Meet our 2014 Advisory Board. Get to know the industry veterans – both small group benefits and retirement advisors – who shared their years of experience for the 2014 Manulife Financial Small Business Research Report.
Life Insurance and Employee Benefits Specialist
Underwriters Insurance Brokers
Based in Kamloops, B.C., Sam is a life insurance and employee benefits specialist with Underwriters Insurance Brokers. He began his career in the insurance business in 1988, and today he focuses on employee benefits plans for small- and medium-sized businesses in his community. As well as helping small business owners, Sam supports several non-profit charitable organizations, such as the Elizabeth Fry Society, ASK (Aids Society of Kamloops) and the local food bank. When he is not visiting clients, Sam can be found in the woods photographing wildlife.
Kandice (Kandy) Cantwell
Montridge Financial Group Ltd., Vancouver, B.C.
Kandy began her career in the employee benefits field in 1996, and held key positions with some of the largest insurers and consulting firms in Canada before joining Montridge, a boutique benefits and pension consulting firm, in 2002. With strong technical and marketing backgrounds in employee benefits, Kandy and Montridge consult on behalf of local and worldwide corporate clients. Kandy also sits on a number of advisory boards, and is a director for the B.C. chapter of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists (ISCEBS) program. When not working, Kandy enjoys travelling with her husband and daughter, knitting, and taking advantage of life on the West Coast. www.montridge.com
Goguen Champlain Financial Services Inc.
Joël is the general manager and president of the board of Goguen Champlain Financial Services Inc. in Dieppe, N.B. Before starting his current company in 2008, he began his insurance career in 1992, working for the group insurance administration and marketing department of an insurance company. Today, his firm primarily serves clients with small- and medium-sized businesses and focuses on establishing and monitoring group health benefits, group RRSP programs and executive benefits packages. Joël is a supporter of local charities and his firm is currently involved in three: Relay For Life, Les Ailes du papillon and the Bobby Orr Golf Tournament. In the winter, Joël plays hockey; in the summer, he and his wife enjoy escaping to Cap-Pelé, N.B., to enjoy the beach.
President & CEO
Aero Corporate Benefits, Waterloo, Ont.
Herb brings more than 25 years of experience as a benefits consultant and financial advisor to the discussion. His firm specializes in the design and implementation of total employee-benefit and retirement solutions, with continuous client support at the executive and employee levels. Herb is a member of Advocis, The Institute for Advanced Financial Education, and a lifetime member of MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table). Herb also enjoys traveling with his wife, Diane, and rides and maintains classic motorcycles, which he uses to participate in community fundraisers to support the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation. www.Aero-Corp.com
Arbutus Financial Services Ltd.
Neil has been providing professional advice since 1989, with his beginnings in the life insurance industry. He has broadened his business planning skills across Employee Benefits, Corporate Risk Management, Treasury Management and Succession Planning. Neil’s core focus is in assisting business owners, businesses and senior management. He designs and implements financial solutions to attract and retain good people and manage risk within a business. Neil is a member in good standing of the Financial Advisors Association of Canada (Advocis), and the Financial Planners Standards Council (FPSC). In his local community, Neil coaches youth sport. www.arbutusfinancial.com
Vice-President, Group Benefits & Retirement and Individual Life & Wealth
Cowan Insurance Group, Cambridge, Ont.
Teresa has more than 25 years of experience in the group insurance industry, both as a consultant and with a major Canadian life insurance company. She has been active in her local chapter of the Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute (CPBI), and has served as an instructor and advisory committee member for the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists (ISCEBS) program. Teresa is a member of the Board for Junior Achievement Waterloo Region, and has volunteered for Out of the Cold, United Way of Kitchener-Waterloo, Leadership Waterloo Region, THEMUSEUM in Kitchener and the Volunteer Action Centre. www.cowangroup.ca
Drew is a principal with Reuter Benefits in Richmond Hill, Ont. He joined the team in 2009 after a successful career with Manulife Financial since 1982. Drew’s focus is group retirement sales and service as well as executive plans. He has actively worked with subsidiaries of U.S.-based clients looking to co-ordinate Canadian programs with their 401(k)s. For over 16 years, Drew has coached Junior A and AAA hockey. He also sits on the board of directors at Cedar Brae Golf & Country Club. www.reuterbenefits.com
Joel brings over 30 years of experience to his position as the principal of usefulideas in Toronto. In addition to focusing on benefits and pension issues for companies with 20 or more employees, his expertise is in estate, succession and business planning for business owners and executives. He is an active member of his local synagogue, where he unwinds from work by studying the Talmud and welcoming new people into his community. When he is at home, Joel’s grandchildren never fail to exhaust any of his leftover energy. www.usefulideas.com
Selectpath Benefits and Financial Inc.
John is a founding partner of Selectpath and specializes in insurance and financial planning advice for business owners, with a particular emphasis on wealth preservation and management. He started his career in the financial services industry in 1990. Prior to establishing himself as an independent financial advisor, John worked for seven years for one of Canada’s largest financial service providers. He is member of ADVOCIS, CIFP and The Canadian Association of Family Enterprises. John is married with three kids and is a certified hockey coach, active in the Oakridge Aeros minor league system. www.selectpath.ca
Chairman and Financial Advisor
Rogers Group Financial, Vancouver, B.C.
Brett’s holistic approach to financial advice is built around a philosophy of planning, using consistent principles and a disciplined process, while avoiding prognostication. As a self-employed business owner and shareholder of Rogers Group Financial, Brett has extensive experience in the process of client discovery, creative and logical plan design, and implementation leadership. He regularly attends educational events and meetings convened by the MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table) and the Financial Planning Association. Brett and his wife, Rachel, are also creating a “place of community,” gathering clients, friends and family at their second home in Scottsdale, Ariz. to golf, hike, cycle and sample Brett’s tequila and wine collections. www.rogersgroup.com
Christian is the owner of Placements-Vie Inc in Dorval, Que. He has over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry with a focus on small business needs in the manufacturing industry. He is actively involved in charity and supports L’Institut Nazareth & Louis-Braille. When he is not solving problems for his clients, Christian practises Tai Chi or heads out to the golf course to relax.
Employee Benefits Specialist
Click Benefits Inc.
Michael has been working as an employee benefits and group insurance specialist since 2003. As an associate broker with Creative Planning Financial Group in Toronto, he manages over 175 corporate clients whose organizations range from two to 500 employees. He has been responsible for insuring thousands of lives for life, critical illness, disability, health and dental benefits. It is Michael’s mission to assure his clients receive superb service at all times. When not at the office, he’s busy at home with his three young children. www.cpfg.ca