Canadian Underwriter

Executive Outlook 2022: Jamie Lyons, Westland Insurance Group

December 24, 2021   by Canadian Underwriter Staff

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Jamie Lyons, President and CEO, Westland Insurance Group

Brokers have proven remarkably resilient in 2021 against many unpredictable variables. We’ve learned organic growth is there to be had, but you need to work harder for it – whether that’s being relentless on client experience, navigating a persistently challenging market or turning business models upside down. We’ve learned financial capital is plentiful but that human capital is increasingly scarce. We’ve learned the frenetic pace of broker consolidation in late 2020 wasn’t aberrational and is unlikely to slow in the near term.

One of the greatest challenges for brokers in 2022 will be positioning for what comes next. For most brokers, investments must be made to modernize and build thoughtfully for the future. Some are further along this path than others. Levelling up in people, technology and process is requiring bigger bets, more vision and higher levels of discipline than ever. It may also erode margin in the short term. But if investments are made properly, it should create strength and durability for the long term. Much like the “actuarial revolution” a few decades ago on the carrier side, brokers in 2022 and beyond will be challenged to become increasingly nimble, data-rich and digitally oriented organizations – not so much in the risk-based sense like carriers but rather in the client-relationship sense.

Westland has been on an accelerated journey of growth and national expansion in recent years, which will continue in 2022. We will hit an exciting inflection point in our technology transformation. We will further establish and promote our leading market share in small to mid-sized enterprise (SME) commercial. We will build our presence in communities across Canada, with a specific focus on the Prairies, Ontario and further east. We will make important investments within our key strategic pillars – client experience, employee experience, communities, partnerships and M&A.

See all the 2022 Outlooks here.