J. Brian Hall - 2013
Mr. Hall worked in the surety industry for more than half a century. He began his career as a producer in 1959 for a local Toronto insurance broker before starting his own insurance/surety brokerage firm in 1964 at the ripe old age of 24. His entrepreneurial spirit and expertise resulted in the growth and success of the business and over the years it became, under his direction, one of southwestern Ontario’s leading surety producers.
From 2003 to 2013, as the company continued to expand through mergers and expansion of their client portfolio, Mr. Hall utilized leadership, sales and operational talents as CEO to create one of the largest independent insurance/surety brokerages in Canada. During that same time period, he continued to involve himself with the construction and surety industries through active participation in a number of industry associations. He served on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Sewer & Watermain Construction Association (OSWCA) in the role of Secretary / Treasurer and also participated in an advisory capacity on the Board of Directors of a major construction contractor client.
Because volunteering in the industry in which he worked wasn’t enough, Mr. Hall also found time to advance the cause of his other great passion; skiing. He served as a director as well as chair of the Canadian Ski Patrol and also served on the Blue Mountain Golf and Country Club Board of Directors in the role of treasurer.
Shortly after the formation of the Surety Association of Canada, he assumed the chairmanship of the Ontario Regional Committee; a role he fulfilled with distinction for four years. In December 1996, he was appointed to the SAC Board of Directors and three years later, became the first broker to be elected as SAC’s chair of the board. He was also the first chair to be elected to two consecutive terms. His “no nonsense” style and straightforward manner helped to redefine the position of chair into one of true leadership and he set an example for his successors to follow.
Mr. Hall was instrumental in driving industry change. Some of his accomplishments include:
- Initiating implementation of an annual fee for surety companies in lieu of individual bid bond and agreement to bond charges;
- Gaining agreement from municipalities to amend subdivision agreements to ensure servicing contractors could draw down on letters of credit based on specific criteria if unpaid by developer;
- Initiating a partnership with SAC and the OSWCA to liaise with various municipalities, including the City of Toronto to reverse previous decisions and include labour and material payment bonds;
- Participating in a group redesigning the application for a lien bond;
- Engaging and influencing a variety of public owners to utilize surety products; and
- Representing the Surety Association Canada on construction association panels across Ontario to advance the organization’s mandate.
Chair of the Board Stephen Hall (centre) accepts the Steward of Suretyship Award on behalf of his father, Brian Hall, from Steve Ness (left) and Derek Saxton (right).