Paul Grimes – Conqueror of the West
Staying active and staying grounded are the keys to a successful life and a successful career for Paul Grimes. Whether he is on the tennis court or focused on a professional objective, the Senior Vice-President of Sales relies on his experience and keeps his eye on the ball.
Born, raised and still living in Toronto with his family, Paul Grimes started in the insurance business in 1982, as a sales agent and branch manager. He joined iA in 1988, celebrating 35 years with iA.
“I was hired to help promote iA and held new distribution groups outside of Quebec,” says the leader. After a few years recruiting in Ontario, he moved to British Columbia to ensure an efficient merger and the expansion of iA to Western Canada.
His time away in the West was also an opportunity to work on a very special project: writing an easy-to-understand guide to life insurance and related products for the average Canadian. After two years of work, when The Facts of Life: How to Build Wealth and Protect Your Assets with Life Insurance was published, it quickly became a bestseller. “I did a lot of interviews on television, radio and for newspapers. It was quite an interesting time of my life.”
At the turn of the millennium, Paul Grimes moved back to Ontario, was named Senior VP of Sales for Ontario and Western Canada, a position he held for about ten years, and then became Senior VP of Sales for all of Canada. Sales was always his chosen field, and his way of connecting with people, outside as well as inside iA. “Sales is the nervous system of the company. We’re the big engine that drives the organization.”
He believes iA gets ahead of its competitors for one fundamental reason: “We are a company with a heart. We listen to our employees, to our clients, we are not a big financial institution factory.”
As a leader to five vice-presidents, sales officers in most major Canadian cities and 150 employees overall, Paul Grimes has a lot of responsibilities. All new sales of life insurance products, living benefits and savings products are under his authority.
Married for over 30 years and proud father of two sons who are following in his footsteps, this leader is as involved in his local community as he is in his work. He is on boards for local hospitals and helps organize a lot of fundraisers. “I think we need to be bigger citizens, to form a community that makes things happens and to be sure to live in a safe, happy and climate-friendly environment.”
To those who would follow in his footsteps, he would like to say: “Understand the past to prepare for the future. If I could pass that onto the next generation and watch the company grow, I would be very happy.”