2019 Established Leader
Paul A. Croft, CIP
Paul is a well-respected member of the insurance industry, both as a leader and as a subject-matter-expert. His leadership style is characterized by his strong values, calm demeanor, and his modesty. “Paul has an open door policy,” writes a supporter. “If the door is open, come in for a chat.” Paul is known for his willingness to share ideas and provide his expertise – or to lend a friendly ear.
Paul joined Aon in 1987, and has worked in ascending roles of increasing responsibility throughout his career, and is currently Senior Vice President and Branch Manager of the Halifax office. In his role, Paul works closely with the Executive Team at Aon to develop growth strategies, while simultaneously guiding his local branch to historical production results. In addition to his branch role, Paul is also National Broking Leader for Aon Canada with responsibility for providing guidance and oversight to Aon’s general practice leadership team. “Paul has been a remarkable contributor to not only our office, but to our entire company over the last 30 years,” writes a supporter. “He has been a great ambassador in the community and within the whole insurance industry.”
Paul joined the Insurance Institute of Nova Scotia Council in 2008, most recently holding the position of Regional Chair for the last two years. During his tenure as Chair, Paul oversaw the implementation of the inaugural Atlantic Symposium event. He worked with the committee to secure high-level speakers to present on topics most relevant to the industry in the Atlantic region. The event was a resounding success, with attendance surpassing expectations, and receiving very positive feedback. The event was duplicated in 2019, and is being planned again for 2020.
Having completed his CIP in 1994, Paul has often said that some of his oldest professional relationships were made in Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) classrooms. Recognizing that online learning was creating fewer opportunities for young professionals to network early in their careers, Paul helped launch a Coffee and Conversations series of seminars through the Institute, in collaboration with the Insurance Brokers Association of Nova Scotia (IBANS). By the end of his tenure as Institute Chair, seminar registrations grew by over 250%.
As President and Chair of the Board of Directors for IBANS, Paul was instrumental in leading the Board through a time of change. With his guidance, the Board was able to lay the groundwork for restructuring their operational framework, while still meeting their strategic objectives. “He believed that by working together and enhancing communication with all members of the association, he could help move forward and support the national body,” writes a supporter. Paul also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada and represented the brokers association on multiple trips to Parliament Hill as well as at the Provincial Premier’s Canadian Council of the Federation meetings.
Paul’s leadership style has always been tied to his values of tolerance and inclusion, and Paul lives these values through his involvement with his community, his church, and his family. He is actively involved in a number of volunteer and fundraising initiatives, including the Walk So Kids Can Talk for Kids Help Phone. He also encourages his staff to get involved and provides time off to participate.
Paul has volunteered with several local charities including the Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation and Bayside Camp Association and currently serves as Moderator of the Board of Management of the Stevens Road United Baptist Church and on the Advisory Board of the MBA program at Dalhousie University. He is also an active volunteer with Swim Nova Scotia and the Dartmouth Crusaders Swim Club.
Paul is extremely proud of his wife of 26 years, Dr. Betty Croft and their two children, Matthew (17) and Sophia (11). He enjoys spending quality time with them camping, travelling, running or cheering on their many accomplishments.
“Paul is the first person to recognize individual achievements (on his team) and for this has earned the respect and admiration of his peers,” writes his nominator. “He is passionate about the industry and proud of his teams. He meets all challenges head on with integrity and inspires those around him.”
For all that he is and all that he does, the CIP Society is honoured to be presenting Paul with the 2019 Established Leader Award.