History of Innovation and Leadership

For more than thirty years, PPI's innovation, growth and bold leadership have driven its success.

PPI Advisory is one of the distinct groups that comprises PPI, a leading marketer of insurance solutions, offering actuarial, tax and specialized expertise in all aspects of life insurance, and specifically in its design and custom application. PPI Advisory is focused on the high net-worth marketplace, while PPI Solutions is a national resource for advisors who serve the broad Canadian market.


A different approach to insurance

In 1978 Prairie Pacific Insurance was formed to work with a select group of 15 independent insurance professionals who became PPI’s first Associates.

With a background in group insurance, Jim Burton began his career in the life insurance industry in 1972 and established himself as a recognized specialist in estate planning and succession planning working with lawyers and accountants as his peers and allies.

He observed that while the basic insurance product could be a viable tool if redesigned for the upscale market, the traditional approach to sales and marketing was not effective for the sophisticated consumer. A small segment of life insurance agents who were professional and credible in servicing this clientele needed better insurance products, technical support and value-added business support.


A national organization that led with innovation

PPI immediately set a new standard for innovative product development:

  • Unbundled new money products
  • Consumer accountability and stronger guarantees for clients
  • Indemniterm: an insurance platform that gave clients the ability to interlock the fluctuating value of a business with their insurance benefit
  • Capital Security Program: increasing death benefit feature that potentially returned the full “opportunity cost” related to each premium
  • Coverage Optimization Algorithms: a method to minimize coverage so the long term asset accumulation of a policy could be maximized

During the 1980’s Prairie Pacific continued to expand its network of Associates, opening offices across Canada. Following rapid growth throughout Western Canada, Prairie Pacific changed its name to PPI Financial Group (Western) Ltd. and joined forces with Joe Dickstein and Dickstein Insurance Agencies (Toronto), which was subsequently renamed PPI Financial Group (Eastern) Ltd., supporting Ontario and Quebec.


Expansion and industry thought leadership

PPI continued to develop innovative solutions including:

  • Security Fund: ground-breaking financial instrument built on a universal life insurance chassis augmented by income replacement, critical illness and long-term care insurance
  • Single to joint last-to-die contractual flexibility, Optional Life Benefits, Capital Benefits
  • IIT (investment income tax) refund contractually guaranteed on life insurance

In 1990, PPI joint ventured with Prudential Insurance Company of America to form Prudential of America Life Insurance Company (Canada) (“PruCan”) to provide the financial strength and leading edge proprietary products PPI and its Associates needed. PPI introduced its Disability Insurance Division in 1992, and in 1997 PPI expanded its support offering into group benefits by acquiring a group benefits consulting firm located in southern Ontario.

In 1991, PPI was instrumental in founding the Conference of Advanced Life Underwriting (“CALU”) representing the interests of specialized financial advisors to legislative and policy-making bodies. Jim Burton served as its first Chairman until 1994 and remains actively involved as an honorary board member of the organization.


New relationships and growth

A new century brought continuing innovation:

  • Leveraging Facility: a loan facility whereby an approved borrower can borrow funds using a universal life insurance policy as collateral security
  • triAccess: provides access to the best health information, quality health care services and insurance funding for serious or potentially serious medical conditions
  • Security Protector: a GSI (Guaranteed Standard Issue) combination account product for the executive market that combined life insurance with capital benefits, income replacement insurance, critical illness insurance, and long term care insurance

PruCan was sold to RBC Insurance (“RBCI”) in 2000 and PPI entered into a strategic supplier relationship with RBCI, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Royal Bank Financial Group, to design and market exclusive insurance products for RBCI. PPI also continued its marketing relationships with other major insurers.


Bold new markets

PPI continues to be the national marketing organization of choice for insurance advisors. It serves the expanding high net-worth market through PPI Advisory. Through its 2010 acquisition of The Financial Management Group of Companies, one of Canada’s largest Managing General Agencies and renamed PPI Solutions, PPI also serves the broader market in Canada. PPI’s leading-edge solutions are shared with advisors in both markets through technical support, tools, and products to help them grow their business. In 2015, PPI developed and introduced a transformative new product - called EquiBuild - a hybrid universal life insurance policy designed to adapt to life’s changes. Innovation and growth will continue to drive PPI’s success and expansion in the Canadian market.