Behind the scenes of the Regional Council of Ontario - November 2021

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Behind the scenes of the Regional Council of Ontario - November 2021

 

A series of interviews with our council members,the engines of our organization

 
In November we interviewed Michael Macoun, President of The Benefits Alliance Group and Chair of the CPBI Ontario Council.

Since joining the Ontario Regional Council in 2017, Mike’s enthusiasm and leadership has been evident in all the activities he’s been involved with.
Prior to COVID, he led several successful in-person seminars and a popular Links and Learn event in July 2019. Mike also coordinated the Region’s Benefits Program Certificate that the CPBI puts on in partnership with the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA). He became Vice-Chair, and since June 2021, the Chair of the Ontario Regional Council. Volunteers like him are the lifeblood of our organization and Mike is a real mover and shaker!

Interviewer:  Mike, can you tell us about your yourself and your role at The Benefits Alliance Group?

Mike:  My name is Mike Macoun, and I am the president of The Benefits Alliance Group. We are a national organization of advisory firms specializing in group benefits and pension. The BA focuses on enhancing the shareholder experience though professional development and collaboration, unique products, and services as well as advocacy support. I am incredibly proud to support our advisors across the country and help advocate on their behalf.

Interviewer:  How and why did you get started in this industry Mike?

Mike:  I started in the industry back in 2014. I had recently graduated from Queen’s University with a master’s in international business. I was actively looking for roles and came across an opportunity at Great West Life (now Canada Life) in their underwriting department. My first day was January 6th, 2014, and I have never looked back. I have had some fantastic opportunities working at Canada Life, Accompass, Gallagher and most recently at The Benefits Alliance Group.


InterviewerWe would love to know how long have you been involved with CPBI and what do you enjoy most about your involvement with CPBI?

Mike:  I joined CPBI in May 2017. I still remember meeting Christine Van Staden at a Starbucks in downtown Toronto to learn more about this organization called CPBI. We had a great conversation, and I left the meeting wanting to get involved. To be part of an industry organization that supports education and networking has been so meaningful for my career. I have established some great friendships and have been able to expand my network in this industry. As regional chair, my goal is to allow our council members and volunteers the same opportunity that I received which is to get involved, try new things, and help give back to our industry.
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Interviewer:  What is one of the most exciting things that you see going on in the group benefits industry right now?

Mike:  We are currently going through a time of immense change. As someone who works in the advisor/consultant community, we are seeing a period of consolidation as well as organizations defining their future succession plans. In addition, it is a period of rapid innovation with incredible solutions focusing on employees across Canada. It has been amazing to see the focus on mental health and wellness which has been completely redefined during my time in the industry.
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Interviewer:  Can you tell us more of your thoughts and insight on the industry Mike?

Mike:  Relationships are so vital in our world. I continue to remind myself that our industry is small, but mighty. It is so important to maintain your relationships and treat everyone with both kindness and respect. With CPBI, we are given an amazing platform to network with contacts who represent different factions of our community. I would recommend that if you have the chance to get involved, please make the time to do so.

 


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