Steering Committees

Our People

Our volunteers drive our organization's events and professional development opportunities. The Chairs of our Steering Committees and the 250 volunteers who support them allow WCM to provide exceptional opportunities for professional development, networking and access to senior leaders in the industry. These committees are a valuable conduit for senior professionals interested in giving back, supporting and developing our initiatives. 

AdvanceAbility
Danielle LeBlanc
Co-Chair, AdvanceAbility

Senior Marketing Associate: Moody's Analytics

Main goals of my committee:
AdvanceAbility is about providing mentoring to women with disabilities working within the capital markets. This program will offer them an opportunity to learn from others, advocate for themselves, navigate the industry and succeed at achieving their career aspirations.

Professional experience:
Danielle LeBlanc has over a decade of experience working as a Digital Marketer. She has worked in a variety of industries such as environmental, hospitality and advertising, but she has most enjoyed working within the financial services industry for the past 4 years. Danielle specializes in email marketing, website design and user experience, while ensuring all mediums are accessible to everyone.

Jason Parker
Co-Chair, AdvanceAbility

Managing Director, Head, Canadian Debt Research, Global Fixed Income, Currencies & Commodities: BMO Capital Markets

Main goals of my committee:
My main goals as Co-Chair for the committee are to lever my experiences as a mentor, as well as my involvement with the special needs community to help women with disabilities working in the capital markets learn more about their industry, further develop their career paths, and strengthen their ability to self-advocate. Equally important, however, is working towards the achievement of an improved work/life balance, augmented self-fulfillment and consequently greater personal and family happiness.

Why I am involved in WCM:
Working in the capital markets for more than 20 years, I witnessed considerable developments in our industry from a variety of perspectives, none more satisfying than its constantly improving diversity and inclusivity over that time. Building on my experiences as a mentor in the WCM mentorship program, I want to help inspire a more diverse and inclusive capital markets industry by undertaking the development of tangible programs designed to promote those goals.

Professional Experience:
Jason Parker was appointed Head of Canadian Debt Research in 2009, in addition to his role as Corporate Debt Research analyst and strategist. BMO Capital Markets has enjoyed the number one ranking in Canadian Corporate Debt Research since 2007, according to Greenwich. Jason joined BMO Capital Markets in 1999, as a member of the corporate debt research team. He covers infrastructure as a corporate debt analyst and also provides corporate debt and fixed income strategy. Jason's previous experience includes retail and institutional trading and services at Bank of Montreal Investor Services, and retail trading at another investment dealer.

Jason holds a BA (Honours) in geography and political science from Wilfrid Laurier University, an MA in geography from the University of Toronto, an MA in international affairs from Carleton University and an MEd in Developmental Psychology and Education from the University of Toronto. He is also a CFA charterholder; co-chair of the AdvanceAbility steering committee of Women in Capital Markets, which offers a mentorship program for women with disabilities; and on the steering committee for BMO Without Barriers, focusing on helping people with special needs.

Roslyn MacLean
Advisor, AdvanceAbility

Vice President, Strategy & Business Management Trading Products: BMO Capital Markets

Main goals of my committee:
My main goal as Advisor, WCM AdvanceAbility is to provide helpful guidance to the participants of this Mentorship Program for women with disabilities in the capital markets industry. I will leverage my experience running mentorship and inclusion programs, and my knowledge of managing disabilities throughout my own career in capital markets.

Why I'm involved in WCM:
I am involved in WCM because as BMO's liaison to WCM from 2012 through 2015, I saw first-hand how WCM inspires and informs students, develops professionals and creates networks and awareness integral to an inclusive workforce.

Professional experience:
Roslyn MacLean is a Project Management Professional (PMP®) that understands how diversity of thought and inclusive principles can define a culture and drive success. She currently manages projects for Trading Products in the Strategy and Business Management team of BMO Capital Markets. In this role she provides the structure and guidance needed to keep initiatives on track to attain business goals. Roslyn designed and managed the BMO Capital Markets Mentorship Program and has served as Chair for the BMO Capital Markets Diversity Council. She is also a SheEO Founding Activator.

