CEO Message

December 15, 2020


If a year can be captured in a single sentence, 2020 has been the year of “I think you’re on mute.” 

I never imagined I’d spend most of my working day alone, in front of a camera, watching my colleagues’ children, partners and pets emerge half-formed from digital backgrounds—or that these same sessions could be as productive as in-person meetings. 

That’s why I’m as surprised as anyone that one of the things I’m most grateful about when I reflect on 2020 is the way it’s challenged my ideas about collaborative work.


We asked Lawyers Financial advisors and staff what they’ll be grateful for when 2020 is hindsight. There’s no way around it: this year has been a lot to handle. But for those of us who’ve been spared the worst effects of the pandemic, it’s also given us so much to be thankful for. 

Here are just a few things I’m proudest of, inspired by and grateful for as we close the books on 2020: 

  • I’m proud that Lawyers Financial has remained connected with our clients and each other throughout the pandemic. 
  • I’m inspired by the resilience and dedication of our advisors, staff and the lawyers we serve. 
  • And I’m grateful you continue to entrust us with your insurance and investment needs.


Switching to a work-from-home model got us through 2020, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss in-person connections. In fact, I miss them profoundly. As I write this, a vaccine is slowly being rolled out across the country – a gift of positive news as we head into the holiday season. It makes me hopeful that it won’t be long before we can all say, “It’s good to see you,” at least as often as we say, “Can you see my screen?”

Until then, from my screen to yours, I wish you and your family good health, happy holidays and all the best in 2021.

Dawn Marchand, President & CEO
CBIA/Lawyers Financial 

September 15, 2020

According to Fast Company, “September is the new January.” As I write this, there are just over 100 days before the calendar turns. I won’t be sorry to see 2020 end, although I have learned a lot and have definitely strengthened my resiliency muscle. September has always marked a new beginning for me and certainly a time when I reflect on what I want to accomplish before year end.


There isn’t enough time, maybe, for the types of monumental changes we often demand of New Year’s resolutions – but there’s more than enough time to achieve a modest goal or two that can genuinely impact our personal and professional lives. 

Setting a goal now – especially a financial goal – allows you to get ahead of year-end deadlines and build momentum going into 2021. Now is a great time to make decisions about your investments or taxes or to have those important conversations about life insurance and succession planning. 

We’re here to help. For ideas to help you achieve your goals, check out When Should Lawyers Get a Financial Advisor? Three Truths Women Can’t Ignore and Life Insurance: Expense or Investment?

And finally, a shout out to those of you who are doing triple-duty as parents, providers and teachers as we navigate one of the wildest back-to-school seasons on record. This year has given us plenty of reminders of the importance of community, and CBIA/Lawyers Financial is proud to be a part of yours.

Dawn Marchand, President & CEO,
CBIA/Lawyers Financial

July 23, 2020

Over the past four months, we’ve all had to adapt to many new ways of doing things – both in our professional and personal lives. I think it is safe to say that, even when we do ‘go back’ to the office, some of those changes will remain. The most successful organizations and practitioners will be those that adapt and build on the positive changes.

For CBIA/Lawyers financial, social distancing has allowed us to leverage technology in ways our industry has otherwise been slow to embrace. And our clients are happy about it. 

A quicker and easier application experience

Insurers are making it easier to apply for and get products such as life, disability, and critical illness insurance. Simplified underwriting requirements and the introduction of e-signatures both greatly reduce the time required to get from application to approval. More about this in a recent article, Why now is the time to stop putting off insurance.

More convenient and effective communication with your Lawyers Financial Advisor

With traditional face-to-face meetings off the table, many advisors and clients are finding video meetings to be a more effective way to meet and update financial plans. 

We recognize that your success is dependent on both a healthy professional and personal life. And so, we try to provide tips and information that can help in all areas. Check out What a new routine could mean for you or Giving back as we get back to work or Kids, screens and summer. You need a game plan

To our clients, thank you for your business and your trust. To everyone else in the legal community, visit to learn more about the tailor-made insurance and investment solutions available exclusively for you.

