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

Happy Holidays from Trisura!

Happy Holidays from Trisura!

Happy Holidays 2020

Dear friends,

Thankfully we are nearing the end of what has been a challenging year. Regardless of your traditions, we will all spend the holiday season differently this year. What will remain consistent is the holiday spirit and it being a time for hope, rest and reflection. There is much hope for 2021 as vaccines should be made available to many. Please encourage your friends, family and colleagues to remain resilient and to be patient as there is light at the end of the tunnel.

As Trisura looks to 2021, we are committed to our brokers and striving to be a step above. This past summer many of our brokers graciously completed our survey and provided us with valuable insights. Your message to us was clear:

  • You trust Trisura and rely on us for consistency, strong personal relationships, enthusiasm, our willingness to listen and collaborate, being solutions focused and remaining a broker-only company;
  • We must remember our roots and maintain the identity that has brought success as we continue to grow our specialty lines company, while keeping an entrepreneurial spirit that cares and provides unparalleled service;
  • You want more of Trisura, which includes capacity, products and great people.

As we create our roadmap for the future, your insights will form the foundation of our plans. Although 2020 has been a challenging year on many fronts, for Trisura it was transformative in many ways. The pandemic sharpened our focus, and my great colleagues at Trisura soldiered on and continued to deliver. We raised a significant amount of capital to facilitate the growth of our business, increased our revenue base in Canada by almost 60% through the third quarter, planned and announced our January 2021 entry into the U.S. surety market and facilitated new insurance capacity in Canada through unadmitted reinsurers, all while delivering an industry-leading combined ratio of 85%.

Last year at this time (pre-covid) I shared a passage entitled “Man in the Arena,” which was an address delivered by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910. In 2020 I have replaced the word man with person. As a reminder, it goes like this:

It is not the critic who counts; not the person who points out how the strong person stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends themself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if they fail, at least fails while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

I can think of no better time to recite this passage. For Trisura, this passage rings true; especially during the pandemic. I hope it helps to inspire you as it has for us. Our team stayed in the arena and you can always count on us being there, helping you succeed and striving to create an exceptional experience.

Thank you for continuing to place your trust in Trisura and in our people.

There is much to look forward to in 2021 and I am hopeful there are better times ahead. May the holiday season provide you with some respite. From our families to yours, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season and good health and success in 2021.

Best wishes,

Chris

Trisura Group Ltd. Appoints George R. James to Lead U.S. Surety Operations

Trisura Group Ltd. Appoints George R. James to Lead U.S. Surety Operations

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, NOVEMBER 30, 2020 – Trisura Group Ltd. (“Trisura”) (TSX: TSU) is pleased to announce the appointment of George R. James as Chief Underwriting Officer, Surety, for the organization’s new U.S. surety platform. This appointment will be effective January 4, 2021. George will lead Trisura’s entry into the U.S. surety market and head its U.S. surety operations.

George R. James to lead Trisura U.S. surety operations.

George is a seasoned surety leader with 25 years of experience, extensive market knowledge and deep-rooted relationships across the United States. George’s career includes 14 years in executive leadership positions at International Fidelity Insurance Company (“IFIC”), including the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer. At IFIC, George was instrumental in the strategic positioning and operations of the company and delivered consistent and profitable underwriting results. In addition, George was a past Chair of the Commercial Surety Advisory Committee of the Surety & Fidelity Association of America. Trisura looks forward to drawing on George’s leadership capabilities as we expand in the U.S. market.

With the launch of Trisura’s U.S. surety operations, agents and brokers will be able to access a North American platform including Trisura’s Canadian operations, currently the third-largest surety provider in Canada. Trisura’s North American platform will leverage the strong underwriting track record and profitability of the Canadian group in addition to the established infrastructure including an innovative online portal and e-bonding platform. Consistent with Trisura’s strategy, the U.S. surety platform will partner with a select agent and broker network and will offer custom solutions and experiences that are always “a step above.”

Chris Sekine, responsible for Trisura’s global surety platform and President and CEO of Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company, expressed his excitement about the new addition: “I’ve known George for 15 years,” said Chris. “His passion for the surety industry has allowed him to consistently deliver above-market results over his career. George knows the importance of building and strengthening relationships and is committed to providing agents and brokers with an exceptional experience. I’m eager to see our U.S. surety operation launch and grow under George’s leadership.”

