Past Event: Benefits and Pension Summit

April 16-17, 2018
Ritz Carlton Hotel, Toronto

Untitled Document


The Workplace of Tomorrow

With rapid advances in technology, an increasingly diverse population and the changing needs of employees, plan sponsors need to stay ahead of the curve if they want to retain and attract top talent. How can technology’s power be harnessed in the workplace and what implications will its growth have on sponsors and members? What will the employee population of the future look like? How can sponsors meet their needs and what might those needs look like? The 2018 Benefits and Pension Summit will provide delegates with actionable information related to group benefits and defined contribution pension plans. Key issues to be discussed include plan design, sustainability, innovation, communications and more. Sessions will feature plan sponsor case studies, expert panels and thought-leaders.

This Summit is designed for senior-level personnel within plan sponsor organizations in both the public and private sectors to discuss common challenges and acquire solutions.

This event sells out annually. Register early to avoid disappointment.


This two-day conference will now feature two separate days of content, each focused on one stream. 

Day 1: Benefits Stream
Day 2: DC Pension Stream

Day 1 Price: $349 + HST
Day 2 Price: $349 + HST
Full (two-day) event price: $629 + HST

Benefits Canada has a limited block of rooms available at the Ritz Carlton Toronto Hotel at the rate of $365 + HST per night. Upon conference registration, more information will be available on how to secure a room. 





***Please note that this breakfast session requires separate registration.




CE credits will be offered at this event. Please visit the registration page for more information.




For information on the Benefits Stream, please contact Lauren Harris, conference editor.
For information on the DC Pension Stream, please contact Sara Ametrano, conference editor.
For sponsorship opportunities, contact Alison Webb, publisher, Benefits Canada.
For registration questions, contact Joanne Boccia, event manager.

Join the conversation! @BenCanMag #BPS18

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Benefits and Pension Summit

April 16-17, 2018
Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Toronto

**Please note that this agenda is a draft and may be subject to change

Monday, April 16, 2018 - Group Benefits:

8:00-8:55 a.m.

8:55 a.m.
Opening remarks 

9:00-10:00 a.m.
The Canada of today. The Canada of tomorrow
Most Canadians think they know their country. They don’t. We have gone through such profound changes over the last 150 years that we barely recognize ourselves. In his presentation, Darrell introduces audiences to the new Canada. Using the latest demographic and public opinion information, he tells a fascinating, fact-based story about the Canada of today, but also about the Canada of tomorrow.

Darrell Bricker, chief executive officer, public affairs, IPSOS

[Download the Presentation]

10:00-10:50 a.m.
The future is now: Embracing the intersection of technology and employee benefits
Today’s workplace is undergoing a rapid and historic transformation. New technology has created a 24/7 on-demand world in which a consumer grade on-line purchasing experience has become the new reality. Forward-thinking plan sponsors will want to seize this opportunity to re-imagine the intersection between new technology and employee benefits. Rising benefit costs – driven largely by high cost drugs, disability cost increases and higher than ever utilization of health and dental care plans – mean that Canadian benefit plan sponsors are looking for ways to ensure their plans remain sustainable and continue to meet the needs of plan members. This session will look at the changing nature of the workforce and widespread use of consumer technology. Learn how the latest innovations can bring value to both plan sponsors and members.

Wendy Poirier,
Canadian health and benefits growth leader, Willis Towers Watson

Tim Clarke, president, tc Health Consulting Inc.
Wayne Millar, vice-president, marketing and digital solutions, Sun Life Financial
Anne Nicoll,
vice-president, business development, Medavie Blue Cross 
Linda Speedy, chief talent officer, KPMG Canada 

[Session not available for download]

10:50-11:10 a.m. 
Networking break 

11:10 a.m.-12:00 p.m. 
Mind games: The connection between finances and mental health
How do personal finances affect mental health and what kinds of support services are available? This robust panel will feature a variety of perspectives that highlight the impact of financial stress on employees, while encouraging plan sponsors to take action.

Lisa Callaghan, vice-president, strategy, marketing and communications, Manulife

Stacy Yanchuk Oleksy,
director, education and community awareness, Credit Counselling Society
François Joseph Poirier, vice-president, business development, Desjardins Insurance
Adrianne Sullivan-Campeau, vice-president, human resources, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada
Barb Veder, vice-president, clinical services and research lead, employee support solutions, Morneau Shepell
Ryan Weiss, assistant vice-president, group customer market development, The Great-West Life Assurance Co.

[Session not available for download]

12:00-1:00 p.m. 

1:00-2:30 p.m.
Panel and workshop: A changing workforce 
During this highly interactive session, delegates will have the opportunity to discuss topical issues that they face in the workplace due to the rapidly changing world we live in. These workshops will feature a group discussion and an activity that will get everyone thinking about the future of work.

Workshop leaders:
Krista Jones,
managing director of work and learning, MaRS
Jon Worren,
senior director, venture and corporate programs, MaRS

Rob Catalano,
chief engagement officer, WorkTango
Peter Demangos,
co-founder, Collage HR, founder, PDF Employee Benefits
Nigel Vanderlinden, chief revenue officer,

[Session not available for download]

2:30-2:50 p.m.
Networking break 

2:50-3:40 p.m.
Cannabis in the workplace of tomorrow
With recreational marijuana on track to be legalized in Canada by July 2018, there is much for plan sponsors to consider. How do both recreational and medical cannabis impact the workplace? What legal issues arise, and should benefits plans include coverage? This session will include key players from diverse backgrounds to answer these questions and more.

