FORUM 2018 Speakers

FORUM speakers are listed here alphabetically by last name 

Tom Ault

Tom Ault, FCIA, FIA
Partner and Pension Risk Settlement and Longevity Lead (Canada), AON

Tom is a Partner and Actuary in Aon Hewitt's Retirement practice in Canada. He has 18 years of experience working as an actuarial consultant
in the United Kingdom and Canada, enabling him to fully understand how different organizations approach risk management in their pension plans.
Areas of Specialization Tom leads Aon Hewitt’s risk settlement and longevity consulting initiatives in Canada. His experience includes assisting a range of private and public sector organizations, multi-employer plans and insurance companies specializing in risk management, plan design, actuarial valuations, funding options, asset-liability work, mortality studies and longevity consulting.

Tom graduated in 1999 from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (UK) with a Masters of Mathematics and Statistics degree, Tom is a Fellow of the
Institute of Actuaries (England), qualifying in 2004 and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries from 2006.

Stephane Amara, CFA, CAIA

Director, Senior Relationship Manager

Mr. Amara is a senior relationship manager and a director with Allianz Global Investors, which he joined in 2014. Based in Montreal, Canada, he is responsible for formulating and executing the firm’s strategy for institutional asset management in Canada, working closely with the firm’s Consultant Relations and Client Relations teams. Mr. Amara has 23 years of investment-industry experience.

He previously worked at Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management as head of Canada in the global client group, where he was responsible for business development and consultant relations. Before that, Mr. Amara held a similar role at Bank of Ireland Asset Management. He previously worked at Republic National Bank of New York in corporate foreign-exchange sales, and at BNP Paribas in the equity derivatives group in global markets sales and trading.

Mr. Amara has a bachelor’s degree from McGill University. He is a CFA charterholder and a CAIA charterholder.

Mahdi Amri, CFA 

Strategic Analytics & Modelling Financial Advisory

Mahdi Amri is the Quebec leader of the Strategic Analytics and Modelling group and has 17-plus years of consulting and industry experience in financial markets, possessing specializations in financial instrument valuation and risk management implementation. Mahdi supports external and internal audit teams in valuing complex derivatives and structured products for Deloitte’s largest financial institution clients and multinational clients in Canada. He provides financial risk management advisory services to a wide range of clients, including banks, insurance companies and multinational corporations. He actively participates in the audit mandate of several major accounts such as the National Bank, Sun Life Financial and the Public Sector Pension Invrestment Board (PSPIB) as well as in several mandates for the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec related to investments.

Before joining Deloitte, Mahdi held several treasury and risk management positions with financial institutions and multinational corporations in Canada.

Alka Banerjee, MBA
Managing Director, Product Management, S&P Dow Jones Indices
CEO and Managing Director , Asia Index Private Limited

Alka Banerjee is Managing Director, Product Management at S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI). Alka heads up S&P DJI’s Product Management Group, which has global responsibility for the commercial success of each of S&P DJI’s product lines: U.S. Equity, Global Equity, Fixed Income, Commodities, Real Assets, Strategy, and Custom indices, as well as Data.

Since September 2013, Alka has served as CEO of Asia Index Private Limited, a joint venture between S&P DJI and the BSE of Mumbai, India’s premier stock exchange.

Alka has over 18 years of experience in the global indexing business, both at S&P DJI, and at the Bank of New York. She has pioneered a large number of initiatives at S&P DJI, ranging from developing global smart beta indices to more niche themes like Shariah and socially responsible investing. In addition to evaluating and improving existing market capitalization weighted benchmarks, Alka has led S&P DJI’s efforts for new index developments for Africa, China, Korea, India, Latin America, and throughout the Middle East.

Alka frequently presents at indexing and investing events, and is widely cited in the press. In 2015, she was recognized as one of the twenty most influential global Indian women by The Economic Times, one of India’s leading newspapers. Alka holds a master’s in economics from Lucknow University in India and an MBA in finance from Pace University in New York.

