Notes From Our Recent AGM
our recent annual meeting I talked about our
"Re-Invention" strategy over the past year or so
which included meeting the demands of greater
accountability that is being sought on all levels -
from both the Members and the Regulatory bodies that
oversee financial institutions. Small
organizations that want to grow and meet these
demands must adapt, improvise and overcome.
More importantly these small organizations must
grow. Without growth we would not
be able to demonstrate to those who hold us
accountable that we are sustainable.
The past five or six years we have tried to improve
what we do and how we do it. Investments in
new technology tools such as online products,
members online websites, document management system,
new telephone system reflect the commitment to doing
things better. These innovations come at a
price but we have maintained high levels of member
service and stable, competitive insurance rates.
To help support our differentiation, during the past
year we have also introduced new and 'better'
Fraternal Benefits such as CAREpath,
FeelingBetterNow® and most recently Posaction®.
You will note in the financial statements, found in
Members, an 86% increase in Fraternal Benefits over
I have mentioned the building of strategic
partnerships and alliances over the past few years
as an integral part of our strategy for growth
(OTIP, Educators Financial Group). Building these
partnerships with likeminded organizations was a key
element in growing new revenue opportunities.
To maximize these opportunities there were some
significant costs involved, some of which I have
mentioned already such as building better online
capabilities. In addition, we began to push
beyond the Ontario borders and are now licensed in
Quebec and Alberta. Those licenses (and a
pending application with British Columbia) take
significant resources but they provide opportunities
to grow and increase revenue. The results so
far - a new large block of AD&D business in
September, more recently the launch of the Term 20
online product and the addition of almost 2000 more
members in Toronto.
Despite these changes and gains, we continue to face
challenges. Regulatory pressures for
compliance from a governance standpoint and
increased capital requirements will put a strain on
small and medium sized companies.
There are going to be some decisions made in the
coming year or so that could fundamentally change
the organization, but in order to get beyond our
75th anniversary next year we ware going to have to
confront the reality we will face. We will
continue to adapt, improvise and overcome.
President & CEO, Teachers Life
"We cannot solve our problems with the same
thinking we used when we created them." - Albert