Roofers, fishermen, construction workers, and other blue-collar types have unique risks in their lines of work, and an injury or disability can have a huge impact on their employment and financial situation. Scott Hunt, vice president of operations at La Capitale Financial Security, understands those risks, and for more than eight years, he has helped the company provide the right coverage to small-business owners, the self-employed, and individuals with skilled trades. Today, he’s helping the company expand and strengthen its presence in this niche market with an all-new brand image.
La Capitale Financial Security traditionally offers services focused on disability and hospital insurance and long-term care options. Its Penncorp Series of products, available to the career network, and the Pillar Series of products, available to the brokerage network, provide coverage with unique features such as no soft-tissue exclusions or limitations. “We want to ensure that clients are never surprised,” Hunt says.
When Québec-based La Capitale Financial Group purchased La Capitale Financial Security (then known as Penncorp Life Insurance) in 2006, the new subsidiary provided La Capitale with opportunities for growth: new products, new markets, and a new network of agents. La Capitale’s field offices have expanded throughout Canada, and today agents support more than 100,000 policyholders. As vice president, Hunt helps clarify the company’s vision through communication and management while keeping an eye on growth. “I want to make sure that administration and sales are aligned with product development and that our marketing department continues to be ahead of the game,” he says.
Facts & Figures
La Capitale Financial Security’s assets
Benefits the company pays per month to policyholders
Number of La Capitale field agents in 2006
Number of field agents in 2013
Expected number of field agents by 2015
A key part of Hunt’s job is to support the functional leaders out of Québec, serving as an ambassador for La Capitale to the rest of Canada. He ensures that his leadership group receives a clear and unified message about resources and company priorities, but he also supports his company’s culture committee and the integration of fun and creative events into the workplace. “We never cut corners, but we also want to make sure that people don’t ever dread coming into work on a Monday morning,” he says.
Prior to working for La Capitale Financial Security, Hunt worked for many years in underwriting and was proactive in continuing his education to maintain his business acumen. He took advantage of industry courses and developed his public speaking skills, gravitating toward management, and he quickly developed a leadership style that prioritized relationships. “The best leaders know that the work is not all about the leader,” he says.
Today, Hunt spends a significant amount of time in the field, talking to agents at their branches and encouraging them to meet clients at their work sites. “It doesn’t matter who you are; you have to be respectful and build trust,” he says. This approach may help explain why employee turnover is only three percent.
Hunt has watched his peers grow inside the company and take on leadership and management positions, adding to La Capitale Financial Security’s valuable knowledge and experience. The head of the claims department, for example, has been with the company for 30 years. Hunt supports efforts to recognize and reward such employees, and he has helped his company become one of the top 50 employers in Canada. He also stays informed of emerging trends in the field by participating in events put on by the Canadian Life and Health Service Association and the Canadian Standard Life Insurance Association.
As La Capitale Financial Security continues to grow, Hunt is confident that its road map for updating systems and simplifying client transactions will lead to positive results. “With the continuous growth we have been experiencing, we need to be supporting the organizational capacity from a systems standpoint, and modernization of systems needs to always be a part of our strategy.”
THE BOTTOM LINE
VP of operations, life and health sector
Insurance and financial services
Years in the business
Where did you start your career?
State Farm, as an underwriter.
Describe yourself in three words
Positive, dedicated, supportive.
Advice to those just starting in finance
I would emphasize how important it is to remain positive and solution-oriented, not only when things are going well, but more importantly when faced with hard times. The most successful people realize early on that it should be a daily practice to keep learning, actively listen, and work hard.