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 2% of its pre-tax earnings for charitable purposes.
Since the Foundation’s inception, over $70 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.
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 $8.5 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 $22 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 700 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. 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, issuing 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.
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.
In 2022, the Odyssey Group Foundation 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 provided much needed relief to families with 3,488 rides to and from medical treatment which ensured they received the critical wraparound services needed as they navigate treatment for their child battling pediatric cancer.
As of May 2023, the Odyssey Group Foundation is providing a second, one-year, $100,000 grant towards their Sponsor A Ride Program. The Foundation’s 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 Health 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.
In 2022, Odyssey Group renewed our philanthropic commitment to Stamford Health with a donation of $10 million for the construction of the new Odyssey Group Breast Center. These funds will go directly towards outfitting the new center with state-of-the-art equipment, co-locating specialists, and improving patient flow and privacy in order to support patients from diagnosis to reconstruction.
Work on the new Odyssey Group Breast Center began in January 2023. This renovated facility is expected to provide approximately 35,000 mammograms per year and will allow related care for even more patients as demand for breast care and cancer treatments unfortunately increases.
The Odyssey Group Foundation is proud to support Stamford Health in our shared efforts to give back to and care for the southwestern Connecticut community and home of our Corporate headquarters.
Additional information about Stamford Health 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.
The Odyssey Group Foundation announced a new partnership with the University of Washington Foundation in May 2023 to support the continuation of the Kelsey Dickson Team Science Courage Research Award with a pledge of $1.5 million over the next three years.
The Kelsey Dickson Team Science Courage Research Award was established in 2015 when the Odyssey Group Foundation and Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited issued a grant of $1 million to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) in support of ongoing research into the causes of, and treatment for Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC).
Research has been led by Dr. Paul Nghiem and his team based out of the University of Washington. Since this research began, the team has seen one-year survival rates for MCC rise by a factor of 10 (from 5% to 50%), immunotherapy become the new standard care for advanced MCC, and the first-ever drug be FDA-approved for the treatment of the disease.
This new University of Washington Foundation partnership will continue our support of Dr. Nghiem and his team’s focus on therapeutic strategies to target treatment-resistant MCC. Their progress thus far has been incredible, and the Odyssey Group Foundation is extremely proud to further support the ongoing research into the causes of, and treatment for MCC.
Additional information about the University of Washington Foundation is available at https://uwfoundationboard.org/about-the-foundation/.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a leader in the fight to improve the lives of children with cancer. Through an impressive effort to raise funds and awareness in support of juvenile cancer research, they are committed to creating a supportive community for children with cancer and their families.
Odyssey Group has been a proud supporter of St. Baldrick’s mission since 2007. Through employee donations and generous company matches, OdysseyRe and Hudson Insurance Group have raised more than $1 million to date, helping to make a lasting difference in the lives of kids with cancer.
In addition to Odyssey Group’s donations to the cause, we proudly participate in the annual fundraising events that started at a reinsurance industry St. Patrick’s Day party in 2000, helping to raise more than $115,000 alongside fellow Stamford, CT-based (re)insurers in 2023.
Additional information about St. Baldrick’s is available at https://www.stbaldricks.org/.
Covenant House is an organization helping impoverished and homeless youth in our communities receive housing and other supportive services. Since 1972, Covenant House has aided and supported more than 51,000 struggling youths annually. One of their main events is the Sleep Out Movement, where individuals and organizations abandon luxuries that are often taken for granted and spend a night on the street to raise money and awareness for those in need. This event demonstrates to these children that they are supported in their fight against homelessness.
OdysseyRe has participated in the annual (Re)Insurance Sleep Out for many years, as well as supported the cause during the pandemic by becoming a corporate sponsor. Collectively, Odyssey has raised more than $275,000 for Covenant House’s mission.
Additional information about Covenant House is available at https://www.covenanthouse.org/.