Global Risk Institute Team

Our Global Risk Institute team brings a broad scope of experience and expertise to plan, strategize and execute the collective understanding of financial risk through research, education, and training. Together, our team works to develop practical strategies for GRI members to better manage risk and return.

Sonia Baxendale

President and Chief Executive Officer

Sonia Baxendale is a highly respected executive who has more than 20 years’ experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services industry. Ms. Baxendale serves on the Board of Directors for a number of Canadian and international corporate and not-for-profit organizations. As the President and CEO of GRI, Ms. Baxendale leads the premier risk management organization for the financial services industry globally.

In this role, Ms. Baxendale brings together leaders from industry, academia and government to focus on emerging risk management issues. The global pandemic has brought to the forefront a confluence of domestic and global concerns – geopolitical tensions, climate change, systemic racism, social and economic disparities. Under Ms. Baxendale’s leadership, GRI has stepped up to develop strategic research and education. She has brought together experts from across the country and the globe to focus on long-term, sustainable solutions for Canada’s economic recovery.

In addition to her role with GRI, Ms. Baxendale is a Director on the Board of Laurentian Bank, Foresters Financial, RSA Group PLC, and The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited. She is Chair of the Board of SickKids Foundation and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Hospital for Sick Children.

Prior to joining GRI, Ms. Baxendale was President of CIBC Retail Markets where she led Retail and Wealth Management businesses. Ms. Baxendale played a key role in developing strategy and direction for CIBC and held various leadership roles including Senior Executive Vice-President, CIBC Wealth Management, Executive Vice-President, Asset Management, Card Products and Collections, and Executive Vice-President of Global Private Banking and Investment Management Services. Prior to CIBC, Ms. Baxendale held various positions with American Express Canada and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Ms. Baxendale is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where she was named University of Toronto, Victoria College Alumni of Distinction in 2017. She was named one of the “Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada” for three years in a row and then joined the ranks of the Top 100 Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2000, she was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40.

Photo of Vanda Vicars, Chief Operating Officer & Corporate Secretary at Global Risk Institute

Vanda Vicars

Chief Operating Officer & Corporate Secretary

Vanda Vicars is Chief Operating Officer at the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services since 2019 where she leads corporate services such as Finance, HR and IT and Office Services.

A respected C-Suite executive with more than 20 years of executive leadership experience in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sector, Ms. Vicars has held senior roles at leading organizations including CEO, Canada Infrastructure Services, Capgemini; President Capgemini Canada; Senior Vice President of ICT Solutions, Bell Canada; and Vice-President Technical Support IBM Canada.

Ms. Vicars oversees the cyber risk file at GRI working with researchers and delivers Board level education on the topic of cyber security oversight. Over the course of her career, she and her teams have delivered project and cyber services to the financial sector and various government entities.

Ms. Vicars is currently on the Quantum-Safe Canada Governing Board. She has served as a corporate director on the boards of Bell Capital Markets Solutions, Createch Business Solutions, and Capgemini Canada, Women in Communications and Technology Canada.

Ms. Vicars holds a BBA, Management Science from Bishop’s University. In 2009, she participated in the Fellows program of the International Women’s Foundation (IWF) at Harvard’s Business School (US) and the Changes in Global Leadership Program at Cambridge’s Judge Business School (UK). She completed the Director’s Education Program at University of Toronto (2018) and holds the ICD.D designation. She recently completed her CERT Certificate in Cybersecurity Oversight from Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute (2022).

headshot of Bruce Choy

Bruce Choy

Managing Director, Research

Bruce Choy joined the Global Risk Institute in January 2021 as a member of the senior executive team and to develop their research mandate on future and emerging risks. Dr Choy brings a track-record in university research, executive financial institution leadership and management consulting, with extensive global financial services experience in North America, Asia and Australasia.

