Canadian Underwriter

ICBC president Thompson to retire

October 2, 2001   by Canadian Underwriter

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After six years at the helm, the head of British Columbia’s public insurer is stepping down. Thom Thompson has been president and CEO of the Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC) since 1995, and his retirement comes amidst a torrent of changes at the public insurer.
Speculation has loomed that the B.C. auto market will be privatized since the election of a new Liberal government last fall. Since that time, the operations of ICBC have been called into question by private insurers eager to enter the new market. Last month, the Insurance Bureau of Canada called for an independent review of ICBC’s finances in light of an expected $150 million loss for the current year. The entire ICBC board and it chair were replaced last fall and, most recently, 800 ICBC staffers were layed off by the provincial government in a cost-cutting measure.
ICBC notes that Thompson was responsible for at least two initiatives during his tenure the Road Sense safety program and reducing claims costs. Between 1996 and 1999 collision fatalities fell 13% and injuries dropped 16%. Thompson joined ICBC from B.C. Hydro where he was a senior vice president.
ICBC says it is actively seeking a replacement for Thompson when he retires, effective the end of October.

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