President and CEO, Global Risk Institute
Sonia Baxendale was appointed President and CEO of GRI in January 2019. She also serves as a Director on the Board of Laurentian Bank, Foresters FinancialTM, RSA Group PLC, Hospital for SickKids Foundation and Toronto Artscape Inc.
Sonia Baxendale was previously the President of CIBC Retail Markets. She led the Retail and Wealth Management businesses from 2005 to 2011.
From 1992 to 2011, Sonia 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, Sonia held various positions with American Express Canada and Saatchi & Saatchi.
Sonia 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. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where she was named University of Toronto, Victoria College Alumni of Distinction in 2017.
From July 2017 to January 2018, Sonia served as Co-Interim President and CEO of Foresters FinancialTM .
Vanda Vicars, ICD.D
Chief Operating Officer
Vanda Vicars is a C-Suite executive and corporate director with over 30 years of experience in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sector. As Chief Operating Office at the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services, she has responsibility for strategy development and execution in the areas of Member Services, Marketing, Communications, Finance and Research.
Vanda was previously President of Capgemini Canada. Her mandate spanned operating the Canadian Infrastructure division, leading the globalization of the North American team, and developing a Project Services unit focused on solutions implementation and cybersecurity. Prior to this, she was Senior Vice-President ICT Solutions at Bell where she led a team of over 2,000 which delivered project and cyber services to the Financial Sector and various Government Entities. Prior to Bell, she worked at IBM for over 20 years where she held various executive and management mandates in the Global Services organization, specializing in Technical Support, Network and Infrastructure Outsourcing.
Vanda holds a BBA, Management Science from Bishop’s University. She also holds the ICD.D designation and completed the Director’s Education Program at University of Toronto. She was a fellow of the International Women’s Foundation (IWF) in 2009. She is currently the Governance Chair on the NFP board of Women in Communications and Technology (WCT). She has served as a Corporate Director on the boards of Bell Capital Markets Solutions, Createch, and Capgemini Canada.
She has been an advocate for women in the ICT sector as an executive coach, mentor and was instrumental in launching networking and development programs for women at Bell Canada, and IBM.
Managing Director, Research
Michael Topolnytsky has more than 15 years’ experience bringing the insights of global content experts, in diverse disciplines, to leaders of large organizations. He has most recently been helping investors and senior executives improve organizational performance, blending approaches from the behavioural sciences, finance, and operations and developing individuals, teams and groups to deliver lasting change.
Michael has designed and managed initiatives involving custom research, learning & development, digital learning, publishing, speaking engagements, gamification, and international learning journeys. He has worked with clients like Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, the Audi Urban Future Initiative, Enzen, KKR, Nomura, Philips Lighting, the Razak School of Government in Malaysia, Siemens, the Skolkovo School of Management in Russia, and humanitarian organizations in India, the Middle East and Ukraine.
Michael has also been teaching Leading Change and Innovation at SciencesPo in Paris, pursuing his interest in resilient and adaptable organizations. Topics have included design thinking, innovation sprints, cross-cultural management, and managing portfolios of risky projects.
Michael began his career with Droege & Comp. in Munich, a consultancy serving diverse clients with measurable performance improvements. He then joined Mercer/Oliver Wyman in New York and Munich, working to expand into Canada, France, the UK and Germany through acquisitions and organic growth. Later he led the scale-up of a consulting firm for Manfred Kets de Vries, founder of INSEAD’s Global Leadership Centre.
Michael earned his BA (Hon) in Political Science from McGill University and MBA from INSEAD. He is published in journals of multi-disciplinary studies and philosophy and has conducted research for the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) of Québec. Michael works in six languages.
Director, Sustainable Finance, Global Risk Institute
Alyson leads GRI’s Sustainable Finance Hub with the aim of supporting Canada’s financial sector in the transition to a climate-smart economy and sustainable future. She brings twenty years of international experience to this role, with expertise in climate change, inclusive finance, and sustainable development gained through her work as a senior executive at the Global Reporting Initiative and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.
She worked to enhance corporate transparency on environmental and social issues with the world’s leading sustainability reporting standard setting organization, the Global Reporting Initiative. She held various leadership roles including strategy, services, and emerging markets over the course of 12 years. Alyson also spent five years in Asia with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion working with central banks from emerging markets on building more inclusive financial systems, and in support of H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands in her role as UN Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. She has also been a management consultant supporting businesses on sustainability strategy and stakeholder engagement.
Alyson started her sustainability career at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in Geneva in 2000. She received her Master's Degree from the University of British Columbia, and an honors Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University, both with a focus on environmental management.
