There aren’t many who could share a stage and the honour of Established Leader with industry giant Ginny Bannerman – but this man certainly qualifies.
Cameron was given the nod by the Chartered Insurance Professionals’ Society recently as one of the five national leadership award recipients, as an Established Leader of insurance.
“They are icons of the insurance industry, those who have put my name forward,” said James Cameron, the principal of Cameron & Associates Insurance Consultants of Toronto. “And joining that rarified atmosphere is very interesting actually – I’m really pleased.”
Sharing the honour of Established Leader is Bannerman (see Broker Graciously Accepts Accolade), with Emerging Leader honours going to Anne-Marie Deschenes, a marketer with Aon Risk Solutions in Montreal, Lindsay Mackenzie, a commercial lines manager of Intact Insurance of Mississauga and Tammie Norn, CEO of ProFormance Group Inc. in Pickering.
With some four decades of experience under his belt, Cameron is still excited and optimistic about the insurance scene in Canada.
“These are some fascinating times in the industry right now,” he told InsuranceBusiness online. “I’ve had some 38 plus years in the industry, and I’m still learning.”
Throughout James Cameron’s 40-year-long career in the industry, he has shared his passion for the insurance with many as a mentor and educator. (continued.)
“Those who have had an opportunity to interact with James, be it through learning opportunities, in a professional capacity or in a congenial social setting, will attest that James is a thoughtful, intelligent and passionate ambassador for the insurance industry,” wrote one supporter on Cameron’s behalf.
James started in the insurance industry as a claims adjuster, working his way through the claims management ranks with a P&C insurer, eventually taking on the position of vice-president of a global giant reinsurer.
While a busy parent to three daughters, James pursued his Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) and Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP) designations, demonstrating his commitment to education. He also completed his Certified Risk Manager (CRM) designation and became an accredited mediator and arbitrator, acquiring skills that have benefited his varied career. He is frequently consulted as an expert witness and is an advisor to both the private sector and government on insurance reform and issues.
“I’ve worked on both sides of the coin, for the reinsurer accepting the claim and as the insurer presenting the claims,” says Cameron. “Most have a total reinsurance background or a total insurance background. Not many with a combination of both.”
A skilled instructor, Cameron taught CIP courses at the Insurance Institute and at George Brown College and FCIP courses at the University of Toronto’s Woodsworth College. He served on the Insurance Institute of Ontario’s Seminar Committee for a five-year term and has helped coordinate numerous educational seminars. When the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) reforms to Ontario Auto were introduced, Cameron developed and ran a highly successful seminar in all seven Ontario chapters. (continued.)
Cameron started his own company in 1994, Cameron & Associates Insurance Consultants, and quickly grew it to become a well-respected enterprise known for its quality of service. Cameron’s unique way of establishing relationships has helped him tremendously with his business, and in return he continues to give back to the people he meets. Over the years he has helped many individuals who needed advice or a helping hand. Through his generosity, he has acquired many admirers.
“I think we contributed to the awareness of the reinsurance market. That is going back to the early 90s, late 80s,” reflects Cameron. “I would say it raised the profile of reinsurance in Canada, on the claims side. I have concurrently been involved with the Insurance Institute in teaching courses; involved in the Ontario adjusters’ association. I’ve always had a lot of contacts – I guess that is my claim to fame: being able to network.”
Cameron contributes to a number of important community initiatives, both financially and volunteering his time and expertise, including to the Women of Insurance Cancer Charity (WICC), the Starlight Children’s Foundation, and the Honourable Order of the Blue Goose. As an avid sports fan, he often donates tickets to games and events to be sold at charity auctions or to be given away as prizes. James is also very involved with the Huntington’s Society of Canada, a charity that is very near to his heart. In the summer, Cameron & Associates sponsors an annual golf tournament, and in the winter, James chairs the charity’s Casino Night event. His work with the charity recently earned him the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award Medal.
“On a personal level Jim reflects the industry’s loyalty and generosity,” wrote one of his supporters. “On the professional side, Jim represents what every insurance professional should strive to be; he is knowledgeable, analytical, unbiased and most important of all, honest and fair in all of his dealings.”
As for where the business is headed, Cameron sees education as key to making brokers better. (continued.)
“Continuing professional development – the results are being shown,” he says. “The public are getting a better product, and that is making the industry better.”
And a better industry is needed, as underwriting requirements continue to stiffen.
“The business is more complicated; on the back end, there are many more regulations for compliance, which keep changing and updating,” says Cameron. “On the other side, the expectations from the courts on what a policy should provide. You can’t get by with fly-by-night underwriting anymore, you have to be very careful you phrase it properly, or else it won’t hold, and you will end up paying a claim from an underwriting point of view.”
Cameron’s drive to always learn more has certainly contributed to his success in the industry, but he does acknowledge one person that was crucial to being the man he is today.
“My wife, Sharon,” he says. “Without her, I couldn’t have done this. Yes, I’d like to thank the institute and all those people who put my name forward, great people I’ve worked with that I have a great deal of respect for and in their capabilities.”