Canadian Underwriter

Homegrown Solutions

May 25, 2011   by Romana King

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Company: Trisura Guarantee Insurance Co.

Executives: John Garner, Mike George, Bob Taylor
Year Founded: 2006
# of Employees: 52 (in four offices across Canada)
Public or Private: Private

Premiums/Year: Trisura opened its doors in 2006. By 2009, Trisura reported $37 million (CDN) in revenue, $2.5 million in underwriting profit and $5 million in investment profit

Beginnings: The brainchild of P&C veterans Robert Taylor, Michael George and John Garner, Trisura Guarantee Insurance Co. (Trisura) first opened its doors in April 2006 with financial backing from Brookfield Asset Management. The idea was to offer brokers and their clients a Canadian-made solution for corporate risk and surety. “The secret to our success is selective relationships with brokers–making sure that we all have similar philosophies and approaches,” says Garner.

Reasons to Watch: Trisura started, and maintains, its distinctive edge by adhering to its specialty lines insurance company philosophy. “We offer risk solutions,” in the areas of construction, corporate risk and surety, explains George. “These are great segments to be in, considering 80% of Canada’s infrastructure is past its service life [and] close to 60% of Canada’s infrastructure is over 40 years old,” states George.

The ability to offer this Canadian-made solution that offers economically appropriate solutions and a timely response is at the core of the Trisura business model. It’s also the reason why the company’s c-suite is confident that the company will earn $50 million (CDN) in revenue this year–double the earned revenue since inception.

“We pride ourselves on being nimble, entrepreneurial and service-oriented,” says George. “We are a Canadian company–competing at home.”

Recent Triumphs: “We go up against companies from the U.S. and Europe every day. They are usually much larger and older than our organization and appear to have every advantage,” explains George. “Yet, we have now surpassed $100 million (CDN) in total revenue since we opened our doors four years ago. What’s more, we feel we have an opportunity to write $50 million in 2010.”

New Initiatives: Due to a continually growing balance sheet and disciplined underwriting principles, Trisura was offered added capacity in their contract and commercial surety businesses. This enables the company to write $25 million bonds in-house (or $50 million contracts if 50% bonds are required) and can exceed this limit with special acceptance. Trisura also broadened their product mix. In their Corporate Risk division, brokers now have access to ‘soft’ medical malpractice risks, as well as Media, Miscellaneous & Technology Professional Liability, D&O, extortion, kidnap and ransom coverage and Fidelity bonding. Trisura is also experiencing growth in its Risk Solutions business, in particular the warranty-related products.

However, despite growth in other areas of their business, Trisura continues to nurture and grow its core specialties: construction and surety.

“Based on capital and capacities, the mid to small construction market is where the opportunity exists in the Canadian market,” explains Taylor. “While other [carriers] look past for the elephant, our view is on the long term, which makes small to mid-size construction companies our future.”

Quote from Representative: “It works differently here. The fact that the decisions are made here, in Canada, rather than having to go through layers of an international organization is something our brokers [and their clients] really appreciate.”

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Co.
Charitable contributions: N/A
Company Website:
Office Location: Toronto office: 70 York Street, Ste. 1100, (416) 214-2555; Montreal office: 1501 McGill College Avenue, Ste. 1620, (514) 845-4555; Calgary office: 150-6th Ave. SW, Ste. 3360, (403) 663-3343; Vancouver office: 666 Burrard St., Ste. 1530, (604) 688-5641.

© Copyright 2010 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the June 2010 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine.

This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.