Past Event: Plan Sponsor Week

August 10-13, 2020

PLAN SPONSOR WEEK

August 10-13, 2020

 

Plan Sponsor Week is a four-day virtual event hosted by Benefits Canada and the Canadian Investment Review. Designed for Canadian benefits and pension decision-makers, the event will provide valuable insights from industry thought leaders on developments in the design and delivery of group benefits and retirement programs for a changing workforce.

 

Sorry! Registration for this event is now closed.

For more information, please contact Katerina Galkina.

 

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Francesca Allman
francesca.allman@tc.tc

Robert Martins
robert.martins@tc.tc

Cassandra Williamson-Hopp
cassandra.williamson-hopp@tc.tc
Katerina Galkina
katerina.galkina@tc.tc


Join the conversation @BenCanMag @InvestReviewCA


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PLAN SPONSOR WEEK

August 10-13, 2020

 

Please note: the agenda is subject to change.

*All times reflect Eastern Standard Time

 

Aug. 10: Group benefits day

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Rising to globally mobile workforce needs in the new normal

The coronavirus pandemic has transformed both home and work life, while also impacting employee well-being. This is true for globally mobile employees that are situated overseas and face more personal and professional challenges than their domestic peers. Organizations need to take care of these employees, especially during this challenging time. During this session, Nancy Brown will address this new reality and how it impacts these workers by drawing perspectives from MetLife’s 18th annual U.S. employee benefit trends study. She will help attendees gain valuable insights into the current state and work-life balance expectations, how holistic health has become a necessity and what programs and strategies are necessary for the success of expat benefits plans.

Speaker:
Nancy Brown, national sales director, Canada, MetLife Worldwide Benefits

[Download Nancy's presentation.]

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12:00 – 12:30 p.m.
Plan simulation: Data in the driver's seat
Lack of data integration is a serious pain point when it comes to illustrating the full picture in benefits management. In most cases, benefits data sits in silos and is often manually collected and manipulated to derive valuable information about a benefits plan. What if it didn’t need to be this way? Plan sponsors require a sophisticated method of tracking program cost drivers and future employee health risks, not to mention the sustainability of the current benefits plan. During this session, Shawn O’Brien will help attendees learn how to harness the power of data to better understand and leverage the goldmine they possess.

Speaker:
Shawn O'Brien, principal, data enablement and drug, health, dental product roadmap, TELUS Health

[Download Shawn's presentation.]

--

12:30 – 1:00 p.m.
Q&A with Scotiabank’s Simone Reitzes
Scotiabank, a double winner at Benefits Canada’s 2019 Workplace Benefits Awards, has nearly 40,000 employees across Canada and 97,000 globally, serving customers in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. During this Q&A, Simone Reitzes will discuss supporting global employees, mental health and workplace diversity, as well as benefits plans in the age of coronavirus and beyond.

Speaker:
Simone Reitzes, vice-president, global pension and benefits, Scotiabank

[Session not available for download.]


 

Aug. 11: Defined contribution pension day


11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Learnings from the DC plan-demic
During this session, Anne Ananddakopal and Mazen Shakeel will discuss how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted capital accumulation plans, plan sponsors and members, as well as some key learnings related to investments, member behaviours throughout the crisis and sponsor responses.

Speakers:

  • Anne Ananddakopal, principal, CAP-focused retirement consulting, Morneau Shepell
  • Mazen Shakeel, partner and practice leader, asset and risk management, Morneau Shepell

[Download Anne and Mazen's presentation.]

--

12:00 – 12:30 p.m.
Retiring well: How to help employees plan for their future and support their financial well-being
It’s important to save and plan for financial well-being in retirement, but people sometimes fail to consider other aspects of the quality of their lives. During this session, Avnee Patel and Laura Pratt will discuss the questions employees often ask themselves when thinking about relationships, living comfortably, recreation and overall health and well-being. Learn about free tools and resources that can help employees learn to live within their means today, pay themselves first and proactively plan for a quality of life they desire during retirement.

Speakers:

  • Avnee Patel, national accounts executive, Toronto consulting, group customer, Canada Life
  • Laura Pratt, national practice leader, organizational health, Canada Life

[Download Avnee and Laura's presentation.]

