1 Mark Wilson , a CEO of AIA Group Ltd. until 2010, will assume the helm as CEO of London-based Aviva PLC on January 1, 2013. Wilson, a former CEO of AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd. and former CEO of AXA China Region Ltd., joined Aviva's Board of Directors on December 1. When Wilson begins his new role in January, John McFarlane - who has been acting in an executive capacity since CEO Andrew Moss left earlier this year - will become non-executive chairman, Aviva notes in a statement. The company operates in 21 countries, with Canada being its second-largest general insurance market.
2 Kanetix Ltd., an insurance quote comparison company, has acquired Insurance Hotline, which includes ComparaSave.com, for an undisclosed amount from subsidiaries of Torstar Corp. The Kanetix.ca and InsuranceHotline.com websites will be "marketing strategies," but will continue to run as separate brands managed by Kanetix Ltd. The idea going forward is to increase overall traffic to both sites, which will help grow broker and insurance partners' businesses, reports Janine White, vice president of marketplace for Kanetix. Noting that Insurance Hotline has a larger number of broker relationships than Kanetix, White says, "I think we are going to be stronger together to help grow the channel." Torstar will hold a minority stake in the new entity.
3 Bruce Martin  has joined Granite Claims Solutions as vice president of strategic solutions. Martin brings more than two decades of experience in the insurance industry to the new post, having held senior claims, sales and leadership roles at both insurers and independent adjusting firms, Granite Claims Solutions notes. Based in Toronto, his new responsibilities will include acting as a liaison between the company's adjusters and insurers across the country to identify new services and improve efficiencies. "Bruce's broad experience and in-depth knowledge of the claims industry will allow him to take a very technical approach to working with our clients," says Michael Holden, the company's president and CEO.
4 Assured Automotive of Toronto has announced it has formed a new company operating five auto collision repair centres in the Ottawa area. Having acquired Frank & Guy Auto Body Ltd. on October 1, which was owned by Guy Cousineau [4a], Assured Ontario East is now comprised of the three Frank & Guy locations and two Concordia Collision Centres garages, bringing Ontario locations to 43. "We feel that the insurance companies will have some benefit to dealing with a multiple-store operator, a corporately owned entity, as opposed to the traditional methods of customer care," says president and CEO Tony Canadé. Walter Grego will be Assured Ontario East's president; Cousineau will be vice president of operations, technical; and Don Strong [4b] will be vice president of operations, administration.
5 The YMCA of Greater Toronto's risk intelligence program has been recognized with RIMS's 2012 Enterprise Risk Management Award of Distinction. "Our YMCA risk strategy has evolved through integrative thinking that is generating new perspectives and tools, enabling us to respond successfully to the changing needs of communities we serve," says Monica Merrifield, vice president of risk intelligence for YMCA of Greater Toronto. "Enterprise risk management has become an increasingly important organizational competency that not only protects organizations from detrimental risks, but has proven to help identify positive risks that can lead to profitable opportunities," says Carol Fox, director of strategic and enterprise risk practice for RIMS. Judging criteria for the award includes the scope of the ERM program and how it engages different levels throughout the organization; the program's link or connection to overall mission; and its ability to create additional value.
6 Vancouver-based On Side Restoration Services Ltd. has acquired Higgins ProTeam Restorations Inc., a restoration contractor in Ontario. "Our mission is to be and be seen as the leading restoration contractor in Canada and there is no doubt that you have to have a solid foothold in the Ontario market to think about making that a reality," says Craig Hogarth, company founder and owner. Each of Higgins ProTeam's four offices offered restoration-emergency services, contents and re-construction to select insurance companies, insurance brokers and property managers. Jay Kielt will oversee London/ Woodstock, Bill O'Callaghan will oversee Burlington and a new manager will be hired for Kitchener, with all locations operating under the On Side Restoration name as soon as is practicable. The company has branches in British Columbia, Alberta, Atlantic Canada and Ontario.
7 CSN Collision & Glass will partner with Quebec-based Carrossier ProColor to create Canada's largest national collision network, with 265 locations. Carrossier ProColor will now represent the interests of CSN in Quebec. "The cultures and synergies of our two networks are an excellent match, and this alliance will not only help to strengthen and grow both CSN and Carrossier ProColor, but will also allow us to provide a complete national solution to our national insurance partners," says Flavio Battilana, CSN's chief operating officer. "Consumers will also be happy with the fact that all businesses making up the new network are collision repair facilities selected for their high levels of performance and their standards of excellence," adds Michel Charbonneau, CEO of Carrossier ProColor in Quebec.
8 ClaimsPro has welcomed two new vice presidents. In line with the creation of distinct business units in Ontario, Paul Féron [8a] and Dan Buch [8b] will serve as vice president for Western Ontario and vice president of Eastern Ontario, respectively. A 14-year veteran of ClaimsPro and in the insurance industry for more than 30 years, Féron has been a key player on the company's management team, building a strong professional network of branches in southwest Ontario. He will be based in London.
Ottawa-based Buch, who has worked at Cunningham Lindsey and State Farm, will focus on providing clients quality work and excellent customer service as he helps build the company's eastern presence. Féron and Buch will report to ClaimsPro president Bob Fitzgerald.
9 Applied Systems Inc. has announced the general release of version 12 of The Agency Manager (TAM), a single-entry system. "For Canadian customers, it includes all-new capabilities for writing commercial lines policies," Applied Systems notes of the software for insurance brokers and agents. It includes enhanced integration with Compu-Quote Inc., acquired by Applied Systems in June and whose software includes applications that compare underwriting and rates for auto and property insurance, adds a company statement. As for other new offerings, MobileProducer works over both WiFi networks and cellular networks using the third-generation and Long Term Evolution standards, and extracts data from the broker management system (BMS). Among other things, users will be able to access client accounts, activities, contacts, prospective customers and insurance policy information. MobileProducer, which does not work with other BMSs or with other vendors' systems, is currently available for download both from Apple iTunes and Google Play.
10 Keal Technology now offers real-time, round-trip, policy change transaction to its broker community. This is possible through keal connect, the company's single entry multiple company interface solution. Brokers can process a fully underwritten and broker-approved endorsement transaction in the insurer's policy administration system, without leaving sigXP, Keal's BMS, and without insurer involvement. "Our studies indicate that on average, 30% of all broker-related transactions are pure policy changes," says Keal president Pat Durepos, but policy change transactions account on average for less than 1% of brokers' revenue. The product can help improve workflow, Durepos suggests. Keal has also partnered with Intrinsync, whose real-time technology will allow brokers to offer policyholders online service and purchase options 24/7. "This will be achievable by the end of next year," says Colin Simpson, president and CEO of Intrinsync.