Economical transforming for future IPO

ECONOMICAL Insurance is working against the clock to prepare for the much anticipated demutualization of the company and a subsequent initial public offering, its ceo said.

Speaking at the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario’s recent annual convention in Ottawa, Rowan Saunders said it is challenging to run the business’s day-to-day operations and focus on demutualization but joining Economical Insurance at this time in its history was one of the reasons he accepted the ceo position.

He took over as ceo a year ago when his predecessor Karen Gavan retired.
“The opportunity for me to join at this stage of the company’s history, going down the path of demutualization, the first company to do that, and grow the business through an IPO, creating a best-in-class Canadian leader was my motivation,” Mr. Saunders said.

“There are a number of things we are doing simultaneously.

“Firstly, we are on the path to IPO, the clock is running and that means we are getting the culture and business ready to respond to public company expectations.”

He said Economical is changing the company’s business model and performance standards to entice prospective investors — who have their eye on p&c company investments.

“We are spending time with potential investors,” Mr. Saunders said.

“Canada’s investors have had a fantastic experience with p&c insurers so there is huge interest in that.”

He said it is challenging to focus on that and ensure the business is running day to day but the task at hand is to improve all performance standards.

Mr. Saunders said there is “much to do” in improving underperforming portfolios, especially auto insurance.
“We are a big auto writer and auto has cycles and we are in a difficult part of one,” Mr. Saunders said.

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