarkable to see the number of familiar and successful businesses that were started during times of economic crisis. As cited in the book, some examples are:

  • Coors (Founded 1873 – Depression)
  • General Motors (Founded 1907 – Panic of 1907)
  • Fortune Magazine (Founded 1929 – 90 days after market crash)
  • Revlon (Founded 1932 – Great Depression)
  • Hewlett-Packard (Founded 1935 – Great Depression)
  • Costco (Founded 1976 – Recession)
  • FedEx (Founded 1973 – Oil crisis)
  • Microsoft (Founded 1975 – Recession)
  • LinkedIn (Founded 2002 – Post-dot com bubble)

In addition, a few other notable companies were started during the most recent financial crisis:

  • AirBNB (Founded 2008 – Recession)
  • Uber (Founded 2009 – Recession)

In addition, Holiday notes, “half the companies in the Fortune 500 were started in a bear market or recession. Half.”

For me, the message is that times of adversity can spawn ingenuity and be transformative for those willing to face their obstacle. Yes, times are uncertain, but we are not picking up our ball and going home. In fact, we are doing the opposite. In May, Trisura Group Ltd. raised over $60 million in new capital to support growth across all of its operations. The strong reception we received from the capital markets will allow us to navigate near term volatility confidently, support our partners and growing platforms and plan for a bigger, better Trisura.

For our broker partners, Trisura’s unwavering commitment to help support you is our essential service. We will continue to underwrite risks based on their individual merit as consistently as possible and provide you with great service. I am confident things will get better.

Wishing you and your loved ones remain safe and well,

Chris

Unprecedented Times

The Sun is Shining

By Chris Sekine

 

Welcome to summer!

I was honoured and thrilled to be selected as the President and CEO of Trisura Guarantee. Mike George has been both my friend and my mentor for 28 years. I will be forever grateful to him for having the confidence in me to start up our surety business in 2006. Mike should be very proud of what he accomplished at Trisura, which has grown over the past 13 years to become a leader in Canada for specialty insurance.  Thank you Mike, and know that Trisura remains in good hands.

I would also like to acknowledge both Bob Taylor and John Garner, Mike’s partners and co-founders of Trisura. Together, they were the “three amigos.” Trisura lore is that our tag line, “A Step Above, comes from the co-founders’ presentation to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) during the formation of Trisura. After the presentation concluded, the senior OSFI executive commented that the Trisura business plan and presentation was “a step above” what they normally see. The senior minister on the file corrected him by saying, “No, this presentation was a step above a step above.” After that meeting, the tag line was born and has been instilled in every part of Trisura’s culture. I am very pleased that Bob Taylor remains on the board of directors for both Trisura Guarantee and Trisura Group.

As we embark on the next phase of our journey, we will remain true to Trisura’s core values and our relentless pursuit of being a step above. We will continue to create exceptional experiences for brokers and all of our stakeholders. It may seem basic to many, but this strategy has worked well over the company’s first 13 years. It has resonated with our brokers, their customers, our reinsurers and our staff. Our priority is to build on our success and make Trisura stronger, with the goal to be recognized as Canada’s leading specialty insurer. We will continue to look for opportunities to expand our capacity and appetite within our existing lines of business, while also looking at new lines of business that are adjacent to those where we are entrenched. 

With the future and our relationships in mind, we’ve re-aligned our leadership team with the following well-deserved appointments:

  • Richard W. Grant to Chief Operating Officer;
  • Chris Kucman to Senior Vice President of Distribution and Field Operations;
  • Pina Mazzoli to Senior Vice President of Digital Distribution and Marketing;
  • Matt Baynton to Senior Vice President, Surety. Matt is taking my former position to head our surety business nationally;
  • Marilyn vanGansewinkel to Senior Vice President of Specialty Insurance Solutions. Marilyn is taking Richard Grant’s former position to head our Specialty Insurance Solutions business nationally;
  • Glen Shaw to Senior Vice President, Risk Solutions, Warranty and Ceded Reinsurance.

Reporting to Chris Kucman and leading our various front-line operations are the following:

  • John Watt, Regional Vice President, British Columbia and Yukon;
  • Richard A. Grant, Regional Vice President, Prairies;
  • Jean-Francois Therrien, Regional Vice President, Quebec;
  • Shane Roney, Regional Vice President, Specialty Insurance Solutions, Ontario and Atlantic Canada;
  • Andrew Cartwright, Regional Vice President, Surety, Ontario and Atlantic Canada;
  • Jennifer Finnell, Vice President, Specialty Insurance Solutions – Association and Affinity Business.

I’m also extremely pleased to announce the following appointments in our executive head office:

  • Rebekah Alberga to Senior Vice President and General Counsel;
  • Victor Bandiera to Senior Vice President, Underwriting and Construction Services;
  • Cindy Grant to Senior Vice President, Human Resources;
  • Jason Keyfitz, Vice President and Chief Risk Officer;
  • Dragan Popovic to Senior Vice President, Information Systems & Technology;
  • David Scotland, Chief Financial Officer.

I’d like to extend our congratulations to all the individuals above who will help me lead Trisura.

It’s an exciting time!

With the start of summer and warmer weather finally arriving, things are also heating up at Trisura. We are proud to be listed by the Globe and Mail for the third consecutive year as one of Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employers. While 2018 was one of Trisura Guarantee’s best years with almost 13% growth and a combined ratio of 86%, we’re off to a great start in 2019 with over 16% growth at the end of Q1. Over time, we’re looking to leverage the capabilities of our parent company, Trisura Group Ltd., our US affiliate, Trisura Specialty, and our Barbados-based reinsurance arm, Trisura International The sun is bright and so is the future for Trisura.