--

12:30 – 1:00 p.m.
Q&A with Rogers Communications’ Jason Traetto and Mureth Rhone
Telecommunications and media giant Rogers Communications Inc. has about 25,000 employees and provides wireless communications, cable television, telephone and internet connectivity across Canada. During this Q&A, Jason Traetto and Mureth Rhone will discuss moving from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan and keeping employees engaged in their retirement savings.

Speakers:

  • Jason Traetto, director, benefits, wealth and recognition programs, Rogers Communications Inc.
  • Mureth Rhone, senior manager, benefits and wealth, Rogers Communications

 [Session not available for download.]


 

Aug. 12: Defined benefit pension day


11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Q&A with HOOPP’s Jeff Wendling

The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan manages $94.1 billion in net assets and serves Ontario’s hospital and community-based health-care sector, with more than 590 participating employers and more than 381,000 active, deferred and retired members. During this Q&A, Jeff Wendling will discuss a broad array of topics, including how the fund has navigated past economic crises, what’s different this time and how it’s managing investments through the pandemic with a focus on the long term. The conversation will dig into the HOOPP’s investment strategy and span asset classes, including private markets.

Speaker:
Jeff Wendling, president and chief executive officer, HOOPP

[Session not available for download.]

--

12:00 -12:30 p.m.
What keeps economists up at night . . . but shouldn’t?
The world is highly financialized and money is a regular part of daily life. Yet somehow, most economics textbooks and conventional models tend to ignore money, treating it as a meaningless veil over real economic activity. Although the validity of this approach was questioned in the wake of the credit crisis, which conventional economics largely failed to identify, the field continues to direct inadequate attention towards the nature, source and flow of money. This, in turn, leads to the propagation of many myths and misdirected fears. In this session, David Bezic will discuss some of the most popular misunderstandings and fears, while also flagging economic and market risks that are more worthy of asset owners’ attention.

Speaker:
David Bezic, independent economic consultant

[Download David's presentation.]

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12:30 - 1:00 p.m.
Q&A with the Halifax Port ILA/HEA pension plan’s Blair Richards
With decades of experience offering both defined contribution and defined benefit plans, the Halifax Port ILA/HEA has found a way to leverage its DB offering to provide predictable lifetime income to members of its DC plan. During this Q&A, Blair Richards will discuss how the organization has made DB benefits possible for DC members and what other DB pension plan sponsors should be considering when thinking about the plan design and pension sustainability going forward. 

Speaker:
Blair Richards, chief investment officer, Halifax Port ILA/HEA pension plan

[Session not available for download.]


 

Aug. 13: Group benefits day


11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Responding to the mental-health challenge in the workplace
The impact of mental-health issues in the workplace is growing and the COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the mental health of Canadians. Employers are concerned about how this is affecting their employees, from productivity losses to the decline of employee social well-being and culture. Many are also seeing the rise in disability costs, especially long-term disability. Join Sophie Ouellet as she shares the state of mental health in Canada and the increasing impact of disability claims. She’ll also highlight some strategies and solutions to help plan sponsors overcome barriers to treatment and improve workplace mental health.

Speaker:
Sophie Ouellet, vice-president, business development, Sun Life Canada

[Download Sophie's presentation.]

--

12:00 – 12:30 p.m.
Can't sleep, can't work: Understanding and treating insomnia in the workplace
The coronavirus pandemic has transformed the work environment for many Canadians, posing a host of new challenges for employees suffering with insomnia. Insomnia can have debilitating impacts on plan members’ mental and physical well-being. During this session, Dr. Atul Khullar will discuss the interplay between insomnia and overall employee health, address its impact on productivity and help deepen the understanding of insomnia’s current treatment landscape. The audience will be introduced to newer paradigms in treating the multiple dimensions of insomnia and cost-effective pandemic-sensitive strategies to reduce the mental and physical burden it causes within the Canadian workforce.

Speaker:
Dr. Atul Khullar, medical director, Northern Alberta Sleep Clinic
(This session has been made possible by Eisai.)

[Download Dr. Khullar's presentation.]

