Argus group calls on Waterloo co-op students to help further innovation

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Two co-op students brainstorming new ideas using sticky notes

By: Krista Henry (she/her)

When Argus Group came to a crossroads in how they operated, they decided it was time to innovate. To help them develop new actionable business plans supported by data, they called on co-op students.

The 70-year-old insurance and financial services organization is revamping their approach to business. Operating in Bermuda, Canada, Gibraltar and Malta, Argus Group offers a full range of insurance, pension and investment products.

“We’re rethinking our purpose and strategy on how we approach our markets,” says David Simons (he/him), managing director, Center of Excellence, Argus Group.

“The Center of Excellence division is our dedicated innovation team, charged with looking at how we respond to changing customer expectations and to bring in new solutions, whether they are technology-related, new ways of working, or new products and services.”

David Simons (he/him)
Managing director, Center of Excellence, Argus Group


To assist with the new initiative, the department started recruiting from the University of Waterloo for their intern program in Spring 2020. Co-op students started as remote center of excellence associates and financial reporting assistants. Last fall, they were able to start in-person visits to the organization’s headquarters in Bermuda. 

Co-op students exceed expectations

The diverse perspectives co-op students brought to Argus Group have already impacted the organization. “I am blown away by these students from the first group that came in. I have learned a lot from them,” says Simons. “We have since recognized how capable these students are and have thrust them into leading roles.”

Students assisted with projects such as implementing a solutions ideation platform to gather ideas across the organization. They selected software to support the initiative and assisted with the internal roll out. The organization is working to establish themselves as a wellness provider which co-op students have supported.

Peter Bondi, University of Waterloo Management Engineering student and co-op student at Argus
Peter Bondi (he/him)
Management Engineering student

“We are working on tools to help our customers achieve personal goals. Our students have been instrumental from the design and development to devising testing plans. This helps us to offer strong solutions to make a difference in our customers’ lives,” adds Simons.

Argus ensures co-op students are working on valuable projects where they can provide input as an equal. This has led to students doing multiple work placements with them.

In May of this year, co-op student Peter Bondi is starting with the organization on a full-time basis.

The Management Engineering student worked as a center of excellence associate.


“We recognized early that Peter is an individual with great skills and ability. We believe the opportunity to work with the Center of Excellence is a great launch pad for his career and Peter will have a significant positive impact on the team,” says Simons.

“He came in and had such a profound effect, leaving quite a mark. We would often leave him to represent our team in meetings where no one else from our team was in attendance. People would come back and tell us what an amazing job Peter did and what great ideas he contributed.”

Investing in tomorrow’s talent

At Argus, co-op students are an integral part of the company’s talent pipeline. In addition to bringing diverse perspectives, co-op students have strong technical skills they bring to the projects on which they work.

“Students are leading brainstorming sessions using design thinking techniques and facilitating virtual sessions with senior leaders to bring it all together. Some of them use project management skills and techniques that stand out. This is what we need, people who can connect dots, see the big picture and make solutions.”

- David Simons (he/him), managing director, Center of Excellence, Argus Group

For Simons, students are a wonderful way to invest in tomorrow’s talent. He believes nurturing this talent is “good business” and allows Argus to create a workforce from all over the world that is going to meet their customers’ current and future needs.

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