Awards Committee
Nancy Karnaos
Chair, Awards

Senior Manager, HR/Recruitment: Scotiabank - Global Human Resources

Main goals of my committee: 
To recognize individuals for their commitment to creating inclusive work environments for diverse talent.

Why I'm involved in WCM:
To actively support creating a new environment where we no longer think about diversity and inclusion because it now happens organically.

Professional experience:
Nancy Karnaos has over a decade of experience in human resources within the financial services sector, specializing in the areas of talent acquisition and diversity. Nancy’s career started at Scotiabank within the Canadian Banking Division where after several progressive roles, she carved her path into human resources. Nancy has since worked for some of the largest Canadian banks, primarily supporting the Capital Markets division and she is currently working at Scotiabank supporting recruitment initiatives for Global Risk Management.

Educational background:
Bachelor of Arts: University of Toronto
Corporate Communications Post-Graduate Diploma: Centennial College
Adler Trained Coach: Adler’s Institute, fully accredited by ICF.


Executive Coaching and Emerging Leaders
Leanne Herbst
Chair, Executive Coaching and Emerging Leaders Awards

Director, Trading Business Management: TD Securities

Main goals of my committee:
To retain and advance women in the industry by providing an executive coaching level awards program and an emerging leaders level program offering professional coaching and skills development to women who are at key stages in their career.

Why I'm involved in WCM:
I'm proud to be a part of WCM because they offer so much support through their programs to attract, advance and retain women in capital markets.

Greatest achievement:
Professionally, I'm most proud of the diversity of my experience in banking. On a personal level, I'm proud of my team's 8th place finish in the World Ultimate Club Championships in Perth, Australia in 2005 and successfully completing two grueling 100-km trail races. 

Professional experience:
Leanne has over 20 years' experience at TD primarily in risk management and change management functions in Retail, AML, Compliance, and Wholesale. Prior to joining Audit, Leanne spent 6 years managing change initiatives in TD Securities.

Educational background:
Studied Science at York University.

 

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External & Joint Events
Sydney Hassal
Co-Chair, External & Joint Events

Associate Director: Scotiabank Global Capital Markets

Main goals of my committee:
Develop external relationships with other capital markets organizations to increase the scope of benefits and information available to WCM members.

Why I'm involved in WCM:
"When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die." ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Greatest achievement:
My daughter of course! But professionally it's hard to say, because there's so much up ahead.

Professional experience:
Sydney is a capital markets specialist at Scotiabank Global Capital Markets Banking with global oversight responsibilities for cap ad netting, working across legal, trading and technology domains. Most recently, she has held previous roles as a Financial Economist with the Ministry of Finance, where she also served as Secretary to the Funds Management Committee (Bank of Canada/Department of Finance). She has also served as volunteer President of a symphony orchestra, chair of a United Way industry-level campaign, WCM Return to Bay Street Awards, and as an occasional volunteer for TEED (Riding for the Disabled). She holds an LLM in Securities Law from Osgoode Hall, York University, and a joint MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Educational background:
LLM – Osgoode Hall School of Law, 2009
MBA – Kellogg School of Management- Schulich School of Business, 2007

Rachel Manno
Co-Chair, External & Joint Events

Senior Counsel: RBC Capital Markets

Main goals of my committee:
Develop external relationships with other capital markets organizations to increase the scope of benefits and information available to WCM members.

Why I'm involved in WCM:
While we've made great strides over the past few decades, there is a lot of work still to be done in terms of increasing awareness and support for women in our industries.

Greatest achievement:
To have developed relationships with the best friends, mentors and mentees. A bike trip through the Swiss alps; the 10-person private women's networking group I created; an extensive home renovation (not ending in divorce), to name a few others.

Professional experience:
Rachel is a senior counsel supporting the derivatives business at RBC Capital Markets where she moved from a busy practice at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. In addition to practising in the derivatives space, Rachel has advised on all manner of secured lending transactions, from syndicated cash flow and ABL, to project finance, to securitization deals. Rachel has been an active member of WCM for over five years and also co-heads a joint events committee for RBC's RWomen group.

Educational background:
Rachel holds an undergraduate honours degree from Queen's University, a Masters degree from the University of Toronto and a law degree from the University of Windsor.

