Leo C. Ell - 2007

Mr. Ell was associated with the surety industry from September 1959 until his retirement in December 1998, a span of almost 40 years. He worked in the accounting and underwriting department of Western Surety Company until his appointment as Assistant Manager in 1970.  Four years later, he was appointed General Manager of the Company and in 1978, he became its President and CEO; a post he held until his retirement.

As President he expanded the operations to the Atlantic Provinces and to the west coast. During his tenure, the surety premium increased by 341% while maintaining a consistently low loss ratio. Asset value of the company was increased by 645%.

Mr. Ell’s involvement in surety industry issues goes back to the days of the Insurance Bureau of Canada and was actively involved in SAC from its inception in 1992 until 1998. He was the first Chair of our Western Regional Committee and held that post for two years.  Western Surety became a charter member of our association and continues its involvement on a very active basis.

When the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the notice provision in the labour and material payment bond, Mr. Ell was instrumental in persuading the Saskatchewan Superintendent of Insurance to introduce a revision to the province’s Insurance Act which effectively re-established the 120-day notice provision as the standard requirement on payment bonds in Saskatchewan.

In addition to his achievements over a long and distinguished surety career, Mr. Ell was active in other business and community organizations including Treasurer and Director of McCallum Hill Limited and Director of various other McCallum Hill companies; a member of the Regina Eastview Rotary Club since 1970 where he served as President; active in the United Way of Regina, the Salvation Army and other fund raising charities; and for more than 40 years, a Trustee of the Franciscans of Western Canada.