Dr. Arif Bhimji, medical director, Magna International
Dr. Peter Blecher, chief medical officer, Starseed Medicinal Inc.
Loretta Bouwmeester, partner, Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark LLP 
Nedzad Pojskic, pharmacy strategy leader, Green Shield Canada 
Jonathan Tafler, senior director, employer health solutions, Shoppers Drug Mart

[Session not available for download]

3:40-4:20 p.m.
What's driving the future of work?
There is much discussion about how the world of work is changing and sometimes it can seem as if it is impossible to predict and prepare for the workplace of 2030. But there are specific patterns and drivers that, once understood, help you organize and prioritize how you react and respond to the shifts your company and industry is experiencing. In this dynamic, fast-paced, myth-busting talk, Lisa Taylor will show you how to capitalize on the key drivers shaping the changing world of work. Lisa will share her model of 5 key drivers, with specific focus and attention on the benefits and compensation implications of shifts in career ownership, the rise of platforms as disruptive business models and AI and robotics.

Lisa Taylor, president, Challenge Factory

[Session not available for download]

4:20 p.m.
Closing remarks

4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Cocktail reception

(The reception is made possible by HealthWATCH for Business brought to you by Shoppers Drug Mart.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - DC Pensions:

7:30-8:30 a.m.
Custom breakfast: Improving outcomes for Canadian retirees

Our employees are living longer and need our help. How do we address Canadians' spending needs in retirement when they are healthier and more active than ever? And is it our responsibility to answer that question? 

Ross Servick, head of Canada, Schroders

**Please note that this breakfast session requires separate registration.

7:55-8:50 a.m.

8:50 a.m.
Opening remarks 

8:55-9:55 a.m.
Using technology to improve our members’ financial wellbeing

QSuper is using technology to improve our members financial wellbeing regardless of how engaged they are. Engaged members have access to hands-on tools such as MoneyMap, Self Invest (an online platform that allows members to invest directly into shares) and online advice, as well as a digital living financial plan that provides a consistent channel-of-choice member experience that guides members towards financial wellbeing. Find out what we’ve learnt along the way, what works, what doesn’t and how humans are still not quite obsolete.

Kim Hughes, head of product and services, QSuper (Australia)

[Download Kim's Presentation]

9:55-10:35 a.m.
DC plans: What's working, what's not and what's next?
A lawyer, an actuary and a plan sponsor come together to engage in a lively discussion about the capital accumulation plans of today and the future. This session will dig deep into defined-contribution plans to uncover their pros and cons and what it all means.

Calum Mackenzie, head of Ontario investment consulting practice, Aon

Louise Koza, director of total compensation, University of Western Ontario
Peggy McCallum,
partner, Fasken Martineau
Joe Nunes,
president, Actuarial Solutions Inc.

10:35-10:55 a.m. 
Networking break 

10:55-11:35 a.m. 
Bringing multi-employer pension plans to DC: What can we expect?
Multi-employer pension plans are common in the DB pension space, but the same cannot be said for the DC sector. While there are some organizations who have adopted this format, will multi-employer plans be the way of the DC future? This session will take a look at the possible benefits of a multi-employer plan, and it will feature a case study that will highlight one company’s experience using this type of plan.

Alex Mazer, founding partner, Common Wealth
Martin McInnis, executive director, Co-operative Superannuation Society Pension Plan

[Download Alex's Presentation]

[Download Martin's Presentation]

11:35 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Panel: A discussion on the 2017 CAP Member Survey results
Benefits Canada’s 2017 CAP Member Survey highlights decumulation as a major concern for employers. The survey revealed that, regulations permitting, 61 per cent of plan sponsors would likely allow their members to leave their assets within their plans post-retirement. However, 69 per cent of employers believe that employees are on their own once they retire or leave the organization. What can be done to ensure employees are better prepared for retirement financially? Another concern brought to light through the survey is that employees tend to believe they are ready for retirement, but plan sponsors disagree. Where does this disconnect stem from? This expert panel will explore in-plan solutions on decumulation as well as how to effectively communicate options and consequences to plan members.

Bita Jenab,
principal, RetirementWorks
Karrina Dusablon,
national vice-president, business development, client relationship and member experience, Desjardins Insurance
Jill Taylor Smith,
consultant, Eckler Ltd.
Matthew Streeter,
vice-president, defined contribution and retirement, Franklin Templeton Investments

[Download the Survey Results]

12:20 - 1:10 p.m. 

1:10-2:10 p.m.
Panel and workshop: Bringing financial literacy to millennials
According to a PwC study, only 24 per cent of millennials have basic financial literacy, where a mere eight per cent claimed to have a more sophisticated understanding. Compared to generations before them, millennials are behind their predecessors at the same point in their careers when it comes to this area of expertise. Finances and savings are concerns for the younger generation; however, they are not familiar with the appropriate tools and strategies to help them do so. This lively discussion will focus on how to educate younger plan members, and it will then turn to attendees to brainstorm the most effective ways to reach millennials.

Caroline Cakebread, editor, Canadian Investment Review

Laurie Campbell,
chief executive officer, Credit Canada Debt Solutions
Jeremie Ryan,
director of financial literacy and stakeholder engagement, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada 
Shannon Lee Simmons,
founder, New School of Finance

[Download the Statistics]

2:10-2:40 p.m.
How the future workplace will shift savings patterns and products
This session will help attendees consider how the workplace of the future changes the way employees view retirement savings plans and their demands for new approaches. It will challenge us to consider, not only how work patterns affect savings programs, but also how emotional barriers affect savings.

