It’s been a hot, sticky summer. But four industry experts—Shari Dodsworth (Northbridge Insurance); Sandra Henkel (Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company); Paul Jackson (Gore Mutual); and Colette Taylor (RSA Insurance)—stayed cool and selected this year’s top 10 brokers under 40. Read on to find out why they’re the top.
By Brooke Smith
Christian Hutchison was born into the insurance world. “We had a family brokerage in North Bay, Ont., and I worked for my father for a period of time,” he says. “But he wouldn’t hire me until I’d done my first year of business school.”
He worked right through university in the family business until his father sold the company in 2001. “I grew up in the brokerage world, but the reality was that I needed to branch out and experience more than what I was experiencing in North Bay.”
So he headed to Toronto and took a job at an insurance company for eight years. “I always knew I was going to get back to the broker side, and as I started to get closer and closer to the brokers I was dealing with [at the insurance company], I met Ross McDougall [owner of McDougall Insurance Brokers].”
Christian bought into McDougall and now, as partner and regional director, oversees its western region—which covers Durham Region and Northumberland County Cobourg, Courtice and Oshawa). He also manages his own commercial lines book of business in Ontario, and holds out-of-province licences for Alberta and B.C.
Christian travels quite a between between the offices—typically, he’s on the road three days a week—but that doesn’t faze him. “I’ve always been very, very busy juggling different duties at the same time,” he says. “It’s part of our requirement and what we need to do.”
Partners at McDougall are also salespeople, but Christian says not all firms have that requirement. “You have to be involved in sales to be able to manage sales; you’ve got to know what’s happening. It gives you that credibility. The insurance business is really demanding. You’ve got to be in the trenches with everybody.”