Ana Badour

Partner, Financial Services
McCarthy Tetrault LLP 

Ana Badour leads McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s national Fintech Group. She is a partner in their Financial Services Group, a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist and a Certified Bitcoin Professional. She advises financial services entities, including financial institutions and Fintech entities, on regulatory compliance matters. She holds a LLM in Banking and Financial Law from Boston University, a LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School, and a BMath (Operations Research) from the University of Waterloo.

René Beaudry

René Beaudry  FSA, FCIA
Senior Partner,Normandin Beaudry 

René Beaudry, is a total compensation consultant whose areas of expertise include the development of management, investment and funding strategies for pension plans. He is the co-founder of Normandin Beaudry, which employs more than 200 professionals specializing in actuarial consulting, compensation, communication and organizational development.

He was a member of the Expert Committee on the Future of the Quebec Retirement System (the “D’Amours Committee”). René’s public policy interventions in relation to pension plans have also included his role in 2010-2011 as advisor for the provincial commission which addressed the retention issues that organizations will soon face with respect to workers over the age of 55.

He is a member of the CD Howe Institute Pension Policy Council. He was named in 2014 by Avantages magazine among the 25 experts who have contributed to the advancement of the Pension and Benefits sector in Quebec

Jerome Bellavance
Principal, Mercer

Jérôme joined Mercer in 1999. He is a senior advisor in the pension field. Providing consulting services to companies of varying sizes working in different fields. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Actuarial Science from Laval University and is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (2004).

Karine Bellavance
Conseillère, Mercer

Karine Bellavance joined Mercer in 2011. She acts as a legal advisor on employee benefits, particularly with respect to pension plans and group insurance plans. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Montreal and has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 2009.

David Blais,  M.Sc.

Director, National Consultant team – Manulife

David has been in the Disability and Absence Management field for over 18 years and has been a guest speaker at conferences on various occasions. 

He has held various leadership and consulting roles enabling him to gather extensive knowledge and experience related to disability management. For most of his career, David has worked closely with very large unionized and non-unionized corporate employers to manage their disability program outcomes by reviewing plan design, statistics, trend reporting and disability best practices. He supports employers by developing and communicating recommendations focused at impacting their disability, absences trends and looks at opportunities to promote wellness opportunities.

Richard Bourget

Richard Bourget,  FSA, FCIA
Senior Partner, Normandin Beaudry

Richard Bourget, is a pension actuary with over 30 years of experience. His expertise includes the development and monitoring of funding strategies, plan design and actuarial valuations, pension committee management and the development
of communication plans.

Richard acted in 2014-2015 as advisor for Retraite Quebec with respect to the development of the new funding rules applicable to private sector pension plans. He also acted in 2010-11 as advisor for the provincial commission which addressed the retention issues that organizations are facing with respect to workers over the age of 55.

In recent years, he has taken part in major projects to better align pension plans with organizations’ human resources and financial objectives.

Johanne Brosseau

Johanne Brosseau,  B.Sc., M.B.A.
Expert in private drug insurance plans

Johanne is known throughout Canada as a bilingual and passionate speaker and expert in private drug plan management, especially in the complex Quebec environment

Dynamic and effective professional who has acquired a vast experience of administrative, financial and strategic aspects of service offer at the regional and national level in several industries. Expertise in marketing, business development and sales in pharmaceutical, payroll, credit card and group insurance business. Very deep knowledge of drug insurance legal and operational environment and trackrecord of developing creative and effective solutions to help private plans sponsors understand and control cost as well as improve ROI on their group insurance plan.

Versatile and known for her integrity, has developped and implemented programs which have generated significant increase in market share, revenues and profits in addition to positioning former employers as leaders in their market.


Jean-Philippe Bry
Strategist - ‎CI Investments Inc.

Jean-Philippe Bry, Vice-President, Portfolio Management and Strategist, began his career in the investment industry in 1989. Before he joined Signature, he was an international portfolio manager with McLean Budden, a global portfolio manager with Amundi Asset Management in London, England, and global financial portfolio manager with Amundi Asset Management in Paris. Prior to working in the asset management industry, Mr. Bry worked for RBC Capital markets as director of institutional sales in Europe. Jean-Philippe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Carleton University in Ottawa.

