Canadian Underwriter

Yoomi Wynveen, Intact

March 10, 2022   by David Gambrill

Yoomi Wynveen

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Yoomi Wynveen, Deputy Senior Vice President, Claims, Intact Insurance 

Intact’s deputy senior vice president of claims, Yoomi Wynveen, came to the property and casualty insurance industry by way of her finance background. She joined Intact at first via the company’s brokerage, BrokerLink. But when she transitioned over to the company side, she very quickly made her way up through several different roles in the organization.

“I started my career with KPMG pursuing my chartered accounting degree in their audit practice,” Wynveen says. “And at the time, when I moved to Calgary, 14 years ago, oil and gas was the industry to get into.” But the job market in oil and gas was tight, so she made a detour by way of the P&C industry. And she never really left the detour.

“I started my [P&C] career with BrokerLink,” she recalls. “I was really a finance person. I was an assistant controller at BrokerLink for about seven years. And I moved into a VP of Finance role with Intact. I moved through the organization in different types of finance roles until I had the opportunity to go into personal lines underwriting. And then a year ago, I moved into an operational role in claims as a DSVP of claims West.”

She now manages Intact’s western claims operation that covers from prairies out to B.C.

She likes her role because she feels that the insurer really makes a difference in helping people out of difficult situations. And she feels she can succeed because she has a very supportive network of senior executives around her.

“I really look up to the leaders of the organization. There are individuals I genuinely respect and aspire to be like them. They have supported me tremendously over the last 13 years of being at Intact. And not only are my senior leaders very supportive of me, I feel every single day our colleagues genuinely want you to be successful. So, they provide support network exposures and when you have that community of support, I think that goes a long way.”

To help other women succeed, Wynveen points to the need for a diverse culture of leaders who “truly own” the development around them.

“If you look at my career at any juncture, I’ve always had a boss who was incredibly supportive,” she said. “Most people have that. But what made my development unique is that I had a mentor within a formal program for pretty much more than half of my career. I think those are the ones that push you to think outside the box. That gave me the confidence I needed to put up my hand when projects came along.”

And an informal network is also important, she says. “I had a lot of people that I refer to as advocates or guardian angels. These are kind of the leadership relationships you build informally, because you worked on a project together, or you happen to get to know them through whatever social network you were a part of.”

So the development of women leaders in the P&C industry is the result of what you might call a ‘trifecta,’ says Wynveen – a boss, a formal mentor within the organization, and an informal network of guardian angels.

Intentional talent development is critical, she adds.

“Without that [formal mentorship] program, I’m not sure I would have progressed as quickly and got the opportunities outside of finance. Intentional talent management is about being able to identify someone who wants to grow within your organization, someone with potential, and being very intentional in developing them throughout their career, whether it’s through key projects, initiatives, or even having a seat at the [executive] table to understand how people make decisions.”