Senior Research Fellow
John Hull is the Maple Financial Professor of Derivatives and Risk Management at the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. He is an internationally recognized authority on derivatives and risk management and has many publications in this area. Dr. Hull is a respected researcher in the academic field of quantitative finance. He was, with Alan White, one of the winners of the Nikko-LOR research competition for his work on the Hull-White interest rate model, which is widely used by practitioners.
In 1999 he was voted Financial Engineer of the Year by the International Association of Financial Engineers. He has acted as consultant to many North American, Japanese, and European financial institutions. He has won many teaching awards, including University of Toronto's prestigious Northrop Frye award, He has written three books: “Risk Management and Financial Institutions” (now in its 4th edition), "Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives" (now in its 9th edition) and "Fundamentals of Futures and Options Markets" (now in its 9th edition). The books have been translated into many languages and are widely used in trading rooms throughout the world, as well as in the classroom.
Dr. Hull is co-director of Rotman’s Master of Finance program and Rotman’s new Master of Financial Risk Management program. In addition to the University of Toronto, Dr. Hull has taught at York University, University of British Columbia, New York University, Cranfield University, and London Business School.
Senior Fellow, National Pension Hub
Mr. Morency is an independent consultant and Professeur associé at the HEC business school in Montréal where he sits on the Advisory Board of the HEC Retirement and Savings Institute. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Center for Pension Management (ICPM) and Senior Fellow of the CD Howe. Mr. Morency served as a member of the Expert committee on the future of the Québec retirement system. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries and a graduate from Laval University.
Mr. Morency spent nine years with La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec where he was Executive Vice-President, Depositors, Strategy and Chief Operations Officer. He oversaw relations between the Caisse and its depositors, including their strategic asset allocation policy, and managed the development and implementation of the Institution's three years strategic plan. He sat on the Executive and the Investment and Risk Committees. Prior to this, Mr. Morency worked at Mercer for over 30 years. He occupied a variety of leadership and senior management positions including Global Retirement Practice Leader, EVP responsible for Mercer’s Retirement, Benefits, Investment and Outsourcing businesses worldwide and President of Mercer Health & Benefits. He was a member of Mercer's Canadian and global executive teams.
Mr. Morency also served on the Board of Directors of Finance Montréal, CIRANO and the Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada and Standard Life Investments Inc.
Executive in Residence
Jacqueline (Jackie) Beaurivage is a C-suite executive with over 30 years experience in the financial services sector. Most recently, Jackie was a member of the board of directors of Home Capital Group. She previously sat on the boards of First Caribbean International Bank, CIBC West Indies Holdings Inc., CIBC Securities Inc. (board chair), CIBC Suisse, CIBC Mortgage Corporation, and CIBC Trust (President & CEO). Prior not-for-profit boards include St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation and the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario.
In her corporate career, Ms. Beaurivage was a member of the executive team at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, where she led the strategy and enterprise project management teams. Prior to OTPP, Jackie was a Senior Vice-President at CIBC, where she held numerous positions, including heading the internal controls division, the Greater Toronto Area salesforce, and the Barclays/CIBC integration team in the Caribbean. She also held executive positions in marketing and retail banking- as well as Canada-wide roles in corporate and commercial banking- with RBC.
Jackie has a BA from the University of Regina, and an MBA from McGill University. She also holds the ICD.D designation, having completed the Director’s Education Program at the University of Toronto.
Executive in Residence
Drew McFadzean is a pension fund investor and operator with expertise in private and capital markets investing, innovation and corporate strategy. As the Director of the National Pension Hub, he works with members, stakeholders and leading academics in the field to generate timely, actionable research that addresses the most significant challenges facing Canadian pension practitioners.
Drew was previously at OPTrust, the investment manager and administrator of the OPSEU Pension Plan—one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans. While at OPTrust, Drew co-led the development and launch of OPTrust Labs, the first internal innovation group at a Canadian pension plan. He was also a Director on the FX and Fundamental Macro Strategies desk in the Capital Markets Group, and a Portfolio Manager in the Private Markets Group, contributing in the latter role to private equity and infrastructure investment strategy development, transaction diligence and portfolio construction efforts. In 2015, Drew was seconded to a small team conducting a year-long review of internal investment strategy and operations at OPTrust, and to subsequently develop and implement a new investment framework.
Before joining OPTrust, Drew was with London-based BMI Research (now part of the Fitch Group), where he held various roles within the Global and Asian investment strategy teams.
In addition to his role with the National Pension Hub, Drew advises high-growth companies in the fintech and proptech sectors. He earned a BA (Hons) from Queen’s University and an MSc (with Distinction) from the University of Edinburgh.
