John is an accomplished Insurance Executive with deep and broad market development experience and exceptional customer relationship skills. Starting his career as a commercial underwriter in the ‘80s at the Guarantee Company of North America, John quickly moved into meaningful management roles in the early ‘90s and spent the next 20 years running successful P&Ls at prominent international carriers including The Travelers, Zurich, and Aviva Canada.
The NovaRisk team is building a fast-paced organization that will deliver innovative risk transfer solutions to its customers – not just insurance policies. The leadership team is dedicated to having diversity of thought where every team member’s unique perspective, experiences and ideas are welcome. Our entrepreneurial culture will be attractive to self-motivated individuals who are tired of the status quo at big corporate clients.
Maz is an agile leader with experience transforming and remediating insurance businesses and managing fast growing P&Ls. Maz began his insurance career in 2003 and progressed quickly into meaningful management roles in various functions and business units in Canada and the U.S. Maz was most recently the Chief Operating Officer of Aviva’s large global corporate solutions division, leading a team of 50 people with a P&L of $500M. Prior to taking the role of COO, Maz has held executive roles spanning Personal Lines, Commercial SME, and Reinsurance that have provided breadth of experience successfully managing the P&L in diverse leadership roles across technical, manufacturing and distribution mandates across product lines.
At NovaRisk we believe that the market will welcome a new entrant that is focused on providing commercial clients that have complex insurance and surety appropriate coverage and limits solutions with a robust panel of carriers. We pride ourselves on a culture of transparency and trust with our carrier partners focused on the fundamentals of risk selection, underwriting and technical rating.
Director, Underwriting and QA
With over 30 years in the insurance industry, Alan is a skilled leader with wide-ranging experience across multiple disciplines having held senior leadership roles in Commercial Lines, Specialty Lines, and Broker Distribution with two prominent Canadian insurers. Experienced in leading both regional and national teams, Alan has worked and lived in multiple regions across Canada allowing him to gain a deep understanding of the insurance marketplace and the broker community. Alan joins NovaRisk to lead its Technical Underwriting Department with a focus on pricing, in-house wording development, and underwriting governance.
The MGAU space is growing at a rapid pace as brokers find it increasingly difficult to place mid-market to large-complex risks. Backed by quality carrier partners and reinsurers, NovaRisk provides an alternative to a broker’s traditional markets to solve these problems. It is a privilege to join an organization with such depth of experience and knowledge of the Canadian marketplace.
Shima began her insurance career in 1997 underwriting Property and Casualty insurance programs. With a focus on mid to large and global casualty accounts with US exposure and operations. Shima has been consistent in providing sound underwriting and underwriting due diligence with customers’ needs and satisfaction in mind. Shima has managed a team of casualty underwriters for 10 years as well as worked with reinsurers on the treaty and facultative placements, developing a broker network, strategy, and appetite statements. Shima launched the Casualty division of Aviva’s Global Corporate & Specialty, which she grew to $50M in less than five years at market best loss ratios and underwriting profits. Shima has experience in various segments such as manufacturing, heavy machinery, construction, sporting/toys, and food and beverage.
Phillip is a Senior Insurance professional with over 35 years in Commercial Insurance, with a career that has involved many classes of Business including Casualty, Auto, Marine, and Property. Phillip spent the first decade of his career in Vancouver in underwriting and broking. After moving to Toronto, he spent a decade with an MGA working with domestic carriers as well as placing business in Lloyds. Phillip then worked for an international carrier including working with Corporate Global Risks, as well as leading the mid-market team for North and South America, and then moved into Market Management, leading a team that was responsible for broker and client relationships. Phillip has also been involved in setting up Reinsurance on a facultative and treaty basis. Phillip’s last place of employment was to lead Programs and corporate business as well as being part of the Senior Leadership team.
Claims Practice Leader
Richard Pouliot is a claims professional with nearly 30 years of experience managing P&C insurance claims. A Chartered Professional Accountant by trade, Richard spent nearly 25 years across various senior claims positions at a prominent national carrier. While he was National Vice President of Claims for North America, Richard sat on the committee for MGA, Public Entity and Trade Credit Claims and in that role had authority for all lines of business, North America Wide (personal and commercial property, Auto, CGL, Crime, D&O, Transportation, Trade Credit, Fiduciary, Surety).
We are being given a once in a lifetime opportunity to build the foundations of something very special, unique, in the North American P&C and Surety space. The team at NovaRisk is made of exceptional people. Leadership is exercised, daily, by helping and mentoring staff to become better professionals, better people. To have some “skin in the game” is a significant commitment towards underwriting quality risks, at the right conditions, the right price and with an underwriting profitability in mind. That’s the NovaRisk difference.
Director, Strategic Initiatives
Brenda is an insurance professional with more than 20 years experience in underwriting, strategic planning, and organizational development.
She has led various initiatives through design, planning, execution, and deployment of projects in the commercial lines and surety space. Projects and workstreams have included creation of policy documents, implementation of pricing tools, improvements to regional strategies, as well as process enhancements adhering to corporate governance.
As a strategic thinker proactively establishing positive lines of communication and direction, Brenda will help NovaRisk create optimal operational performance through creative business solutions.
Working at NovaRisk offers the unique opportunity to be involved in a variety of projects and workstreams that not only leverage past experience but allow for new skill sets to be developed. It is a joy to be involved with this team of forward thinkers whose clear vision in creating an innovative and unique organization is supported by their strong leadership and collaborative work style.
Associate, Operations Advisory
Shannon is a dynamic problem solver with a passion to assist others. An individual who secures and furthers the most effective interaction among clients and relationships to deliver long-term value and opportunities for growth. Prior to starting at NovaRisk, Shannon held a variety of different roles in the mining and oil gas industry as well as financial services. She has extensive experience with operations and administration.
At NovaRisk, everyone shares the same vision and is dedicated to the mission of the organization. There is a true entrepreneurial spirit in all our team members! This provides an environment that is constantly challenging the team to grow, acquire new skills, and put together solutions.
Alexander holds a degree from York University and is OTL certified in Ontario. He’s currently working toward his Chartered Insurance Professional Designation. Alex started his insurance carrier as a sales agent for a national carrier, advising clients on their personal insurance needs. He joined NovaRisk in 2021 as Underwriting Assistant supporting mid-market commercial Property and Casualty lines.