June 28, 2020


This is from The Personal:

The Personal is pleased to announce that we will be offering a widespread refund to our auto insurance clients. We are announcing this measure today, as we recognize that many people continue to work from home during the pandemic. With limited road travel, we have noted fewer car accidents and reduced claim volumes, therefore would like to reflect this circumstance by issuing a refund. The Personal will give back to its client between 25% and 40% of the premium that they pay for one month, depending on the reality of each province, for a total amount up to $28 Million collectively. Furthermore, the great news is that no action is required to receive the refund - clients will automatically receive it through their usual payment method. Over the next few weeks, all eligible insured clients will be informed, by email, of the amount that they will receive.

Dawn Marchand, President & CEO,
CBIA/Lawyers Financial

June 4, 2020

I went into the office today to conduct a webinar promoting DBplus, our soon-to-be-launched defined benefit pension plan for law firms across Canada. Like many of us, my home internet has been spotty due to the migration to home offices draining neighbourhood bandwidth. I needed a stable connection for the webinar so to the office I went. Stopped at a light near our building, I noticed an image on the local arts centre where they would ordinarily show an ad. It was a picture of Nelson Mandela with a quote: People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love… 

I read it a couple of times and got lost in thought considering the state of the world. Meanwhile the light had turned green. The car behind me honked, snapping me out of it. I hit the gas and continued on to work. 

It has now been three months since many of us began social distancing. That’s a long time and certainly long enough to form new habits. It’s curious to consider the implications for a post COVID world: Will we slowly slide back into old routines or will some changes become permanent? How long before it will feel safe to shake someone’s hand? Will we protect cherished family dinners or will grab-and-go return? Are video meetings the new standard or will we be able to be in the same room together? 

And will we finally bring-about the much needed social change that has been so long coming? I think of the devastating images of violence and unrest since the horrific murder of George Floyd and I feel overwhelmed with despair. But then I think of the people standing up to oppression and I feel hopeful. I realize that there are no magic words that can take the pain away, ease the fear or right the inequality. But, I’m hopeful that we will be proactive and take action, no matter how small, to contribute to lasting positive change.   
I looked up the Mandela quote when I got to the office and it turns out there was more that didn’t fit on the billboard: 

…for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite... Man's goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.

Stay safe,

Dawn Marchand, President & CEO,
CBIA/Lawyers Financial

May 7, 2020

Week eight. Who could have imagined? While so much has changed in how we go about our daily lives, our priorities remain the same:

  • Keeping our employees safe 
  • Supporting our clients 
  • Delivering the best insurance and investment products for lawyers, your employees and families

We’re settled in at our home offices and we’re fully operational. When I reflect on these last two months, I’m so proud of how we’ve come together as a team. They say that necessity is the mother of invention and we’re certainly adapting and finding new ways to support our clients. In an industry with a long devotion to ink, we’re shifting to electronic signatures. Many of our advisors are now routinely holding video meetings with clients, providing advice at a safe distance. Underwriting is changing – Manulife has made insurance more accessible by simplifying requirements without full paramedical exams. And The Personal is offering rebates for clients who may be driving less during the pandemic. 

We’re automating processes where we can and we need your help. If you pay by cheque, please switch to pre-authorized payments. Paper cheques have to pass through many hands to be processed and require you and others to leave their homes. Pre-authorized plans are easy to set-up. The transactions are secure and ensure payments are credited to your account without delay. Best of all, they’re touchless and fully automated. Please help us keep everyone safe and create a more efficient service experience. Click here to switch to pre-authorized payments.

Whether you’re new to working from home, stressing over the stock market or just trying to keep the kids busy we’re happy to provide tips and support to help. 

We’re here for you.

Stay safe,

Dawn Marchand, President & CEO,
CBIA/Lawyers Financial

April 8, 2020

Over the past four weeks, we have been speaking to many clients about their insurance coverage and their investments. I thought I would share some of the most common themes as I’m sure many of you may have had similar thoughts and questions.


Overall, clients want reassurance that their coverage remains in force. Clients have told us that they’re relieved to have insurance protection during these uncertain times.  They are also taking this opportunity to review the coverages they have to make sure they’ve kept pace with the changes in their life – both personally and professionally. Our team of Lawyers Financial advisors is here to help you review your current protection portfolio to ensure you are prepared for life’s what ifs. 


As expected, we are speaking with a lot of clients and the most common question is “should I completely move to cash?” To respond, our advisor asks a question: “If house prices dropped tomorrow would you sell?” Most everyone would say no. The difference with your investments and your home, is that you can login everyday and see the movement in value of your investments, whereas with your home you don’t see that figure as often. But the similarity is that both are likely long-term investments.  If your investments are being professionally managed, match your risk profile and put you on the right path to meet your long-term goals, then not doing anything during this market turbulence is a solid strategy.  

We Need Your Help

This situation has offered us the opportunity to review a number of our processes. If you currently pay your premiums by cheque, we ask that you please make the move to pre-authorized payments. Paper cheques must pass through many hands to be processed and require you and others to leave their homes. Pre-authorized plans are easy to set-up. The transactions are secure and ensure payments are credited to your account without delay. Best of all, they’re touchless and fully automated.

Please help us keep everyone safe and create a more efficient service experience. To switch to pre-authorized payments, simply visit

NEW! Home & Auto Insurance

We received this information right before posting this message and wanted to share it with you. This is from The Personal:

The current situation resulting from the spread of COVID-19 affects us all and we want you to know that The Personal is here for you. We understand that you may be struggling at this time. That’s why we want to make things a little easier for you with our relief measures.

  • Helping clients who are driving less during the pandemic
  • Helping people make deliveries
  • Protecting clients who are working from home

To learn more, please visit 

Stay safe,

Dawn Marchand, President & CEO,
CBIA/Lawyers Financial

March 23, 2020

What a year the last couple of weeks have been! Things that seemed unimaginable just a few short months ago have become commonplace. And previously unheard terms like social distancing and flatten the curve suddenly roll off the tongue. Through all the change, I’m extremely proud of how the team here at CBIA/Lawyers Financial is adapting and thriving in the uncertainty. 

Our top priorities are safety and service. We’ve implemented remote working arrangements and are fully functional as an organization. We’re here to take your calls and appreciate your patience as some processes may take a bit longer than usual. 

To the families of our team members – thank you for allowing your kitchen tables and living rooms to be converted into temporary home offices. We hope you’ll have your space back soon.

Unexpected disruptions to our day-to-day lives may have us questioning our own preparedness. Do we have the right protection in place? What if my income is disrupted? How does this impact my long-term financial planning? Our network of Lawyers Financial Advisors is available to assist you.

We’re here to help. 

Dawn Marchand, President & CEO,
CBIA/Lawyers Financial

March 16, 2020

CBIA/Lawyers Financial is monitoring ongoing developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. During this extraordinary time, our key priorities are:

  • Safety and comfort level of our staff and advisors
  • Maintaining ongoing client service
  • Ensuring business as usual as best we can

We are well-equipped for our employees to work from home while still providing quality customer service. Our phone lines remain open at 1-800-267-2242. Monthly client statements will be sent as usual.
We encourage clients who mail their payments to look into making those payments via telephone, internet or via pre-authorized payments – it’s easy, secure and as we work from home, this method will ensure that payments are credited to your account on a timely basis. Visit payment options or give us a call to get set up.
We work with Canada's top insurers and investment providers and are in close contact with each of them to ensure quality service to our clients continues. To date, the only significant impact is on Travel Insurance.  

For our investment clients, please read this message.
CBIA/Lawyers Financial will continue to follow government recommendations and continue to act responsibly, doing our part to slow the spread of the virus. 
Thank you for your ongoing business and trust.
Dawn Marchand, President & CEO,
CBIA/Lawyers Financial

December 15, 2020