About Karen

Karen---DrawingKaren MacWilliam, B.A, FCIP, CRM, is an author, self-employed consultant, and executive, specializing in risk management and insurance analysis.  She has worked in the insurance and risk management fields since 1986, and has operated a successful consultancy since 1997, with operations in Western and Atlantic Canada.

A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Karen holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of British Columbia.  She earned her CIP and FCIP designations from the Insurance Institute of Canada, in 1988 and 1992 respectively, and her Canadian Risk Management diploma (CRM) in 1991.  She undertook MBA studies at the University of Alberta in 1994 -1995.

She began her career in 1986 as an underwriter for the Wellington Insurance Company.  In 1988, she switched to risk management, and has held risk management positions with employers including Weldwood, the City of Edmonton, the Vancouver Port Authority, and the BC Rail Group.  She also provided internal audit and insurance policy design services to Sedgwick, a large global insurance broker.

Since 2008, she has taught risk management at Dalhousie University in Halifax.  Previously, she taught at Simon Fraser University at Harbour Centre in Vancouver, B.C. from 1992-2014 and the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, B.C. from 2003-2010.

She has taught insurance broker licensing courses since 2012 and has authored material for Fundamentals of Insurance in B.C.  She has been engaged by the Insurance Brokers’ Association of Canada to author updated textbooks and resources for the CAIB designation, which will be published in 2020.

Karen is the former Chief Operating Officer of BCR Captive Insurance Company and frequently works with and advises boards and executives on risk management and insurance matters.

She has appeared as an expert witness with respect to matters pertaining to insurance and risk management in the Courts of B.C., Alberta, and Nova Scotia.   She has been retained by the Insurance Corporation of B.C. as a claims arbiter.

In addition to being on staff at Dalhousie University, she designs and delivers professional continuing education on topics related to risk management and insurance analysis. She is a sought-after speaker for conferences and conventions and she provides in-house training for private clients.  Karen has spoken on a variety of risk management and insurance related topics locally, nationally, and internationally.

In 2001, Karen authored “The Risk Management and Insurance Guidebook  for Industry” © ABS Inc., a 200 page reference book.   In 2009, she completed Canadian textbooks for the Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designation program.

Her opinions have appeared in Canadian Underwriter, Canadian Insurance, Business Insurance, Alberta Broker, BC Broker, Saskatchewan Broker and National Underwriter.  In 2012, she was interviewed for CBC Radio’s Ideas program.

She is a former Director of Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia, the B.C. Society of Fellows of the Insurance Institute of Canada, and the BC Risk and Insurance Management Association.  She has been a Director of the Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation of Nova Scotia since 2016, where she chairs the Policy Committee.  In June 2018, Karen was appointed to the Board of Directors of Export Development Corporation (EDC) Canada, a Federal Crown Corporation providing financial assistance to Canadian exporters and is also on the board of FinDev Canada, an EDC subsidiary.

She divides her time between Wolfville, N.S., and Vancouver, B.C. and travels extensively for business and pleasure.