Diversification is the key to surviving a crisis

Kennisbank •

Canada Life Re, a division of The Canada Life Assurance Company, has operations in Canada, the US, and Europe. It has over C$20B of capital and AA ratings from most of the agencies.

Diversification is the key to surviving a crisis

Jeff Poulin, a fellow of the Society of Actuaries (US) and the Canadian Institute of the Actuaries was appointed CEO in May 2017, but he has been working for the reinsurance company since 1991 and in 2018 , he received the 2018 American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) Forum 500’s Distinguished Service Award. Although currently confined in his house in Florida, Jeff took time to talk to us about the business and the impact of the current crisis.


Canada Life Re has grown strongly in life reinsurance in Europe – for example the €12 billion longevity transaction with Aegon. What makes Europe, and in particular the Netherlands, so attractive?

“At Canada Life Re, we try to focus on well-established markets with properly defined regulations and rules. The US has been our main market, but Europe is a close second. We have been active in Europe for over 20 years and have been in the longevity market for at least 15 years.


We tend to focus on transactions where we think we have an advantage from a capital standpoint as we are a well-diversified group. Longevity aggregates well with our US mortality business. As for the Netherlands, we have found that the Dutch are very pragmatic, have great actuaries and are looking for transactions that make good business sense. I have found that if you come up with a great idea that is advantageous for a Dutch company, they tend to be more open than insurers from other European countries in pursuing these opportunities.”

Over de auteur

Jennifer Baker

is a freelance journalist, reporter and presenter.