Bringing Experience, Providing Vision, Building Opportunity

By Colin Simpson, IBAO CEO 

I do not remember a time within the last fifteen years when there has been so much change in the insurance industry. While I am a firm believer in the benefits of change, I also believe in controlling your own destiny.

I have been working with the IBAO from different perspectives since making Canada my home over 16 years ago. In recent years, I have been working with the association on and off in a leadership role. I am very honoured to accept the role as your Chief Executive Officer and I am committed to build upon the relevance of the independent broker network within Ontario and across Canada. As change takes hold through advancements in technology, evolution of the sharing economy, consolidation across the supply chain and the push by traditionally broker-centric companies into the direct market, we must not lose sight of the broker value. Independent brokers are key to our local communities, servicing customers and ensuring they receive appropriate advice when considering insurance options for their families and businesses. The value of independent advice in a complex and changing marketplace must not be undervalued.

I am very excited about the upcoming strategic planning cycle for the IBAO that will take place this year and into early 2017: working to define “what” the IBAO can and should do to ensure you have the necessary support and “how” to be an effective advocate leading the way through a new reality. The IBAO must add more value and I am determined to take a leading role in shaping that future.

As a family man with two children, one almost 10, the other almost 13, who also grew up in the environment of a family-owned and run business, I am fully aware of the challenges and opportunities of succession planning. I am also very aware that the reality of our business environment will not be the same when our children grow up. To this end, we must continue to encourage and develop the younger generation. IBAO will educate them on what has been done and lean on them to show us what can be done. I believe promoting the talent pipeline is a necessary deliverable for the association.

I am very optimistic about the future of the independent broker network. Yes, change is coming and it will impact us all differently, but it is up to us to determine what role we wish to play in that change. We need to be better at working together, speaking with one voice and most importantly, acting as one if we wish to take the leading role in that change. I am very much looking forward to working with you and leveraging your collective capability to strengthen the value that IBAO will bring to you, our members.

* My first paying job was working in a fruit and vegetable store in Edinburgh, Scotland when I was 17 years old; prior to that, I was working in the family business (but at that age, it didn’t count as a job).
* I call Toronto home.
* My insurance career, in a nutshell, includes everything from trouble shooting to being the CEO of a multi-billion dollar insurance group to building my own tech company to providing customers real-time processing capability throughout their brokerage. I have done many things within the industry, but above all I love working with people and working within the broker distribution network.
* In one word, the future of the broker network is: stimulating.


by Donna

och aye Colin, welcome tae th’team!

August 3 | 08:19

by Helen Ritchie

Ultimate insult!! Edenbourough, should be spelled correctly as Edinburgh.

August 3 | 08:29

    by IBAO

    How could we?!?

    Thanks Helen.

    August 3 | 09:32

Welcome aboard Colin.
I wholeheartedly agree that the industry is changing, rapidly for both the better and sometimes the worse. It is perpetually both challenging as a brokerage owner and exciting as an entrepreneur. With the arrival of drones, autonomous vehicles, bank robbers without getaway cars and guns etc., our world of giving risk advice and delivering insurance solutions is becoming more complex. Additionally, we must learn to work with the generation that follows us AND also learn from them, how we can become better and more efficient at what we do. We must transfer skills in both directions by investing in reverse mentoring.
My greatest concern is that the value of the brokerage is diminishing as Insurers increasingly advertise their own value, with very little mention of the broker’s role as intermediary and trusted adviser. We need to avoid becoming purely a point of access to insurance and return the role of broker to being the pivot point the customer depends upon for risk counsel and insurance placement whenever commercially available.
As principally a commercial broker, I look forward to seeing the difference your leadership will make to our association, best wishes.

August 3 | 12:52

    by Colin Simpson

    Thank you Simon. I agree with you, being ‘known’ as the trusted advisor/go-to person for the consumer is key. It is always too easy to become distracted by personal lines business and personal lines auto business in particular. I am fully aware of the very significant role and size of the Commercial market that our members serve, and that as an Association we need to pay more attention to. I will reach out to you shortly in order to pick your brain!

    August 3 | 15:35

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *