Economical Insurance

About Economical

Executive Team Profiles

Karen Gavan Image

Karen Gavan, FCPA, FCA, ICD.D

President and chief executive officer

Karen was appointed president and CEO in June 2011. Previously, she was a director of Economical Mutual Insurance Company since 2008 and served as Chair of the Special Committee with responsibility for Economical's demutualization since 2010. She was formerly the chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Transamerica Life and AEGON Fund Management Inc. Prior to that, she held senior management positions with Imperial Life Assurance Company and with Canada Life Assurance Company during its demutualization.

Jennifer Allan Image

Jennifer Allan, BBA, MA, MHRM, CHRP, CCP

Vice-president, HR programs and corporate communications

Jennifer's portfolio includes responsibility for the firm's HR programs and corporate communications, public relations and media relations. She has been with Economical since 1994 and was formerly assistant vice-president, corporate human resources services.

Jorge Aruda Image

Jorge Arruda, B.Comm.

Senior vice-president, sales, distribution and underwriting operations

Jorge has overall responsibility for business development and underwriting operations for each region in Canada. In addition, he is responsible for the sales and distribution support for Economical nationally. He also oversees Family Insurance Solutions, a Vancouver-based managing general agent acquired by Economical in 1999. Jorge was previously the chief transformation officer; senior vice-president, SBU and delivery management; senior vice-president, operations; and vice-president, claims. Jorge has more than 25 years of insurance industry experience and has been with Economical since 1995.

Aneeta Baines Image

Aneeta Bains, B.Sc.

Vice-president, information technology

Aneeta is responsible for the service delivery and support of Economical’s applications and technologies, as well as leading the IT Business Transformation program. She also has responsibility for enterprise architecture, business analysis, software development and quality assurance best practices throughout the IT organization. She joined Economical in May 2013 with more than 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, including executive and senior consulting roles with Deloitte, CGI, Nortel Networks and MD Physician Services.

Ed Berko Image

Ed Berko, B.Sc, MBA

Senior vice-president and chief risk officer

With more than 25 years of enterprise risk management experience, Ed is accountable for developing and maintaining comprehensive processes for identifying, assessing, measuring, monitoring, reporting and, where appropriate, reducing pertinent risks that could interfere with the company’s objectives and goals. Reporting to the president and CEO, he chairs the Management Risk Committee and is a key member of the Executive Committee. He most recently served as the chief risk officer at Protective Life Insurance Company and Protective Life Corporation. Prior to that, he was chief risk officer for the Investments Department at MetLife.

Dean Bulloch Image

Dean Bulloch, MBA, CHRP

Senior vice-president and chief human resources officer

Dean executes the company's strategic-level human resource management initiatives, including organizational effectiveness, talent identification, and leadership formation. Dean also has oversight and leadership of corporate services, corporate marketing, and corporate communications. He leads the organization's focus on employee engagement and corporate social responsibility. Dean started with Economical in 1996. Prior to joining Economical, Dean held a number of management positions in the retail banking sector since 1984.

Innes Dey Image

Innes Dey, B.Sc. (Hons), LL.B

Senior vice-president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary

Innes oversees Economical's legal function and provides counsel on capital markets, M&A, strategic investments, regulatory affairs, corporate governance and non-claims litigation. He joined Economical with more than 14 years of legal experience and 10 years in advisory and senior management positions within Canada's financial services sector. He previously served as vice-president, corporate affairs and corporate secretary of Northbridge Financial Corporation, and as a senior legal advisor to Canada Life Financial Corporation during its successful take-over defence and privatization.

Pamela Derksen Image

Pamela Derksen, BA, FCIP 

Vice-president, commercial insurance

Pam has leadership accountability for Economical's commercial insurance portfolio and leads the development and implementation of the commercial insurance strategy. She also has oversight of Western General. Previously, Pam was manager of commercial insurance in the Western region and was most recently division vice-president of Western General.

Wayne Edwards Image

Wayne Edwards, FCAS

Vice-president, corporate actuarial

Wayne comes to Economical from Partner Reinsurance Company where he worked for nearly 10 years as a senior actuary in the group actuarial unit in their Bermuda office. He has broad experience in capital allocation and return modeling, loss reserving and financial reporting. His knowledge of reinsurance pricing and underwriting and experience with acquisition valuation and integration from the corporate actuarial perspective are an asset to Economical.

David Fitzpatrick Image

David Fitzpatrick, BA

Division vice-president, Economical Select

David has more than 25 years of experience, the majority having been gained in the general insurance industry. He joined Economical in 1995, and has held positions as the vice-president, human resources; vice-president, field operations; vice-president, corporate services; and vice-president, sales and distribution.

Michael Gagnier Image

Michael Gagnier, B.Comm.

Senior vice-president and chief information officer

With more than 22 years of leadership experience, Michael is highly skilled in process re-engineering, organizational design and technology in the financial services, retail, manufacturing, and software sectors. Michael most recently served as executive vice-president, sales with MD Management. Prior to that, he was the vice-president and chief information officer with MD Management and led their technology transformation. He also held executive-level IT positions with Novator, Citigroup and Indigo Books and Music.

Linda Goss Image

Linda Goss, B.Sc. (Hons), FCIA, FCAS

Senior vice-president and chief actuary

Linda was appointed to the position of senior vice-president and chief actuary in January 2005. Prior to this, she was the chief actuary. She joined Economical in July 2000 as the assistant vice-president, actuarial services and became vice-president, actuarial services in July 2001. Before joining Economical, Linda held positions with two other large insurers as assistant vice- president, actuarial services and vice-president, pricing actuary. Previous to those senior positions, she was a consulting actuary with a large actuarial consulting firm. Linda has more than 27 years of actuarial experience.