Wishing you a safe and enjoyable summer,

 

Chris

Chris Sekine 2019 Q2 newsletter

The Ride of My Life

The Ride of My Life

“You will never be in complete control of what happens to you in life; however you are always fully in control of the way in which you respond to what happens in your life.”

– Alexander Michael Gittens

Fourteen years ago this month, Trisura was born. It was just the germ of an idea, to create a new Canadian specialty lines insurer from scratch, but it quickly took shape. Bob Taylor, John Garner and I developed a business plan, found capital and reinsurance backing and took our concept to the Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions, where we were granted our license. Two of the final ingredients were the most important: adding a superb team of industry experts and convincing the best insurance brokers in the business to support the company. Much to our pleasant surprise, we exceeded even our lofty expectations in both areas. As a result, we hit the ground running and never looked back.

Mike George farewellThe “Tri” in the name Trisura came to signify the relationship and partnership between our brokers, their customers and ourselves. It reinforces that we are a relationship company. The “sura” represents the middle letter of the word insurance, so we became the guts of insurance. Our name has served us well.

Our vision for the company became a step above and our noble purpose—our reason for being in business—is to create exceptional experiences for all stakeholders.

The support we received from our brokers from day one was incredible, and our brokers have been a key driver of our success. The team of 130 people we have assembled is, in my opinion, the best in the business and second to none. As a result, Trisura has flourished. We have consistently been one of Canada’s fastest-growing and most profitable insurers, and we have been recognized as an employer of choice with world-class employee engagement. In fact, Trisura Guarantee delivered its best year of operation in 2018.

As you know, our parent company went public nearly two years ago, and Trisura is now operating in the US and has international operations. Our little idea has grown into a significant and meaningful corporation. The organization is in great shape and the future is indeed bright.

Everything I had ever dreamed that Trisura could achieve under my watch has been delivered in spades. So, after much deliberation, I have decided this is the ideal time for me to step down as CEO. I am thrilled that my long-time colleague and friend, Chris Sekine, has been selected as my replacement. Chris will do a fantastic job in my stead and will take Trisura Guarantee to even greater heights.Mike George farewell

And what will I do now you may ask? Well, I am looking forward to taking some time off to enjoy the summer at the cottage, doing a lot of fishing and recharging my batteries, and then, I’ll be making some decisions about what I will do next.

I have been a very lucky guy. I have been incredibly fortunate in my career journey, and the past nearly 14 years has absolutely been the ride of my life. I have loved every minute and am extremely proud of the team we have assembled. I am forever grateful for my colleagues’ dedicated effort and for the wonderful support of our broker partners. I have been absolutely blown away by the outpouring of positive sentiment and congratulations from so many of you, my friends, over the past few days. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I look forward to seeing all of you again when our paths next cross. Until then, farewell.

Mike George farewell

 

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company announces appointment of Chris Sekine as President and CEO, consulting arrangement with Mike George

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company announces appointment of Chris Sekine as President and CEO, consulting arrangement with Mike George

Chris Sekine appointed new President and CEO of Trisura Guarantee

TORONTO, March 19, 2019 – Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company (“Trisura Guarantee”) announces the appointment of Chris Sekine as President and Chief Executive Officer of Trisura Guarantee. Chris succeeds Mike George, who will continue to work with Trisura Guarantee on a consulting basis.

Chris Sekine has led Trisura Guarantee’s surety group since its inception, and he is well-known to our employees, brokers and reinsurance partners. Chris has been an integral part of the success of Trisura Guarantee, helping set executive and strategic direction, including our Broker Strategic Initiative, reinsurance placement and overseeing underwriting decisions. Under Chris’ leadership, our surety business has consistently delivered exceptional results.

I’ve known and worked with Chris for over 25 years and have valued his expertise, friendship and passion for the business. He has been part of the Trisura family from the beginning, and I’m confident that under his leadership, Trisura will continue to deliver exceptional experiences and results, while building on our success story, said Mike George.

Mike has been instrumental in the development of Trisura Guarantee from its inception in 2006 through its most successful year in 2018. He has built a strong team respected for their underwriting expertise, responsiveness and cultural values, while navigating the competitive specialty insurance market. Mike will continue to work with Trisura Guarantee on a consulting basis to facilitate the leadership transition. We cannot thank Mike enough for his contributions to Trisura as a founder, a leader and a friend. We wish him every success in the future.

 

About Trisura Guarantee

Trisura Guarantee is a Canadian specialty lines insurance and surety company. Through a select network of national and regional brokerage firms, Trisura Guarantee provides innovative solutions and expertise in Contract, Developer and Commercial Surety, Directors’ and Officers’ Liability, Fidelity, Professional Liability including Media, Technology and Cyber Liability, Property, Casualty and Warranty products. Trisura Guarantee is rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company.

Trisura Guarantee 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 Group has three principal regulated subsidiaries: Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company, Trisura International Insurance Ltd. and Trisura Specialty Insurance Company. Trisura Group is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “TSU.”

For more information, please contact:
Sandra Henkel
Vice President, Marketing & Distribution
Tel: 416 607 2092
Email: Sandra.Henkel@Trisura.com