Lisa Callaghan

Lisa Callaghan 
Vice President, Strategy, Marketing and Communications 
Manulife Institutional Markets. 

Lisa leads the teams responsible for developing institutional strategy, digital solutions, sales proposals, marketing and communications for Manulife’s Canadian group businesses. Before taking on this role, she was the Assistant Vice President of Group Benefit Product. 

Lisa has worked in the insurance industry for over a decade in both group benefits and group retirement as well as individual retail wealth, filling various leadership roles including product development, marketing, client management, operations, and strategy. Prior to her move to insurance, Lisa worked in the defense manufacturing industry, supporting a global executive team creating business strategies and organizational redesign as well as leading the global business process improvement team. 

Lisa holds undergraduate degrees in Science and Physical Education from Queen’s University, an MSc in Biomechanics from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Murray Campbell

Murray T.A. Campbell
Partner, Lawson Lundell LLP

Murray Campbell is a partner with the Vancouver office of Lawson Lundell LLP.  He practices exclusively in the pension and employee benefits area, and is the head of Lawson Lundell’s Pension and Employee Benefits Group.  Murray acts for boards of trustees and other sponsors of pension and benefit plans in the private and public sectors in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Alberta.  He regularly advises boards of trustees and other plan sponsors on all legal and regulatory issues which arise in the administration of a pension or benefit plan.  He regularly chairs and speaks at conferences for boards of trustees and other plan sponsors.  


Sunil Chand
Director, Cybersecurity, Grant Thornton LLP 

Sunil Chand is Director of Cybersecurity at Grant Thornton Canada and has over 20 years of global experience in Information Security, business development, technology management and governance, with a customer service focus.  He has held various operational and leadership roles such as, but not limited to, Chief Information Security Officer (“CISO”), and Director, Consulting Services for a number of organizations in the Financial, Telecommunications, Marketing and Business Process outsourcing verticals.

 Jean-Pierre Couture

Jean-Pierre Couture, M.Sc. 
Chief Economist & Portfolio Manager, Emerging Markets, Hexavest

As a member of the Strategy team, Jean-Pierre Couture works closely with Vital Proulx in the elaboration of the firm’s macro strategy, in addition to co-managing our Emerging Markets equity portfolios. Prior to joining Hexavest in 2010, Jean-Pierre spent nine years at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, where he held a number of roles, including Director of Macroeconomic Research and Senior Analyst, Global Macro. His career started at the National Bank of Canada, where he worked as an economist from 1995 to 2001. Jean-Pierre holds a bachelor’s degree (1993) and a master’s degree (1996) in Economics from the Université du Québec à Montréal.


Dan Elsberry
Senior Managing Director, K2 Advisors 

Mitch Frazer

Mitch Frazer
Partner, Torys LLP

Mitch Frazer is a partner and the chair of the Pensions and Employment Practice at Torys LLP. His practice focuses on all aspects of pensions, benefits, employment and executive compensation matters.


Clément Gignac
Chief Economist, iA Financial Group

With a master’s degree in economics from Laval University, Clément Gignac has a wealth of experience spanning 30 years in both the private and public sectors and was until very recently a minister in the Quebec government.

Since December 12, 2012, Clément has been Senior Vice-President, Investments and Chief Economist at iA Financial Group. In addition to being the Group’s spokesperson on economic matters, he is also the chair of the asset allocation committee and responsible for managing the company's diversified funds, with assets exceeding $5 billion.

Before joining iA Financial Group, Clément Gignac was economic a well- known economist and strategist for major financial institutions, including National Bank Financial, where he was vice-president and chief economist from 2000 to 2008. During this time, he was recognized as one of the best economic strategists in the country and is frequently contacted by the media, business leaders and governments for his expertise. Thereafter, he began his career in politics.

