Emerging Leader

Simon Charbonneau, B.Comm, FCIP

Commercial Lines Underwriter, AXA Insurance Inc., Montreal, QC

As a former competitive tennis player, Simon Charbonneau applies the same level of discipline, hard work and ambition in his career as a Senior Underwriter.

From 1993 to 2000, Simon ranked among the top ten junior players in Canada and received an athletic scholarship to play tennis on the American university circuit. After obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce (finance major) at Concordia University, he joined AXA Canada Inc. in their commercial lines department – first as a Directors and Officers Liability Underwriter for five years, then a Commercial Lines (P & C) Underwriter. With his passion for the industry, strong work ethic and ability to learn quickly, Simon has quickly established a reputation as a rising star, and has recently accepted the position of Specialty Insurance Underwriter with Chubb Insurance Company of Canada.

Simon’s leadership skills first came into the spotlight when he led the implementation of a new technology system in AXA’s Directors and Officers Liability Insurance department. As the upgrade involved a drastic change in work procedures, Simon’s biggest challenge was to obtain cooperation and commitment from the underwriters, who were reluctant to change. Thanks to his strong interpersonal and communications skills, Simon proved to be appropriately and successfully empathetic, patient and available to support each team member during the adjustment period. As a result, the department’s new system has yielded full employee satisfaction and greater productivity.

“The success of this project was a springboard for Simon because from that moment on, he was recognized by his superiors and peers as an emerging leader,” his nominator explains.

Simon has always given a high importance to his education, continuing his studies throughout his career. He earned his CIP designation in 2007, his FCIP in 2011 and he is currently working to complete his CRM designation.

As well, industry and community involvement have always ranked high on Simon’s list of priorities. In 2007, he joined the youth committee of the Coalition pour la promotion des professions en assurance de dommages where he participated in many career fairs and presentations to colleges and high schools. In 2009 and 2010, he was elected President of L’Association de la Relève en Assurance du Québec (LARAQ) where he was responsible for the creation of LARAQ’s new Web site and social media placement. On the board of directors of L’Institut d’Assurance de Dommages du Québec (IADQ) since 2008, Simon acts as the spokesperson of young insurance professionals.

Simon also serves on the board of directors of Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade (WICC) Quebec, a non-profit organization of insurance professionals supporting cancer research; continues as a certified tennis instructor sharing his passion for the sport training children and adults; and is a volunteer with Concordia’s mentoring program where graduates help current student make informed career choices.

In his roles on the LARAQ and IADQ boards, Simon identified a gap in efforts to promote careers in insurance to university students and has been instrumental in spearheading the Insurance Institute’s Career Connections initiatives at Quebec universities, as has been done for a number of years in other provinces across Canada. Simon has led the charge, along with other ambassadors, to attend career fairs and give presentations providing the opportunity for hundreds of university students in Quebec to learn more about the property and casualty insurance industry and the various careers available.

“His sense of leadership and his professional skills are rooted on human qualities that are equally remarkable: integrity, team spirit, dedication and commitment,” says one of his supporters.

It is with great pleasure that the CIP Society acknowledges Simon Charbonneau as an Emerging Leader for 2011.