As the year 2017 draws to a close, The Insurance & Investment Journal suggests you read or re-read our 10 most popular articles. From insurers restructuring to others being sanctioned, it has been an interesting year!
1 - Great-West Life restructures
Great-West Life restructured its advisory channel this year. The new structure includes three distinct individual advisor networks and a wholesaling organization.
2 - Manulife pays to settle
Manulife agreed to pay $69 million to settle class action lawsuits in Ontario and Quebec. It was alleged that Manulife did not meet its disclosure obligations related to its exposure to market price risk in its segregated funds and variable annuity guaranteed products.
3 - Shaw Direct employees suspected of fraud against an insurer
Some 80 employees from a Shaw Direct office in Montreal are alleged to have perpetrated a fraud against Great-West during 2011 and 2012. They are suspected of making fictitious or exaggerated dental benefit claims totaling $693,675 under their group insurance plan.
To learn more: Fraud against Great-West Life is only the tip of the iceberg
4 - Great-West acquires an MGA
Financial Horizons Group was acquired by Great-West Life last May. The MGA was owned in part by Genstar Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, and by its managers.
To learn more: Great-West Life acquires Financial Horizons Group
5 - Changes to regulation for tax preparation
The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) announced in May that tax preparers that want online access to a business client’s tax information now have to complete an authorization request.
To learn more: CRA announces changes to form RC59
6 - Desjardins sanctioned by the AMF
The Autorité des marchés financiers heavily sanctioned Desjardins Financial Security and the Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec more than $1 million. The AMF found they did not follow sound business practices in distributing a student loan group life, health, and job loss insurance product.
To learn more: Desjardins heavily sanctioned by the AMF
7 - Insurer eliminates blood, urine and nicotine tests
Manulife announced that it had eliminated blood, urine and nicotine testing for eligible applicants seeking up to one million dollars in life insurance coverage. The program was introduced in May 2016 for term life products and extended to all Manulife’s individual life insurance offering in 2017.
8 - Western Financial Group and Western Life Assurance sold to Wawanesa Subsidiary
Desjardins sold Western Financial Group and Western Life Assurance to Tremont Financial Ltd., a subsidiary of The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company for about $775 million. Desjardins acquired Western Financial Group for $440 million in 2011.
9 - Worldsource Financial Management fined by MFDA
Worldsource Financial Management was fined $150,000 by the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada.
To learn more: Worldsource Financial Management fined $150,000 by MFDA
10 - An insurer looks to grow net premiums by 70 per cent
Combined Insurance’s director of Canadian Operations Guy Sauvé aims to boost the insurer’s net premiums by 70 per cent in the next five years by increasing distribution.