--

12:30 – 1:00 p.m.
Q&A with WSP Canada’s Chantelle Tadman
WSP Canada Inc., which was recognized for its benefits plan communications at the 2019 Workplace Benefits Awards, is a management and consultancy services provider with more than 8,000 employees. During this Q&A, Chantelle Tadman will discuss engaging employees with their benefits plan, focusing on plan design and what’s coming up next.

Speaker:
Chantelle Tadman, benefits and wellness lead, WSP Canada

[Session not available for download.]


PLAN SPONSOR WEEK

August 10-13, 2020

 

EVENT SPEAKERS

 

Anne Ananddakopal

Nancy Brown

Anne Ananddakopal is a principal in Morneau Shepell’s CAP-focused retirement consulting practice. She has more than 15 years of pension and investment consulting experience. Her areas of expertise include all aspects of retirement programs, including plan design, benchmarking, investment selection, asset management, vendor selection, policy documentation, governance and overall program risk management. Ananddakopal serves as the lead consultant and trusted advisor to a large number of Morneau Shepell’s clients. As the lead consultant, she provides strategic advice and solutions to clients, as well as ensuring their needs are met. Her other responsibilities include coordinating project and work flow, in addition to collaborating with key subject-matter experts. Ananddakopal is a certified financial analyst charterholder since 2011 and has a master's degree in business administration from McMaster University.


 

David Bezic

Nancy Brown

David Bezic is an independent economic consultant, specializing in the operational aspects of fiscal and monetary policy, the endogeneity of money and accounting-based economic frameworks. In addition to sharing his views directly with investors, he is also a regular contributor to the Canadian Investment Review. Bezic brings a practitioner’s perspective to these discussions, with more than 20 years of experience as a market economist and investment strategist. He has held positions at some of Canada’s leading financial institutions, including RBC Capital Markets, CIBC World Markets and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. He also has public sector experience, having spent the earlier part of his career at the Ontario Ministry of Finance. Bezic holds an MBA from the Ivey School of Business, a master’s degree in economics from Queen’s University, a bachelor of arts in economics from McMaster University and is a CFA charterholder.


 

Nancy Brown

Nancy Brown

Nancy Brown leads MetLife Worldwide Benefits’ sales and business development activities in Canada via Voyageur Global Benefits expatriate group benefits offerings. She oversees collaborative efforts with Canadian partners while driving strategic growth inside the Canadian marketplace for global employers seeking to provide world-class expatriate solutions to their employees. Brown joined the MetLife Worldwide Benefits team from the MetLife Americas division as global engagement director where she drove the effort to develop the U.S. broker white space through market intelligence initiatives. Prior to that role, Brown served as a national accounts executive for the MetLife auto and home retail division where she was responsible for growth and profit objectives through national affiliations and distributors. She started her career in 2002 with MetLife and has more than 20 years of progressive, consultative sales and solutions-delivery experience. Brown holds a bachelor of science degree from Post University and a masters of business administration from the University of Hartford.  


 

Dr. Atul Khullar

Dr. Atul Khullar

Dr. Atul Khullar is a psychiatrist and sleep specialist who specializes in the combined management of sleep, mood/anxiety and attention deficit disorders. He also has a strong focus on the interactions of obesity, sleep apnea and mental illness. Most recently, he obtained expertise in the appropriate clinical use of medical cannabis in sleep and mental-health disorders. Dr. Khullar completed his medical school and residency at the University of Alberta, as well as a sleep and mood/anxiety disorders fellowship at the University of Toronto. Part of his fellowship included the interactions between adolescent sleep and mood disorders and he has additional pediatric sleep medicine training from the University of Pennsylvania. He is board certified in psychiatry and sleep medicine in both Canada and the United States, is a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a clinical associate professor at the University of Alberta. Actively involved in research, Dr. Khullar has given more than 500 invited presentations to public and professional audiences worldwide. He’s chaired a number of national CME programs in his specialized areas and is involved in guideline development for the management of co-morbid sleep disorders both provincially and nationally. Currently, he’s the medical director of the Northern Alberta Sleep Clinic in Edmonton. Dr. Khullar is also a senior consultant on topics related to the interaction between mood, anxiety, attention and sleep for the Grey Nuns Hospital, the Edmonton Oilers, and MedSleep, a Canada-wide network of community sleep clinics. He has also worked with the Canadian Winter Olympic team in the past. In his spare time, Dr. Khullar takes road trips around the world to explore his interest in various sports, as well as 20th century political and social history, specifically World War II and the Korean War.


