Tom McCallum - 2016

Born in Trois Rivieres (Quebec), Tom McCallum moved to Toronto as a teenager, where he finished high school and graduated from the University of Toronto in 1977.  Following a brief stint in the banking industry, he began his surety career with Travelers in 1979 where he worked for almost a decade before moving into the reinsurance end of the business with what was then known as Canadian Re.  Mr. McCallum spent the next 23 years with Canadian Re/Swiss Re; becoming the face of surety reinsurance in Canada.  He even worked at the North American head office in Armonk, New York with Swiss Re for several years.  In 2010, he returned to Toronto and spent a brief period with Travelers before moving back to the reinsurance world as Vice President for Credit and Surety at Partner Re; a post he held until his retirement in early 2016.

Before the formation of the Surety Association of Canada, he actively participated in industry activities as a member of the Surety Committee of the Insurance Bureau of Canada.  In the early 90s, he played a key role in the creation of SAC, helping to bring the fledgling association together and even hosted SAC’s inaugural meeting in June 1992.  At that meeting, he was appointed SAC’S first ever Vice Chair of the Board and he went on to become the Association’s second Chair the following year.  He followed this up with two more stints as Board Chair in 1998 and 2003; making him the only director to serve three separate terms as Chair.

During those three terms, he presided over some of the most tumultuous times in the Association’s history.  Being a relatively new association, SAC was still finding its way as the legitimate voice of the surety industry.  Mr. McCallum brought that gravitas, compassion and steady hand that gave SAC credibility and helped it to deal with the difficult and fractious challenges of its early years.

In 2004, he successfully oversaw the complete overhaul of SAC’s membership and fee structure; a controversial and complicated exercise that ultimately gave the Association a new lease on life, providing SAC with the structure and resources to allow it to become what it is in 2016.

As Chair and a director, he always brought a straight-talking-no-nonsense approach to discussions and debates.  Never afraid to tell it like it is, he had a knack for bringing an issue into focus and separating what was important, from what was not.  He was a dedicated, influential and effective director of the Association.

Mr. McCallum was with SAC from its inception and there is no doubt that he has made the industry better through his dedication and hard work.

Steve Ness and Mike George of Trisura congratulate Tom McCallum (centre).