5-Star Leading Women in Wealth 2022

Women on the rise

The share of Canada’s financial wealth controlled by women is expected to increase from 3% at the end of 2018 to 45% by the end of 2028, according to a study by Mackenzie Investments. Investor Economics forecasts that by 2028, women in Canada will control $3.2 trillion (42%) of the country's wealth, compared to $1.4 trillion (35%) in 2016. 

Anne Marie Mathies, a wealth advisor at BDO Canada, feels the direction of travel is also positive among wealth firms. “I believe it’s made progress. I think there’s been a lot more focus [on] women in leadership roles coming to the table over the last few years,” she explains. “I've been able to participate in a woman's focus group, which I think is just really encouraging for other women who are looking for or are actually in leadership roles, the focus being on how to empower them with the right tools that they need to either get promoted or to be successful in their role.” 

Wealth Professional Canada’s 5-Star Leading Women in Wealth marks out those exceptional females for their outstanding professional achievements. 

“It was a very male-dominated industry then, and it still is today. But it never occurred to me that as a woman I might not fit in or that I might face barriers”

  Sonia LeRoy, LeRoy Wealth Management Group – IPC Securities Corporation

 

 

Beacons of excellence

One of WPC’s Leading Women, Sonia LeRoy, is a seasoned veteran who began giving financial advice over 30 years ago. 

“It was a very male-dominated industry then, and it still is today,” says the senior wealth advisor at LeRoy Wealth Management Group – IPC Securities. “But it never occurred to me that as a woman I might not fit in or that I might face barriers.” 

LeRoy distinguishes herself as a thoughtful advisor with deep knowledge of responsible investing strategies as well as customized, goals-based retirement income strategies. To help her clients, she makes an effort to understand their financial and non-financial objectives, their life priorities, the trade-offs they’re willing to make, and their passions. She has helped spread the word on responsible investing by writing newsletters, contributing to a book, Financial Success for Women by Women, and speaking on educational panels. 

“I have been told I tend to go ‘all in’ with respect to many aspects of my life. This certainly is true of my commitment to my clients,” LeRoy says. “Being all in with respect to my clients has been based on empathy and understanding. And also ongoing education, of myself and my clients.” 

Beyond forging lasting bonds in her client relationships, she regularly volunteers, both locally in Ottawa with Kids Kicking Cancer and in Senegal with poor children. 

Selena Woo, vice president of advisory services – associates and operations at Nicola Wealth, is another blazing a trail. 

“I’ve always been a goal-oriented person, and for me, it’s being clear on my purpose and then building out a five-year roadmap that acts as the blueprint for my life. Things may change and evolve over time, but by being purpose-driven, it grounds me to my values,” Woo says. “I’ve grown immensely by finding ways to continuously experience lifelong learning and to proactively find opportunities to take risks and push myself outside my comfort zone.” 

With her passion for talent development and ability to recognize individual potential, Woo provides oversight to the manager and ops specialist, in addition to the Associates Group. Among other achievements, she led the establishment of the Advisory Services Operations division and officially launched the Advisory Services Internship Program in 2022 to create a continuous talent pipeline for Nicola Wealth. 

“I truly believe that as you rise in your career, it’s important to lift others up along the way, because success becomes less about individual ambition and more about working together to build something great,” Woo says. 

Another of WPC’s 5-Star Leading Women is Maria Flores, president and chief compliance officer at Carte Wealth Management. Originally from Ecuador, she began her career as an accountant. 

“I’ve learned through experience. If the opportunity is placed in front of me, I’m not going to say no. I’m going to take it and then figure out how it’s going to work.” 

Over the past year, Flores has been working to ensure Carte becomes a Level 4 dealer firm, overseeing its Salesforce integration effort. She has been instrumental in securing a partnership with a national marketing firm for the Carte’s advisors. In dealing with both tech and human elements, she has also found ways to allow more efficient operation using bots, while also recruiting, training and motivating advisors. 

“[I enjoy] sharing my passion and knowledge with advisors and colleagues and helping them to understand the industry better in a simple way,” Flores says. “[It gives me satisfaction to] see women peers [being] recognized as well.” 