Shawn O'Brien

Dr. Atul Khullar

Shawn O’Brien is principal of data enablement and drug, health, dental product roadmap at TELUS Health. He oversees both product (health insurance and pharma analytics) and development teams while leveraging TELUS Health's business intelligence and data warehouse platform. O’Brien has nearly 25 years of experience in employee benefits consulting and group insurance/pharmacy benefit management. Prior to joining TELUS Health, he managed the business analytics practice of a large global HR consulting firm and has also held various leadership positions with major Canadian insurers. Today, he partners with carriers to develop analytics that help employers better manage their plans by identifying key cost drivers, trends and benefit optimization opportunities.


Sophie Ouellet

Dr. Atul Khullar

As vice-president of business development at Sun Life Canada, Sophie Ouellet is responsible for sales, service and underwriting operations across the country. She also works with clients and their advisors to ensure Sun Life’s strategic direction is aligned with the needs of the Canadian marketplace and is delivering service that is unrivalled for its innovation, quality and value. Since joining the insurer in 2011, Ouellet has held a number of key roles within the group benefits business development team, including regional vice-president for the Quebec and Eastern Ontario region and leader of the national accounts strategic plan. Prior to joining Sun Life, she held various positions in health and benefits at Aon. She holds a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science from Laval University and is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.


Avnee Patel

Dr. Atul Khullar

Avnee Patel has more than 20 years of experience in the investment and group retirement industry. In her role as national accounts executive with Canada Life, Patel’s key focus is on relationship development and product alignment with plan sponsor clients. She has a bachelor of science in mathematical science from McMaster University and a pension law certification from the University of York’s Osgoode Hall.

 

 


Laura Pratt

Dr. Atul Khullar

Laura Pratt is a national practice leader for organizational health at Canada Life. With more than 25 years in the insurance industry, the majority of that time has been spent specializing in disability management and organizational health. In addition to working as a case manager, Pratt spent several years supervising a team of more than 20 case managers who managed claims for large, national plan sponsor clients.

 

 

 


Simone Reitzes

Mureth Rhone

Simone Reitzes is vice-president of global pension and benefits at Scotiabank, where she currently leads the global pension and benefits team in HR. She also has oversight of financial reporting for the bank's global pension obligations, as well as the HR strategy for pension, benefits and well-being programs for almost 100,000 employees around the world. Reitzes leadership and vision in advancing Scotiabank’s global employee well-being strategy have made a significant impact on the physical, emotional and financial well-being of employees. She has progressed the bank’s agenda in a number of key areas, including gender-equity advancement, mental health, financial literacy and total well-being. Before joining Scotiabank in 2013, Reitzes spent the first part of her career in professional services with a multinational consulting firm. As an actuary, she consulted to private and public sector clients on the unique challenges associated with the holistic management of pension plan sponsorship. Her areas of specialization included pension plan design, asset liability risk management, financial reporting and balance sheet management, employee communications and change management strategy. Reitzes has a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. She recently completed a strategic analytics certificate at Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.


 

Mureth Rhone

Mureth Rhone

Mureth Rhone is senior manager of benefits and wealth programs at Rogers Communications Inc., a telecommunications and media company with 26,000 employees across Canada. In her current role, Rhone is responsible for the compliance and governance of the company’s defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans, member communications, innovation, SME consulting with business partners, vendor relationship management and the management of strategic initiatives, including the implementation of a new DC pension plan. Before moving into a program management role, Rhone led the administration of the company’s pension plan and other wealth accumulation programs. Previously, she was responsible for client relationship management for pension clients in Jamaica. She holds a bachelor of science in management studies and accounting from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, as well as a CEBS designation through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.