Fraser Wiswell,
assistant vice president, retirement solutions, Manulife

[Download Fraser's Presentation]

2:40-3:00 p.m.
Networking break 

3:00-3:40 p.m.
Technology serving people: Reshaping the plan member experience
What are the global trends in terms of communication? Artificial intelligence continues to gain traction in many fields such as finance and health. Innovation and technology have a major impact on the customer relationship, sources of information and decision-making. The views of experts in innovation and communication will help understand how digital technology and artificial intelligence can reshape the plan member experience and address tomorrow’s customer needs.

Renée Laflamme,
executive vice-president of individual insurance, savings and retirement, iA Financial Group
Mark S. Yamada, president and chief executive officer, PŮR Investing Inc.

[Download Renée's Presentation]

[Download Mark's Presentation]

3:40-4:20 p.m.
The risk of ignoring risks when drawing down retirement savings 
Managing and drawing down savings in retirement are complex tasks. Not only are they daunting and confusing for plan members, but conventional financial planning are plagued with practices that can lead to inaccurate and potentially harmful advice. Drawing on recently completed research, this session will illustrate some of the dangers of these practices and provide insight to help plan sponsors engage in more valuable discourse with plan members, fostering more informed retirement planning and financial decisions.

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, senior research Fellow, National Institute of Ageing at Ryerson University, and resident scholar, Eckler Ltd.

4:20 p.m.
Closing remarks

Benefits and Pension Summit Speakers

April 16-17, 2018
Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Toronto


APRIL 16, 2018




Darrell Bricker

Darrell Bricker

Darrell Bricker is the chief executive officer for IPSOS Public Affairs. He brings the latest insights backed by one of the world’s leading market research firms. While his comments and observations are driven by research, he also shares his personal observations gathered from over 25 years of working with some of the world’s most important public and private sector organizations. As the chief executive officer for IPSOS Public Affairs, he provides strategic advice to clients within the public, corporate and not-for-profit sectors. In his past roles, Bricker worked within the prime minister’s office as the director of public opinion research and has been further involved as a consultant for clients within public and private sectors.He is an active member of both the American Association for Public Opinion Research and the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association.  Bricker is also the founding president of the Canadian Association for Public Opinion Research. Bricker has co-authored several bestselling books on public opinion, including (with John Ibbitson) The Big Shift: The Seismic Change in Canadian Politics, Business, and Culture and What It Means for Our Future and (with John Wright) Canuckology: From Dollars to Donuts — Canada’s Premiere Pollsters Reveal What Canadians Think and Why and What Canadians Think About Almost Everything. He has been a regular commentator on public affairs for Reuters News, Global TV, CTV Canada AM, CTV National News, CTV NewsNet and CBC NewsWorld, and has also written for the Institute for Research on Public Policy, the Fraser Institute and The Globe and Mail. Bricker is a passionate supporter of Canada’s military. In addition to being the Honorary Colonel for the Queen’s York Rangers, he is a member of Canada Company, an organization that raises funds to support the families of Canada’s soldiers. Bricker is also on the campaign cabinet for Fort York, Toronto’s oldest military facility. In recognition of his support to Canada’s military he was awarded a commendation by the head of the army.




Dr Arif Bhimji

Dr. Arif Bhimji is the medical director for Magna International. His primary role is in managing health and wellness programs, managing medical accommodation requests, and supporting occupational health and safety initiatives. Dr. Bhimji also provides consultation to several insurance carriers on pharmaceutical, major medical and disability programs across North America. He is a specialist in family medicine and holds additional postgraduate qualifications in occupational medicine and dermatology. During his 25 years as an occupational physician, Dr. Bhimji has participated in key studies on disability and worker’s compensation in Canada, he has lectured widely and has published articles in health journals and appeared in national media.



Dr Peter Blecher

Dr. Peter Blecher is the chief medical officer of Starseed Medicinal Inc. He is a graduate of McGill medical school and completed a comprehensive surgical internship at the University of Toronto. He has worked as an emergency room physician for over 20 years, while being involved in the start-up of several biotechnology, medical device, and private enterprise companies. He currently sits on the Board Microbix Biosystems, Inc. Dr. Blecher has been with CPM Centres for Pain Management since 2005, Canada’s largest network of integrated pain management centres, currently with nine clinics, where he is a medical director. He is a credentialed pain practitioner with both the American and Canadian Academies of Pain Medicine. He has presented workshops and seminars on the topic of chronic pain management to healthcare professionals across Canada, and internationally, including educational workshops on medical cannabis. He helped develop the early educational material for the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids – widely recognized as the global leader in physician-centered medical cannabis education.



Loretta Bouwmeester

Loretta Bouwmeester is a partner in Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark LLP’s employment, labour occupational health and safety and workers’ compensation practices. Prior to joining the firm, Bouwmeester worked at national law firms in addition to working in-house as the manager of legal services and corporate policy with a municipality on a broad range of issues. She brings the benefits of this experience to her clients when working with them to both resolve disputes and in proactive strategic planning and risk management initiatives. Bouwmeester has defended employers and prime contractors in regulatory proceedings and appeared before all levels of Court in Alberta in addition to the Labour Relations Board. She is effective advising on national, provincial and federal OHS programs. Bouwmeester has been listed as a leading occupational health and safety practitioner in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory. She frequently speaks at professional conferences and in-house training sessions and has been published in national publications such as Canadian Occupational Safety.