Jamila Mather
Co-Chair, External & Joint Events

Main goals of my committee:
Develop external relationships with other capital markets organizations to increase the scope of benefits and information available to WCM members.

Why I'm involved in WCM:
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." -- Nelson Mandela

Professional experience:
Jamila possesses a securities law background and regulatory affairs experience. Most recently, she has held the role of Analyst with the OSC providing policy and strategic advisory support focusing on the organization's relationships with governments and regulators, both in Canada and abroad. Jamila has been an active member of WCM for over five years. She holds an LLM in Securities Law from Osgoode Hall, York University.

Educational background:
Jamila is a lawyer by training. She is also a CFA Charterholder.


High School Liaison
Lindsay Brent
Chair, HSL

Associate, Institutional Sales, Global Equities: RBC Capital Markets



 

 


WCM Gala
LeeAnn Acton
Chair, WCM Gala

Senior Marketing Manager, GTA: KPMG

Main goals of my committee:
Organizing a gala event that unites Bay Street professionals and celebrates WCM's achievements.

Greatest Achievement:
Lead WCM marketing & communications activities including branding, public relations, advertising and promotion of key events & programming.

Why I'm involved in WCM:
To help other women in the financial services and capital markets industry thrive and succeed as well as assist in highlighting and promoting all the advocacy and advancement efforts of WCM. I'm motivated to help affect real, tangible change on Bay Street and within the Canadian capital markets for gender equality and intelligence.

Professional experience:
A senior marketing and communications professional with eighteen years of progressive advancement within financial services in various capacities including national sales, management, public relations, strategic communications, and marketing. LeeAnn is a strategic thinker and solid producer with the ability to link communication strategies and plans to business objectives. LeeAnn is currently working with KPMG LLP in April 2011 as their Senior Marketing Manager, GTA.

Creative and results-driven team player with strong writing and editorial skills, experience in managing the communications requirements of senior level executives, media relations and issues management. LeeAnn has demonstrated expertise in supporting change management and building effective corporate communication culture with multiple stakeholders.

Educational background:
Member, International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)
Partners, Directors & Officers Qualifying Exam, CSI 2005
Queen's University, Honours Bachelor of Arts, 1993

 

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Gender Diversity & Inclusion Committee
Ashley Dickson
Co-Chair, Gender Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Manager, Diversity & Inclusion and Employee Engagement: TD Securities



 

 

Craig McKay
Co-Chair, Gender Diversity & Inclusion Committee

 



 

 

Brandon Newell
Co-Chair, Gender Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Director, Institutional Interest Rate Derivative Sales: CIBC Capital Markets



 

 

Priya Radha
Co-Chair, Gender Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Director, Swaps & Desk Head - Options: Scotiabank Global Banking & Markets

 



 

 

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Golf Tournament
Megan Lem
Co-Chair, Golf Tournament

Associate: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Main goals of my committee:
Farialle and I are very excited to work together to help organize one of WCM's most anticipated annual events. Our joint goal for this year is to provide an inclusive and enjoyable experience for all participants. We hope to have a plethora of great giveaways, and deliver to all those joining us, a wonderful opportunity to network, practice/improve their golf swing, and most importantly have fun, all in honour of supporting and celebrating Women in Capital Markets!

Why I'm involved in WCM:
To help create meaningful change to workplace diversity in the capital markets industry.

Professional experience:
Megan's legal practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, emerging companies and general corporate matters. Megan is called to the bar in both Ontario and New York.

Prior to joining Osler, Megan worked as a legal intern at Goldcorp Inc.'s head office in Vancouver. While at Osler, Megan completed a secondment to Toronto-Dominion Bank's legal department and Osler's New York Office.

Education:
Honours Bachelor of Business Administration, Richard Ivey School Business
Juris Doctor, University of Western Ontario Law

Farialle Pacha
Co-Chair, Golf Tournament

Associate Investment Advisor: Richardson GMP Management

Main goals of my committee:
Megan and I are very excited to work together to help organize one of WCM's most anticipated annual events. Our joint goal for this year is to provide an inclusive and enjoyable experience for all participants. We hope to have a plethora of great giveaways, and deliver to all those joining us, a wonderful opportunity to network, practice/improve their golf swing, and most importantly have fun, all in honour of supporting and celebrating Women in Capital Markets!