Clément Gignac is an well- regarded speaker and is often sought after by the media. In 2012, he was asked to chair the prestigious World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Competitiveness and in 2016, was asked to become a standing member of the Washington, D.C.-based Conference of Business Economists, a global group of distinguished economists.

Jim Harris

Jim Harris
Disruptive Innovation & Organizational Change Expert

Jim Harris is one of North America’s foremost management consultants, authors and thinkers on disruptive innovation, change and leadership. His presentations and consulting work have helped companies anticipate change and adjust to and stay ahead of emerging market trends.

His internationally bestselling book, Blindsided! presents a series of practical techniques to help business leaders identify trends earlier and more accurately predict their impact when the tumult of the market threatens to throw plans off course. He is also the author of The Learning Paradox and Emotional Learning.

Jim has appeared in Time Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Profit Magazine, Macleans, CBC, BBC, CTV, and Global.


Ofelia Isabel
Director, Client Management, Willis Towers Watson 

Ofelia is the Director of Client Management and the co-leader of Defined Contribution solutions at Willis Towers Watson. Based in Toronto, she has over 20 years of experience in designing, developing and communicating integrated talent, reward and benefits programs, both in consulting and on the client side.

Ofelia is dedicated to working with clients to improve their performance by helping them understand what attracts, retains and engages employees in their organization, and then working with them to develop and design programs that will make this happen.

Ofelia is a Canadian Human Resources Professional, as well as a qualified actuary. She earned an honours degree in mathematics from the University of Waterloo and completed the Advanced Program in Human Resources Management at the Rotman Business School (University of Toronto). She is a frequent speaker on topics on talent, rewards and benefits.

 Michel Jalbert

Michel Jalbert, CFA, FICA, FSA
Senior Vice-President, Business Development & Client Partnerships

Michel is responsible for business development and nurturing relationships with clients and investment consultants. He also oversees marketing, branding and the development of new investment strategies to support the firm’s growth. Supported by a team of seasoned marketing and sales professionals, he is responsible for establishing and implementing sales and client-related strategies.
Member of the Executive Committee an Chair of the Product Management Committee (Chair)


  • Addenda Capital: Senior Vice-President, Business Development & Client Partnerships (since 2011)
  • CIBC Global Asset Management: Vice-President, Head of Institutional Business Development and Marketing for North America (2007-2011); various roles in Consultant Relations and Client Service
  • Bell Canada International and Bell Canada: senior human resources management roles, including the management of pension and benefit plans (1985-2


  • Bachelor of Sciences from Université Laval
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) designation\
  • Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA) and of the Society of Actuaries (FSA
Industry Involvement:
    Chair of the Association of Canadian Pension Management (ACPM)’s Board of Directors

 Melanie Jeanotte

Melanie Jeannotte
Area President, Gallagher Benefit Services (Canada) Group, Inc.

Melanie Jeannotte has devoted her career to helping corporations and professionals meet their business and benefit needs. As the Area President for Gallagher Benefit Services (Canada) Group, Inc. she brings 15 years of extensive experience from several National Insurers and large consulting firms and leads a strong team of benefits & pension consultants.

Melanie works with a diverse client base, partnering with human resource teams in both mid-sized and large organizations across Canada and the United States, to help create tailored Benefit and Pension programs.

She is a regular speaker and author on benefit trends and business practices, sharing her industry experience and commitment to managing healthcare risks. Melanie is active in the Calgary business and philanthropic community as the founder and Chair of Figure 8, a group of executive women who work in support of local charities. She was named one of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2012, has been recognized on the cover of Advantage Magazine as one of Canada’s leading Female Entrepreneur’s and has been recently nominated twice as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2015 and 2016.

Jillian Kennedy, Leader of Canadian DC and Financial Wellness, Merce

Jillian Kennedy is a Partner in Mercer's Wealth Business and is responsible for leading the Defined Contribution and Financial Wellness Strategy for Canada. She is also a member of the Wealth leadership team and works closely with Mercer’s global teams. Jillian's main practice area is in supporting defined contribution pension plan and savings plans for plan sponsors and plan members. From plan design, investments, service provider management and ongoing governance support, Jillian applies a holistic approach to proactively manage plan sponsor objectives and improve the overall financial wellness of employees.

