Issue 2005-40: October 4, 2005
This newsletter is for members of the Canadian Insurance Industry, and those who serve it. The newsletter is published weekly, and notes information mostly about the use of the Internet and related technologies in the industry. Some is international, where we feel it is relevant to Canada.
eBusiness and Technology
OARBIC - Why Consultants are good for IT Manager's careers - no, really, they are...
...by Peter Symons, Managing Partner, OARBIC.
Why would any IT Manager (Director, VP) hire a consultant over a full time employee?
On the surface it looks like an expensive way of supplementing resources, a need possibly born out of not enough forward planning.
In reality however, it can be the exact opposite, hiring consultants for specific, targeted, cost justified tasks is an excellent way of managing consistent and predictable staff levels.
Information Builders' Customers Achieve Significant ROI From Operational BI Implementations.
New York, NY - September 26, 2005 - Information Builders, the enterprise business intelligence (BI) standard of choice for organizations around the world, today announced that it has initiated a Million Dollar ROI program that documents the success customers have had with operational BI applications built with WebFOCUS. The program was developed to highlight the numerous customers who have experienced savings in the millions as a direct result of their WebFOCUS applications. The program includes an ROI assessment from a team of impartial, independent, unbiased financial researchers, interviewers, and facilitators who analyze the savings from a WebFOCUS application at no charge to the customer.
PetCare insurance programs now available for Allstate customers in Canada.
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada has created an alliance with Pethealth Inc. and its PetCare Insurance Programs to bring economic accident and illness care to the 55 percent of Canadian households who own dogs and cats.
IBC: Canada's private auto insurers applaud anti-auto theft measures introduced in Parliament.
TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2005 - Canada's private auto insurance industry today welcomed Justice Minister Irwin Cotler's legislation addressing organized auto theft.
Business of Insurance
Sun Life Financial's Indian joint venture acquires Indian mutual funds business of Alliance Capital Mutual Fund.
Toronto, ON (September 27, 2005) - Sun Life Financial announced today that Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company Limited (BSLAMC) and Birla Sun Life Trustee Company Private Limited, its 50 percent-owned joint ventures in India, have acquired and will manage the Indian mutual fund business of Alliance Capital Mutual Fund.
LOMA/LIMRA International Conference: Compliance and Market Conduct Exchange Will Reveal Top Compliance Mistakes.
Atlanta, September 20, 2005 - Speakers at The Compliance & Market Conduct Exchange will reveal the top five compliance mistakes that insurance companies make and how to avoid them. The special session combines the unique perspectives from the corporate side and from the litigation side of insurance companies. The annual conference, hosted by LOMA and LIMRA International, will be held November 13-15, 2005 in Miami Beach, FL.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Survey: Offshoring Set to Double in the Financial Services Sector by 2008.
London - 15 SEP 2005 - The scale of offshoring in the financial services sector is set to virtually double by 2008, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers latest survey entitled Offshoring in the financial services industry: Risks and rewards, launched today. A quarter of participants currently offshore between 10% and 20% of their headcount, however, in 3 years' time, almost half of respondents expect this to be the case. Financial services firms which offshore jobs solely as a cost saving strategy, or do not approach projects with caution will fail to reap the full benefits such as greater operational efficiency and increased shareholder value.
Insurance in the Community
At-Risk Youth Work and Learn At Toronto's River Restaurant: The Co-operators.
TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2005 - It's not immediately apparent upon entering Toronto's River Restaurant that the chic lounge/restaurant is serving an important social function; but it is. Staff at River are part of a program run by All-A-Board Youth Ventures Inc., a charitable organization that offers job training and work experience to at-risk youth. Today The Co-operators donated $20,000 to help the enterprise continue to serve as a great restaurant for patrons and as a stepping stone for staff.
Sun Life Financial Supports Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts.
Toronto, ON (September 6, 2005) - Sun Life Financial Inc. today announced it will donate US$100,000 to the Red Cross to aid in the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. The company will also expand its matching gift program to enable employees to have their donations doubled by the company. For every dollar donated by employees, the company will donate two dollars, up to $50,000.
SIAAC Announces New Master Broker in Quebec.
