Canadian Underwriter

Gore Mutual shakes up executive team as part of new digital strategy

October 23, 2019   by Jason Contant

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Gore Mutual is making a number of key changes to its executive team as part of a new strategy to grow into a digital-led national insurer, the carrier announced Wednesday.

It intends to grow beyond its core markets of Ontario and British Columbia.

As part of the announced changes, chief information officer Sean Christie and Jamie McDougall, vice president of business intelligence and analytics, have left Gore Mutual, the insurer said in a press release.

“I am immensely grateful to Sean and Jamie for their service to our company over many years,” said Heidi Sevcik, the insurer’s president and CEO. “Both of them will leave with distinction and our sincere thanks and appreciation. We are now looking forward with a new senior management group that will bring the expertise and vision needed to deliver our ambitious goals.”

There is also two new vice president positions. Lyndsay Monk will become Gore Mutual’s vice president of finance and Deborah Upton will become vice president of pricing and actuarial.

“As a mutual company, we have the autonomy to make long-term decisions about our future,” said chief financial officer Andy Taylor. “This includes optimizing our strong balance sheet and exploring new and innovative ways of accessing and deploying capital to fuel our growth.”

The insurer is creating two C-suite roles – chief underwriting officer and chief technology and data officer. Recruitment for both roles is underway, with external candidates being considered, Gore reported.

The chief underwriting officer will be responsible for transforming Gore’s ability to support ambitious growth across Canada with national and regional brokers in product, pricing, risk management, reinsurance and underwriting operations. The chief data and technology officer will be responsible for leading a new team to transform the company’s platforms, digital capability, data sophistication, automation and cognitive analytic expertise.

Gore said it created its “ambitious new strategy to grow into a purpose-driven, digitally-led national insurer” in response to fast-changing customer expectations and technology.

The executive team changes and creation of the two new C-suite positions are phase one of Gore’s Next Horizon project with further announcements to come in early 2020.

Gore’s new strategy includes four components:

1. Purpose-Driven – Gore will transform itself into a purpose-driven company with a new brand that will differentiate it in a crowded insurance market

2. Digitally-Led – The company will rethink its approach to technology, data, product and pricing to move away from complicated insurance systems and processes and create a new platform to grow

3. National expansion – The insurer will grow beyond its core markets of Ontario and British Columbia into a national insurer driven by strengthened commercial mid-market capability, simplified business operations, sophisticated pricing and broker relationships

4. Insurance retailing – The company’s Insurance Store subsidiary will be used to partner with brokers to research and develop new ways of reaching customers by becoming a branded retailer with a fresh approach to customer experience.

“It is an exciting time at Gore Mutual as we announce changes that will unleash our potential as an agile mid-size insurer,” Sevcik said. “Our franchise has never been stronger and now is the right time to take ambitious steps forward to transform our brand and grow our business.”

Gore ranked 17th in the private P&C market by net premiums written of nearly $419 million in 2018, according to Canadian Underwriter’s 2019 Stats Guide.

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