Jillian has been with Mercer for over 11 years and has been supporting plan sponsors and members to achieve better outcomes in retirement savings for over 18 years.

Renée Laflamme 

Renée Laflamme, FCPA, FCA, CFA

Executive Vice-President, Individual Insurance, Savings and Retirement, iA Financial Group

Renée Laflamme is Executive Vice-President, Individual Insurance, Savings and Retirement at iA Financial Group. She manages this sector’s operations and activities across Canada.
Renée Laflamme has a Bachelor of Administration from Laval University and is a chartered accountant and chartered financial analyst. In 2017, she was awarded the title of Fellow CPA.
Ms. Laflamme joined iA Financial Group in 1998, after ten years with a large accounting firm. In 2004, she became Vice-President of Mortgage Loans and in 2010, Vice-President of Group Savings and Retirement. In 2015, she was promoted to the Strategic Planning Committee and to the role of Executive Vice-President, Group Benefits and Retirement Solutions. Since February 2018, she has assumed responsibility over the Canadian activities and operations of the Individual insurance and Savings and Retirement sector.

Dominique Lavoie, FSA, FCIA

Pension Consulant, Mercer

Dominique Lavoie is a consultant in Mercer’s Wealth line of business in Montreal. She works as an actuary and pension consultant for defined benefit and defined contribution plans. Dominique consults to her clients on all aspects related to pension plans, including design, funding, accounting, risk management, governance and investments.

Dominique is also the expert for Mercer Future WiseTM in the province of Quebec, a unique solution of delegated services for capital accumulation plans. Through that role, she is promoting innovation and gets involved in discussions regarding the development of best practices related to accumulation plans.

Dominique holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, actuarial sciences, from the Université de Montréal. She is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, and a CFA® Level II candidate.


Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, Ph.D., FSA
Senior Research Fellow of the National Institute on Ageing (NIA), Ryerson University

Bonnie-Jeanne is the Senior Research Fellow of the National Institute on Ageing (NIA) at Ryerson University. She is also a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and the resident scholar at Eckler Ltd.

Her research focuses on the financial and health aspects of Canada's aging population. Bringing together leading industry experts and building on academic best practices coupled with innovative ideas, her insightful perspectives continue to help advance the retirement security landscape.

Bonnie-Jeanne has published numerous academic papers on a wide variety of topics relating to retirement financial security for Canadians. In 2014, her research created the concept of the Living Standard Replacement Rate (LSRR). That paper won the 2014 Pension, Benefits and Social Security Scientific Committee Award Prize for Best Paper at the 30th International Congress of Actuaries. Already helping sponsors and members of retirement plans in the Canadian retirement service industry, the LSRR work has attracted national and international media attention and is also informing professionals as it has been added to the Society of Actuaries Fellowship examination requirements for new actuaries.

A recipient of the 2001 Gold Medal in Actuarial Science (Hon BSc) at the University of Western Ontario, Bonnie-Jeanne received her FSA in 2004, and also holds a PhD in Actuarial Mathematics from Scotland's Heriot-Watt University. In 2011, she was chosen one of the Canada's top young economists and attended the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany. Bonnie-Jeanne is a prolific guest speaker at industry and public policy engagements, and she recently appeared before parliament as a witness on how government can better support the well-being of Canadian seniors.

Barbara Martinez

Barb Martinez 
Practice Leader, Benefits Solutions, The Great-West Life Assurance Company 

Barbara A. Martinez is the National Practice Leader, Drug Benefits Solutions in the Toronto Group Sales office of Great-West Life Assurance Company. Barbara provides support to Great-West Life Group Sales Offices across Canada on our prescription drug management initiatives. She plays a key role in supporting plan advisors and their clients on Great-West Life drug solutions products.  
Barb joined Great-West Life in November of 2012 and is ideally suited to this role. She comes to Great-West Life with 10 years’ experience at Mercer, where she lead the Canadian drug benefits consulting team. She is also well known as a regular speaker at industry forums and commentator on employer drug programs.  
Barbara has in-depth knowledge of the prescription drug, regulatory and drug approval process in Canada from both a government and private drug plan perspective. Her past experience includes 13 years of working in the pharmaceutical industry. Her main responsibilities were sales & marketing as well as government and professional affairs.