Executive in Residence
Hugh O’Reilly is an experienced business leader with excellent strategic skills and has strong knowledge of human resource best practices for the development of an inclusive workplace culture. As the former President and Chief Executive Officer of OPTrust, he oversaw all aspects of operations including the investment of its assets and the administration of pension benefits for the 92,000 members and retirees.
Currently, he’s a Senior Fellow with the C.D. Howe Institute and on the Boards for Vancity Community Investment Bank and Namerind, a not for profit aboriginal housing corporation. In the past he has served on the Boards of the Catholic Children’s Aid Society, the Regent Park Community Health Centre and the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (“CCGG”). Hugh was also a member of both the Audit and Finance and Governance Committees of the CCGG Board and was Chief of Staff to an Ontario Provincial Government Cabinet Minister.
Having practiced law prior to his assuming the role of President and CEO of OPTrust, he was recognized by his peers as one of Canada’s foremost legal experts in pension law. Hugh previously was a Partner at Torys, a leading corporate law firm, and at Cavalluzzo, a leading labour law firm. Hugh has an in-depth understanding of investments across all asset classes.
Hugh holds a B.A. (Great Distinction) from the University Regina and an LLB from the University of Calgary where he was the Silver Medalist in his law class. As well, he has been awarded the Industry Leadership Award from Benefits Canada and the Pension Defender Crystal Globe Award.
Executive in Residence
Michael Stramaglia was appointed as the Global Risk Institute’s first Executive in Residence in January 2014. He is the President and Founder of Matrisc Advisory Group Inc. (a risk management consulting firm) and serves as Program Director for the SEEC Centre of Excellence in Governance, Risk Management and Control at the Schulich School of Business.
He serves as an independent corporate director for the Equitable Bank, the Economical Insurance Group, Foresters Financial and Munich Re Canada.
Mr. Stramaglia has over 30 years of professional and leadership experience, including over 10 years with Sun Life Financial (SLF) where he served as a member of the International Executive Team and led the development of one of the insurance industry’s leading ERM practices as Executive Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer for SLF’s global operations. He joined SLF in 2002 following its acquisition of Clarica, where Mr. Stramaglia held the position of Executive Vice-President and Chief Investment Officer and was also head of the International Reinsurance Business. Prior to joining Clarica, Mr. Stramaglia worked for over 13 years with the Canadian operations of the worldwide Zurich Financial Services Group, where he held a number of senior executive positions including Chief Actuary, CFO and President & CEO of the Zurich Life Insurance Company of Canada. His consulting experience includes an extended mandate serving as the acting Chief Risk Officer for one of Canada’s largest credit unions.
Mr. Stramaglia is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst. He holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors and an Honours Bachelor of Mathematics Degree from the University of Waterloo.
Executive in Residence
Lois Tullo has been an Executive in Residence since January 2017. She is the Canadian expert in the research and management of Nonfinancial risk. She is CRO & CCO at Novera Capital Inc. Novera Capital is a Virtual Currency capital firm focusing in the area of providing liquidity to the market through synthetic derivatives. She has been teaching risk management and financial services at the Schulich School of Business for the past 22 years at the executive, MBA, and undergraduate level. She is the author of “Back to the Future: 2007 to 2030”, “The Global Risks and Trends Framework” and “Risk Management – Canadian Best Practices, How did they get there?” Schulich has awarded her the John Peace Prize for outstanding contribution to teaching.
Ms. Tullo was previously CRO & CCO at Smart Contracts Capital Inc. and BlockMine Development Inc. SSC/BMD was developing a blockchain platform to issue Regulated Security Tokens (STO’s). She was CFO at CIBC Finance Inc, responsible for Finance, Treasury, HR and interim risk management. Director of HR, Finance and Business Process Redesign at Unitel Communications. She was a management consultant at Nolan, Norton Canada/KPMG where she consulted on the link between business strategy and information technology architecture. Ms. Tullo worked in Ethiopia with Food for the Hungry, a relief and development organization. At TCPL, she provided systems design and data analysis.
Ms. Tullo is a CPA,C.A. and she articled with Clarkson Gordon Toronto (E&Y) and PWC in Calgary, she has an EMBA from The Ivy School of Business, a B.Comm from the University of Saskatchewan, and holds her C.C.O and ICD.D designations. Ms. Tullo is currently the Chair of Urban Promise, Jlt & Associates, VC of The Richview Residence Foundation, and a former BOD for Jameson Bank, The Boulevard Club, and the Girl Guides of Canada.