Our Definition of Success: Giving Back
Odyssey Group is committed to making a positive impact in the communities in which our employees live and work. We established the Odyssey Group Foundation in 2007, and each year Odyssey sets aside 1% of its pre-tax earnings for charitable purposes.
Since the Foundation’s inception, over $62 million have been pledged to more than 450 charities around the world. In addition to short- and long-term grants made at the corporate level, the Foundation also holds a biennial Employee Nomination Campaign that gives employees the opportunity to help support charities that are near and dear to them. In 2021, this campaign resulted in $2.5 million being distributed via Odyssey Group’s five operating divisions, ultimately benefitting 110 charities around the world.
Odyssey’s Good Works
The Foundation’s “Good Works” encompass health and medical, cancer research, food and shelter, community and human services, education and disaster relief. Most of our charitable endeavors closely align with our core business and the clients we serve.
- As a commercial property insurer and property catastrophe reinsurer, we also contribute to global disaster relief efforts and help rebuild communities
- As an insurer of medically-based clinical trials and research organizations, we also support cancer research and provide hope
- As an insurer of agriculture, crops and livestock, and protecting food supply, we regularly contribute to organizations that help prevent hunger
- As a (re)insurer and risk management service provider to the healthcare industry, including hospital and physician groups, we are committed to helping keep patients safe
- As an insurer to those who have suffered a personal, catastrophic liability loss, we provide funding to help those who need it most
- As a large employer in the (re)insurance industry, we support and provide opportunities to educate the leaders of tomorrow
Odyssey is a trusted and committed philanthropic partner to some of the world’s leading organizations. Our contributions have resulted in significant achievements ranging from global disaster to groundbreaking medical research. Learn more below.
At a Glance: Odyssey’s Charitable Partners
Americares is an emergency response and global health organization committed to saving lives and building healthier futures for people in crisis, both within the U.S. and around the world. The Odyssey Group Foundation began working with Americares in 2007, initially championing the Americares Free Clinics, located in Norwalk and Bridgeport, Connecticut, and serving as an early proponent of the establishment of a new mobile clinic to serve low-income, uninsured residents of Stamford, Connecticut.
In 2013, the Odyssey Group Foundation joined the Americares Annual Emergency Response Partner Program, which provides key resources that enables Americares to immediately respond when disasters strike.
Odyssey Group is one of Americares’ strongest corporate supporters, donating more than $8 million to date. To learn more about Odyssey Group Foundation’s relationship with Americares, please read the Partner in Profile on Americares’ website.
Since its establishment in 1982, Americares has delivered more than $17 billion in humanitarian aid to 164 countries.
Additional information about Americares is available at https://www.americares.org.
In 2021, the Odyssey Group Foundation announced the launch of the OdysseyRe Scholar Program, a scholarship program in partnership with Future 5, a Stamford, Connecticut-based organization that connects low-income high school students to the greater community. Since 2009, Future 5 has provided over 530 highly motivated and under-resourced, diverse youths with access to coaches, colleges and job opportunities with local companies.
The OdysseyRe Scholar Program is part of Odyssey Group’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and we are excited about this new partnership. The Foundation awarded a $100,000 grant for the 2021 program and recently added an additional $300,000 over three years, which will help current high school seniors and college students by providing two forms of tuition support:
- Gap Funding Support, which covers a key tuition “gap” that would otherwise prevent them from attending their college of choice
- Additional Student Funding Support, which provides emergency/tactical education support to commuting students
The Odyssey Group Foundation hopes to engage our employees in mentoring programs and provide educational opportunities/internships to the students so they can learn more about the (re)insurance industry.
Additional information about Future 5 is available at https://futurefive.org/.
In January of 2021, Odyssey Group’s U.S. Insurance Division, Hudson Insurance Group, implemented the Hudson Education Leadership Program (HELP). HELP is a work study program designed to create a pipeline of future talent for the Company and targets students from disadvantaged communities and who are the first in their family to go to college. The program seeks to educate participants about the insurance industry and its opportunities. In addition to paying students to work while attending college, Hudson will contribute to college tuition and provide a stipend to cover certain costs and expenses for students. There are currently six students in the program, with more to follow in 2022. The initiative will help cultivate and advance the Company’s talent development efforts for growth and underscores the Company’s commitment to continuing to diversify its workforce.
Additional information about Hudson Insurance Group is available at https://hudsoninsgroup.com/.
The Odyssey Group Foundation established a relationship with the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2019. The Foundation issued a grant in the amount of $300,000 in support of Mount Sinai’s Artificial Pancreas Research Program. The program, led by Dr. Carol Levy, is a pioneering clinical research program studying the efficacy of artificial pancreas (AP) systems to improve blood glucose control in people with type 1 diabetes.