Why I'm involved in WCM:
I am involved with WCM because I want to promote and encourage women to have a larger presence in wealth management, and the overall financial community. I am both excited and eager to work alongside others like myself, to help develop a culture where there is equal representation at all decision making tables.

Professional experience:
Following the completion of her Honours Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science at Queen's University, Farialle began her professional career working for a Montreal-based Investor Relations firm where she managed numerous public companies' investor relations programs. In 2015, after developing relationships with Investment Advisors across the United States and Canada, Farialle decided to pursue a career in wealth management by joining the Seidman Kaufman Group at Richardson GMP. She has since completed both the Canadian Securities Course (CSC), and the Codes and Practice Handbook (CPH). She is now working towards completing CSI's Wealth Management Essentials Course (WME). Farialle is responsible for the internal and administrative operations of the Seidman Kaufman Group; effectively the Chief Operating Officer of her team's practice. 


Membership
Ashley Warburton
Chair, Membership

Senior Manager, Portfolio Solutions: RBC Global Asset Management

Main goals of my committee:
Working closely with all WCM committees, this committee focuses on creating awareness of WCM and the many benefits of membership through targeted drives and strategic alliances.

Why I'm involved in WCM:
I first joined Women in Capital Markets in 2007 to meet like-minded individuals who were passionate about advancing the number of women working in capital markets. I remain involved because of the amazing opportunities to volunteer and have been fortunate enough to have been involved in both the 2008 and 2011 Catalyst/WCM Benchmarking Report and the Vinifera Planning Committee, where I served as Co-Chair for 2011 and Chair for 2012.

Greatest achievement:
Being one of 5 women competing out of 138 competitors at International 14 World Sailing Championships which took place in Toronto in 2013.

Professional experience:
Ashley is currently a Portfolio Solutions Advisor at RBC Global Asset Management. In this role she is the center of expertise supporting the sale, marketing and positioning of the RBC Portfolio Solutions suite of products totaling $70 billion in assets under management. Prior to her current role, Ashley worked as a Senior Product Manager with Dynamic Funds/Scotiabank leading the marketing, product development, and sales strategy for growth equity investment products. She also spent several years at TD as a Senior Analyst in the Portfolio Advice and Investment Research group at TD Wealth Management and held several positions across TD ranging from retail banking and investments to managing sales and incentive programs.

Educational background:
Ashley holds an undergraduate honours degree in Applied Economics from Queen's University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Finance at Rotman. She is also a CFA Charterholder.


Mentorship
Deborah Grosdanis
Chair, Mentorship

Associate Director, GBM Diversity & Inclusion Office: Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets

Why I'm involved in WCM:
I am very passionate about the capital markets and revel in being surrounded by like-minded individuals to learn, as well as to develop and advance my own career. I also enjoy raising awareness about the vast opportunities within the industry, especially for women.

Greatest achievement:
Recently I assumed the role of Treasurer, an executive member of the Board for the Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy. Notwithstanding that I did not have any previous board experience, I was able to learn quickly and made strong strategic recommendations within the first few months that were approved by the Board. Moreover, I was able to effectuate financial changes that positively affected the Federation, as I was able to stretch the donated dollars further.

Professional experience:
Deborah has over 8 years' experience working in capital markets in progressively senior roles. She is currently part of Scotiabank's Global Capital Markets Banking team where she manages a large portfolio of institutional trading counterparties consisting of hedge funds, asset managers, broker-dealers, central banks and global financial institutions. In her role she analyzes, evaluates and recommends counterparty credit through careful analysis of financial performance and consideration of industry specific factors. In addition, Deborah leads operational due diligence meetings with principals of hedge funds and facilitates the on-boarding of new accounts. Deborah sits on the Board of Directors as Treasurer of the Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy, and she also is on the Steering Committee of Women in Capital Markets leading the High School Liaison initiative. Deborah is also a member of the Women's Executive Network, as well as a member of 100 Women in Hedge Funds.

