March Strive Spotlight – Ryan Bentley

Ryan Bentley BSc., FCIP, CRM, CAIB
Vice President Commercial/Principal Broker
Algoma Insurance Brokers Limited

Ryan was born in Ottawa, but moved to Sault Ste. Marie when he was 7 years old. He graduated from the University of Waterloo with a BSc and started at Algoma Insurance Brokers Limited, a local property & casualty insurance brokerage. He left the Soo to broaden his insurance knowledge & experience by working for a multinational insurance company in Waterloo, Halifax, and Toronto before returning here to Algoma Insurance in 2014. He currently leads the business insurance team, interacting with clients, managing company relationships, business planning and execution.

It wasn’t always his plan to enter the insurance industry. However, once he started and saw the complexity of the business and how it is such an integral part of our society, he knew he wanted to be a part of it.

During his time in the industry, Ryan has achieved the designations of Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker, Canadian Risk Manager, and Chartered Insurance Professional. In addition, over the last few years Ryan has been working on and has attained the coveted Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP) designation. This is the highest level of designation in the property & casualty insurance industry, only achieved by a few professionals across Canada, and Ryan is the first person from Sault Ste. Marie to have received it.

Despite all of his achievements, Ryan says he has a lot more that he wants to do. Constantly pushing his goals, he is also beginning an Executive MBA through Ivey Business School this year.

Ryan’s thoughts about the Sault!

I think there is a lot of opportunity here for those willing to evolve and take an innovative approach to old business practices. We’re no longer just competing with a business down the street and serving our neighbourhood clientele. Businesses need to adapt to deal on a bigger geographical scale, change the ways we interact and embrace technology in order to survive.

Also from a cost perspective – it’s still relatively cheap to do business here when compared to major centres, and we have opportunities of skilled labour from our university and college. Despite being a smaller city, we are well located geographically, with access to Toronto and other major hubs. Great work life balance!

Ryan’s advice to other young professionals?

• Keep an open mind and investigate what potential job opportunities are available to you. It is not always about what the job is today but instead where the job could lead to. Following a challenging and evolving career path is rewarding!
• Look for ways to learn and get great experiences. Network. So much is learned through mentorship and past experiences that can’t be learned in a textbook.
• You get out what you put into it. Look for ways to improve both technical and soft skills. Be patient with real expectations.

Ryan has been a member of Strive since 2015. He enjoys attending the various events offered, his favourite being the Strive Downtown Business Hop. During this event, participants learn about a selected group of businesses in the Sault’s downtown core, showcasing what our city really has to offer.

If you’d like to be featured in a future Strive Spotlight, or have a suggestion on who to feature, please email us at info@striveypg.com!