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WCM's 2019 Awards Ceremony

Thursday, November 28th 2019
5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Toronto, ON

Join us on November 28 to recognize and celebrate the exemplary leadership and contributions of our 2019 WCM Award Recipients. WCM’s Award Recipients have demonstrated a commitment to accelerating the progress of gender diversity in the Canadian capital markets and to creating a culture of diversity and inclusion in which everyone can thrive. Our Rising Stars and Outstanding Volunteer Award Recipients have dedicated their work towards an inspiring future – a future of equality, better ideas, stronger teams, improved businesses and new levels of prosperity for everyone.

5:30 - 6:30 PM: Registration
6:30 - 6:45 PM: Remarks by Martine Irman,  Board member of TMX, and Chair of the Board of EDC, former Vice Chair of TD Securities and former WCM Advisory Council Member
6:45 - 7:00 PM: Awards Presentation
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM: Networking


WCM will be recognizing up to five female professionals who have demonstrated professional excellence and who are on the path to becoming future leaders. These five women are strong advocates for gender diversity and inclusion and have undertaken efforts to improve their corporate culture by leading through example, engaging men as allies, and actively supporting the advancement of fellow female colleagues and peers.  

This award recognizes up to two WCM volunteers who have gone above and beyond the typical expectations. These two individuals have set exceptional examples for their fellow volunteers, and have demonstrated strong leadership skills, initiative, and an impressive work ethic.

View the press release here.

Learn more about WCM's Awards here.


Brittany Clarke

Director, Equity Capital Markets, CIBC Capital Markets

Brittany Clarke joined CIBC Capital Markets upon graduating in 2013 and is currently a Director in the Equity Capital Markets group. Brittany began her career in CIBC’s rotational program where she completed rotations through various groups at CIBC including debt capital markets, securitization, institutional fixed income sales and equity derivative sales. In early 2014, Brittany joined CIBC’s ECM team as an analyst. Today, Brittany works alongside her team to execute, price, structure and syndicate follow-on equity offerings and IPOs for corporate clients. She specifically assists in the coverage efforts for companies within the technology, power & utilities and diversified industry verticals. Brittany is proud to assist with recruiting efforts at CIBC and makes an effort to actively mentor junior employees. She also sits on the committee that hosts an annual bank-wide poker tournament to support the United Way. Brittany graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business in 2013 with a degree in Honours Business Administration and successfully earned the CFA designation in 2018.

Cilise Connell

Vice President, Strategy & Transformation, RBC Capital Markets

Cilise is a Vice President within the Strategy and Transformation team at RBC Capital Markets. In her role, she is responsible for leading and managing the firm’s Business Process Stream aimed at adding value by reviewing existing functional processes and quantifying the benefits obtained through process simplification for RBC’s Interest Rates Derivatives Replacement Platform Initiative. Throughout her 6 year career with RBC, Cilise has worked on a variety of revenue generating and process efficiency projects for Interest Rates Derivatives and other asset classes, which gave her exposure to various business lines and functions.

In addition to her role, Cilise is actively involved with a number of diversity initiatives at RBC. In 2018, Cilise was named Co-Chair of RBC Capital Markets’ gender diversity employee resource group, RWomen Canada. RWomen’s mission is to promote gender diversity and inclusion at RBC Capital Markets through advocacy & awareness, community involvement, ongoing education and networking opportunities. Cilise is also a RBC Academy facilitator and a RBC Ladies who Lunch mentor; both programs work to provide support and mentorship for high school students. 

In 2009, Cilise moved to Canada from Trinidad & Tobago to attend the University of New Brunswick, and she graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree.

Jennifer Glista

Managing Director & Head of Sales, Equity Derivative Solutions, Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets

Jennifer started her career at Scotiabank in 2006 as an Associate in GBM’s Sales and Trading Rotational Program. She subsequently joined the Commodity Derivatives Group where she progressed through a series of increasingly more senior roles and was responsible for marketing energy and agricultural hedging solutions to end users of commodities across North America. Jennifer has also completed a secondment to the Bank’s Global Risk Management and Special Account Management groups. She mentors several women within Global Banking and Markets and is a keen supporter of the Bank’s efforts to promote inclusion.  Jennifer holds an HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business.

On the personal front, Jennifer married her high school sweetheart and enjoys spending time with her two high-energy children.

Grace Potter

Director, Global Project & Structured Finance, BMO Capital Markets

Grace is a Director in Corporate Banking. Her primary responsibilities are the origination, structuring and management of acquisition, project finance, fund and corporate loan transactions in the power, utilities and infrastructure sector. Grace joined Corporate Banking in 2011 and prior to joining the group she held responsibilities involving commercial lending transactions across a variety of sectors. Grace holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University.

Melissa Tan

Vice President, Equity Capital Markets, National Bank Financial

Melissa Tan is a Vice President in the Equity Capital Markets team at National Bank Financial Inc.  In her role, Melissa is responsible for structuring, leading and participating in equity and hybrid equity offerings. She also advises public and private clients on optimal capital structures and financing alternatives whilst navigating the Canadian and U.S. regulatory framework.  Melissa’s expertise in the equity capital markets is also complemented by three years of experience in NBF’s corporate and investment banking group.

Alongside her career, Melissa is actively involved with a number of committees within the bank.  Melissa is one of the co-chairs of NBF’s Toronto United Way Campaign, and acted as team captain for NBF’s Covenant House Guts and Glory Challenge for three consecutive years.  Melissa also mentors young women and men informally, as well as formally through NBF’s mentorship program.

Melissa holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Toronto.


Lindsay Brent

Vice President, Research Product Manager, RBC Capital Markets

Lindsay Brent is Vice President, Research Product Manager in Global Equities at RBC Capital Markets. Throughout her career at RBC, Lindsay has had broad exposure to the organization, through prior roles in Wealth Management with the Portfolio Advisory Group, Institutional Equity Sales with Capital Markets, and Strategy Development with Personal & Commercial Banking. In her current role, Lindsay works on a global team to strengthen RBC’s research product and distribution, in collaboration with the research team, sales and trading.  

Lindsay is passionate about women’s empowerment, as exemplified by her contributions to the community. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Women in Capital Markets High School Liaison Committee, and holds the positions of Vice-Chair of the Board and Chair of the Strategy Committee at Jessie’s Centre, an organization that provides support and services to pregnant teens and young mothers and their children facing obstacles such as poverty and social isolation. She has also been an active volunteer with Camp Oochigeas in recent years, and is involved with mentorship and recruiting initiatives at RBC. This fall, Lindsay was honoured with the 2020 RBC Global Citizen Award for her volunteer efforts in the community.

Lindsay holds an MBA from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University, and an Honours Bachelor of Science from Queen’s University.

Carmen Firmani

Derivatives Trader, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation

Carmen is an investment professional with over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry, including advisory roles and 11 years of institutional investment management experience in trading, investment strategy and client consulting.  Carmen was recently promoted to a Derivatives Trader role on a cross-asset trading desk, her fourth progressively more senior position since joining BCI in 2008.  Carmen's breadth of experience allows her to excel and provide leadership to her team when faced with strategic business initiatives.  Her key strengths include methodical decision making, analysis and relationship building.  In her spare time, she chairs the WCM Victoria Chapter which she co-founded in 2017.  

Carmen has a Bachelor of Commerce degree with distinction and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation (CFA).

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?