Educational background:
Deborah received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Toronto and after working a few years in the industry, received her MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University in 2009. She is currently working toward her CFA designation.

 

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Professional Development
Prerna Chandak
Chair, Professional Development

VP Fixed Income & Currencies: RBC Capital Markets

Main goals of my committee:
To engage WCM members at various levels of their career through impactful and relevant programs.

Why I'm involved in WCM: 
The opportunity to networking with others in the industry and to help advance women in capital markets through meaningful initiatives.

Greatest achievement:
Read 125 books last year. 

Professional Experience: 
10 years of experience working in brokerage, venture capital, institutional asset management, ETF capital markets and product management. Currently working with Mackenzie Investments as Assistant Vice President, supporting the growth of Mackenzie's ETF platform in Canada. Also actively involved with the Young Patrons' Circle at the ROM.

Educational background:
MBA, IE Business School, Spain
Hons. B.Comm. (minor in Economics), University of Windsor


Public Relations
Susan Floyd
Chair, Public Relations

Director, Strategic Planning & Initiatives: CIBC

Main goals of my committee:
The committee is responsible for leading all PR and media relations activities for WCM. Highlights include: (i) advancing the dialogue for gender diversity across corporate Canada through various forums and (ii) promoting WCM key programming and events in order to attract and develop talented women in capital markets and help advance those women into senior leadership roles.

Why I'm involved in WCM:
I'm passionate about the work that Women in Capital Markets is championing and opportunities they are helping to create for women looking to enter the industry and advance their careers in capital markets. The organization is surrounded by supportive business leaders and role models who continue to inspire me every day.

Professional experience:
Susan has almost twenty years' experience in financial, retail, governance and sports/entertainment sectors in progressively senior roles. She is currently part of CIBC's Customer Marketing & Strategy team where she holds the position of Director, Strategic Planning & Initiatives. Prior to this role, she was part of CIBC's Control Division team where she held the position Director, Control Standards & Practices responsible for managing governance-focused projects.

Educational background:
MBA, University of Edinburgh


Return to Bay Street
Steve Banquier
Co-Chair, Return to Bay Street (RTBS)

Managing Director, Co-Head, Prime Brokerage and Head, Automated Execution: TD Securities

Main goals of my committee:
Promote and create awareness about the Return to Bay Street Program and all it has to offer. To award prospective female applicants with an opportunity to re-enter the capital markets industry.

Why I'm involved in WCM:
To help the development, mentorship and retention of women in Capital Markets in order to create a more diverse and inclusive industry.

Greatest achievement:
To be able to work in an industry that I love and that has given me the opportunity to work and live in three different continents, and some of the most vibrant cities in the world.

Professional experience:
Steve is currently Co-Head of the Prime Brokerage business at TD Securities. Prior to joining TD Securities in 2011 Steve spent 15 years in a number of increasingly senior roles in the Prime Brokerage business, at CIBC World Markets, Deutsche Bank and Nomura Securities. Steve began his career in financial services with TD in 1995 in the operations department of Greenline Investor Services.

Educational background:
London School of Economics and Political Science (London, UK): 1997
Bishops University (Lenoxville, Quebec): 1995

Natasha Robillard
Co-Chair, Return to Bay Street (RTBS)

Director - Risk Management Solutions Group: National Bank Financial Markets

Main goals of my committee:
Support and expand the Return to Bay Street Program including the RTBS information sessions in both Toronto & Montreal followed by the awards to prospective female professionals who are seeking to re-enter the capital markets industry.

Why I'm involved in WCM:
It sums up to the Starfish Story by Loren Eiseley; trying to make a difference to help attract and retain women in the Capital Markets industry; one success story at a time..

Greatest achievement:
Competing at an elite athletic level in more than 4 team sports.

Professional experience:
Experienced senior marketer with eleven years of FX & Derivatives sales across Canada. As a director, my role is to take a risk management approach with my clients to mitigate the risk of their foreign exchange, interest rate and commodity exposures.