Prior to joining GRI, Dr Choy was a management consultant with PwC from 2014 to 2020. He advised C-suite, Boards and senior leadership of financial institutions on financial and non-financial risk management, corporate governance and strategy. He held various roles in PwC’s New York and Toronto offices, including Risk Consulting practice leader for PwC Canada. From 2003 to 2013, Dr Choy was a senior executive with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. He was a General Manager that led the Balance Sheet Management and Group Market Risk departments. Prior to the Commonwealth Bank, he worked in the front-office with ANZ’s Global Capital Markets team after leaving a tenure-track academic career with the University of Sydney’s engineering faculty.

Dr Choy is a Governor on the Board of George Brown College and a member of their Audit, Finance and Property Committee. He is also Vice President and Board member of the Toronto Chapter of the Risk Management Association.

Dr Choy was awarded a doctorate from the University of Sydney, Australia, for his research on the mathematics for risk management. He is a University and R.A. Priddle Medalist from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Engineering and a Sloan Fellow from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

SukYee Ang

Director, Finance

SukYee Ang is the Director of Finance at the Global Risk Institute. She brings over 20 years of experience and expertise in financial accounting and reporting, variance analysis, payroll preparation and administration, strategic planning and cash management. Prior to joining GRI, SukYee was the Controller for 10 years at one of Canada’s leading providers of health and productivity solutions for employers and organizations. SukYee is a Chartered Professional Accountant, CGA and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto.

Chris Burke

Director, Member Services

Chris is primarily responsible for creating and implementing the plan for recruitment of new Global Risk Institute members and the retention of current members. He is an enthusiastic, committed relationship manager with 20+ years experience in sponsorship activation, national event marketing and supporting communications. Chris has managed corporate partnerships with dozens of national/international organizations including Refinitiv, S&P Dow Jones Indices, National Bank Independent Network, Horizons ETFs, TMX Group, Scotia Global Asset Management, AstraZeneca, CIBC, Moneris, Toyota and WestJet.

As Corporate Relations Manager, CFA Society Toronto, Chris helped develop and implement comprehensive acquisition and stewardship strategies and contemporary membership benefits programs, delivering value-add opportunities for existing Society sponsors and widening the range of digital communication opportunities for new and prospective Society sponsors.

With Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Chris led the national marketing campaigns for the CIBC Run for the Cure and based in Charlotte, NC, activated the Mike’s Hard Lemonade national brand sponsorship of a NASCAR professional team.

A former amateur competitive road bicycle racer, Chris launched his professional career in sports marketing as manager of the Schwinn/Toyota Canada mountain bike team and has a Sociology/English degree from Trent University.

Audrie Chad

Director, Research

Audrie is an accomplished Enterprise Risk Management and Investment professional, with extensive experience across ERM second line of defence functions as well as first line of defence, with transaction experience in corporate, commercial, project finance and real estate lending, private equity and direct infrastructure investment. Audrie is recognized for her keen insight into complex risk issues influenced by regulation, policy and market developments, as well as ESG considerations. She has deep knowledge, experience and expertise with respect to equity and corporate debt structuring, financial modelling, technical and contractual aspects of transactions. 

Most recently, Audrie served as the Head of Enterprise Risk Management at the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), a federal crown corporation with a mandate to invest $35 billion in concessionary financing in support of targeted public impact objectives. Prior to the CIB, Audrie held progressively more senior positions within corporate lending and private equity at major Canadian and international financial institutions. Audrie is passionate about Risk Management, Emerging Risk fields including Sustainability (particularly as it relates to the Energy Transition and implications for financial assets in the banking and pension sectors), and developing strong and dynamic teams, as a thought leader in her field.

Audrie obtained concurrent Honours in Business Administration and Bachelor of Health Sciences, graduating with distinction from the University of Western Ontario, Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario. She completed her last term at the University of Economics in Prague on an exchange program. Audrie is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder.

Dennis Fei

Director, Financial Reporting and Budgeting

Dennis Fei joined the Global Risk Institute in May 2013 as Director, Financial Reporting and Budgeting. He brings over 20 years experience in developing and implementing financial, budgeting and reporting systems and controls in various industries.