“I’ve learned through experience. If the opportunity is placed in front of me, I’m not going to say no. I’m going to take it and then figure out how it’s going to work”

  Maria Flores, Carte Wealth Management 

 

From pathfinders to mentors

LeRoy says her grandmother was one of the few female stockbrokers at her firm, and as a child, LeRoy would visit her at her office and watch her read charts. 

“With the right female role model as a guiding light, a financial career can feel full of unlimited possibility rather than defined by barriers,” she says. 

For Woo, building a career meant juggling multiple priorities. She was working full-time in the wealth industry and was pregnant when she started the CPA program. Ultimately, when she earned and received her designation, she was the proud working mother of a two-year-old daughter. 

“When I reflect back on my career journey, I am most proud of being able to achieve success both personally and professionally without having to choose one or the other,” she says. “It wasn’t easy, but you can have both a family and a career.” 

Flores is doing her part to pass the baton as a mentor in the Women in Capital Markets program, which has provided more than 1,000 female finance professionals with access to mentors – male and female – outside of their firms for a 12-month period. 

Mathies adds, “Having a mentor is one of the things that I encourage everyone to have, either being one or having a mentor that you can confide in.” 

Firms should take part in this effort as well by throwing their support behind women-focused professional organizations, says Tammy Cash, CM, who is head of marketing, Americas, at Vanguard Canada. 

It’s that kind of environment that has helped Woo find her place in the industry. Today at Nicola Wealth, she’s grateful to have a role that fuels her passion and is personally meaningful, at a firm that gives women a seat and a voice at the table. 

“Finding and building a strong network of cheerleaders and role models has helped pave the way forward for me,” Woo says. “Working alongside like-minded, driven and collaborative colleagues, both female and male, inspires me to lead with a growth and abundance mindset while fostering a caring and safe environment which allows for success.” 

“Don’t be afraid to take risks. Remember, you are in charge of your own narrative. Even if you think you aren’t qualified for a role or a position you are striving for, go for it anyways”

  Selena Woo, Nicola Wealth 

 

Know your value

Flores feels that for women looking to break into the industry, there’s no need to be cautious. 

She says, “Never take a no as a final answer; always look for a way around [obstacles], and remain humble.” 

Woo offers similar wisdom on perceived limitations. 

“Don’t be afraid to take risks. Remember, you are in charge of your own narrative. Even if you think you aren’t qualified for a role or a position you are striving for, go for it anyways,” Woo adds. 

LeRoy believes women in the wealth industry should never doubt their abilities. 

“I think women are ideally suited to giving holistic, objectives-based financial planning and investment advice, and to making deep personal connections with clients, based on competency and trust,” LeRoy says. “Even if corporate managers are not quick to recognize your value, your clients will be.”

 

