Canada’s Economical Restructures to Strengthen Broker Relationships, Profits

November 17, 2017

Economical Insurance announced the creation of a new organizational structure, with three market-facing regions.

The restructuring is designed to improve profits, strengthen relationships with broker partners, capture more market share in small business, and expand capabilities in middle market and specialties, the company said in a statement.

“We have evolved our commercial lines strategy so that it better serves our vision to be a top P/C insurer in Canada,” said Fabian Richenberger, executive vice president, Commercial Insurance.

For the company’s broker partners, these structural changes “create a more responsive way of working together for our mutual benefit,” he added.

The new three regional teams and their senior leaders are:

  • Western Region: As vice president of the Western Region, Chris Weber will oversee regional commercial underwriting in British Columbia, Alberta and the Prairies.
  • Ontario Region: Fabian Richenberger will oversee the Ontario region with the support of Sherry Miller, regional commercial manager, until a new leader has been appointed for the region.
  • Eastern Region: On joining Economical on Dec. 1, Glen Bates will be vice president of the Eastern Region, with oversight of Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.

The regional leaders also will support the execution of Economical’s personal lines strategy in close cooperation with the regional business development directors, the company continued.

Commercial Segments

To support its regional operations, Economical also is introducing core commercial segments to meet the needs of customer groups. These segments and their leaders are:

  • Agriculture and Transportation. As division vice president of Agriculture and Transportation, Ken Worsley will maintain accountability for the agriculture business, Western General, and take on the added scope of transportation.
  • Small Business. As division vice president of Small Business, Katherine Hanratty’s goal is to increase market share and gain scale through the creation of a highly automated underwriting solution.
  • Specialty Lines. Matthew Buchalter will be the interim leader of Specialty Lines. The team will continue to manage managing general agent (MGA) relationships and begin to explore additional specialty product opportunities

Other announcements were made in the areas of pricing, underwriting and operations, which are:

  • Commercial Pricing. As vice president of Commercial Pricing, Matthew Buchalter will lead the development and maintenance of pricing frameworks, tools and processes, and analytics.
  • Corporate Underwriting. As assistant vice president of Corporate Underwriting, Brenda Smythe will oversee product development and implementation and coordinate business line risk and quality assurance activities.
  • Commercial Operations. On joining Economical on Dec. 4 as assistant vice president of Commercial Operations, Chris Evans will oversee operational planning and execution, guide key profitability improvement initiatives, and assure timely and actionable business intelligence is available across all of commercial insurance.

“We have streamlined and decentralized decision-making authority, enabling quicker decisions in the regions and key underwriting segments,” said Richenberger. “Our knowledgeable front-line underwriters will have the authority to make timely assessments to service brokers better. We anticipate this renewed focus will empower employees to bring their best and help attract top talent from outside of the company.”

This restructuring has been Richenberger’s focus since he joined Economical on May 1.

A highly regarded executive in Canada’s insurance sector, he previously served as president of Northbridge Insurance and most recently as partner and head of Financial Services for CarProof Corp. He also has extensive international experience from a 25-year career in Europe, Chicago and New York.

Source: Economical Insurance