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Current Opportunities

Vice President, Information Technology – Peace Hills Insurance

THE ORGANIZATION

The Peace Hills Insurance (“PHI”) story began thirty-eight years ago when leaders of the Samson Cree Nation invested the Nation’s oil and gas royalties to diversify their holdings. In 1981, the dream that would become Peace Hills General Insurance Company was born.

PHI is a licensed, general insurance company, which has been insuring Canadians in western and northern Canada since 1982. Relationships are at the heart of what they do and at PHI, insureds, broker partners, third parties, employees, visitors and friends are truly valued. Headquartered in Edmonton, PHI employs over 200 staff in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver who serve over 478 broker offices across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon Territory. PHI attributes their success to knowing their products, their markets and risk and by providing an exceptional customer experience because they truly care.

PHI’s focus on relationships starts at home with commitment to providing a supportive and collegial work environment.  PHI prides themselves on being a positive and rewarding place to work. Culture has always differentiated PHI from their competition and the office has a warm, open feel.  They work hard but make time for fun and look for every opportunity to celebrate.

PHI’s history is peppered with firsts; from its inception as the first aboriginal-owned insurance company in North America, first new insurance company in Alberta in 38 years and the first Canadian insurance company to be led by a female President, Diane Brickner. As a Western Canadian company, Peace Hills continues to champion the essence of innovation and an authentic approach to business.

Giving back has always been a big part of their company ethos, they are committed to giving back to the Samson Cree Nation, and actively support a number of charities through various activities.   PHI’s personality is reflected in their mission statement, corporate values and business ethics and in the way they conduct business.

Vision: Peace Hills Insurance will continue to be a well-respected, profitable provider of general insurance products delivered through creative and responsive solutions.

Mission: Peace Hills Insurance, owned by the Samson Cree Nation, is a unique insurance company that truly cares.

Values: Fairness, flexibility and reasonableness in dealing with employees, brokers, customers, vendors and our shareholder, the Samson Cree Nation.

For further information on PHI, please visit: www.peacehillsinsurance.com

 

THE OPPORTUNITY

Job Title:Vice President, Information Technology
Reports to:President & Chief Executive Officer
Direct Reports:2; Software Development Manager and Computer Network Infrastructure Manager
Indirect Reports:13
Location:Edmonton, AB

 

THE MANDATE

The Vice President, Information Technology is a member of the executive leadership team, who are collectively responsible for the development and execution of PHI’s long-term strategic plan, overall direction and philosophy of the Company. The VP will be accountable for strategic leadership, development, and direction in all aspects of information technology and is responsible for driving continuous operational efficiencies.

PHI is proud of their history of innovation.  Since creating their information system in 1984, they have continued to demonstrate an appetite for pursuing excellence in information technology. The core insurance system is custom to the Company and allows the company to be agile and take advantage of unique opportunities.   The insurance industry is dynamic and fast paced with respect to technological change and advances.  The successful candidate must champion this spirit of innovation by staying abreast of technological trends to support the PHI team.  The core system in which the company operates will need to be replaced in the coming years and this opportunity to improve the business through a new system will need to be fully embraced and led by the Vice President, Information Technology.

The leadership team embodies PHI’s strong culture and operates with transparency.  They are a close knit group, who support, encourage and challenge each other.  Although the Company is mid-sized, there is a personal feel and executives are hands on when required in order to achieve strategic priorities and deliverables.  The VP IT will elevate the performance of the team by engaging them behind a strong vision rooted in innovation and customer service.

 

Key Accountabilities

Strategic Leadership:

  • In collaboration with the executive team, assist in establishing PHI’s overall strategic objectives;
  • Develop and execute a comprehensive, clear IT strategy that exhibits effective planning and ensures agility;
  • Effectively plan, prioritize and manage the IT project portfolio to achieve organizational goals;
  • Stay abreast of technology advancements, changes in the insurance field and make recommendations as to their suitability for PHI; and
  • Demonstrate engagement in the insurance industry by participating in industry groups and developing strategic relationships and partnerships.

Information Technology Leadership:

  • Lead the IT strategy with regard to PHI’s brokers and external business partners, understanding current requirements and envisaging future needs;
  • Continuously identify, compare and assess technology solutions and their potential impact on PHI’s current environment as well as future business and product needs;
  • Oversee IT infrastructure, security and software development ensuring cost effectiveness, efficiency, integration, security, accessibility and sustainability;
  • Foster innovation by staying up to date on technological knowledge and by creating new solutions that enable business results, improve effectiveness of business information technology and internal service delivery;
  • Track, analyze, and monitor technology performance metrics to continually improve performance outcomes and deliverables;
  • Provide senior leadership and expertise in the development of information technology policies and procedures;
  • Direct the successful delivery of large, multi-phased information technology projects using effective project management methodologies;
  • Develop, control and track annual operating budgets for the IT function;
  • Communicate the IT strategy to the organization’s stakeholders; and
  • Maintain excellent external partner and vendor relationships.