Educational background:
Bachelor of Science with Honours; Webber International University (USA)

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SocialNet
Clare Horan
Chair, SocialNet

Director Special Accounts Management Canada Banking: Scotiabank

Main goals of my committee:
The aim of the Social Network Committee is to help build and develop a more engaged internal 'community' among our members; encourage members of differing banks, industries and ages to work and play together; give people opportunities to stretch their skills outside of their particular job role and to provide a more relaxed environment for building their networks.

Why I'm involved in WCM:
I joined WCM shortly after moving to Canada. I joined as a way to meet like-minded women who share the same interests, fears, concerns and goals on a business and personal basis.

Professional experience:
I have been working as a Senior Manager Corporate Credit in Scotiabank's Risk Management department on the Oil and Gas Portfolio. I work with our Corporate Banking offices in Calgary, Houston, New York and London on the completion of the Bank's corporate credit reviews. Previous to moving to Canada in 2011, I worked in Ireland as a Relationship Manager in Corporate Banking. For the last number of years in my role, I specialised in renewal energy with a focus on windfarms.>

Educational background:
Association of Certified Chartered Accounts (ACCA) Professional Accountancy Exams. Institute of Bankers Ireland Business Banking Certificate Institute of Bankers Ireland Corporate Banking Diploma Institute of Bankers Ireland Qualified Financial Advisor Diploma Dublin Business School Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Marketing


Sponsorship
Elizabeth Saati
Chair, Sponsorship

Senior Counsel: Manulife Asset Management

Main goals of my committee:
To garner and maintain corporate support and sponsorship for WCM by:

• Demonstrating our value proposition to existing and new sponsors
• Broadening and diversifying our sponsorship base
• Providing sponsors with reporting on the activity and engagement of their employees with WCM

Why I'm involved in WCM:
I am passionate about furthering WCM's mission to attract, advance and retain women in the capital markets.

Greatest achievement:
My involvement and leadership in a number of advocacy and sponsorship initiatives.

Professional experience:
I provide legal guidance and leadership in connection with the institutional asset management and distribution activities of Manulife Asset Management, primarily in Canada, and support efforts in the United States and internationally. I have also been an active member of WCM for over five years and continue to serve as their inaugural Chair of Sponsorship.

Educational background:
I hold a law degree from Osgoode Hall and I am a member of the Ontario Bar.


UniConnect
Elana Abramovitch
Co-Chair, Uniconnect

Associate, Mid-Market Leveraged Finance: RBC

Main goals of my committee:
To introduce and promote female undergraduate and graduate students to roles within the Capital Markets and financial services industry. Further, our goal is to help students build a professional network and learn valuable skills to help them excel early in their careers. 

Why I'm involved in WCM:
WCM gave me an opportunity to meet many exceptional and successful women early in my career. As well, the organization introduced me to a challenging yet dynamic industry which motivated me to make a career transition into finance. I want to ensure women interested in the field have the same valuable experience I did and continue to find innovative ways to help women enhance their career and professional development. 

Professional experience:
I am currently an Associate in the Mid-Market Leveraged Finance team at RBC. Previously, I was part of the bank-wide rotational program at CIBC where I rotated through Corporate Banking, Leveraged Finance, Investor Relations, Trading Credit Risk and the Chief Accountant's Division.
Prior to joining CIBC, I worked at an education company called Prep101 as a Marketing and Recruitment Manager. The company offered preparation courses for both professional and undergraduate exams.


Educational background:
 MBA, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
MBA Exchange Student, Recanati Business School, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Major in Psychology and Minor in Writing Studies, Western University

 

Helena Wang
Co-Chair, UniConnect

Associate, Principal Credit Investments: CPP Investment Board

Main goals of my committee: 
The UniConnect committee aims to introduce female undergrad and graduate students to career opportunities in finance. We offer interview preparation, networking events and info sessions to help female candidates prepare for recruiting. In addition, the committee is also an excellent platform for early career women in finance to connect with each other through volunteer work.

Why I'm involved in WCM:
WCM allows me to connect with other women in finance and help younger women who are pursuing this career. I find it very fulfilling to be able to help female students achieve their goal of getting into the industry or simply encourage them to consider this rewarding career option.