Jean Michaud Jean Michaud 
Managing Director, Senior Commodity Strategist` 

Jean Michaud est Managing Director et Senior Commodity Strategist chez CoreCommodity Management, LLC à Stamford, Connecticut. Avant de se joindre à CoreCommodity, M. Michaud fut Gestionnaire de portefeuille principal à la Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, où il géra le portefeuille de matières premières qui atteint C$ 3.0 milliards. Auparavant, M. Michaud a travaillé, entre autres, chez Barclays, d’abord comme Senior Trader, transigeant des lingots d’aluminium partout dans le monde, puis comme Directeur pour Barclays Capital Canada Inc.; et chez Alcan Aluminium Limitée à Montréal, principalement dans le commerce des lingots. M. Michaud obtint son B.Sc.A et sa M.Sc.A en génie de l’École Polytechnique de Montréal en 1976 et 1980, respectivement et un M.B.A. de l’Université McGill en 1983.
Peter Muldowney

Peter Muldowney
Senior Vice President, Institutional Strategy
Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group

Having worked in Canada, the US and the United Kingdom over his 25 plus years in the investment management and consulting industry, Peter spent his early years in consulting which culminated in leading two of the major investment consulting firms in Canada and globally.

After joining one of the leading Canadian insurance companies to start up a new business venture, he pioneered the first buy-in annuity in Canada. In 2011 he joined Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group as Senior Vice President, Institutional Strategy, to work collaboratively with plan sponsors and consultants in finding effective ways to develop and execute investment and risk management solutions.

Paul Owens
Deputy Superintendents of Pensions - Alberta

Paul E. Owens is Deputy Superintendent of Pensions in the Financial Sector Regulation and Policy branch of Treasury Board and Finance for the Government of Alberta. Prior industry experience includes roles as the founding Plan Manager & CEO of the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT) Pension Plan; Director Human Resources, Pensions for The Bank of Nova Scotia and Employee Benefits Consultant for Du Pont Canada Inc. He is also President of the Euphrasia Walsh Investment Corporation, a member of the Investment Committee for the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, a member of the University of New Brunswick Faculty of Business Administration Advisory Board, and a member and former vice- chair of the Investment Advisory Committee for the Archdiocese of Toronto. Former industry roles included Board Chair and course developer and instructor for WorldatWork ( formerly the American Compensation Association); member of the Ontario Provincial Judges Pension Board, Humber College Employee Benefit Centre advisory board, Benefits Canada editorial advisory board, and the Toronto Board of Trade pension and benefits committee. He has been a regular speaker at pension and investment conferences across North America and contributor to pension and investment publications and newsletters. He has a B.B.A from the University of New Brunswick and an M.B.A. from Queen’s University and certifications in total rewards and investments from WorldatWork and Humber College. He has recently completed the Principles of Administrative Justice course offered by the Foundation and has also completed the Canadian Securities Course.

Kim Ozubko

Kim Ozubko
Partner, Miller Thomson LLP

Kim Ozubko is a Partner in the Toronto office of Miller Thomson’s Pension and Benefits Group. A frequent speaker and author in the areas of pensions and benefits law, Kim advises clients in all areas of the firm’s pensions and benefits practice. Prior to joining Miller Thomson, Kim practiced pensions and benefits law at several international law firms and at an international pension consulting firm. Her current practice focuses on all legal and regulatory matters relating to the implementation, administration and governance of pension, group benefit and other retirement savings plans.  This includes advising clients on the development of pension and other employee benefit plans as well as on plan mergers and conversions, pension fund investment, fiduciary duties and ongoing regulatory compliance. She also advises clients on a full range of benefit issues in the employment law and unionized context including the implementation of employee communication strategies.