In 2020, Fairfax Financial Holdings announced it had earmarked $1 million to be donated within the U.S. in response to COVID-19. This amount was allocated to the various Fairfax companies for distribution. Odyssey Group’s allocation of $200,000 was directed to the Dr. Florian Krammer COVID-19 Research Fund at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
Dr. Krammer’s study, “Plasma: Harnessing the Power of Antibodies,” focuses on the antibodies within individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 to treat the virus in new patients. The nation’s first convalescent plasma program of its kind, the tests developed allow them to detect whether someone has enough antibodies to warrant extraction for therapeutic use. This is in addition to helping determine how widespread immunity is within the general population.
Additional information about the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is available at https://icahn.mssm.edu.
Founded in 1887, Institut Pasteur is a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of biological diseases and the discovery of their cures. Bearing the name of the great Louis Pasteur, one of the first scientists to successfully implement vaccines, the France-based institute has been considered to be at the forefront of the fight against infectious disease for over a century.
OdysseyRe’s relationship with the Institut Pasteur began in 2008, and continues to this day, with annual contributions amassing more than $2.9 million over the past thirteen years. Our support has been primarily in the form of grants allocated for various cancer research projects performed by some of the world’s foremost scientists. We helped fund their Titan Project, which included the installation of the most powerful microscope currently in existence on the Institut Pasteur’s Paris campus. Most recently, funding has also been directed to the Institut’s Autism Research Initiative.
Additional information about the Institut Pasteur is available at https://www.pasteur.fr/en.
In 2015, the Odyssey Group Foundation and Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited issued a grant of $1 million to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) to establish the Kelsey Dickson Team Science Courage Research Award in support of ongoing research into the causes of, and treatment for Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC). The recipients of this award, doctors Paul Nghiem and Peter Nelson of the University of Washington, have been tirelessly investigating this rare form of skin cancer for years in search of viable treatment options.
In March of 2017, their hard work resulted in the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the first immunotherapy drug to treat this disease for patients whose cancer has spread beyond the skin.
In 2019, the Odyssey Group Foundation renewed its grant with the PCF, pledging $1 million over two years to support the continuation of the Kelsey Dickson Team Science Courage Research Award.
Since this research began, the PCF Team has seen one-year survival rates for MCC rise by a factor of 10 (from 5% to 50%), and immunotherapy is now the new standard care for advanced MCC.
Additional information about the PCF is available at https://www.pcf.org/.
The mission of Ronald McDonald House New York (RMH-NY) is to provide a strong and supportive environment for patients of pediatric cancer and other complex illnesses, encouraging and nurturing the development of child-to-child and parent-to-parent support systems. RMH-NY, affectionately known as “the House,” offers patients and their families a place to rest their heads at night and works to address social determinants of health (SDOH) through meal and wellness programming, educational services, hospital transportation, specialized support groups and social support services.
The Odyssey Group Foundation has provided RMH-NY a one-year, $100,000 grant to support their Sponsor a Ride Program that has relieved the stress of securing and paying for transportation for patients and their families. Public transportation is not an option for RMH-NY families, as it poses many hazards for children who are immunocompromised. This grant will provide much needed relief to families and ensure they receive the critical wraparound services needed as they navigate treatment for their child battling pediatric cancer. The Foundations support of this safe and reliable transportation alternative will enable RMH to continue to facilitate uninterrupted and quality care for families impacted by pediatric cancer.
Additional information about RMH-NY is available at https://www.rmh-newyork.org/.
Odyssey Group’s relationship with Connecticut’s Stamford Hospital began in 2008 when the Odyssey Group Foundation donated $2 million to fund the hospital’s purchase of the da Vinci Surgical System, a minimally invasive robotic surgical tool.
Our support of the hospital continued in 2011 with a $10 million commitment towards the construction of a new trauma center. The new OdysseyRe Emergency Department at Stamford Hospital opened in 2016.
Additional information about Stamford Hospital is available at https://www.stamfordhealth.org/.
First established in 1994, The Actuarial Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic organization devoted to highlighting the practical usage, and professional significance of actuarial science and its accompanying mathematical skills and financial literacy. The Foundation facilitates various educational programs to assist teachers and students through the talents and resources provided by professional actuaries, striving to support an educated public in pursuit of a secure financial future. The Odyssey Group Foundation has been a proud corporate sponsor of The Actuarial Foundation since 2009, granting annual contributions in support of their financial literacy, as well as probability and statistics programs, amassing over $300,000 to date.
In 2022, Odyssey Group partnered with The Actuarial Foundation as a key sponsor of their STEM Stars Actuarial Scholars Program, a new approach developed to increase diversity in the field of actuarial science. Through this program, The Actuarial Foundation identifies, recruits and supports skilled high school students, providing help that extends into college and continues through a career. High school seniors are offered a scholarship of $20,000 ($5,000 annually for four years) and recipients are provided mentoring, tutoring, immersion experiences and guaranteed internships. The first 20 scholarships will be awarded in Spring 2022.
Odyssey Group is proud to continue our sponsorship of The Actuarial Foundation and their admirable efforts towards a more informed and capable future.
Additional information about The Actuarial Foundation is available at http://www.actuarialfoundation.org.