While 2023 will conclude with record breaking premium and no new major claims, the year certainly had its challenges. Early in 2023, the exodus of employees in our Halifax office began and while we are extremely pleased that Jennifer Love recently joined us in an Assistant Vice President role, there remains the need for additional depth in our Atlantic office. As noted previously in our yearend E-zines, the surety industry as a whole continues to face the challenges of a supply and demand market with the latter outweighing the supply.
With a strong premium performance over the last half of December, Western Surety has a realistic chance of breaking the $40,000,000 level for the first time in history. The last two years have realized significant growth for Western Surety and with close to a 40% increase in organic premium over that span, we are among the leaders, if not the leader, in growth percentage among the traditional Canadian sureties. A sincere thank you is in order to all of our employees for their contributions to this success!
Significant employee developments in 2023 include the promotions to Surety Underwriters for Jared Dolson and Michael Chiarantano (Toronto) and Carter Ramler (Regina), James Toothill, Chief Claims Manager receiving the ACSB designation and Brent Oshanek, Senior Vice president celebrating his 35th anniversary with the company. On a sadder note, Paul Bourassa – long-time Legal Counsel and Chief Claims Manager – passed away in the fall.
Late in the year, Senior Management, Directors and shareholders engaged in a two day strategic retreat and the results will be incorporated and enjoyed throughout the coming year. As noted in our previous E-zine, Matthew Hill was appointed to Chairman of the Board replacing his father Paul. While Paul Hill will remain on the Western Surety Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce a unique program in order to recognize his 20 years as our Chairman. The Hill Family and Western Surety have always been avid supporters of education and growth of knowledge and as such, I am very happy to advise that Western Surety plans to provide 20 $1,000 Registered Education Saving Plan donations on behalf of the children of our brokers. Complete application details will be provided in early 2024!
While we approach 2024 with tempered enthusiasm relative to the surety industry, the global socioeconomic issues are obviously a concern. While the latter is ‘out of our hands’, the former will be guided by our standard underwriting principles and company values. Our long time slogan of “It’s all about the people” remains applicable and our strongest attribute!
On behalf of the entire WSC staff, our Directors and ownership, I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy (and Healthy) New Year!
President and CEO
Connor Chow, Manager, Construction Projects and Solutions will be taking his skills south of the border and his last day at Western Surety will be December 15, 2023. Although it is rarely a positive to see a Canadian professional leave our country, we certainly wish Connor well in his future endeavours!
Our annual tradition of having Western Surety employees enter into a draw for the right to select Western Surety’s annual Christmas charity donation continues and, Brent Oshanek, Regina Office, chose the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan.
Our Regina (including remote), Toronto, and Halifax offices Holiday Schedule is as follows:
Friday, December 22nd – CLOSING AT NOON (local time)
Monday, December 25th – CLOSED
Tuesday, December 26th – CLOSED
Friday, December 29th – CLOSING AT 3:00 PM (local time)
Monday, January 1st – CLOSED
2100-1881 Scarth Street
Regina, SK Canada S4P 4K9