Canadian Underwriter

Insurance CEO’s advice on engaging employees amid pandemic

June 4, 2021   by Greg Meckbach

Print this page Share

If your employees are working remotely because of the pandemic, pick up the phone and ask those workers what’s keeping them up at night, suggests the new CEO of the Canadian Universities Reciprocal Insurance Exchange (CURIE).

It is important for leaders, of both insurance carriers and brokerages, to continue to engage with employees when there are not all physically together, said Patrick Lundy, CEO of Burlington, Ont.-based CURIE, in an interview Friday.

Lundy, CEO of Zurich Canada from 2012 through 2017, replaced Keith Shakespeare as CURIE CEO effective April 19, 2021.

Canadian Underwriter asked Lundy about the impact of pandemic restrictions on leading insurance organizations.

“It’s engagement, engagement, engagement. It is critical to find innovative ways to keep your employees motivated and understand their needs and concerns,” said Lundy.

“I think it is important, sometimes, to pick up the phone and have a conversation. What is keeping that employee up at night?”

Throughout his career, Lundy has held leadership roles both with brokerages and carriers. Before joining CURIE, Lundy was senior vice president of manufacturing and real estate in Canada for New York City-based commercial brokerage NFP. Since he started with the industry in 1996 as an underwriter with Zurich Canada, Lundy has also worked in the United States both for Travelers and American International Group and more recently in Canada as national business unit leader, general industries at Purves Redmond Limited.

“Whether you are in a leadership role at an insurer or commercial brokerage, your main focus remains the same. You are servicing and delivering value to your customer, and focussing on your people and your stakeholders. That is fundamental, from my experiences, in being on both sides of leading underwriting companies as well as being on the brokerage side.”

Lundy suggested that when he was CEO of Zurich Canada, he became very familiar with CURIE because Zurich is one of the excess insurers for CURIE’s insurance programs.

“I truly wanted to make an impact in a values-driven organization and CURIE is one of Canada’s top reciprocal insurance companies,” Lundy said, explaining what brought him to CURIE.

“It was a great way for me to utilize my skills and experiences in underwriting large complex exposures, brokering and risk advisory.”

What attracted Lundy to CURIE is that group is customer-centric and adds value by helping subscribers with their risk management.

“It is a unique opportunity because it really encompasses underwriting and broking and risk advisory. You are covering off the facets of insurance.”

CURIE, which represents 64 universities, was founded in 1987 when a group of post-secondary institutions created their own reciprocal in order to stabilize premium costs for all Canadian universities.


Feature image via

Print this page Share

Have your say:

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