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 .
Chief Operating Officer and Corporate Secretary
Vanda Vicars is an experienced executive and corporate director with over 30 years in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sector. She is currently the Governance Chair on the NFP board of Women in Communications and Technology (WCT). She has served as Chair of the Board of Bell Capital Markets Solutions.
As COO, she has responsibility for strategy development and execution in the areas of Member Services, Marketing, Communications, Administration and Finance.
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. She led a team of over 2,000 which delivered 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.
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 a member of the York Region ICD executive and the IWF Toronto executive. 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.
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.
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.
Managing Director, Research
Alex LaPlante is GRI’s Managing Director of Research. Dr. LaPlante manages GRI’s internal research team, oversees external research collaborations with academic institutions and other key partners, sets the overall strategic direction of GRI’s research programs, and conducts her own original research. She is also member of the International Centre for Pension Management’s Research Committee.
Dr. LaPlante’s current research interests are machine learning, big data, and ESG risks. Prior to joining GRI, she was a Director of Enterprise Analytics at CIBC, where she led a range of data analytics projects in treasury, capital markets, and client insights. Dr. LaPlante holds MASc and PhD degrees in operations research from the University of Toronto, where she studied operational efficiency and growth potential of bank branch networks, and a BASc in mechanical engineering from the University of Windsor. She also holds a Certificate in Quantitative Financial Risk Management from the University of Waterloo.
Executive in Residence
Sharon is a C-suite executive and corporate director, who has 25 years of experience in both the Life & Health and Property & Casualty (P&C) insurance industries. Sharon is formerly President & CEO, Swiss Re Canada; one of the world’s largest reinsurers and President, Aviva Insurance Company of Canada, Canada’s 2nd largest P&C insurer. Sharon serves as Executive in Residence, Global Risk Institute and recently advised OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pensions plans, on its insurance investment strategy.
Earlier in her career, she launched Kanetix, Canada’s first on-line insurance marketplace for consumers. Sharon is a Chartered Accountant/Chartered Professional Accountant; with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto. Sharon is a graduate of the Directors Education Program, Rotman/Institute of Corporate Directors and holds an ICD.D designation. Sharon was awarded by WXN as one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women and one of the Top 50 Women in the insurance industry globally by Reactions magazine.
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
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 CRO & CCO at BlockMine Development Inc. BMD is a new issuer of Security Token Offerings (STO’s) on the Blockchain. She has been teaching risk management and financial services at the Schulich School of Business for the past 20 years at the executive, MBA, and undergraduate level. She is the author of “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 CFO at CIBC Finance Inc, responsible for Finance, Treasury, HR and interim risk management. Before that Ms. Tullo was 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 ICD.D. 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.