Benoit Poliquin Benoit Poliquin, CFP, CFA
President & Lead Portfolio Manager, Exponent Investment Management

Benoit’s career in wealth management began in 1996 and he has had the privilege of working for three financial institutions delivering investment solutions since the beginning. In 2000, Benoît became a registered portfolio manager working exclusively for private clients with a focus on generating growth of both capital and income. In addition to his extensive experience in wealth management, Benoit has taught courses in derivatives, international finance and fixed income investments at the Ottawa University’s Telfer School of Management.

At Exponent Investment Management, Benoit is responsible for the portfolio management and research efforts. Benoit is a member of the CFA institute and the CFA Society of Ottawa along with being a Certified Financial Planner in good standing.

In his spare time Benoit enjoys coaching his children’s amateur team sports in addition to playing tennis, golf and downhill skiiing. In addition, Benoit enjoys giving back to his local community by way of donating his time to speaking engagements and lending his expertise and experience to community groups.
 Georgia Pomaki

Georgia Pomaki

Dr. Georgia Pomaki has a Ph.D. in Occupational Mental Health and a Clinical Psychology Specialization. She is a Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP) and has worked with organizations to improve disability prevention and management. She has taught clinical courses at the university level and mental health in disability management at Simon Fraser University and the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences. She is a lead author of the Best Practices for Return-to-Work/Stay-at-Work Interventions for Workers with Mental Health Conditions, as well as author of scientific and industry publications on workplace mental health. At Manulife, Georgia is the Leader of the Mental Health Specialists Team, which develops, tests and implements best practices for the management of mental health disability claims.


Johanne Potvin
Certified Human Resources Advisor and Senior Consultant, JPotvin Health / Productivity at Work.

Johanne Potvin is a Certified Human Resources Advisor and Senior Consultant at JPotvin Health / Productivity at Work.
Johanne has been practicing in the field of health, safety and productivity at work since 1983. As a certified human resources consultant, she has worked in various public and private organizations for 13 years before going on to consult.

Subsequently, she worked for more than 20 years as a consultant, in addition to performing strategic and operational functions for recognized firms such as Optimum, Mercer and Aon.

Since August 2016, she has been acting as an independent advisor and supporting many organizations to achieve their performance goals.

During her career, Johanne has given numerous conferences and trainings in the field of occupational health and safety, disability and workplace presence management.

Sean Rogister

Sean Rogister
CEO, Cortland Credit

Sean has more than 20 years of experience leading investment teams in fixed income strategies that included private lending exposures in emerging and developed countries around the world.
Having built and led investment management businesses at world-class financial institutions, most notably managing the fixed income asset class for Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan ($100 billion plus fund). Sean possesses a global and institutional perspective as well as possessing the unique knowledge base of how to manage a successful debt-based investment strategy.
In his role as CEO at Cortland Credit, Sean oversees the investment management while ensuring the integrity of the firm’s policy is grounded on Cortland’s core beliefs.

Micheal Sager

PH.D., Vice-President, Client Portfolio Manager - Asset Allocation & Currency Management

Michael Sager is a client portfolio manager responsible for working with internal and external partners to develop effective investment solutions for clients, prospects and consultants.

Prior to joining CIBC Asset Management in 2018, Mr. Sager was an Asset Allocation Consultant at Alignvest Investment Management. Previously, he was a Senior Portfolio Manager at the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board. He also has experience working at Wellington Management, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England.

Mr. Sager holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Warwick and a Master of Science degree in Economics from the University of London.

Marcus Turner 

Director and Senior Investment Consultant, Towers Watson

Marcus has over 10 years of investment consulting experience and consults on a wide variety of issues including implemented OCIO solutions, asset allocation strategy, and investment structure optimization. He has worked with a variety of clients including Pension Plans, Foundations and Municipalities with assets ranging from $100 million to over $5 billion.

Prior to his investment consulting work Marcus had the opportunity to work in the investment management area of a large multinational insurance company where he was responsible for building and running the institution’s proprietary trading desk.

