Rural roots, a history of the Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company to 1943

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Date
2001-06-01T00:00:00Z
Authors
Nelson, Heather E.
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Abstract
The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, established in 1896 by A. F. Kempton and supported by a group of local farmers, became the nation's largest mutual within years of its creation. Originally founded as a township mutual, the company quickly discovered that in order to control risk, growth outside of the region was necessary. By 1943, the company had become a national company and had pondered a move into the United States. This thesis explores the idea of risk management and the structure that it spawned as it pertains to this mutual insurance company to 1943. The thesis also contends that the leadership of two men, A. F. Kempton and C. M. Vanstone, was responsible for the successful development of the company over the nearly fifty year period. Although based in part on Alfred D. Chandler Jr.'s business theories, the thesis is in contrast to Chandler's theories regarding the importance of middle management in developing efficient businesses. It instead argues that this small business relied on strong centralized leadership and transitions in that leadership to build an effective, well managed national company. It also explores the role of expansion and policyholder selection as methods for controlling risk. Based on the records of the Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company Archives located at 191 Broadway Ave. in Winnipeg Manitoba, the thesis is broken down into two sections each wi h two chapters. The first section discusses the structure of the company and the roles of leadership and the evolving nature of business management within the company while the second half examines the development of the risk management strategy.
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Insurance companies
Risk management
History
Compagnies d'assurances
Gestion du risque
Histoire
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