CIU Program Committee 2017 - 2018

Program Director
Rima Hamdar, AALU, ACS, BA
Senior Underwriting Consultant
Underwriting & Claims Risk Mgmt.
RGA Life Reinsurance Company of Canada (Toronto)
77 King Street West, Toronto, ON M5J 1H6

Rima started her career in the insurance industry more than 20 years ago at Mutual Life of Canada. After holding many positions at various insurance companies, Rima is currently Senior Underwriting Consultant at Sun Life Financial on the Underwriting and Claims Risk Management Team. Her underwriting experience over the years includes underwriting life and critical illness insurance. At Sun Life, Rima is responsible for performing life and critical illness audits as well as developing and delivering Life Underwriting Training. As part of this role, she also coaches underwriters in technical underwriting issues and mentors new underwriters to Sun Life philosophy. She continues to support the underwriting community and has served previously with the South Western Ontario Underwriting Club. Rima recently joined RGA as Senior Underwriting Consultant and is currently Program Director with the CIU.



Assistant Program Director
David Mayer, BA, MA (Economics), FALU, RHU
Senior Underwriting Consultant
Retail Markets

Dave began his underwriting career in 1998 at Manulife and is currently a Senior Underwriting consultant at Equitable Life of Canada. His industry designations include Fellow Academy of Life Underwriting and Registered Health Underwriter and he holds a BA and MA (Economics). He has experience volunteering in the industry as he is Past President of the Southwestern Ontario Underwriters Club. His interests outside work include camping, fishing and hockey. His warm demeanor, positive attitude, and enthusiasm is a great fit with the program committee. He is looking forward to providing exciting educational opportunities for our members.


Program Committee Member
Dennis Banda FALU, FLMI
Underwriting Risk Relationship Manager
Life and Health Underwriting Operations
RBC Insurance - MVO

Dennis has been in the insurance industry for over 15 years and started his underwriting career with Manulife Financial in 2003. Over the years, Dennis has held several roles with various carriers in the Canadian insurance market. Dennis’ expertise includes underwriting in the high net worth market as well as the training and mentoring of underwriters. He is currently an Underwriting Risk Relationship Manager at RBC Insurance; largely a technical and field relationship role. As a FALU and FLMI, Dennis has served as an exam writer for the ALU 202 exam. He has a passion for training and mentoring and is looking forward to transferring that passion into his new role on the CIU program committee.


Program Committee Member
Bill Berthiaume, LOGiQ3
Senior Underwriter
LOGiQ3 Corp.

Bill is presently the Underwriting manager at LOGIC3. He has over 18 years of experience in the life insurance industry, eight years of which he has been an underwriter with extensive experience in both the US and Canadian markets. He is a graduate of the University of North Dakota where he majored in Sociology. In his free time he enjoys travelling, red wine, country music and living the good life.

Program Committee Member
Lianne Heppenstrijdt-Hamilton, FALU, FLMI, ACS
Director, U/W & Claims Risk Management
Sun Life Financial (Toronto)

Lianne has over 25 years experience in the Life and Health insurance industry, in both the US and Canadian markets and both the retail and wholesale channels. Over the years, she has been involved in process and guideline review and implementation, product development, people management and advisor training. She joined Sun Life in 2002 and made a move from the Canadian Division to the Corporate Division in 2014 where she is the Director of Underwriting and Claims Risk Management for the global enterprise encompassing North America and Asia. In this role, she is responsible for Sun Life's Global Risk Management Framework for Underwriting, involved in the Underwriting Manual review and update, referrals for the global underwriting teams and as a subject matter expert for our business partners. She is passionate about education and really looking forward to her new role on the CIU program committee.

Program Committee Member
Gillian Brain, FALU
Divisional Chief Underwriter
Berkshire Hathaway Grp of Ins Co. Reinsurance Div.

Gillian has over 20 years of industry experience spread across direct, reinsurance and retrocession business. She joined Berkshire Hathaway as Divisional Chief Underwriter in 2016 after working for 14 years overseas in Europe, South Africa, Asia, Caribbean and Latin America as a Global Underwriting Consultant and Underwriting Manager at Swiss Re. Prior to Swiss Re, Gillian started her career as an underwriter here in Canada working for both Manulife and Equitable Life. Her experience spans across all lines of business, with a big focus on High Net Worth alongside best practice and standards, as well as extensive involvement in developing and delivering underwriter training programs, auditing, product development and medical research and development.
Gillian is excited to be joining the CIU and looks forward to the opportunity to contribute her wide range of past experience to its members.

Program Committee Member
Jim Braund, BA, FLMI, FALU
AVP, Underwriting
Optimum Reassurance Inc.

Jim has 27 years working at various companies in the Toronto area. He has worked on both Canadian and US direct and reinsurance business. He has a BA from York, FLMI and FALU designations. Jim enjoys time with his kids, coaching Soccer, winter sports, travel and camping. He is currently AVP at Optimum Reassurance.

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