5-Star Leading Women in Wealth 2022 

  • Alice Fang
    President and CEO
    Northern Trust Global Advisors
  • Andrea Casciato
    Head of Digital Investing
    BMO
  • Annie Sinigagliese, CPA, FCSI
    Vice President and Chief Product Officer
    Croesus
  • Carly Plate
    Vice President, Client Portfolio Management
    RPIA
  • Catherine Metzger-Silver
    Financial Advisor
    Edward Jones
  • Cheryl Rajan
    Senior Associate Wealth Advisor
    The Schmidt Investment Group, CIBC Wood Gundy
  • Corry Staff
    Owner
    Corry Staff Financial Group
  • Danica Pinto
    Regional Vice President, Sales
    AGF Investments
  • Darcie Crowe, CIM, PFP, CDFA
    Senior Wealth Advisor and Senior Portfolio Manager
    CG Wealth Management Canada
  • Dilys D’Cruz
    Senior Vice President and Head – Wealth Management and Financial Planning
    Meridian Credit Union
  • Edith Kernerman
    Financial Advisor and Chief Operating Officer
    FiduSure Financial
  • Efrat Sterling-Harel, CIM
    Portfolio Manager
    iA Private Wealth
  • Ida Khajadourian, CIM, CAIA, FMA
    Portfolio Manager and Investment Advisor
    Richardson Wealth
  • Ingrid Denda, CFP, FMA, RRC
    Financial Advisor
    Assante Capital Management
  • Jackie Porter
    President and Certified Financial Planner
    Team Jackie Porter
  • Jan Pryde
    Senior Wealth Advisor
    CIBC Wood Gundy
  • Janice Honeyman
    Portfolio Manager
    Research Capital Corporation
  • Jasmit Bhandal, CFA
    Chief Operating Officer
    Horizons ETFs (Canada)
  • Julie Shipley-Strickland
    Senior Wealth Advisor
    Wellington-Altus Private Wealth and Julie Shipley-Strickland Wealth and Risk Management
  • Kaitlyn Lawson
    Director of Business Development
    iA Private Wealth
  • Kelly Ho, CFP, CCS
    Certified Financial Planner Professional
    DLD Financial Group
  • Kerry Rizzo
    Senior Investment Manager
    Harbourfront Wealth Management
  • Kristina de Souza, CFP
    Financial Planner
    Kleinburg Private Wealth and Carte Wealth Management
  • Laurie Bonten
    Senior Wealth Advisor
    Wellington-Altus Private Wealth
  • Linda Cartier
    President
    Academy of Financial Divorce Specialists
  • Lisa Langley
    CEO and Founder
    Emerge Canada
  • Liz Bouthillier
    Senior Vice President, Sales
    Franklin Templeton
  • Lynn Stibbard
    CFO and COO
    Harbourfront Wealth Management
  • Maili Wong
    Senior Portfolio Manager, Senior Wealth Advisor and Board Member
    Wellington-Altus Private Wealth
  • Maria Flores
    Chief Compliance Officer and President
    Carte Wealth Management
  • Mary Marsillo, MBA
    Head, Financial Planning and Tax Solutions
    T.E. Wealth, an affiliate of CWB Wealth Management
  • Melonie Dixon
    Consumer Banking | Vice President, Digital Marketing and Consumer Engagement
    Home Trust Company
  • Natalie Jamison
    Senior Wealth Advisor
    Scotia Wealth Management
  • Penny Omell
    Portfolio Manager, Senior Wealth Advisor
    CIBC Wood Gundy
  • Robyn K. Thompson, CFP, CIM, FCSI
    President
    Castlemark Wealth Management
  • Sarah Jones
    Senior Investment Advisor
    Rosedale Family Office and Wellington-Altus Private Wealth
  • Sherry Davis, B.Mgt, FMA, PFP, FCSI
    Senior Financial Advisor
    ATB Wealth
  • Susan Carson, CFP, CIM, CIWM, RIAC, FCSI, EPC
    Investment Advisor and Portfolio Manager
    Richardson Wealth
  • Susyn Wagner, CIM, CFP, FCSI
    Senior Investment Advisor and Senior Portfolio Manager
    Wellington-Altus Private Wealth
  • Trixie Rowein, B.Comm, CFP, CIM, CPCA
    Senior Portfolio Manager and Financial Advisor
    Raymond James
  • Tuula Jalasjaa
    Founder
    The Women's Collection

Methodology

In July, Wealth Professional Canada invited wealth professionals from across the country to nominate their most exceptional female leaders for the 5-Star Leading Women in Wealth list. Nominees had to be working in a role that related to, interacted with or in some way impacted the financial services industry, and to have demonstrated a clear passion for financial services. 

Nominators were asked to describe their nominees’ standout professional achievements over the past 12 months, along with their contributions to diversity and inclusion in the industry and how they had given back through volunteer roles and charity work. Recommendations from managers and senior industry professionals were also taken into account. 

The Wealth Professional Canada team reviewed all nominations, examining how each individual had made a meaningful contribution to the industry, to narrow down the list to the final 50 Leading Women in Wealth. 

This report is proudly supported by Women in Capital Markets.

 

About the supporting association

Women in Capital Markets (WCM) is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1995. We execute our mission through building equity literacy, amplifying diverse talent and uniting Canada’s finance industry.

Our partners include the major Canadian bank-owned dealers, independent and foreign dealers, asset managers, insurance firms, major pension plans, regulatory agencies, exchanges and advisory firms. Our community of 3,500 professional and student members makes WCM the largest network of professionals in Canadian finance who have come together to vote for increased equity, diversity and inclusion.

To support our mission towards equity and diversity,

· Become a WCM member here
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