New Team Member, Industry News, & Men’s Health Month

Benchmark is thrilled to welcome Anderson Lookkin to the team as VP of Business Development. Prior to Benchmark, he served as President of a Canadian fraternal benefits organization overseeing the Trust and Insurance assets.

He comes with a broad wealth of knowledge on insurance, employee benefits and asset management programs. Having over 30 years of experience with multinational, private and Not-for-profit organizations in North America and Europe, he is passionate about designing creative and bespoke solutions for his clients’ unique business needs.

Welcome Anderson Lookkin, we are excited to have you on the team with us!

According to Anderson, ” Employee benefits originated as insurance to protect the health and wealth of your human capital. Today we take a much more holistic approach to people’s wellness with lots of services that are not necessarily insurance centric.” 

Read Anderson’s full interview below!

1) Can you describe your professional journey and speak to what led you to Benchmark?

I have been lucky in my career as I was able to work for companies both large and small that were at the forefront of their industry.  The biggest change for me in business was when professional advisory firms moved away from being Partnerships and into LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) structures. The whole nature of the industry changed from firms where you were accountable because every action directly affected your partners and colleagues to the companies today that are either publicly traded or owned by Private Equity funds. Gone are the days when you are sitting next to the owner…the person whose money is on the line.

There are three mentors from whom I learned from that helped shaped my career.

  • The Managing Partner of the first consulting firm I joined had a significant part of his net worth tied up as his equity in the firm. It was a pure fee-for-service boutique shop and while it was in our best interest to bill as much revenue as possible before we embarked on any client project he would always ask “What is the right thing to do?”. To this day, those words are in my head before making any client decisions. That experience increased the confidence of a then insecure young associate who went on to be a consultant that entered every meeting whether it be with a prospect, a client or stakeholder with a “can’t lose” attitude. The funny thing was I learned that while travelling with him to visit a major client who had just merged with its competitor and we were at risk of losing the account. Imagine my surprise upon hearing his “can’t lose” comment and the rationale of it.
  • The second was the president of a life insurance company I joined later in my career. He taught me about risk…how to embrace and manage it. There is risk in everything we do, and if you’re going to fail, fail fast. There I learned to “Think Big, Act Small”.
  • The third, who is also a lifelong friend and now in the twilight of his career as a senior executive at a multinational benefits consulting firm, would say “It’s about the Human Dynamics”. This is a people business, manage the people well and the business will be managed well. He is one of the most astute managers of people I know.

2) In your opinion, what is the most rewarding part about working in the benefits industry?

As I move into this next professional opportunity, the biggest accomplishment throughout my career was making at least one lifelong friend from each company where I worked. I can still name them all today. It is one of those friendships that led me to Benchmark. While the benefits advisory industry has changed significantly, Benchmark is very much like the firm I joined all those years ago where the people you work with have a significant part of their net worth tied up in the equity of the firm.

3) What new trends are you noticing in the benefits industry this year?

Today’s client regardless of size is more sophisticated and their employees are empowered with more choices. There are programs today providing total wellness and lifestyle management benefits that didn’t exist not too long ago. Technology and better access to information created a more knowledgeable client. It also produced efficiencies allowing smaller specialty firms to compete with the larger multi-line agencies. Employee benefits originated as insurance to protect the health and wealth of your human capital. Today we take a more holistic approach to people’s wellness with services that are not necessarily insurance centric. Every generation always looks back and says, “it was so much simpler back then”. While that is true, today we have better tools and a greater propensity to form strategic alliances to deliver on these client demands. They say the Covid pandemic brought forward and accelerated the changes that were inevitable in industry and the workplace. The pandemic also did this in the world of employee benefits. We will see a greater suite of benefits offered to employees and their families, and novel ways these services are delivered.

Amid of all this, it is still a people business. I still want to pick up the phone (or zoom) and talk to a person. 

 


The Pandemic might be over but the after-effects are here to stay! As stated by the CEO of CMHA, Margaret Eaton, “We’re seeing the signs of chronic stress on the population”.

Almost 1 in 5 Canadians said that they needed mental health support due to the pandemic but couldn’t get it. CLICK HERE to find out what you should do in case you or your loved one needs help.

Make sure your employees feel safe and taken care of with clear and concise Stress leave plans by contacting us today!
Phone: 416-560-0551
Email: info@benchmarkbenefits.ca

 


Kick your summer off right! Stay active!

59.1%  of men aged 18 years and older reported doing 150 minutes of physical activity per week, according to STATISTICS CANADA. Help keep your employees active and engaged by incorporating fitness challenges throughout the year. This can be a great way to keep your team healthy and happy! 

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 80% of American adults don’t get the recommended amount of exercise per week.

The health of your employees can affect the productivity and long-term success of your organization. Check out the great examples of employee fitness challenges to get you started below. 

Springworks has put together some really engaging remote work fitness challenges that you can organize for your employees to build that employee enthusiasm and also motivate them to be active.

For your inquiries about any type of benefits solutions for your employees, contact us today!