Empire Life : Everything you need to know

Empire Life: Everything you need to know

Headquarters address

259 King St. E. Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3A8, Canada
Year established 1923
Size (employees) 860
Net premiums & fee income $1.188 billion (2021)
Underwriting expertise Life, critical illness, and disability insurance, group benefits
Key people Mark Sylvia (president & CEO), Edward Gibson (senior vice-president, capital management and chief actuary), Kathy Thompson (senior vice-president and chief risk officer), Richard Carty (general counsel & senior vice-president, human resources), Steve Pong (senior vice-president, retail), Michael Perry (senior vice-president, group solutions), Rebecca Rycroft (senior vice-president & chief financial officer), Chris Volk (senior vice-president & chief technology officer), Mark Rogers (senior vice-president, corporate development), Paul Holba (senior vice-president & chief investment officer)

About Empire Life

The Empire Life Insurance Company is a Canadian insurance and investment firm. On the insurance side, Empire Life offers life insurance, critical illness insurance, and group benefits. The company is a subsidiary of E-L Financial Corporation Limited, which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and manages over $17.8 billion in assets for more than 600,000 customers.

Empire Life also has its own subsidiary, called Empire Life Investments Inc. (ELII), which offers a family of mutual funds and is a discretionary investment manager and advisor of Empire Life segregated funds.

Empire Life in the news

March 2017: Empire Life, Symbility Health to offer stop loss insurance to employers
June 2017: Empire Life launches international business travel product
June 2019: Ratings firm confirms credit ratings of Empire Life
November 2019: Empire Life, Magik-Net develop platform for group benefits administrators
December 2019: Empire Life named Life and Health Insurer of the Year for the second year in a row
August 2020: Empire Life adds telemedicine services to group benefit plans
September 2020: Johnston Group, Empire Life team up to provide employee benefits to mid-market businesses
October 2020: Empire Life adds telemedicine services to benefit plans for expatriate employees
March 2021: Empire Life names fixed income portfolio manager
July 2022: Empire Life names new chief investment officer
July 2022: Empire Life enhances expat benefits package

Leadership at Empire Life

Mark Sylvia – President and CEO

Sylvia came onboard at Empire Life as president and chief executive officer in June 2014. He also sits on the board of directors for Empire Life Investments as its chair. To these roles, Sylvia brings almost four decades of experience in the financial services industry, many years of which he has spent in leadership positions.

Before coming over to Empire Life, Sylvia was the president of the insurance consultancy firm Clarity Underwriting Managers, which he founded in 2010. From 1999 to 2010, he was CEO of Echelon General Insurance Company, as well as president and CEO of Trent Health Insurance Service and Canadian Insurance Marketing. All of these firms were affiliated companies of EGI Financial Holdings. Prior to 1999, Sylvia was president and CEO of Hartford Life Insurance Company of Canada, where he came into the role in 1988.

Beyond his role at Empire Life, Sylvia is a Fellow, Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP) of the Insurance Institute of Canada and a Fellow of the Life Management Institute (FLMI) of the Life Office Management Association. He is also a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers and the Society for Risk Analysis, as well as serving as chair of the board of directors of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association.

Culture

Outside of the office, Empire Life is focused on its communities. In November 2021, the annual Empire Life United Way campaign raised $277,153 to benefit United Ways across the country. The firm also matched employee and retiree pledges, up to $125,000.

The committee chose the theme “A better tomorrow” for its national campaign to reflect positivity, hope, and inspire change.

“Our annual United Way campaign has become an important part of our culture of caring and giving back here at Empire Life and this year our employees and retirees really came through,” says campaign co-chair Sarah Hogeboom. “United Way agencies and programs have been heroes on the front lines of this pandemic, providing critical services and tackling key issues like homelessness, mental health, and food security. The funds donated through our workplace campaign will go a long way to help people get back on their feet and provide much-needed services in our community.”

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