Lisa Callaghan

Lisa Callaghan is the vice-president, strategy, marketing and communications for Manulife institutional markets. Callaghan 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. Callaghan 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, Callaghan 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. Callaghan holds undergraduate degrees in science and physical education from Queen’s University, a master of science in biomechanics from the University of Waterloo and a master of business administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.  



Rob Catalano

Rob Catalano is the chief engagement officer of WorkTango. He is passionate about helping companies succeed by leveraging technology to make employees successful. With his unique experience in human resources technology as a founding employee at Achievers, Catalano co-founded WorkTango and Innovate Work TO. He was named a 2017 top global employee engagement influencer, has spoken in over 30 cities in the past three years, and loves the opportunity to connect with passionate human resources leaders across the globe.


Tim Clarke

Tim Clarke founded tc Health Consulting in May 2017. He works with health and technology innovators to bring new solutions to the Canadian employer benefits market. Clarke is a qualified actuary with over 20 years of benefits experience.  Prior to tc Health, Clarke held various leadership roles with Aon and Hewitt, including as Hewitt’s Canadian health management consulting practice leader and Aon’s health chief innovation officer.  Clarke is a regular speaker at Canadian benefits industry events, and writer in industry publications.




Peter Demangos

Peter Demangos is the founder of PDF Employee Benefits and co-founder of Collage HR. Seen as a leader in the employee benefits industry, Demangos is frequently quoted in Benefits Canada publications as well as a regular speaker for and the Human Resources Professional Association. Holding a master of business administration from the Schulich School of Business, certified financial planner and chartered life underwriter designations, and a bachelor of commerce from the Rotman School of Management, Demangos firmly believes in continued education. He shares his experiences by teaching the pension and benefits course at Humber College within the human resources management post-graduate program.



Krista Jones

Krista Jones is the managing director of work and learning at MaRS. She has been a passionate innovator and builder of technology-based businesses for over 25 years and has personally advised and been actively involved in over 200 startups. For the past four years, Jones has been the driving force behind the creation of MaRS’ globally-leading work and learning sector. She works with entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, investors and technologists who are applying innovation and cutting-edge technologies to create solutions that are advancing the competitiveness of global workers and workplaces. Jones has experience working in both large public companies and in startups. She is an engineer, entrepreneur, mentor and an expert at solving ambiguous problems. She has a unique combination of strategic, technical, operational and marketing expertise. She is known for her comprehensive knowledge of existing and emerging information and communications technology architectures, technologies and innovation practices. Jones and her husband owned a children’s technology educational franchise that fostered early innovation and creativity in robotics, animation, digital art and video game design.



Wayne Millar

Wayne Millar is vice-president, market development, group benefits at Sun Life Financial. He joined them in 1989 and has held a variety of operational, strategic and assistant vice-president roles within the company’s enterprise services and group benefits teams. He also led a number of global strategic IT initiatives, with a focus on acquisitions and divestitures in the US, UK, India and Asia businesses. Currently, Millar leads the group benefits market development team that is responsible for the development and execution of Sun Life Financial’s group benefit market strategies, digital technology innovations and product offering. As a member of the Sun Life Financial group benefits leadership team, Millar provides overall business leadership, vision and direction for broader group benefits strategies.



Anne Nicoll

Anne Nicoll is the vice-president of business development at Medavie Blue Cross. She has more than 25 years’ experience in the health management field working with organizations across Canada to improve the value and impact of benefit solutions. In her role, Nicoll oversees the group business growth and client development strategy for Medavie Blue Cross, an all lines benefits carrier that provides health, dental, life and disability benefits to plan members nation-wide and administers government-sponsored health programs across the country. Nicoll and her team partner with clients and advisors to ensure plan sponsors achieve their benefit plan goals. She also oversees the organization’s drug management and group product solutions teams in support of Medavie’s vision to help shape the future of health care in Canada. Since joining the not-for-profit organization in 2013, Nicoll has contributed to Medavie Blue Cross’ growth, drawing on her broad level of experience gained through working with a variety of organizations including a national benefits consulting house, a private health care organization, and workplace insurance. Nicoll is a certified management Cconsultant, and a licensed life and health insurance agent, with an undergraduate degree in engineering and a master of business administration majoring in finance and strategic management. 



François Joseph Poirier


François Joseph Poirier is vice-president, business development, group and business insurance at Desjardins Insurance. He has over 25 years of experience working in the group insurance industry including a number of years with major consulting firms. Poirier has a bachelor’s degree in actuarial sciences from Université Laval and is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries and of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. He is based in Toronto.





Wendy Poirier


Wendy Poirier is the growth leader for the health and group benefits practice of Willis Towers Watson. She has over 25 years of human resource and benefits consulting experience with particular expertise in the area of strategic benefit design and holistic health benefit management.  She assists organizations in defining and implementing benefit strategies to maximize employee health and well-being and foster employee engagement.  Poirier works with a wide range of Canada's largest organizations, including leaders in finance, transportation, energy, consumer products, high-tech, and the health care industry. Poirier has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Alberta, and earned the C.E.B.S. designation in 1995.



Nedzad Pojskic


Ned Pojskic is Green Shield Canada’s pharmacy strategy leader and is responsible for setting their strategic direction with respect to pharmacy benefits management. He takes the lead in managing stakeholder relations with chain, banner and independent pharmacies, and pharmacy associations. Pojskic is also the primary contact for pharmaceutical industry representatives, including for drug product submission, product listings and partnership opportunities. With an industry background that includes a role as director of health policy for the Ontario Pharmacists Association, Pojskic is a key member of Green Shield Canada’s pharmacy and therapeutics committee and, in collaboration with their pharmacy services team, he is responsible for overall formulary management, including pricing.