 

Blair Richards

Dr. Atul Khullar

Blair Richards is the chief investment officer of the Halifax Port ILA/HEA pension plan. He is also the former chief executive officer of the organization and former chairman of the board of trustees for the port’s pension, health and wellness plans, where his duties also involved chairing the board’s numerous subcommittees. Specializing in industrial relations, Richards holds several human resources certifications, including past fellowship in the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists. He earned a bachelor of arts from Dalhousie University and a master of business administration from Saint Mary’s University. He is currently a director at the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, sitting on the board’s policy, governance and investment committees. Richards is also involved in various industry associations and has served on a number of boards, councils and committees.


Mazen Shakeel

Chantelle Tadman

 

Mazen Shakeel is a partner and practice leader for Morneau Shepell’s asset and risk management practice. He has more than 30 years of experience as a business leader, service provider and consultant in the retirement and investment space. Shakeel is actively engaged in industry advocacy and has been a frequent speaker at national and regional industry conferences. He has a bachelor of science statistics degree from the University of Toronto and is a fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, as well as the Society of Actuaries.

 


Chantelle Tadman

Chantelle Tadman

Chantelle Tadman is benefits and wellness lead at WSP Canada Inc. In addition to leading the benefits team, she’s responsible for the design, administration and communication of the company’s benefits program, which is comprised of a flexible group benefits plan, retirement/savings plan, share purchase plan, virtual health care and employee assistance program. Tadman also manages provider relationships and the financial wellness pillar of the company’s wellness program. She has a passion for process improvement and automation, employee education and communication, as well as innovation in benefits. Her accomplishments include a major benefits program redesign, virtual health-care launch, acquisition integrations and HRIS/provider interface development. Prior to joining WSP in 2011, Tadman’s early career experience was as an HR advisor in a unionized environment for a heavy equipment remanufacturing company. She has a diploma in human resources management from MacEwan University and is currently pursuing a CEBS designation from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.


 

Jason Traetto

Jason Traetto

Jason Traetto is the director of benefits, wealth and recognition programs at Rogers Communications Inc. In addition to leading a team of benefits, wealth and recognition professionals, he’s responsible for program design, strategy, cost, communication and education, analytics and provider relationships and operations. Through 14 years in the industry, Traetto has led many strategic change initiatives, including freezing DB pension plans, opening DC pension plans, redesigning group benefits programs and several provider changes. His passion for member experience and innovative communications has led to the successful implementation of these projects, as well as industry recognition, including Benefits Canada’s Workplace Benefits Awards (for best benefits plan communications) and the International Association of Business Communicators (awarded two Gold Quills for internal communications and human resources and benefits communications). Traetto has a bachelor of commerce degree from Ryerson University and a group benefits associate designation through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.


 

Jeff Wendling

Jason Traetto

Jeff Wendling became president and chief executive officer of the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan on April 1, 2020. He has 30 years of investment management experience and has been with the HOOPP since 1998. Prior to his appointment as CEO, he served as the HOOPP’s executive vice-president and chief investment officer since 2018. Before that, he spent more than six years as co-CIO. Wendling began his career at the HOOPP as a senior portfolio manager on the public equities team. He's a proven leader of a large and sophisticated management team and has spearheaded the fund through a variety of market environments. Wendling was also heavily involved in developing the HOOPP’s liability-driven investing approach. This approach, coupled with solid investment results, has allowed the HOOPP to maintain its strong funded position, keeping plan pricing stable while providing benefit improvements to plan members. Wendling earned his BA in economics and his MBA from the University of Toronto and holds the chartered financial analyst designation. He's also a board member of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance and is the chair of its public policy committee.


PLAN SPONSOR WEEK

August 10-13, 2020

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Is this event free?
A: Yes, this event is free.

Q: Do I have to download any software to be able to watch this event?
A: No, the platform is web-based, and you can access it from most devices.

Q: Which browser is most compatible with the platform?
A: We recommend using Firefox or Google Chrome.

Q: How do I access the virtual event platform?
A: We will send you a link to the Plan Sponsor Week virtual event platform a few days before the event goes live.

 

Please make sure to access the platform using the same email address that you registered with, otherwise you won't be able to enter.

Important: we will be sending regular email reminders leading up to the event date(s) that you have selected to attend. Please be aware that your registration is non-transferable.
If you have any questions, please contact Katerina Galkina at Katerina.galkina@tc.tc