Toronto Steering Committee

Meet Our Toronto Steering Committee

We invite you to view upcoming events and initiatives in WCM's Toronto Chapter.

Elana Abramovitch

Co-Chair, UniConnect

Associate, Mid-Market Leveraged Finance, RBC

Elana Abramovitch

Co-Chair, UniConnect

Associate, Mid-Market Leveraged Finance, RBC

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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.


Elana holds an MBA, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, MBA Exchange Student, Recanati Business School, Tel Aviv University, Israel, Major in Psychology and a Minor in Writing Studies, Western University.

Keren Beletsky

Co-Chair, UniConnect

Associate, Private Capital, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

Keren Beletsky

Co-Chair, UniConnect

Associate, Private Capital, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

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Why I'm Involved with WCM

Mentorship and guidance were and continue to be paramount in my ability to navigate my career. WCM allows me to give back and help young women entering their careers and also collaborate with like-minded people to see how we can educate, push boundaries and ultimately, get more females entering the field.


Professional Experience

Keren is an associate in the Private Capital group at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), she is responsible for evaluating and analyzing potential investment opportunities, due diligence and ongoing management of existing investments. Prior to joining OTPP in 2018, Keren spent two years at National Bank Financial, in their M&A investment banking team.

Keren holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Lindsay Brent

Chair, High School Liaison

Associate, Institutional Sales, Global Equities, RBC Capital Markets

Lindsay Brent

Chair, High School Liaison

Associate, Institutional Sales, Global Equities, RBC Capital Markets

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Why I'm Involved with WCM

To inspire young women across Canada to pursue studies in science, engineering, technology and math, and to educate them about the various rewarding opportunities for a career in finance.


Professional Experience

Prior to transitioning to a role in Strategy Development, Lindsay worked in Canadian Institutional Equity Sales at RBC Capital Markets, where she covered Toronto-based investment firms, family offices and hedge funds. She joined Sales after several years with RBC Wealth Management as a member of  the Portfolio Advisory Group, where she provided support for Investment Advisors, with a specific focus on Canadian Equities. Through the Portfolio Advisory Group, Lindsay delivered objective and independent insights to IAs and their clients.


Lindsay holds an honours undergraduate degree from Queen’s University in Environmental Science, and a Masters of Business Administration from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University.

Daniel Dorenbush

Co-Chair, Return to Bay Street

Managing Director, Head of Canadian Prime Services, Scotia Capital Inc.

Daniel Dorenbush

Co-Chair, Return to Bay Street

Managing Director, Head of Canadian Prime Services, Scotia Capital Inc.

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Mélanie Dussarrat

Chair, University Outreach & Education Campaign

FX e-Trading, CIBC World Markets

Mélanie Dussarrat

Chair, University Outreach & Education Campaign

FX e-Trading, CIBC World Markets

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Why I'm Involved with WCM

To empower young women and encourage them to become the best version of themselves.


Professional Bio

Mélanie is a Director in Foreign Exchange Electronic Trading. She is experienced in Systematic Market Making and developing trading strategies in Algorithmic Trading. Mélanie has a deep knowledge of the Capital Markets and Risk Management practices. Prior to joining the eFX Trading desk, Mélanie was part of the FX and Precious Metals Sales desk where she contributed in deepening existing client relationships and cultivating new ones. 


Alongside her professional career, Mélanie is actively involved in different Financial Women associations and non-profit organizations where she holds leading positions.


Mélanie holds a Master degree in Financial Engineering.

Deborah Grosdanis

Chair, Mentorship

Associate Director, Corporate Banking, Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets

Deborah Grosdanis

Chair, Mentorship

Associate Director, Corporate Banking, Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets

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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.


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.


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.

Leanne Herbst

Chair, Executive Coaching and Emerging Leaders Awards

Director, Trading Business Management, TD Securities

Leanne Herbst

Chair, Executive Coaching and Emerging Leaders Awards

Director, Trading Business Management, TD Securities

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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.


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. Leanne studied science at York University.

Frances Kordyback

Corporate Director and Commissioner, Ontario Securities Commission

Frances Kordyback

Corporate Director and Commissioner, Ontario Securities Commission

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Why I'm Involved with WCM

I believe in giving back to the industry that has afforded me a very challenging and rewarding career. I have participated in the WCM mentorship programme and now the WIL – both are great opportunities to contribute.


Professional Experience

As a commissioner at the OSC I assist in evolving, implementing and enforcing rules and policies for Ontario capital markets participants and proceedings. Adjudication is also an important aspect of my work. Prior to the OSC I was a Managing Director at Northwater Capital Management (2005-2016), focusing on Venture Capital Intellectual Property Funds. My entire career, prior to Northwater was in investment banking at various Bay Street firms. I have served on many private company Boards of Directors and am currently on the Board of Directors of Airgain Inc., a NASDQ listed company and The Ontario Securities Commission.

Shoghig Kulidijian

Co-Chair, Women in Leadership

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

Shoghig Kulidijian

Co-Chair, Women in Leadership

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

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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.


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.

Ekta Mendhi

Co-Chair, Women in Leadership

Senior Director, Wealth Management Strategy, CIBC

Ekta Mendhi

Co-Chair, Women in Leadership

Senior Director, Wealth Management Strategy, CIBC

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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.


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.


I hold a 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.

Marlene Puffer

Advisor, Women In Leadership

Partner, Alignvest Investment Management

Marlene Puffer

Advisor, Women In Leadership

Partner, Alignvest Investment Management

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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.


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.


I hold a BA and MA in Economics from the University of Toronto, a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Finance and Statistics from the University of Rochester, and have a CFA and ICD.D.

Alexandra Schroder

Co-Chair Mentorship

Associate, Foreign Exchange Sales, Scotiabank

Alexandra Schroder

Co-Chair Mentorship

Associate, Foreign Exchange Sales, Scotiabank

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Susan Silma

Advisor, Women in Leadership

Partner, CRM2 Navigator

Susan Silma

Advisor, Women in Leadership

Partner, CRM2 Navigator

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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.


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.

I am a lawyer by training, and also hold an MBA.

Nicole Swartout

Co-Chair, Return to Bay Street

Managing Director, Institutional Equity Trading, CIBC World Markets

Nicole Swartout

Co-Chair, Return to Bay Street

Managing Director, Institutional Equity Trading, CIBC World Markets

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Melissa Vukovic

Co-Chair Mentorship

Associate, Corporate Sales & Structuring | Global Fixed Income, Currencies & Commodities, BMO Capital Markets

Melissa Vukovic

Co-Chair Mentorship

Associate, Corporate Sales & Structuring | Global Fixed Income, Currencies & Commodities, BMO Capital Markets

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Ashley Warburton

Chair, Membership

Senior Manager, Portfolio Solutions, RBC Global Asset Management

Ashley Warburton

Chair, Membership

Senior Manager, Portfolio Solutions, RBC Global Asset Management

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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.


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. 


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.

Helena Wang

Co-Chair, UniConnect

Associate, Principal Credit Investments, CPP Investment Board

Helena Wang

Co-Chair, UniConnect

Associate, Principal Credit Investments, CPP Investment Board

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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. 


Helena holds Bachelor of Mathematics (with distinction), University of Waterloo, a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier, and is a CFA level 3 candidate.

Selina Wang

Co-Chair, UniConnect

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

Selina Wang

Co-Chair, UniConnect

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

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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.


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.


I hold a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a specialisation in Finance & Economics from Rotman Commerce, University of Toronto.

What is your reaction to the fact that the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women will be chaired by a man?