Linda Speedy


Linda Speedy is the chief talent officer for KPMG in Canada.  She has 20 years of experience at KPMG partnering with practices across the country and leading national human resources initiatives. In her role as chief talent officer, Speedy is developing a new and dynamic talent strategy that reflects the intersection of different generations with the firm and focuses on the development, advancement and well-being of KPMG people. In addition, she is leading the redesign of a market-driven total rewards program that is consistent with the firm’s pay principles; is affordable and enables the organization to attract, motivate and retain the best talent. As chief talent officer, Speedy represents KPMG Canada globally as the head of people and works closely with the chief inclusion officer for KPMG in Canada. Prior to being named chief talent officer, Speedy was the interim chief human resource officer and former executive director of human resources. Speedy has been a member of the human resources leadership team at KPMG for the past 10 years. Speedy has led strategic initiatives for KPMG focused on compliance and human resource operations as well as employee development, engagement and performance. She is a strategic business partner and effective relationship builder with a deep understanding of professional services firms.  


Adrianne Sullivan-Campeau

Adrianne Sullivan-Campeau is the vice-president of human resources at Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. Sullivan-Campeau is a strong business and people leader with broad experience in all aspects of human resource management, including talent management, policy creation, employee relations, compensation and incentive management. She has worked in industries with complex regulatory requirements and has international experience across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America and India. Over the last year, Sullivan-Campeau led her team through the development of a refreshed human resources vision, mission and strategy for 2018 and beyond. A key driver of this work focused on how Allstate will sustain a healthy workplace and build a holistic culture of engagement, wellness and inclusion. Sullivan-Campeau has a bachelor of arts from the University of Illinois and a master of business administration from Michigan State University. She is a member of the Human Resources Professional Association of Ontario, the Council of Human Resources Executives and the Society for Human Resources Management. She and her husband, Gerard, have three children.



Jonathan Tafler

Jonathan Tafler has spent his career building, leading and advising high growth companies in the retail, pharmacy and digital media sectors. Tafler is currently senior director, product and operations, employer health solutions at Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw. In this role, Tafler is responsible for developing and executing strategic programs that leverage the unique assets of Canada’s leading retail pharmacy chain, including the HealthWATCH for Business drug plan. Prior to joining the Loblaw group of companies, Tafler was a member of the executive team at a leading retail technology company, Flipp Corporation, which raised over $75 million in venture capital to help retailers transform their marketing for a personalized and digital future. Previously, Tafler led corporate development and strategy for Torstar Digital, the digital media arm of Torstar Corporation (the Toronto Star) leading innovation across Torstar’s portfolio of digital businesses through new product launches, investments and acquisitions. Earlier in his career, Tafler was co-founder and managing director of Valley Industries, a leading distribution and ecommerce company based in the United Kingdom, and a consultant with the Monitor Group (now Monitor Deloitte), a top global strategy consulting firm. Tafler holds an honors business administration degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, and currently lives in Toronto with his wife Michelle and their four young children.



Lisa Taylor

Lisa Taylor is the president of Challenge Factory and the Centre for Career Innovation. She is a trail blazer intent on challenging outdated career thinking. Her work is focused on the future of work and key trends that are impacting workplaces and workforces. Taylor offers a dynamic perspective on how demographics, the freelance economy and new market dynamics present organizations and individuals with opportunities to gain strategic advantage. She is the author of Retain and Gain: Career Management for Small Business, a unique playbook published by CERIC and designed for the busy Canadian business owner, as well as a second book to be published by University of Toronto Press (UTP-Rotman imprint) in 2018 with a working title of The Talent Revolution. With a master of business administration in strategic management and public administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University, Taylor was a senior consultant with Deloitte and held practice lead, national managing principal and global team roles with Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co. IN 2014, Taylor was recognized by the Urban Land Institute as one of Canada’s top 100 women for her work in the areas of leadership, employment and city building. In 2015, she was recognized as Canada’s outstanding career leader, the highest honour awarded by Career Professionals of Canada. Taylor is a Canadian Special Operations Forces Regiment Association board member and a member, dean’s advisory council, The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University. Taylor is a sought after expert, speaker and columnist – the go-to resource for helping companies recognize and adapt to changing career timelines and demographic composition. Her clients and audiences rely on her invaluable insights and real world know-how. Her expertise is widely recognized and regularly cited in the Globe and Mail, Wall Street Journal, Toronto Star, Sun Media and on television and radio, including TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, CBC’s Doc Zone, Zoomers Media, Rogers and other North American media sources.



Nigel Vanderlinden

Nigel Vanderlinden is the chief revenue officer of Vanderlinden is a seasoned business professional with more than 15 years of experience in tech and related industries. As the chief revenue officer at Plum, Vanderlinden leads the sales and customer success functions. Previously, Vanderlinden occupied senior positions at and BlackBerry. Vanderlinden’s personal interests center around technology, entrepreneurship, and his alma mater - Wilfrid Laurier University. Vanderlinden has served as an executive mentor at Laurier LaunchPad, an incubator/accelerator program.



