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Manulife loses a lifelong valued partner and a true gem: David Wm. Brown Thumbnail

Manulife loses a lifelong valued partner and a true gem: David Wm. Brown

A loving, husband, father and grandfather, passionate community member and one of Canada’s leading insurance and estate planning advisors, David Wm. Brown passed away on February 17 in Toronto. 

David enjoyed a remarkable career as a partner and advisor with Al G. Brown & Associates, a successful family business of three generations and a cherished Manulife partner. He was thoughtful, honest and generous. And above all else, he always treated everyone with great dignity and respect.  

David was also a natural teacher and leader. He exemplified the spirit of sharing your humanity on a daily basis. Not only did he treat all his staff as equals, but he was adamant that everyone feel valued, always crediting his success to the people around him.

To David, philanthropy wasn’t just important. It was his passion. He was instrumental in creating and establishing charitable giving plans that have facilitated the donation of millions of dollars to various organizations, including universities, hospitals, arts organizations, communal organizations and many national and international causes. His passion for philanthropy was so strong, one of his final projects was writing a book on the subject, which will soon be published. 

Despite such a successful career in his industry, David would rarely speak about his accolades and accomplishments himself. Here are just a few of them: He was a 39-year Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) member with 30 years at the top of the table and a very active CALU member, and executive in recent years, driving several key initiatives to ensure that the interests of the industry remained at the forefront. He was also awarded the Advanced Certificate in Family Business Advising (STEP) and was both an editorial advisory board member and a contributing writer to Advisor’s Edge magazine.   From clients to staff, David truly cared for everyone and treated them like family. Many clients have been with the firm for several generations and many employees have worked at the firm for two decades or more. 

David was a long-time top producer at Manulife. Those who worked with David described him as someone who was unwaveringly dedicated to his family, his work and his community. He cherished his personal and professional relationships with Manulife leaders, sharing many great conversations with team members about life, kids, his business and interests, particularly genetics and its impact on the insurance industry. He was known to always put his clients first, challenging the team at Manulife to show him why certain products fit his clients’ needs and to work with him on developing financial strategies to help his clients be financially healthy long into the future.  

“David was always very professional, respectful and thoughtful in his approach to problems and issues, which made him an absolute pleasure to interact with,” said Rob Hollingsworth, Manulife’s Head of Distribution, Individual Insurance. “A community leader and innovator, David was a tremendously positive influence on the Life Insurance business in Canada and will be deeply missed by many. A true gem.”  

David approached life with humour, optimism, brightness and energy. He inspired everyone he worked with to be a better person and truly believed in making lives better. He was like this in all aspects of his life — family, community, business and friendship. 

His presence will be missed at Manulife and everywhere around the industry. 

Contributions (in lieu of flowers) can be made to Sunnybrook, where he was treated and received world-class care.



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