People Leadership:

  • Drive a department culture centered around delivering exceptional customer service to both internal and external stakeholders;
  • Create a motiving work culture of high performance, continuous improvement, empowerment, collaboration and innovation;
  • Foster an environment in which the team pursues effective and efficient operations, never accepting the status quo in pursuit of product excellence and customer service delivery; and
  • Consistently deliver exceptional results by demonstrating drive, initiative, engagement, collaboration and accountability and instill these characteristics within the IT department.

 

ATTRACTIONS

  • The Vice President, Information Technology is a member of the executive leadership team;
  • PHI is a flexible, positive and rewarding place to work; they have fun and make time to celebrate successes;
  • PHI offers a collegial and supportive work environment that provides excellent work/life balance;
  • Exceptional culture rooted in a people first mentality; and
  • Commitment to innovation, best in class service and providing a personal touch to customer service.

 

FIRST YEAR DELIVERABLES / MEASURES OF SUCCESS

Success in the first year will be determined by the candidate’s ability to:

  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the organization in its entirety;
  • Demonstrate strong leadership with an ability to set, articulate and engage the team in a clear vision;
  • Lead the selection and begin implementation of a new insurance IT platform;
  • Demonstrate change management excellence and ability to lead their team through a core system change;
  • Execute on PHI’s current IT strategy and develop a long-term strategy for the department
  • Build an engaged and collaborative IT department, where all team members strive for success; and
  • Create a trusting work environment where employees feel supported.

 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The successful candidate will have the following:

Education

  • Degree in Information Technology, Computer Science or a related field;
  • Master level education would be considered an asset; and
  • Demonstrated commitment to ongoing professional development.

Experience

  • A minimum 15 years’ relevant experience with a minimum 5 years senior leadership experience;
  • Previous experience selecting and implemented a complete system conversion;
  • Demonstrated change management experience;
  • Track record of success leading a department with large levels of data, inputs and outputs;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the complexities within a highly regulated environment; and
  • Previous experience within the insurance and/or finance industry considered a definite asset.

 Competencies and Attributes

  • Business Acumen: Understands all aspects of the business and how they are interconnected to achieve financial goals and objectives. Ability to sift through the ‘noise’ to focus on the key elements to lead team to goal achievement.
  • Change Management: Ability to gain buy in from all stakeholder groups to lead change. Effectively manages and implements policy or procedural change. Ability to lead the team through change with limited impact on service delivery.
  • Communications: Communicates effectively with non-technical professionals when delivering complex technical information. Open to receiving constructive feedback and willingness to engage in robust healthy discussion to foster the spirit of continuous improvement.
  • Critical Thinking: Makes strong decisions using analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Customer Focus: Creates positive working relationships both internally and externally. Continuously pays attention to customer needs adapting as they evolve. Builds strong customer relationships and delivers customer centric solutions.
  • Develops Talent: Develops teams to meet both their career goals and PHI’s goals. Fosters team engagement and collaboration and an environment that embraces changes and challenges the status quo.
  • Flexible: Pays attention to the circumstance and adjusts accordingly. Demonstrates ability to nimble and responsive to external factors impacting business success.
  • Innovative: Drives the IT portfolio forward, keeping up to date with system trends. Brings a creative approach to solving problems and out of box thinking.
  • Project Management: Delivers excellence and creates a culture of accountability with respect to project delivery. Oversees the design, development and implementation of new technology and processes.
  • Strategic Planning: Develops short and long-range plans that are comprehensive, creative, realistic and effective in meeting goals and objectives, and integrates planning efforts across functions.
  • Visionary: Ability to set and articulate a vision. Readily gains buy in to vision from team, peers, shareholders and stakeholders.

How to Apply:

Please send your resume in Word or PDF format to: es_edmonton@optimumtalent.com. Copy and Paste the following job title and code and place it in the subject line of your email so we can identify the job and confirm receipt of your application:
ABDV-805754 Vice President, Information Technology – Peace Hills Insurance - AB - Edmonton and Area (OTIAPPLY)

Please note that only those candidates meeting the selection criteria, established by our client, will be contacted further. Although we may not contact you directly for this particular role, all applications will be reviewed as we would like to consider you for future opportunities that may be appropriate. We encourage you to continue to visit our website at optimumtalent.com as our opportunities are updated on a regular basis.