Barb Veder

Barb Veder, vice-president global clinical services, clinical and research lead, has spent over 20 years as senior leader with Morneau Shepell. Veder is widely recognized for her clinical expertise, published research, and counsellor education initiatives. She is committed to the development of clinical best practices, resources, and support for individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.




Ryan Weiss

Ryan Weiss has been with Great-West Life for the past 12 years in positions that span claims, operations and sales areas. Working within the group customer experience and marketing team, he currently has responsibility for the benefits and pension product portfolio across Great-West Life’s block of business. This includes new product development, servicing and specialist support, and strategic relationship development in the delivery of new products. Weiss lives in Winnipeg with his family. 



Jon Worren

Jon Worren is the senior director of venture and corporate programs at MaRS. As such, Worren is responsible for creating and delivering programming for high growth innovation firms and senior corporate executives to help them accelerate their ventures. His workshops and master classes have been delivered to more than 5,000 entrepreneurs and innovators to date. Worren also oversees the delivery of the $32.4M Ontario ScaleUp Voucher Program. Prior to joining MaRS, Worren spent 12 years in management consulting as co-founder of renewable energy advisory firm ClearSky Advisors, as well as when working in Europe, US and Canada with Gartner Inc. Worren was part of two software startups in Europe in the financial services sector, one that had its initial public offering on the Oslo Stock Exchange in 2000. Worren is also an instructor in systems leadership at MaRS Studio Y youth leadership program. He holds a master of science in media and communication from London School of Economics and a master of science in business and economics from the Norwegian School of Management.



Stacy Yanchuk-Oleksy 

Stacy Yanchuk-Oleksy is the director of education and community awareness at the Credit Counselling Society. She has a master’s degree in family ecology, is a professional coach and a certified educator in personal finance.  Yanchuk-Oleksy is a passionate and dynamic speaker and facilitator and has over 15 years’ experience in program development, adult education and leadership.  She has recently presented at the 2017 Annual Conference on Financial Education in the U.S., the 2017 National Family Resource Program conference in Canada, and has served on expert panels at University of British Columbia and Carleton University. She has published articles in Canadian Living, Vanier Institute for the Family, and My Money Coach. Yanchuk-Oleksy has co-written two workbooks: Making Cent$ of Money and Money Management Basics and 7 Steps That Will Help You Build a Budget That Works. She has also developed personal finance curriculum for various workshops and webinars. Yanchuk-Oleksy serves on the Credit Counselling Canada Education Committee and has served on the Debt Advisory Committee for Consumer Protection BC, and the advisory committee for the Vancouver Rent Bank. In her spare time,


APRIL 17, 2018


Karrina Dusablon

Ross Servick is head of Canada at Schroders, which involves heading up the consultant, client relations and Canadian distribution parts of the North American business. He joined Schroders in 2006 and is based in New York. Ross was the senior vice-president at Managers Investment Group LLC from 1997 to 2006, responsible as head of institutional sales and a member of investment committee overseeing 30 sub-advisors and $9 billion in assets. Servick holds a bachelor of arts in economics from Denison University.


APRIL 17, 2018




Kim Hughes

Kim Hughes

Kim Hughes is a dynamic executive with over 25 years’ financial services experience in the superannuation, insurance, banking and funds management sectors.

After nine years in the funds management sector with QIC and QTC, Hughes returned to her passion of superannuation as head of product at QSuper. Since joining QSuper, Hughes has also fulfilled the roles of acting chief of member experience, where she was responsible for the group’s product, marketing, digital and employer functions. She is currently the acting chief of member support and advice at QSuper, and her responsibilites for the group’s advice business, contact centre, operations division and life insurance business.

QSuper is Queensland’s largest superannuation fund and one of the largest in Australia, with more than 565,000 members with over $72 billion in funds under management.




Laurie Campbell

Laurie Campbell is the chief executive officer of Credit Canada Debt Solutions, the country’s first non-profit credit counselling agency. Since its inception more than 50 years ago, the charitable agency has helped over two million families and individuals overcome crippling debt and improve their personal money management skills. Under Campbell’s leadership, the agency has also achieved a stellar record championing financial literacy amongst Canadians at large. She is widely recognized as one of the nation’s top experts in personal finance and as a tireless advocate for consumer protection. Industry, government and the news media frequently seek her expertise and laud her commitment to private-public sector programs and initiatives that are bringing significant positive change to Canada’s financial education landscape. Credit Canada founded Credit Education Week in 2007, which has grown over the years to grant over $300,000 in scholarship money to students and educate thousands of individuals on topics of financial wellness. Campbell is past president of the Credit Association of Greater Toronto and was a member of the service excellence committee for Hydro One. She was also a member of the task force on financial literacy and later the financial steering committee.


Karrina Dusablon

Karrina Dusablon is the vice-president of business development, client relationship and member experience at Desjardins Insurance. Dusablon leads and oversees growth through Desjardins Insurance’s national business development, client relationship and education teams. Her dynamic communication and leadership skills serve her well in engaging both their clients and national sales teams across Canada. Dusablon’s 20 years of industry experience – more than half of which have been with Desjardins Insurance – and her active involvement with the advisory board for the Benefits Canada CAP member survey for eight years, reflect her overall commitment to pioneering solutions for our plan sponsors and members. Dusablon holds a bachelor of industrial relations from McGill University, with a major in management, economy and industrial sociology. She has also received a certification in personal financial planning from the Institute of Canadian Bankers.



