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Insurance Immersion Instructors

Canadian Program


The facilitator for the program is a LOMA staff person and life insurance industry expert who will act as the master of ceremonies for the program by providing logistical information to participants and instructors, introducing instructors, presenting portions of the program content, and managing the classroom environment.

LOMA’s facilitators will be responsible for

  • ensuring that class sessions progress smoothly
  • answering participant questions about basic program concepts
  • managing the time so that sessions run on schedule
  • leading activities by providing instructions and guidelines for participants


The instructors are industry experts who have considerable knowledge and experience in the area of the program for which he or she is responsible. The instructor’s role is to present a “real world” perspective by providing specific examples from personal experience to illustrate the industry concepts covered in the program. The instructors provide comments and feedback to participants during group activities and discussions.

Mark L. Arruda, FICA, FSA, CERA

In his current role as Assistant Vice President, Insurance Product Management, Sun Life Financial, Mark is responsible for the company’s life product shelf (including design and pricing) and how those products help Canadians achieve lifetime financial security. He is passionate about the work he does and the advisors he serves, and is appreciative of the different product designs in the marketplace.

With over 15 years in the insurance field, Mark rounded out his experience through technical positions in investments and valuation, as well as pricing and product development. He spent three years as the leader of Sun Life’s large case pricing team, where he tailored solutions for advisors and their affluent clients. While serving on the third-party distribution team, he enjoyed the competitive atmosphere and how each case was unique and brought new challenges.

Mark is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries and Canadian Institute of Actuaries, as well as a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst with the Society of Actuaries. It was in pursuit of the actuarial designations that he developed an excitement for the practical applications of risk management through insurance. As an actuary, he is able to look “behind the curtain” of many insurance designs and strategies and use his expertise to really understand what is going on.

Sharon Giffen, FCIA, FSA, ICD.D

Sharon’s 35-year career was primarily in life insurance marketing and product development. In the last 15 years at a multi-national fraternal benefit society, she progressed from product management to Chief Actuary, Chief Financial Officer, President of the Canadian business unit, and finally Chief Risk Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. Throughout this tenure, she actively supported the fraternal purpose of the organization — speaking and volunteering for good works in communities.

Sharon sits on the Board of Directors of three insurance enterprises: Genworth MI Canada, Brookfield Annuity Company and Group Medical Services (GMS). She is the Immediate Past President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA), where she is Chair of the Governance Committee. Additionally, she serves on the Investment Management Committee of FaithLife Financial.

Sharon was also active in the Examination Committee for the Society of Actuaries for many years, is Past President of the Actuaries Club of Toronto and of the Actuaries Section of the National Fraternal Congress of America (now the American Fraternal Alliance). She also served as Chair of the Smaller Insurance Companies Section of the Society of Actuaries.

Brent Lemanski, LLIF, CLU

Brent is Assistant Vice President and Executive Director for LIMRA and LOMA Canada and is an experienced insurance executive. He has primary accountability for liaising with Canadian LIMRA and LOMA member companies.His responsibilities include managing relationships with executives in member companies, conducting workshops and planning sessions, and applying benchmarking information in problem-solving sessions with clients. He also speaks on industry issues and trends and shares information about LIMRA’s and LOMA’s wide range of products, services and solutions available to Canadian companies.

Prior to joining LIMRA/LOMA, Brent served in the Agency department of Manulife Financial. In his 20 years there, he worked on expanding distribution through innovations to the traditional distribution system, as well as supplemental channels; strategic planning; designing and administering field compensation systems; and new product development and implementation. He began his career as an agent and became an agency manager for The Dominion Life Assurance Company of Canada.

During his decades in field and head office management, Brent relied on LIMRA and LOMA research, products and services, and chaired LIMRA’s Field Diversity Marketing Committee. He now applies his diverse industry experience to help member companies meet and exceed their performance goals.

Frank Miemiec, MBA, CFP, CLU

Frank began his career in financial services in October 1987, helping families and business owners develop financial plans. After completing the CLU designation in 1993, for which he received the Leslie W. Dunstall medal for the highest academic results in Ontario, Frank shifted the focus of his practice to the affluent and business owner-markets.

Frank later took on the role of Branch Marketing Consultant in Sun Life Financial’s largest Canadian branch office, working with the top 40 advisors to help them learn the function and application of new insurance and investment products. Since that time, Frank has worked in director and management consulting roles with several large financial services organizations, including CCH Canadian Inc., the Canadian Securities Institute and Sun Life Financial.

Frank joined Page and Associates Ltd., in 2004. In his current role as Vice-President, Operations and Account Executive, his focus is on managing the systems and processes that support the firm’s advisors. Frank also consults with advisors on cases involving their affluent and business-owner clients to deliver sound financial planning, tax and estate planning advice and portfolio management services.

Owen Thomas, CPA, CA

With over 15 years of experience and as a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s Financial Services practice, Owen provides audit and advisory services to financial services clients, with a focus on insurance companies.

In 2007, Owen moved to Toronto from the UK and has worked with Canadian public companies and other regulated financial institutions, including life insurers, property and casualty insurers, as well as banks and asset management companies.

Owen is extensively involved in the new IFRS insurance accounting standard, sitting on the CLHIA industry working group, PwC’s global insurance working groups and working with clients to understand and plan for the potential impacts. He is a regular presenter on IFRS accounting developments at client, industry and PwC’s internal training courses.

Upcoming Sessions