E-mail: info@ascendleadership.ca    |       

Who We Are

manjit_singh_ascend_canada

Manjit Singh

President and Chair of the Board, Ascend Canada / Executive Vice President, Enterprise Finance, TD Bank

Manjit is Executive Vice President, Enterprise Finance at TD Bank overseeing the finance functions across business lines and the corporate segment, in addition to Chief Accountant’s Department, Enterprise Real Estate, Investor Relations, Enterprise Strategy and Decision Support, Global Tax and TD Economics.
Manjit’s previous role was the Chief Financial Officer for TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®. In this role, Manjit led a high-quality team responsible for planning, managing and reporting the Bank’s financial results and capital. He was actively involved in setting strategies, driving performance, and executing on key business priorities.
He has spent the last two decades working in the banking sector both in Canada and internationally.
Manjit joined TD in 2001 and has held a range of increasingly senior positions in Strategy, Finance, Risk, and Treasury. He has worked across all of TD’s major businesses, including CFO for Wholesale during the financial crisis, establishing the Enterprise Decision Support group and leading the Capital Management team during the development of the Basel III standards.
Manjit has served as the executive sponsor of TD’s Minority Leadership Subcommittee, and actively participated in facilitating the bank’s Build for the Future program. He is a mentor to many employees across the organization. He was also a member of the Board of Directors for Lung Cancer Canada, TRIEC, Sikh Foundation of Canada and the American Red Cross.
Manjit is a graduate from the University of Waterloo Chartered Accountancy Co-Op Program. He has earned the CA and CFA designations and completed his Executive MBA at the Richard Ivey School of Business. Manjit also completed the Executive Risk Management Program at Wharton. Most recently, Manjit participated in the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Manjit is married with two teenage daughters and lives in Mississauga.

Alex Peh

Board Member / Vice President, Innovation, Technology & Operations, RBC

Alex is Vice President, Innovation, Technology & Operations, RBC. He is a passionate, technology-focused leader with international experience in the Payments, Digital Commerce, Software Development and Media industries. Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, educated in Melbourne, Australia and with stints in Africa, South-East Asia, and Europe, Alexander currently serves as Vice President of Innovation & Enterprise Architecture at RBC. Prior to joining RBC, he led Market Development & Mobile for PayPal Inc. based in North America and EMEA.
An active startup advisor, FinTech investor, and entrepreneur mentor, he sits on a range of Advisory Boards including TechToronto, Symend Inc, One More Story Games, Singularity University Canada and the Canadian FinTech & AI Awards.
Reporting to The EVP of Innovation & Technology, his Group’s mandate is to be a hub within RBC that partners, experiments, builds, and delivers next-generation technology solutions across the Enterprise and lines of business.

Bhavna Duggal

Board Member / Associate Partner, EY

Bhavna is a global finance executive with almost 15 years of global experience in the financial services industry, both within public accounting firms and as a senior leader with some of the largest global banks in Canada, Europe and Asia.

Currently an Associate Partner with Financial Accounting Advisory Services at EY Toronto, Bhavna specializes in leading finance function advisory services, assisting finance leaders with their agendas.

Bhavna is passionate about volunteering and giving back to the community and as a proud mother to two amazing children, she is hoping to pass those values to them. She has organized and run a series of fundraisers aiming to benefit different communities. These were personal initiatives led directly by Bhavna and her husband. The first fundraiser was done in Toronto to benefit victims of the devastating Nepal Earthquake in 2015. The second initiative was awareness and fundraising for Aboriginal Women’s shelters in Toronto in 2016. In addition to his,

Bhavna has been working closely with Ascend for almost 4 years, in different capacities – with the Awards Leadership Team, and the Ascend Sponsorship team.

In her spare time, Bhavna is an avid adventurer, traveller and sports enthusiast.

Farah Qasemi

Board Member / Partner, IBM

Farah is a Financial Services Partner in the Global Business Services (consulting) arm of IBM. She is a seasoned Clients & Markets leader having spent the last 15 years exceeding industry and account growth targets for some of the world’s leading professional services and technology power-house in Canada, US, UK and continental Europe. Before joining IBM, Farah held financial services leadership roles at KPMG Canada, CSC UK (now DXC Technology post HP merger), PwC UK and PwC Canada.

