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Kent Rowe: It’s A Brave New World

President - Kent Rowe

IBAC President’s Message

Greek philosopher Plato once exclaimed that “Necessity is the mother of invention”, and in today’s turbulent environment, nothing could be more true and glaringly applicable.

We all know that we are in the throes of a global pandemic that hasn’t been experienced in over a century and may never be experienced in many of our lifetimes again. Things have changed, some things have changed temporarily, but many others have changed permanently. Some of these imposed changes are painful and arduous, others are refreshing and desperately needed.

First of all I want to state how incredibly proud I am of our Industry, particularly brokers, for how we have collectively responded to this crisis. We’ve stepped up our games and are now successfully conducting business and engaging with our clients in a way that we would have almost unanimously deemed impossible just a few short weeks ago. We’ve demonstrated our commitment to our clients and to our communities in a way that leaves me feeling nothing short of unabashed joy and pride. The many financial contributions to food banks and other charitable organizations, brokers working with clients and other business leaders to source PPE, volunteering time and effort to ensure that our most vulnerable are cared for and safe, are all stories I’ve heard over the past weeks and helps me realize what a tremendous business we’re in and the great opportunity we have to add to our “story”.

It’s no secret that our industry has been notoriously slow to respond to changing and advancing technology. This crisis has forced us to rethink how we do things and has placed a tremendous sense of urgency and value around embracing the technology that we’ve been challenged to implement. We’re finding new ways to communicate with each other and with clients, maximizing the utilization of features within our BMS’s that create and enhance efficiency, establishing new ways to deliver our product and our services to clients, developing unique ways to create more lean thinking in terms of overall operations, spending more time ensuring our teams are active, efficient and engaged, the list goes on. Winston Churchill once said “Never let a good crisis go to waste”, and I firmly believe that our industry is doing its best to make the most of our situation and to expedite and facilitate the necessary changes needed in our business that have been hanging over our heads for many years, if not decades.

Some will say that difficult situations such as these reveal your weaknesses and expose you to threats, but I say that they give you an opportunity to display your strengths and create opportunities. Let’s be bold enough to cast away our doubts and fears about change and let’s embrace it. Let’s not say that things can’t be done, let’s not feel threatened, but empowered, let’s not feel weakness, but let’s feel strength. The many changes we’ve already experienced are just the beginning. As this crisis evolves so will the pace of change. We have to evolve with it and I’m extremely confident that we will!

IBAC Update

At IBAC things have been extremely busy. Like everyone, we’ve had to change the way that we conduct business in a pretty significant way. We’ve had to cancel our flagship advocacy event, Hill Day, this year. We’ve recently made a decision to cancel our in-person Annual General Meeting in New Brunswick and we’ve had to find new ways to continue to do the important work of our executive, board, staff, and committees. Although none of this work is happening face to face, it is still happening. I feel compelled to acknowledge and thank CEO Peter Braid and the IBAC team for the great work they’ve done to support brokers across the country during this challenging time. I know that Peter and the team have worked tirelessly to ensure accessibility and to provide resources and support to all of our members on every issue.

Despite all of the challenges the work still gets done. We’ve done a significant amount of work in conjunction with the IBC to ensure that our personal and business customers receive relief in terms of both monetary and coverage benefits. We’ve made a significant donation to Food Banks Canada, which has been supplemented by several of our Member Associations. We’re communicating with our political leaders to let them know about the work we continue to do in our communities and for our clients. We’re still working diligently to continue to advance all of the key initiatives relating to our 4 pillars of advocacy, professional development, BIP and technology and you will all see the fruits of that labour in the months ahead. These are challenging times, but we believe that our association and our industry is up to the challenge. Let’s make sure that we continue to focus on working together and embracing change to allow us to prove our value now and well into the future.

Thank you for everything that you do. Please keep up the great work and please be safe!

Kent Rowe
Vice President, Commercial
President, Insurance Brokers Association of Canada

Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A Changing

“Come gather ’round people wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
and accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’, or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.