2016 Annual report

Mr. Jacques Martineau's Report

Message from the Chairman of the Board

Changes to our team and direction

The insurance industry was marked by numerous developments in 2016. Yet even with extremely low interest rates, various legislative and financial changes, and an unfavourable environment overall, Humania Assurance successfully has come through with strong results.

Jacques Martineau

Our dedicated team played an active role in helping us meet our objectives, once again. The entire Humania Assurance family—employees, management, business partners and the advisor network—did their utmost this year to contribute to the company’s development and growth.

Following the first phase of transformation, steadily implemented in recent years, a new phase has been set in motion.

Industry regulations and competition are constantly changing. In such conditions, all market players must take a fresh look at their role, client relationships and, of course, business model. Following the first phase of transformation, steadily implemented in recent years, a new phase has been set in motion. We must adapt swiftly and skilfully to the fast pace of an ever-changing world, through innovation, creative teams and products, our technology choices, digital breakthroughs and mobility, and we must do so with agility and foresight.

The insurance sector is undergoing major changes, making 2017 an important strategic year. The 2016 results are evidence of our successful transformation.

Strategic Execution

The Humania Assurance Board of Directors is charged with representing the interests of all its members by supervising the management team and seeing that the company’s strategy is implemented in alignment with its mission “to design and provide health insurance products that rely on innovation to meet the changing needs of Canadians.”

Our HuGO product highlights the company’s shift toward web-based services.

2016 was an excellent example of how Humania Assurance is executing its strategic plan with agility and precision. The recent launch of our HuGO product highlighted the company’s shift toward web-based services. Our adoption of smart tools that leverage new technologies underscores our desire to incorporate artificial intelligence into our processes to enhance performance. The success of our innovative projects will largely depend on their alignment with our corporate strategy.

We owe this year’s success to all our partners and subsidiaries, as well as our distribution network. Their tireless effort, determination and faith in our company have strengthened our resolve to become even more innovative.

Appointment of a President and Chief Executive Officer

This year, the company welcomed a new President and Chief Executive Officer, Stéphane Rochon. After a thorough vetting process based on the current and future needs of Humania Assurance, the Board of Directors selected Mr. Rochon and, in December, appointed him President and Chief Executive Officer, a position previously held by Richard Gagnon.

Recognized for his vast experience in the development and marketing of insurance products.

Mr. Rochon steps into this role with an impressive background. He has held several major positions in the Canadian finance sector, where he acquired extensive experience in developing and marketing insurance products and an in-depth understanding of national financial product distribution strategies.

Mr. Rochon was formerly Vice-president, sales and marketing for Humania Assurance, a position he held for some thirteen years. He has played a key role in making the company the success it is today.

Governance and Compliance

The Board of Directors fully supports the company’s governance, strategic orientations and subsequent action plans. The Board also places great importance on identifying and managing the risks to which the company is exposed.

This year, the directors worked with the management team to review and update a number of company policies to promote integrated risk management of personal insurance sectors.

In keeping with the integrated risk management policy that guides the company’s operations, the Board identified, weighted and implemented risk controls to mitigate potential risks regarding its business model.

A Well-balanced Team of Experienced Directors

The Board of Directors is composed of nine directors. Competent, upstanding and committed to the success of Humania Assurance, they form a well-balanced and experienced team. Each year, the Board reviews the independence of its members, other than the President and Chief Executive Officer, who is employed by the company. All members are aware of this procedure and renew their commitment to advising, supporting and overseeing the management team in the coming year. In addition, the activity reports drawn up by the Board’s various committees, which may be found at the end of the annual report, demonstrate each committee’s hard work.

I thank my colleagues on the Board of Directors, as well as the company’s employees and our management team for their ongoing dedication.

In 2017, we will push the boundaries of our industry with even more resolve by offering members from coast to coast the solutions of tomorrow. Our ability to innovate is the key to the future.

Tribute to Richard Gagnon

The Board of Directors extends its sincere thanks to Richard Gagnon for his loyal service as President and Chief Executive Officer of Humania Assurance since December 2003. Under his leadership, the company enjoyed constant growth that strengthened its financial position and ensured the maintenance of a high level of governance.

The past thirteen years held great changes and successes for the company:

  • Legal restructuring;
  • A solid new financial partner;
  • A new name and a revamped corporate image;
  • A forward-thinking shift to digital with the introduction of Insurance Without Medical Exam (IWME) in 2013, and HuGO in 2016.

In 2016, Mr. Gagnon informed me of his wish to retire. Retirement is always a momentous time in a person’s life, not only for himself, but for his family and colleagues. Although saddened by his departure, the Board of Directors understands his decision. On behalf of myself and all the Board members, we thank him for all his years of loyal, invaluable service and for his unwavering commitment to the company.

13 years of commitment and success as the President and Chief Executive Officer

Richard Gagnon's career with Humania Assurance

Board Member from 1992 to 2016

Board Chairman from 1995 to 2003

President and CEO from 2003 to 2016