Professional experience:
Helena is an associate in the Principal Credit Investments group at CPPIB, she is responsible for evaluating and analyzing potential investment opportunities, due diligence and ongoing monitoring. Prior to joining CPPIB in 2015, Helena spent three years in investment banking at BMO Capital Markets where she worked on debt financing and M&A transactions.

Educational background:
Bachelor of Mathematics (with distinction), University of Waterloo
Bachelor of Business Administration, Wilfrid Laurier University
CFA level 3 candidate

Selina Wang
Co-Chair, UniConnect

Equity Sales Trader, Institutional Equity Sales & Trading: RBC Capital Markets

Main goals of my committee: 
Female students face serious challenges seeking and securing careers in the capital markets. Data continues to show that women are still a very small fraction of the capital markets industry. Luckily, the battle we've been fighting for the past decade has shown some progress. More firms have been more vocal and have taken on active roles in aiming to achieve a more diversified work environment. Our committee's goal is to alleviate challenges that females students face by educating, empowering, connecting, and providing a platform for them to enter the capital market industry after university and MBA programs.

Why I'm involved in WCM:
An amazing woman in WCM once helped me get my first job in Capital Markets, and over the years, I've been fortunate enough to meet many more mentors and women who I look up to from WCM. Taking on a leadership role in the UniConnect Committee allows me to give back to students and the community to hopefully make a positive impact.

Greatest achievement:
Moved across the world and lived on my own since I was 14 years old.

Professional experience:
I am a sales trader on the Institutional Equity Electronic Trading desk at RBC Capital Markets. I provide real-time trading advice and develop unique trading strategies for institutional clients who use automated/algorithmic strategies to trade equities. I also proactively manage operational risks and control deficiencies in our business, educate clients on market structure news, and work with internal members on new product development.

Prior to joining the Institutional Trading desk, I worked in the Equity Order Management team in Operations at RBC Capital Markets where I supported both Institutional and Retail Trading desks with their daily processes.

Educational background:
Bachelor of Commerce degree with a specialization in Finance & Economics from Rotman Commerce, UofT.

 

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University Outreach & Education Campaign
Mélanie Dussarrat
Chair, University Outreach & Education Campaign

FX e-Trading: CIBC World Markets



 

 


Women In Leadership
Ekta Mendhi
Co-Chair, Women in Leadership

Senior Director, Wealth Management Strategy: CIBC

Main goals of my committee:
WCM's Women in Leadership Network (WIL) is comprised of women in leadership roles in capital markets and affiliated industries.

This initiative evolves from the former Senior Women's Network (SWN) by moving beyond networking events. Our strategic goals are to (a) promote the business case for gender diversity at the executive table, (b) increase the numbers and impact of women in senior management and on boards, (c) strengthen the public profile of women leaders, and (d) enhance the pipeline of women ready for senior leadership ranks

Why I'm involved in WCM:
While at business school, a scholarship and mentors from WCM helped build my knowledge, experience and confidence. I saw the career-enhancing impact WCM can have, and have been committed to furthering its mission ever since. In my early years as a volunteer, I led initiatives for our University Connections Committee and was gradually entrusted with the responsibility for the advancement of senior women in the industry to the highest levels of leadership, and helping place some of our finest, on major corporate boards.

Greatest achievement:
Being a truly global citizen.

Professional experience:
I bring several years of experience in financial services and management consulting. I have global financial services experience, with leading banks in emerging and developed markets, across retail banking, wealth management and investment banking. In my work as a management consultant, I have advised leading Canadian financial institutions in the areas of corporate growth strategies, M&A, profitability and portfolio optimization, operational efficiency and innovative business models. In my previous role, I served as Chief of Staff to the Managing Partner (CEO) of Deloitte's Assurance and Advisory business.

I am now Senior Director, Strategy at CIBC, leading the development and operationalization of the Bank's Wealth Management strategy.

Organizations I have worked at: CIBC, Deloitte, RBC Capital Markets, Scotiabank, Citibank and ABN Amro Bank.

In addition to WCM, I serve on the Steering Committee of the 30% Club Canada and as a Director on the Board of the Rotman Vision Fund.