London, ON, Sept 6, 05 - SIAAC (Strategic Independent Agents Alliance Canada), the largest network of partnering independent insurance brokerages in Canada and the U.S., announces that Invessa Assurances & Services financiers of Montreal, Quebec has joined SIAA Canada and has established Quebec Brokers Alliance as a Strategic Master Brokerage covering the province of Quebec.
New Kasina/Credo Survey Asks "What do Canadian Financial Advisors Want?" Online From Asset Managers.
NEW YORK , September 21, 2005 - Two out of three Canadian financial advisors say that the quality of an asset manager's website affects whether or not they will choose to do business with that firm, according to a survey of more than 380 advisors released today by kasina, a leading U.S.-based financial services consulting firm, and Vancouver-based Credo Consulting
Marketing and the Market Place
RBC Financial Group RESP Parent Survey: Ipsos-Reid.
September 8, 2005 - Toronto, ON.
- Virtually All (97%) Parents Want Their Child To Attend College/University, Yet Only Half (49%) Have An RESP.
- A Majority (61%) Fears Their Child Won't Be Able To Further Their Education Due To Cost
StatsCan: Demographic Statistics - July 1, 2005 (preliminary)
Canada had the second highest rate of population growth among the G8 countries between 1994 and 2004. During that period, the Canadian population grew at a rate approaching 1%, while the rate for the United States was 1.1%.
Towers Perrin Projects An 8% Increase In Employer-Sponsored Health Care Costs For 2006 As Annual Cost per Employee Reaches $8,424.
STAMFORD, CT, SEPTEMBER 28, 2005 -- According to the 2006 Towers Perrin Health Care Cost Survey, U.S. employers are facing an 8% increase in their 2006 health care costs. Moreover, the cumulative effect of years of double-digit increases has produced a record high for employer-sponsored health care costs in America.
Reference and Statistics
North American Life Insurance Activity Off 3.1% in August: MIB.
(Westwood, Mass. - September 14, 2005) North American application activity for individually underwritten life insurance declined -3.1% in August, year-over-year, according to the MIB Life IndexSM. It was the Index's seventh consecutive monthly year-over-year decline since January 2005. Year-to-date, North American figures remained unchanged at -3.3%. Notably, the period July through August 2005 saw a +3.4% gain in North American application activity, the second consecutive year of gains for this monthly interval.
Managing Relationships and Customer Service
SAS largest CRM predictive analytics vendor.
CARY, N.C. (Sept. 14, 2005) - Leading IT market research and advisory firm IDC has recognized SAS as the largest predictive analytics vendor in CRM per its most recent study "Worldwide CRM Analytic Applications 2004 Vendor Shares: Strength and Churn"(IDC # 33866, August 2005). In its study, which presents market sizing and market share positioning for CRM analytics from 2002 to 2004, IDC clearly delineated the CRM analytics market into two major segments: core analytics and predictive analytics.
eMarketer: E-Mail Etiquette: Annoyances and Suggestions.
September 26, 2005 - If you're about to send out e-mails to your colleagues, take a minute to make sure you're not practicing poor e-mail manners. A new survey finds that some executives are perturbed by other's e-mail habits, particularly the ones that end up wasting their time.
KANA Unveils Groundbreaking New eMail Response Management Application.
MENLO PARK, Calif. -- September 26, 2005 - KANA Software, Inc., a leading provider of Service Resolution Management (SRM) solutions, today announced significant enhancements to its industry-leading email response management application, KANA Response. KANA Response allows companies to manage and respond to all email inquiries and is the most scalable email response management application on the market. With the newly unveiled Active Framework customer information is pulled automatically in real-time from any data source, including KANA's knowledge-base application, KANA IQ. The latest version also includes increased security layers and agent management and monitoring tools.
We drove a goodly distance Saturday to a heritage seminar. The weather for the drive was wonderful, as it was all weekend. Unseasonably warm. One of my uncles, now 87, has lived on a farm and farmed most of his life, in the Stratford - St. Marys area of southwestern Ontario. He noted that this is the first year that he can recall that there has not been a "killer" frost in September in that area.
Global warming anyone? Are you ready? Are we ready?