Bruno Michaud, Senior VP Sales at iA Financial Group, will be retiring August 1, 2017 after 35 years with the company. Pierre Vincent and Manon Gauthier will be replacing him.

An important player in the insurance business, particularly among managing general agents, and a part of CEO Yvon Charest’s inner circle, Michaud joined Industrial Alliance in January 1982. He has held many strategic positions in the insurance and investment divisions and in distribution.

Restructuring begins

Michaud informed Yvon Charest of his intentions two years ago. In consequence, the CEO of iA began restructuring management in February 2015. Notably, Pierre Vincent, President of iA Excellence since 2012, was made Vice-President of Individual Insurance for iA Financial Group.

During the period that Michaud’s retirement was officially announced in December 2016, iA offered Vincent the position of Senior Vice President of Individual Insurance and Sales. Meanwhile, Charles Parent was offered Chief of Operations for iA Excellence, of which Vincent would remain president. Manon Gauthier was offered Senior Vice President, Savings and Retirement.

Adapt at all cost  

Asked about some career highlights, Michaud recalls developing a strategic plan for Industrial Alliance in 1990, which was at the time led by former provincial minister Raymond Garneau. “Today, if I rewrote a strategic plan, I would include the same challenges I found 26 years ago: technology, regulation, interest rates, insurance price trends and pricing risk, demographic change and an aging population.

Regardless of the challenges faced since 1990, Michaud says there have been no dramatic changes in the industry. “Change has happened smoothly. In 35 years, I saw this company grow and expand out West without ever changing its core business, and without destabilizing the company. In 1987 we had an investment product sales goal of $100 million. Last year, these sales hit $2.7 billion,” he says.

“I am retiring in glory: 2016 will be a record year in insurance sales, not only for IA, but for the entire industry from what I hear,” he says, commenting on the effects of new tax regulation on life insurance policies.

“Biased regulation favours banks”

The only thing that Bruno Michaud looks upon with a negative eye is what he views as the emergence of regulation biased in favour of the banks. For example, the CRM2 disclosure rules will not put banks and independents on a level playing field, he says.