Dennis holds a Double Major BA in Economic and Actuarial Science from University of Toronto.

Photo of Victoria Guo, Director, Research at Global Risk Institute

Victoria Guo

Director, Research

Victoria Guo is the Director of Research at the Global Risk Institute. Her responsibilities include engaging with members to determine strategies in which GRI can create economic value for all stakeholders via GRI’s research programs.Victoria Guo is the Director of Research at the Global Risk Institute. Her responsibilities include engaging with members to determine strategies in which GRI can create economic value for all stakeholders via GRI’s research programs.Victoria Guo is the Director of Research at the Global Risk Institute. Her responsibilities include engaging with members to determine strategies in which GRI can create economic value for all stakeholders via GRI’s research programs.

Victoria brings over a decade of experience in business and risk management in the financial services industry. Prior to joining GRI, she has held a number of management roles in both business and risk management at Scotiabank. These roles covered risk oversight for capital markets and treasury, including examining the critical issue of liquidity risk management through stress-testing and enterprise recovery and resolution planning across all of Scotiabank’s diverse businesses.

Additionally, Victoria is co-regional Director of PRMIA (Professional Risk Managers’ International Association) Toronto. This role includes organizing and hosting the annual Canadian Risk Forum, one of Canada’s most prominent financial services risk management conferences. She also serves as Advisor to the New Horizon Career Club.

Victoria is a certified Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and has completed the Financial Risk Management (FRM) accreditation. She holds a Master of Economics from the University of Toronto and Bachelor of Finance from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Alexandria Fisher

Manager, Sustainable Finance

Alexandria is an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) specialist with over a decade of experience integrating data to shape opportunities and mitigate risks to inform the investment decision process across institutional investors, government, and the energy sector. She specializes in translating ESG data into actionable insights and ESG risk management. Prior to joining GRI, she has held a number of roles at the Government of Alberta within the Ministry of Energy and the CoLab (a public innovation lab.)

Before the Government of Alberta, Alexandria served as a Responsible Investment Analyst with the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) and an Associate with Canadian Business for Social Responsibility. She is regularly named a top global social influencer in green finance and was previously a Public member of the Board of Governors (Investment and Audit Committees) at MacEwan University.
Alexandria holds a Master of Science in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo.

Alexey Rubtsov

Senior Research Associate

Alexey Rubtsov is a Senior Research Associate at the Global Risk Institute and an Assistant Professor of Mathematical Finance at Ryerson University. His areas of focus are Systemic Risk, FinTech, and Asset Allocation. His academic research was published in such journals as the Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Annals of Finance, among others. He holds a PhD in Operations Research and an MSc in Financial Mathematics from North Carolina State University.

Headshot of Erik Brown

Erik Brown

Research Associate

Erik Brown is a Research Associate specializing in geopolitics at the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services (GRI). Erik is a firm believer that shifting geopolitical trends represent long-term strategic risks to the financial sector. His past and present areas of focus include international trade and technology, global power relations, macroeconomic policy, and the geopolitics of energy and climate change. Prior to joining GRI, Erik worked as an analyst at Melancthon Capital, and at the Office of Applied Research and Innovation at Sheridan College. He is an alumnus junior fellow at Massey College, and has served as a research assistant at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto, supporting graduate teaching on risk and risk governance. Erik holds an MPhil (Politics & Int. Studies) from the University of Cambridge, a Master of Global Affairs from the Munk School, and an Honours B.Arts Sc. from McMaster University.

Sally Shen

Research Associate

Sally Shen is a Research Associate at the Global Risk Institute. At GRI, Sally conducts research in the field of pension risk management and manages external research projects of the National Pension Hub.

Prior to joining GRI, she was an Assistant Professor at Capital University of Economics and Business in Bejing. Sally is also a research fellow of Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement (Netspar) in the Netherlands. Sally holds a PhD in Finance from Maastricht University, a MSc degree and a BSc Degree in Econometrics from Tilburg University.