Bita Jenab

Bita Jenab is the principal and founder of RetirementWorks, a company focused on providing plan governors and members with independent, unbiased consulting services in the areas of governance and financial education. She is a seasoned pension actuary with over 30 years’ experience providing strategic advice and guidance to public and private sector organizations on retirement and employee benefit programs.
Prior to RetirementWorks, Jenab was a partner at a prominent human resource consulting firm, where among other responsibilities, she led the firm’s national financial planning practice.

Jenab holds a master of science degree in mathematics from the University of Columbia and is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries, as well as a certified financial planner.



Louise Koza

Louise Koza is the director of human resources (total compensation) and is a governing fiduciary of the university pension plans at Western University. She joined the University of Western Ontario in 1994, and is accountable for all internal operations of the university compensation programs, including the university's payroll, pension, job evaluation, salary administration, executive compensation, group insurance and other reward programs. Prior to her role at the university, Koza supported actuarial and administrative processes for a multinational corporation as well as a large human resource consulting firm. She attained a bachelor of science in math and actuarial science (1986), is an associate of the Society of Actuaries (1991), has a bachelor of education degree in math (1993) and is a chartered financial analyst with the CFA Institute (2003).



Renée Laflamme

Renée Laflamme is the executive vice‐president of individual insurance, savings and retirement at iA Financial Group. In this role, she manages this sector’s operations and activities across Canada.

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 and a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants.

Laflamme joined iA Financial Group in 1998, after 10 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 of 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.



Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald

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

MacDonald's 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.

MacDonald 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 (bachelor of science, honours) at the University of Western Ontario, MacDonald received her Fellow of the Society of Actuaries in 2004, and also holds a doctorate in actuarial mathematics from Scotland's Heriot-Watt University. In 2011, she was chosen as one of the Canada's top young economists and attended the Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting in Germany. MacDonald 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.



Calum Mackenzie

Calum Mackenzie is the head of Aon's Ontario investment consulting practice and a member of the Canadian Leadership Group. He leads a variety of defined cenefit and defined contribution client relationships with assets under management ranging from $150M to $8B. In addition to his client role, Mackenzie is responsible for developing Aon's investment consulting market presence and communicating the company's local and global research to clients and the broader market.

Mackenzie has extensive experience in risk management techniques and in particular liability driven investment (LDI) strategies, being an early adopter of derivative based LDI in the UK market. He has previously worked in the real estate industry and has a special interest in alternative investments.  

Mackenzie was a leader in Aon's UK defined contribution investment business and advised one of the UK's largest defined contribution pension plans prior to his 2016 move to Canada.

Mackenzie transitioned to Aon's Toronto office from the company's UK practice, where he was head of the Scottish investment consulting practice and sat on our business leadership group.

Mackenzie has a master of business administration with distinction from the Strathclyde Business School, a master of science (post graduate) in economic policy from the University of Strathclyde and a master of arts (honours) degree in economic science from the University of Aberdeen. He holds the UK Investment Management Certificate.



Alex Mazer

Alex Mazer is a founding partner at Common Wealth, a Toronto-based company dedicated to expanding access to good retirement plans and strengthening retirement security. In partnership with SEIU, Common Wealth recently created my65+, the first retirement plan for lower- and moderate-income workers in Canada. He recently co-authored a report for the World Bank on lessons learned from the evolution of the Canadian pension model. Mazer has advised governments, unions, associations, international financial institutions, startups and pension funds with collective assets exceeding a trillion dollars on a wide range of pensions and retirement-related issues. In 2015, he was appointed as a special advisor on the implementation of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan. Mazer is a regular speaker and commentator on pensions and retirement issues in both Canada and the US, including as part of such forums as the Brookings Institution, the Aspen Institute, Forbes, The Globe and Mail, the Association of Canadian Pension Management and Pensions and Investments.

Previously, Mazer served as a consultant at McKinsey & Company and in various public service roles. As director of policy to the Ontario Minister of Finance, he helped pass two major pension reform bills, helped lay the groundwork for the recent expansion of the Canada Pension Plan and assisted in the implementation of a value-added tax. His volunteerism has focused on issues of education, domestic violence prevention and public finance. A graduate of McMaster University (as a Loran Scholar), the University of Toronto and Harvard Law School (where he was an editor on the Harvard Law Review), Mazer grew up on Prince Edward Island and now lives with his wife and son in downtown Toronto.



Peggy McCallum

Peggy McCallum is the leader of the pensions and benefits group at Fasken. She practices exclusively in the area of pensions and employee benefits, where she provides advice on all aspects of pension plans, supplemental retirement arrangements and other employee and post-retirement benefits plans for employers, administrators, service providers, regulators and government. She also provides specialist support in pension litigation before all levels of courts and tribunals.

McCallum has a broad range of experience in the pension sector, including several years as senior legal counsel to the former Pension Commission of Ontario.

McCallum was appointed by Colleges Ontario as a member of the Sponsors Committee of the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT) plan from 2004 to 2016. She is a former chair of the Ontario Bar Association pension and benefits section and is active in the International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association and the Association of Canadian Pension Management. She was called to the bar in 1985.



Martin McInnis

Martin McInnis is the executive director of the Co-operative Superannuation Society (CSS) Pension Plan, one of Canada’s largest and oldest defined contribution pension plans. Having spent over a decade working in the Canadian credit union system, including volunteer assignments overseas with credit unions in Mongolia and Uganda, McInnis has a strong appreciation for the positive difference that co-operative enterprise makes in the lives of everyday people and their communities. He is proud to be managing the CSS Pension Plan on behalf of more than 350 Canadian co-operative and credit union employers and approximately 46,000 employee members and retirees. McInnis has a wide range of experience in the areas of strategy, finance, operations, accounting, risk management and information technology. He and holds a bachelor of commerce (honours in computer science) from the University of Saskatchewan, is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) charterholder and is a chartered professional Accountant (FCPA, FCMA).



