Chief Distribution Officer
Ben Isotta-Riches is Chief Distribution Officer for Aviva Canada and is responsible for sales, marketing, communication and distribution across all products and all channels. Prior to this role Ben was the MD of Strategic partnerships, and has held the roles of CIO, CMO, and Chief Digital Officer at Aviva Canada since joining the Executive team in 2015.
Before moving to Canada in 2015, Ben has worked for Aviva since 2003 in roles in the UK General Insurance Business, IT and group head office working with Aviva’s insurance businesses across Europe. Ben led the development of the technology capability in Aviva's digital innovation garage that built a number of industry award-winning web and mobile propositions for customers.
Ben has a Master's Degree in Computer Science from the University of East Anglia, a Bachelor's degree in Film Studies from the University of Kent, design qualifications from Central Saint Martin's school of Art and Design, and executive education from both INSEAD and Oxford University.
Senior VP & Chief Underwriting Officer, Personal Insurance
Definity Financial Corporation (Economical)
Since joining Definity Financial in May 2021 as the Vice President of Regional Operations for Personal Insurance, Donna’s responsibilities expanded after she was promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer for Personal Insurance this past September. She now oversees underwriting, pricing, portfolio management and regulatory affairs across Definity’s personal broker and direct digital channels. Donna has over 30 years in the P&C industry leading multiple portfolios and corporate functions and came to Definity following a 25-year career with RSA Insurance where she was the Senior Vice President of Personal Broker.
A Chartered Professional Accountant by profession, Donna developed her diverse experience across multiple disciplines including underwriting operations, broker distribution, mergers and acquisition, operational transformation and claims management. Donna is a Chartered Insurance Professional and most recently obtained her Chartered Director designation from McMaster University’s Directors College.
Donna was recently appointed as a Director of McDougall Insurance Brokers Limited in October 2022.
She has used her experience to give back to the industry by serving on the Insurance Institute of Ontario’s Governing Council (2009 – 2015) and she currently sits as a member on the Ontario Committee of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority Stakeholder Committee and the ICLR Board of Directors.
Donna is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion, championing the advancement of women within the industry. While she believes that solid advancements have been made with more women in senior leadership, she feels strongly that there is still more work to be done to create inclusive work environments where every voice matters.
Chief Executive Officer
Intact Financial Corporation
In June 2021, Mr. Gagnon was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Intact Financial Corporation’s Canadian operations. In this role, Mr. Gagnon is responsible for all Canadian-based business entities (Intact Insurance, belairdirect, Anthony Insurance, BrokerLink, Johnson Insurance), in addition to overseeing Personal Lines, Commercial Lines, Marketing and Communication functions. Mr. Gagnon was President of Intact's Canadian operations from January 2018 until his CEO appointment.
From 2013 to 2017, Mr. Gagnon was President, Service & Distribution, where he oversaw the development and expansion of belairdirect, BrokerLink, international initiatives and ventures as well as Intact’s Claims operations. Prior to that, Mr. Gagnon served as President and Chief Operating Officer from 2011 to 2013 and President of Intact Insurance from 2008 to 2011. He joined Intact Insurance as Senior Vice-President Quebec division in January 2007. Mr. Gagnon started his career in the banking industry before becoming an insurance broker in 1992. Prior to joining Intact (ING), he headed a successful brokerage with offices in Quebec and Ontario and was active within the provincial and national brokers associations. Mr. Gagnon is past President of the Regroupement des Cabinets de Courtage du Quebec (RCCAQ) and Director of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC).
Mr. Gagnon earned a BA in Economic Science from the Université de Montréal and an MBA from the University of Ottawa.
VP for the Eastern Canada Region
Paul is an accomplished leader with close to 30 years’ experience in the insurance industry. He joined Wawanesa in 2002, and currently serves as regional Vice President for the Quebec and Maritimes regions.
Throughout Paul’s career he has demonstrated an ability for developing and engaging high performing teams and implementing strategic growth. Most recently, he was instrumental in leading the successful transformation of the Quebec region from a direct distribution to a broker distribution channel and driving operational excellence.
Paul holds a Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University, a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of New Brunswick and the title of Chartered Insurance Professional. As a strong supporter of the disabled community, he serves as the Executive Sponsor of the Employee Resource Group for Persons with Disabilities, advocating for acceptance and inclusion. Paul is the proud father of two grown boys, and spends much of his downtime with his wife Danielle at their cottage in Cassie Cape NB.