Few are more highly regarded in the Canadian insurance industry than Lynn Oldfield. She’s president and CEO of AIG Canada, one of the leading commercial insurers in the country. She’s a passionate supporter of the domestic insurance market and its vital Canadian broker force. She’s a champion of insurance education and talent development, while also being a staunch advocate of diversity and inclusion in the industry.
In recognition of her many years of steadfast service to AIG Canada and the wider Canadian insurance industry, Oldfield was recently named CEO of the Year at the Insurance Business Canada Awards. She described the accolade, which was sponsored by LowestRates.ca, as “a tremendous honour” and a “wonderful recognition” of the culture that AIG is trying to build and foster in Canada.
“I’m delighted to share this award with my team,” said Oldfield. “I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished during my 11 years as leader of AIG Canada. It’s not all me. I set the tone, but the execution of our strategies is driven by our incredibly collaborative leadership team.
“Over the past decade, we’ve worked very hard to turn AIG Canada into a top 100 employer. We changed the physical location of our offices and developed much more collaborative spaces. We’ve created employee resources groups such as our women and allies group, our young professionals group, and our LGBTQ group, which are driving engagement across the country and fostering what I would describe as an incredibly inclusive and diverse movement in the Canadian P&C insurance industry.”
Diversity and inclusion lie at the heart of Oldfield’s leadership strategy. Under her watch, AIG Canada has run a series of diversity and inclusion events and social responsibility programs in partnership with brokers across the country. This has helped AIG Canada to attract, retain and support top talent, while also driving revenue within the organization.
As president and CEO of a top commercial insurer, Oldfield’s responsibilities do not stop there. Over the past 11 years, she’s been tasked with steering AIG Canada through a period of unprecedented technological change, meeting rapidly evolving customer expectations, and, more recently, navigating the challenges of the hardening commercial insurance marketplace.
“Digital innovation and evolving consumer and customer expectations are at the core of what we pay attention to everyday. There’s a wealth of technological capabilities out there that are going to continue to not just improve our own efficiency, but really tailor our offerings to our clients,” Oldfield told Insurance Business. “At AIG Canada, our priority is and always will be writing sustainable business and providing that long-term delivery of capacity and claim services to assist our clients in meeting their business challenges.
“We provide all of our products through licensed general broking professionals in Canada. As a leader in the commercial insurance market, we assist our brokers by getting in front of the marketplace, staying on top of the trends, and delivering differentiated value to our customers. Through 2020 and beyond, we will continue to be laser focused with our broker and client partners, and where they are seeing increased loss development we will assist them with those conversations around risk control and risk mitigation.”
It’s easy for leaders to say: “We will do X, Y, Z.” It’s another thing to successfully implement those plans and strategies. That’s where the strongest leaders, like Oldfield, shine. When asked what advice she has for other prospective leaders in the insurance industry, she said: “I have the opportunity of a look back, so my advice is coming from a place of what worked for me. First and foremost, do your job. Set business goals for yourself and make sure you’re doing the work and building the skillset to get there.
“Secondly, practice the art of leadership and be intentional in your words and deeds. That’s really important when you’re leading people. Also, hire the best people you can to join your team. Foster a spirit of trust and collaboration, and let your leaders do the job they were hired to do. Every employee at every stage of their career needs to be supported, mentored and developed – and it’s never too late to invest in that.”