Marcus specializes in alternative asset class research and has expertise in assessing currency, infrastructure and private equity managers as well as trends and developments in these asset opportunities. Marcus sits on the Board of the Toronto CFA Society and is a frequent industry speaker.

James Upton

Managing Director, Morgan Stanley

James is a senior portfolio specialist and chief strategic officer for the Global Emerging Markets Equity team. He re-joined Morgan Stanley in 2006 and has 25 years of investment experience. Prior to re-joining the firm, James was a senior investment strategist at Northern Trust Global Investments. Previously, he was the Latin America equity strategist and later a global equity strategist at Credit Suisse First Boston. He began his investment career as an international economist at Merrill Lynch and spent nearly two years as a sovereign risk analyst at Morgan Stanley. Before graduate school, he was a reporter in Mexico City with United Press International. James received a B.A. in history from Middlebury College and an M.A. in economics and U.S. foreign policy from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University.

Jason Vary
President of Actuarial Solutions Inc.

Jason Vary, President of Actuarial Solutions Inc., has practiced in defined benefit pension and retiree health plans for twenty years. He has experience with many plan designs including single-employer, multi-employer, private sector, government, unionized, non-unionized, as well as registered and non-registered executive plans. Jason works with clients on many projects including:

*     Valuation of plans for funding purposes
*     Accounting for plans under Canadian, U.S. and International GAAP
*     Revision and/or negotiation of benefit levels and ancillary benefits
*     Asset transfers between defined benefit plans
*     Conversion of defined benefit to defined contribution plans
*     Wind-up of defined benefit and/or defined contribution pension plans

He also provides clients with independent due diligence services with respect to mergers and acquisitions, and expert independent advice on matters before arbitrators and the courts.

In addition to his role as President, Jason has a blend of technical skills and expert advice that allow him to move seamlessly between the roles of consultant and actuary. He oversees all consulting assignments for the firm to ensure technical accuracy of all advice, as well as consistency of presentation.

Jason joined Actuarial Solutions Inc. in 2006. A Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries, Jason graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours Bachelor of Mathematics in 1998. His experience includes the retirement practices at Mercer and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Jason is an active volunteer with the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, the Society of Actuaries and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.

 Nadine Wentzell

Nadine Wentzell

Nadine Wentzell is a Workplace Drug and Alcohol Consultant who helps employers address the health and safety risks of substance abuse in the workplace. As a pharmacist consultant for over 25 years’, many of which were spent as a Narcotic Inspector with Health Canada, she brings a unique skill set and perspective on addressing the misuse and abuse of drugs and alcohol in the workplace.
Nadine focuses on collaborating with employers to implement and apply a comprehensive drug and alcohol program aligned with their needs and expectations. Her expertise includes policy development, supervisor training and employee education. In the process she builds the infrastructure to support a comprehensive program that becomes self-sustaining.
Nadine conducts audits to ensure programs are current, aligned with best practices and evolving trends, and meet client-identified goals and objectives. An key component of her audit includes a review of contractors and sub-contractors, to ensure they are following the Work Rules and Testing requirements of the company hiring them, her clients. Where the minimum requirements are unmet – which is frequently the case – she has created a solutions-focussed tool to address this escalating problem and unaddressed liability.
Nadine works with small, medium and large unionized and non-unionized businesses and organizations across the country and internationally.
Nadine’s unique approach to this multi-faceted problem fosters culture change to achieve the ultimate goal of safe workplaces and healthy people.


Lester Wong
Deputy Superintendent of Pensions - Ontario 

Lester has extensive experience in the pension industry, working with both private and public sector pension plans. He brings a wealth of technical skills as he moves from his role as Chief Actuary at FSCO into this new position.

Lester leads the Risk Based Regulation project, which is a major transformation in the way FSCO regulates pension plans. He developed a case study on the Risk Based Regulation Framework with the Toronto Centre, a non-profit organisation that promotes financial stability and access to financial services around the world. He has delivered this case study at several Toronto Centre conferences which has enhanced FSCO’s reputation globally.