Sally has more than 10 years of research experience in the field of pension risk management, asset liability management, and pension policy design. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, and Financial Services Review. Sally’s current research is focusing on hedging climate risk for institutional investors; pension technologies; discount rates; institutional investment; and Canadian pension system design.

Photo of Yibo Bu, Climate Research Analyst at Global Risk Institute

Yibo Bu

Climate Research Analyst

Yibo Bu, a certified FRM member, is a Climate Research Analyst at the Global Risk Institute. In the role, she contributes to various research projects on climate risk and GRI`s engagement with partners and governments by providing research and expertise across climate risk related topics.

Prior to joining GRI, she was a Financial Advisor at the Cooperators, and also, a vice president in a non-for-profit organization. Yibo has passed the Level 1 CFA exam. She holds a master degree of Financial Accountability from York University, and an MBA degree from the Schulich School of Business with specialization of risk management.

Monica Dogra

Manager, Communications

Monica Dogra is the Communications Manager at the Global Risk Institute. An experienced content creator and strategist who has over ten years of national primetime experience reaching millions of viewers from daily news programs like Global Television Network and Rogers Media. Working for multicultural broadcaster OMNI Television, she hosted and produced a television series in collaboration with Maclean’s magazine, “Diversity in the Workplace.”

A Humber College Journalism graduate who also completed Digital Media Marketing certificate at George Brown College, she is talented at taking complicated information and turning it into engaging, entertaining, and easy-to-understand content. Monica is trained journalist turned digital content creator who knows how to make stories come to life.

Photo of Tori Adams, Graphic Designer and Desktop Publishing Specialist at Global Risk Institute

Tori Adams

Graphic Designer and Desktop Publishing Specialist

Tori Adams joins GRI as the as Graphics Design and Desktop Publishing Specialist. With degrees in Sociology and Illustration, they have a varied academic background, and an eye for communicating complex ideas in compelling ways. Tori has worked in a number of roles focused on customer satisfaction, graphic design, and communications, for not-for-profits as well as local and national companies.

Jennifer Chiaravalloti

Hybrid Event Producer

Jennifer Chiaravalloti brings over 15 years experience in hospitality and events. With a main focus on client experience, Jennifer has been able to use her experience in restaurant management and event planning to create and execute both virtual and in-person events from special events to educational sessions, for over 1,000 attendees. Prior to joining GRI, Jennifer led hospitality and event programs and teams at Goodmans LLP and Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario. She graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Commerce, specializing in Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Jill Hamilton

Digital Communications Associate

Jill Hamilton is Global Risk Institute’s Digital Communications Associate. Jill brings her 13 years of experience as an entrepreneur to this role. She creates engaging and informative content and visuals for our website and social media platforms.

Jill has a post-secondary diploma as a Legal Assistant, certification as a Law Clerk as well as in photography and graphic design. As a business owner, she was an early adopter of social media, is well versed in all social platforms and over saw all aspects of the digital communication.

Other roles Jill has held in her career are event host/producer, graphic designer, community connector, administrator, photographer, videographer and social media coordinator.

Sandi Lebed

Executive Assistant

Sandi Lebed brings over 40 years of experience to her position of Executive Assistant.

Sandi has worked for a diverse number of corporate and public entities ranging from Automotive (Magna International), Real Estate (Johnston & Daniel) to Financial/Banking (Wood Gundy and CIBC). During this time Sandi has worked with, and supported, executives at senior levels of management for these companies and brings a high level of expertise to Global Risk Institute.

Kaleed Tayfour

Business Analyst

Kaleed is a graduate of Financial Business Economics and a member of the Virtual Economics Journal at York University. He is interested in the design of systems that can withstand the challenges posed by unforecastable risks. He will be working on some of our operational projects such as the data requirements & reporting for the federal government, the website re-design and the new technical requirements for the office re-design.