Joe Nunes

Joe Nunes is the president of Actuarial Solutions Inc. He has practiced in defined benefit pensions, defined contribution programs and retiree health plans for 30 years. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, and is a Fellow of both the Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

Nunes is a frequent contributor to the actuarial profession and actively participates in professional meetings. He contributes to organizations outside the profession where actuarial expertise is valued. In addition, Nunes regularly shares his views on the pension industry through industry publications and events.



Jeremie Ryan

Jérémie Ryan is the director of financial literacy and stakeholder engagement at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. In this role, he supports Canada's first financial literacy leader in implementing the national strategy for financial literacy. Ryan's teams develop initiatives and promote educational resources that help Canadians increase their knowledge, skills and confidence in managing their personal finances. He represents the FCAC at various engagements on the national and international front, including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and G20 fora.

Ryan has had a long career in both the public and private sectors. After more than 10 years working in the financial services industry, Ryan joined the compliance and enforcement branch of the FCAC in 2004, where he was responsible for ensuring that federally regulated financial institutions complied with the regulations set out by the federal government. In 2007, Ryan was responsible for the development of FCAC’s new financial literacy program.

Ryan received a 2010 public service award of excellence for his work on The City, a simulated online world that offers an interactive, engaging and fun way for students to learn about money.



Shannon Lee Simmons

Shannon Lee Simmons is a certified financial planner, media personality, author and founder of the award-winning New School of Finance. She is widely recognized as a trailblazer in the Canadian financial planning industry. Simmons is the author of bestseller Worry-Free Money, has a monthly column for Globe and Mail and is a personal finance columnist for CBC’s On the Money and Metro Morning, as well as a financial expert on The Marilyn Denis Show.



Jill Taylor Smith

Jill Taylor Smith is a consultant with Eckler Ltd. She specializes in helping clients manage their capital accumulation plans effectively. As such, Smith's work encompasses: record keeper searches; fee reviews; recommending and monitoring investment platforms; developing plan governance; and assisting with plan design and benchmarking. She works with her clients to create and deliver customized communications to members, including written materials and group seminars. Smith began her career more than 20 years ago as an investment analyst with a mutual fund company. Since then she has held a series of progressive roles, including product development at different financial institutions, heading up investment manager research at a leading consulting firm, and investment consulting. She holds a masters of economics from Queens University and a bachelor of arts in mathematics with economics from the University of Western Ontario. Smith also has her chartered financial analyst designation (1999) and her certified financial planner designation (2012).



Matt Streeter

Matt Streeter is the vice-president of defined contribution and retirement at Franklin Templeton Institutional. In this role, Streeter leads their institutional defined contribution efforts for the Ontario market. He is a CFA® charterholder and brings with him more than 16 years of institutional investment management and banking experience. Streeter has previously held senior positions at global banks, asset managers and financial technology companies and brings his deep expertise in quantitative product development, investment analysis and pension consulting. A key part of his role at Franklin Templeton is in helping organizations, advisors, brokers and industry providers identify investment and strategic solutions for their defined contributions and retirement savings plans, to help better position plan members to achieve their financial goals and objectives.



Fraser Wiswell 

Fraser Wiswell is the assistant vice-president of group retirement solutions at Manulife. In this role, Wiswell leads a team of product experts that strategically develop and maintain group retirement solutions in the marketplace. Prior to taking on this position, he has held roles in a variety of areas at Manulife, including strategy and business planning, distribution, product development and account management.

Wiswell holds a master of business administration from the Ivey Business School at Western University and holds the Canadian Investment Manager (CIM) designation from the Canadian Securities Institute.



Mark S. Yamada

Mark S. Yamada is the president and chief executive officer at PŮR Investing Inc., a software development and consulting firm specializing in mass-customized goals-based investment solutions for pension plans, individual investors and advisors. Yamada’s experience with corporate and multi-employer pension, foundation, high net worth and mutual fund investing comes from a career as an analyst, portfolio manager and leader of investment teams. He headed the U.S. equities desk for Manulife, was president of Sun Life Financial’s investment management company and founded the private client division of Guardian Capital. He was a member of the Investment Fund Products Advisory Committee of the Ontario Securities Commission. 

Yamada and his colleagues are actively engaged in the conversation to improve the global pension landscape through research and software development. He and a colleague have published two peer-reviewed papers in the Rotman International Journal of Pension Management. “What DC Plan Members Really Want” addresses the accumulation phase and “Dynamic DC: Keeping Your Options Open” addressed the decumulation phase of the pension cycle. A third paper, “Autonomous portfolio: A Decumulation Strategy That Will Get You There,” appeared in the Journal of Retirement in the Fall 2017 edition.



More speaker biographies to be posted shortly.



For information on the Benefits Stream, please contact Lauren Harris, conference editor.
For information on the DC Pension Stream, please contact Sara Ametrano, conference editor.



Event Location

The 2018 Benefits and Pensions Summit will take place at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Toronto, set in the heart of downtown.

Visit the Ritz Carlton website for more information


181 Wellington Street West
Toronto, ON, M5V 3G7

Ritz Carlton Hotel


With further inquiries about event logistics, please contact Joanne Boccia, event manager.