Director, Underwriting

Job title : Director, Underwriting
Job location : Montréal
Job status : Permanent
Name of the company : Optimum Reassurance Inc.
Title of the employee's supervisor : Vice-President, Operations
Job summary : Reporting to the Vice President, Operations, the Underwriting Director will oversee underwriting philosophy, and will be an important contributor in the management of clients and cases, and maintenance of procedures and processes, that will allow the company to continually evolve, and improve its competitive edge in the marketplace. The Director will provide leadership and governance, and foster a collaborative work environment. He/she will partner closely with the Director, Underwriting Operations and together they will ensure integrated, efficient, high quality and client focused underwriting services.

Job Description

Specific responsibilities

Technical Expertise

Provides expertise to overall underwriting philosophy and framework, and plays a key role in supervisory practices and management of cases across product lines including life and disability.

Second Signature

Assist in providing co-signatures (2nd signature) on referral cases.

Risk Management

  • As the underwriting subject matter expert, collaborates with the Chief Underwriter, and the underwriting teams in Montreal and Toronto.
  • Participates in developing underwriting strategies consistent with the company’s overall direction and goals.
  • Acts as an advisor while applying sound analytics, technical and regulatory knowledge, and underwriting authority on large and complex cases.
  • Recommends appropriate change to individual Underwriter approval limits.
  • Conducts audits and quality reviews on “pending cases” for underwriting team.
  • Gives underwriting assessment on claims, E&O, opinions, etc.
  • Provides expertise and support to other functional groups (Actuarial, Marketing, Finance, Claims, Legal) and responds to any questions/issues that arise on reinsurance treaties.
  • Performs, analyzes and reacts to placement ratios and other appropriate indicators.
  • Assesses and analyzes reinsurance treaties, and is responsible for conducting ongoing reviews.


  • Acts as a trainer, mentor and partner to the underwriting teams.   
  • Actively supports underwriting activities by providing input, guidance, leading team discussions and being a positive contributor when resolving technical and/or client issues.
  • Supports the employees in their responsibilities and objectives, focussing on developing their expertise.
  • Liaises, informs and updates colleagues, and members of Senior Management Team.

Client focus

  • Assists in the business development process, including establishing, nurturing and maintaining relationships with existing and potential clients.
  • Stays abreast of trends, changes and competitors in the reinsurance market and industry.
  • Represents Optimum Reassurance at industry meetings, conferences and workshops.
  • Participates as a subject matter expert, leader or team member, on internal special projects, committees, meetings and client presentations, as required.

Experience and education

Experience / training

  • 10 to 20 years of experience in underwriting of life and disability in the reinsurance/insurance industry.
  • Bachelor or Master degree or equivalent in business, economics, finance or related field.
  • Sound knowledge of the Canadian life insurance market.
  • FLMI and/or FALU designation.
  • Bilingual (French & English) and excellent communication skills.

Qualities and aptitudes

  • Strong leadership and critical thinking skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work productively while under pressure.
  • Sound underwriting judgment in the absence of set guidelines.
  • Demonstrated flexibility and tolerance to ambiguity.
  • Ability to collaborate.
  • Client oriented

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