Educational background:

BCom. with Honours in Economics and an MBA from highly regarded universities in India and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management, where I also received the prestigious Women in Capital Markets Heather L. Main Memorial Scholarship and the J. Michael Toohey Memorial Scholarship for outstanding leadership ability, among several other recognitions and awards.

Shoghig Kulidijian
Co-Chair, Women in Leadership

Director, Institutional Sales - Canada Institutional: Russell Investments Canada Limited

Main goals of my committee:

  • Promote the business case for gender diversity at the executive table
  • Increase the numbers and impact of women in senior management and on boards
  • Strengthen the public profile of women leaders
  • Enlarge the pipeline of women ready for senior leadership ranks

Why I'm involved in WCM:
I got involved with WCM, because I believe in the cause. I believe we need to encourage and support one another to help promote the efforts of women past, present and future. Elevating each other's status while looking to create a future of complete gender equality.

Greatest achievement:
My greatest achievement was becoming a mother twice, while being able to balance the needs of my family and my career.

Professional Experience:
Shoghig Kulidjian's most recent role was at CIBC Wholesale Banking where she held the position of Executive Director, Head of Middle Markets, Equity Markets. Previous to this role Shoghig was Head of Client Strategy and Analytics, as well as managing the Commission Management group, overseeing the strategy of the business. She has 20 years' experience in the industry, both on buy side and other large sell side institutions.

Shoghig was recently the co-head for the Run for the Cure campaign as the CIBC Line of Business Champion for the Wholesale Banking Division.

 

Marlene Puffer
Advisor, Women In Leadership

Partner: Alignvest Investment Management

Main goals of my committee:
We want to build a network to facilitate connections and business among senior leaders across all areas of the capital markets and to help women achieve the highest level of leadership roles in the industry and on corporate boards.

Why I'm involved in WCM:
I joined WCM in 1995 to help launch the education and outreach initiative in high schools to open young women's eyes to the opportunities in the capital markets industry. As WCM President in 2000-2001 I was pleased to help bring attention to and improve the numbers of women and their work environment on Bay Street through the first WCM/Catalyst Study and to help launch the first Vinifera event.

Greatest achievement:
Smiling in the face of adversity.

Professional experience:
Partner at Alignvest Investment Management (AIM). AIM manages sophisticated globally diversified investment portfolios based on best practices developed at leading global institutional investors and provides practical, road-tested advice to CIOs. Board Trustee and Chair, Asset-Liability Management Committee at the $58bn Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP). I have worked closely with institutional investors, unions, boards, senior management, governments, and academics in a variety of capacities.

Previous experience includes Chief Investment Officer role at a pension plan, Chief Strategist - Global Fixed Income at BCA Research, investment consulting and research, expert witness testimony, institutional fixed income portfolio management, quantitative analytics and academic research and teaching.

Educational background:
ICD.D.
CFA
Ph.D. and M.Sc. Finance and Statistics, University of Rochester
BA and MA Economics, University of Toronto

Susan Silma
Advisor, Women in Leadership

Partner: CRM2 Navigator

Main goals of my committee:
Work to promote the business case for gender diversity at the executive table, increase the numbers and impact of women in senior management and on boards, strengthen the public profile of women leaders and to enlarge the pipeline of women ready for senior leadership ranks.

Why I'm involved in WCM:
I am passionate about promoting opportunities for women to find a path to happiness and success in the financial services industry.

Greatest achievement:
I am very proud of the opportunities I have taken to mentor and support women (young and not so young) in achieving new milestones along their career paths.

Professional experience:
I provide strategic and practical advice to financial services clients on regulatory, compliance and governance issues. My experience as a securities lawyer, an executive in the wealth management industry, and a senior securities regulator (where I was the architect of the Client Relationship Model Phase 2, and the Fund Facts initiative) has given me a unique perspective and knowledge base. My in-depth understanding of the regulatory environment, and my passion for the customer experience, drive me to seek innovative solutions to complex business and regulatory problems – solutions that are customer-focused and best of class, and at the same time compliant.

Educational background:
I am a lawyer by training, and also have an MBA.

 

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Our Corporate Champions

Gold Corporate Champions

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Silver Corporate Champions

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Bronze Corporate Champions
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