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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.

Owen Thomas, CPA, CA

As a member of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s Financial Services practice with 15 years of experience, 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.

Sharon Giffen, FSA, FCIA, ICD.D

After a career primarily in life insurance marketing and product development for a variety of Canadian and U.S. insurance organizations – large and small, stock and mutual and reinsurance – Sharon spent 15 years with a multi-national fraternal benefit society.  Initially in charge of product management, she progressed to other roles including Chief Actuary, Chief Financial Officer, President of the Canadian business unit and finally Chief Risk Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. Presently, she is an independent consultant.

For many years, Sharon was active in the Examination Committee for the Society of Actuaries, and 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 was also Chair of the Smaller Insurance Companies Section of the Society of Actuaries, and served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries from 2012 to 2015.

Currently, she is on the Board of Directors of Genworth Financial and of Brookfield Annuity Company, and chairs the Audit and Finance Committee of the Board of Directors of Opera Atelier. In 2016, Sharon became President-elect of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, where she also chairs the Governance Committee.  In June of 2017, she will join the Board of Directors of GMS.

Brent Lemanski, LLIF, CLU

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

Prior to joining LIMRA/LOMA, Brent, an experienced insurance executive, 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, 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.

Banasha Shah, FSA, FCIA

At Longevity Financial Group, Banasha is a financial advisor and consulting actuary. She specializes in life and health insurance product development, pricing and marketing, and brings with her over 25 years of experience in individual, group and credit insurance.

She spent the early part of her career at a large Canadian life insurance company where she was in charge of individual life and health product development and marketing. For the last 18 years, she has been an independent consultant, helping clients on both product development and strategic initiatives. Recently, she has focused her efforts on critical illness insurance in Canada, and has been at the forefront of research and product design for critical illness from both a reinsurance and direct insurance company perspective.

As a licensed insurance advisor, and through education, she empowers clients to make informed decisions around their personal insurance programs and helps them manage the financial risks they face in life.

Upcoming Sessions