Robert Gow

Robert Gow, CCLA, CFE

Vice-president, sales and distribution, Ontario region

Robert Gow is responsible for Economical's business development and underwriting operations in the Ontario region. On joining the company in 2006 until his current appointment in 2013, he grew and strengthened Economical's presence in the rapidly changing western Canadian market where he served as vice-president, Western region. With more than 35 years of insurance industry experience, Rob has held many executive level positions within the property and casualty industry.

Javier ibanez Image

Javier Ibanez, BA, M.Ad.Ed

Vice-president, sales and distribution

Javier is responsible for national sales and distribution, which encompasses managing the effectiveness of the broker channel and broker solutions across Canada. Prior to joining Economical in November 2013, he held senior positions in the P&C industry including national sales for personal, commercial and specialty lines as well as broker distribution effectiveness. His experience also includes leading training initiatives in leadership, business development and broker education.

Karen Kaminska Image

Karen Kaminska, FCIP, CRM

Vice-president, sales and distribution, Atlantic region

Karen was appointed vice-president, sales and distribution for the Atlantic region in March 2014. She brings 25 years of industry experience to this role, and has been with Economical since 1994. Most recently, Karen led the Atlantic region claims team as manager, regional claims and has held previous underwriting leadership accountability at Economical Select.

Pamela Marson Image

Pamela Marson, FCIP

Vice-president, underwriting transformation

Formerly vice-president, personal insurance, Pam has  accountability for underwriting transformation with a focus on driving transformation to improve productivity. She also has oversight of Economical Select.

Phil Mather Image

Philip Mather, CA, B.Sc. (Hons)

Senior vice-president and chief financial officer, president of Economical Financial

As CFO, Phil provides the leadership team and the broader organization with strategic financial counsel and support and has overall responsibility for procurement and reinsurance. He is also president of Economical Financial, the company's broker financing arm. Prior to joining Economical in 2011, he was a partner in the audit and assurance group of global professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, specializing in financial services and, in particular, property and casualty insurance in which he has more than nine years' experience.

Rocco Neglia Image

Rocco Neglia, BA (Hons), CIP

Vice-president, claims

Rocco was appointed to the position of vice-president, claims in January 2005. He also has oversight and accountability for the claims operation at Family Insurance Solutions Inc. Prior to his appointment, Rocco was the national technical claims manager and was instrumental in developing and supporting Economical's claims strategy. He joined Economical in May 1996.

Mike ONeill Image

Michael O'Neill, BA, MBA, CFA

Vice-president, investments

Appointed vice-president, investments in November 2001, Mike is responsible for Economical's investment activity and develops strategy to position investment activities and achieve growth and risk/return objectives for the short and long term. Prior to this appointment, Mike was the manager of fixed income.  Before joining Economical Mike was employed with investment dealer Gordon Capital and Royal Trust.


Tom Reikman

Tom Reikman, B.Sc., MBA, CIP

Senior vice-president and chief operating officer

Tom has more than 20 years’ experience in senior leadership and a significant breadth and depth of expertise in the property and casualty industry — including commercial, personal and group underwriting, marketing, and broker relationships. As COO, Tom reports directly to the CEO. Most recently, Tom held various executive roles with Aviva Canada including senior vice-president, Ontario region; senior vice-president, Pilot Insurance Company and Scottish and York Insurance Company; and senior vice-president, national marketing. Tom also worked previously for Economical Insurance in senior leadership roles between 1995 and 2006.

Mayissa Rifai Image

Mayssa Rifaï, BA, CIP

Vice-president, sales and distribution, Quebec region

Mayssa is responsible for the business development and underwriting operations in the Quebec region. Previously, she was regional vice-president, commercial insurance in Quebec. Before joining the company in 2010, Mayssa held a number of management positions with renowned insurers and brokerage firms, including Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, Travelers Canada and Marsh Canada Limited.

Chris Van Kooten Image

Chris Van Kooten, FCIA, FCAS

Vice-president, personal insurance, analytics and pricing

Chris has leadership accountability for Economical's personal insurance portfolio, including the development and implementation of the personal insurance strategy. He also has accountability for pricing and analytics, as well as oversight of Perth Insurance. His mandate supports the integration of head office underwriting, pricing and analytics, three critical business functions that will drive profitable growth through effective product and pricing strategies.  Since joining Economical in October 2008, he has served as  vice-president, corporate actuarial and vice-president, pricing.

Chris Weber Image

Chris Weber, BA (Hons), MA

Vice-president, sales and distribution, Western region

Based in Calgary, AB, Chris Weber is responsible for Economical's business development and underwriting operations in the Western region where he spent three years as regional claims manager from 2005 to 2008.  Formerly vice-president, analytics, Chris helped establish the analytics collaboration office. In late 2012 to early 2013, as vice-president, transformation, he played an integral role in the company’s ongoing business transformation program.

Max Weis

Max Weis, B.Sc., MBA, CFA

Vice-president, corporate development

With many years of experience in senior leadership roles in corporate finance as well as sophistication in valuation and modeling practices, Max provides expertise and focus to Economical’s increasingly sophisticated corporate development capabilities. Reporting to the chief financial officer, he is accountable for the ongoing development and implementation of the company’s M&A strategy, strategic partnerships and key stakeholder relationships. Before joining Economical, Max held various roles with RBC Capital Markets, most recently as managing director in corporate finance where he advised on a range of public and private equity and debt transactions, acquisitions, mergers and other related transactions.