 

About Trisura:

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

Further information is available at https://www.trisura.com/group. Important information may be disseminated exclusively via the website; investors should consult the site to access this information. Details regarding the operations of Trisura Group Ltd. are also set forth in regulatory filings. A copy of the filings may be obtained on Trisura Group’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.

For more information, please contact:
Bryan Sinclair
Tel: (416) 607-2135
Email: bryan.sinclair@trisura.com

Trisura Guarantee President and CEO makes Global 100 List

Trisura Guarantee President and CEO makes Global 100 List

Chris Sekine, Trisura Guarantee’s President and CEO, has been named a top insurance industry leader by Insurance Business. The publication has released its second-annual Global 100 list, which features the finest leaders in six different markets of the industry: Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Asia-Pacific.

The individuals selected for the list are key industry players that possess outstanding leadership capabilities—both internally and externally—making a difference in today’s markets to carry the industry into the new era.

Chris Sekine to build on successes of Mike George“It is truly an honour and humbling to be part of this list of prestigious list, alongside many highly esteemed insurance executives and especially those from Canada,” Chris says. “Our industry is constantly evolving, and this has never been more true than in 2020. Through the headwinds of 2020, Trisura aims to stay the course and continue to collaborate with our broker partners to ensure our service remains a step above. My sincere thanks to the tremendous team at Trisura for their dedication, support and drive. Truly, it is our entire team together that delivers and deserves the recognition.”

Chris has been with Trisura Guarantee since its inception in 2006 and led the start up of our surety operation, which as since grown to be the fourth largest writer of surety in Canada. In the spring of 2019, Chris stepped into his current position as President and CEO and he is instrumental in setting Trisura’s strategic direction and ensuring our core focus remains on specialty lines and building quality business, while providing a step above service for our select network of broker partners. Internally, Chris continues to be a champion for employees and encourages personal growth and career development.

Having worked closely with Chris for the past decade, Cindy Grant, Trisura’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources, isn’t surprised he is on the coveted list. “Since I joined Trisura in 2010, the company has flourished under the entire leadership team and more recently under Chris’s direction and guidance,” Cindy says. “Chris’s practical and visionary leadership will take Trisura well into the future – all while keeping focus on what matters most: our employees and our customers.”

Chris also appeared on the inaugural Global 100 list in 2019.

To view the official 2020 Global 100 list, click here.

Happy Thanksgiving from Trisura!

Happy Thanksgiving from Trisura!

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear friends,

It’s hard to believe we are now in October. Although COVID-19 impacted many summer plans, I hope you were able to make the most of the warm weather and sunshine. Unfortunately, active cases are again on the rise in most provinces, and I wish you and those close to you good health and safety.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I find myself reflecting on the events that have taken place in 2020 thus far. Even during these difficult times, I have so much to be thankful for, including my wonderful family and friends, my fantastic, resilient co-workers and that we have all remained in good health. On behalf of everyone at Trisura, we are thankful for having you as our business partners and for your continued support. We hope that we’ve been able to serve and support your needs, even from a distance.

Like most of you, we’ve been working remotely since March. Although we miss our face-to-face interactions, our top priority has been to continue to strengthen our relationships to ensure that we deliver on our promise of providing you with “a step above” experience.

Over the summer, we conducted a broker survey to provide us with insights to serve you better and enhance your experience with Trisura. The response rate was overwhelming, and I’d like to express our sincere gratitude. We are currently reviewing the data and will soon provide a summary of the results.

We have been busy working on many exciting initiatives this year, with the most significant being our official entry into the US Surety market beginning in January 2021. I am pleased to announce that George James will be joining Trisura on January 4, 2021, to lead our US Surety business. George joins Trisura with over 20 years of industry experience, with the last five years as Executive Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer at International Fidelity Insurance Company. George will bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and relationships to Trisura, and we are very excited for him to begin his new journey. We will be sharing more on this exciting news over the coming months.

Even during these difficult times, Trisura’s business continues to thrive and that is because of you. We sincerely thank you for your trust in Trisura and for your continued support. On behalf of everyone at Trisura, I wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

 

Chris Sekine
President & CEO