David Wm. Brown, who was one of the country’s foremost experts in the use of life insurance for estate planning and charitable giving, passed away Feb. 17 in Toronto.  

A respected insurance industry veteran, certified financial planner, chartered life underwriter, registered health underwriter and chartered financial consultant, Brown was a partner, since 1983, with Al G. Brown & Associates, the Toronto-area life insurance and financial planning firm founded by his father in 1943.  

A well-known industry speaker, including at the Insurance Journal’s Canada Sales Congress, Brown was able to address and discuss numerous industry-related topics including succession planning, financial and retirement planning, charitable giving, insurance, employee benefits and practice management. A top insurance advisor and member of the Million Dollar Round Table for over 25 years, Brown was a very generous and well-known source of information for journalists, for other advisors, for members of the industry and for his clients.

“David Wm. Brown earned his reputation as an icon in the life insurance industry through hard work, caring, deep knowledge, and giving back to the business any chance he got. His character, professionalism, and expertise made him one of Canada’s most respected insurance advisors,” said Jim Ruta, an advisor coach and co-founder of the Canada Sales Congress. “Our challenge now is to stand on his shoulders and raise the bar in this unique business even higher – it’s what he would have wanted. He will be deeply missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him.”

Brown was particularly instrumental in creating and establishing charitable giving plans that facilitated the donation of millions of dollars to various organizations including universities, hospitals, arts organizations, communal organisations as well as many national and international causes. A former national board member of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, his professional affiliations also included the Canadian Tax Foundation, the Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (Canada).  

A leader in his community, Brown also served as the president of the Associated Hebrew Schools, as the Ontario chairman of State Israel Bonds, and as trustee for the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto.  

Brown is survived by his wife Helen, two daughters, one of whom is an advisor at his firm, his sister Golda who is also a partner at the firm, and his two grandchildren.