Farah has focused the last few years of her career on all things technology and cognitive (artificial intelligence, automation, etc.) enabling the world’s largest banks to meet global regulatory demands, streamline their operations, exceed growth targets, and serve employees and customers to the best of their ability. In addition to Ascend Canada, Farah sits on the board of the Empire Club of Canada, Canada’s leading and oldest speakers’ forum. Farah also sat on the United Way of Toronto GenNext board and the Campaign Cabinet for two years and is very passionate about inclusion especially as it relates to women and visible minorities — having spoken at length on both topics at industry events. Prior to financial services, Farah developed the corporate sponsorship program at her alma matter, McGill University. Farah has been a serial entrepreneur since the age of 17, and established her first company in oil and gas while still in university, supporting world players such as BP and Shell on their offshore programs.

In her free time, Farah can be found rushing to a gym class, chasing after her three year old daughter or planning travel adventures. Farah, Jahan and Ari established their home in Leslieville, Toronto, after moving back to Canada from London, UK in 2015. She speaks English, Farsi, and Hindi/Urdu fluently.

Gaurav Upadhya

Gaurav Upadhya

Global Chief Actuary and Chief Risk Officer, Foresters Financial

As Chief Actuary at Foresters Financial, Gaurav reports to the CEO and is responsible for the actuarial, risk and capital management functions as well as overseeing the pricing function. Prior to joining Foresters, he was Managing Director in PwC Canada’s Actuarial Services practice. He has extensive experience with diverse product development, pricing, risk and capital program management, and has expertise in successfully implementing transparent frameworks and processes to achieve business strategic goals within risk appetite and capital constraints in both local and multi-national contexts.
Gaurav holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) degree from Queen’s University and a Master in Mathematics degree from University of Waterloo. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA) and the Society of Actuaries (FSA), holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) designations, and is a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA). In addition to being on the Board of Ascend Canada, Gaurav also serves on the Advisory Board of Smith School of Business at Queen’s University and the University of Waterloo Master of Actuarial Science Advisory Board.

Joan-Wong

Joan Wong

Board Member / Partner, KPMG

Joan is a Partner in KPMG Canada’s Deal Advisory practice, based in Toronto. Before that, she has worked in both KPMG in Hong Kong and London. Joan has been involved in the financial services community for almost 20 years. Over the last decade, she has advised on some of the prominent deals in the financial services sector across the globe. Prior to her relocation to Toronto, she was KPMG’s Insurance deal advisory lead for the ASPAC region and a member of the Corporate Finance Advisory Panel of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Joan specializes in mergers, acquisition & divestiture related due diligence and deal advisory services especially in the Financial Services industry sector which include Insurance, Banking, Investment Management and Funds.

Naveed Irshad

Naveed Irshad

Board Member / Head of North American Legacy Business, Manulife

Naveed is Head of North American Legacy Business at Manulife. He has direct responsibility for Manulife’s closed legacy businesses in North America, including legacy annuity business, long-term care insurance and select long-duration, guaranteed insurance products. He also leads global inforce management initiatives across the organization.
He is a member of Manulife’s Executive Leadership Team. Mr. Irshad has over 25 years of industry experience and has a deep understanding of the global life insurance industry. Rejoining Manulife in 2014, Naveed was appointed as President & CEO, Manulife Singapore where he was responsible for the overall development of Manulife’s business operations in Singapore. This included key business segments – protection, retirement solutions, high net worth and wealth management – across a multi-channel distribution platform. Prior to this role, he spent three years in a key leadership position at a major global reinsurance company with a focus on business and product development globally.
Having initially joined Manulife in 1995, Naveed held a variety of business roles in Toronto and Boston. Just prior to leaving Manulife in 2011, he was the Senior Vice President, Product and Insurance Risk Management, responsible for new product and insurance risk, globally.
Naveed holds a B.Sc. in Actuarial Math from Concordia University. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) and of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA), and is a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA). He served as Deputy President, Life Insurance Association of Singapore; and is also a Board Member of WGI Global (promoting literacy).

Pragashini Fox

Board Member / Senior Vice President, Thomson Reuters

Pragashini is responsible for leading Thomson Reuters combined Talent and Diversity Centres of Excellence globally, including People Analytics and Talent Acquisition efforts. She is the architect for the overall talent strategy guiding how we attract, develop and retain the best talent, grow our leaders and enable performance that reinforces the deep commitment to building diverse teams and an inclusive environment at Thomson Reuters.
Previously, Pragashini was the Vice President, Human Resources – T&O at RBC, accountable for determining people strategies and implementing initiatives to achieve strategic and operational objectives within Technology and Operations.
Pragashini holds a Bachelor of Science degree from York University and has her Certified Human Resources Professional designation.

Raj Krishnamoorthy

Board Member / Partner, Deloitte & Touche

Raj Krishnamoorthy is a Partner in the Enterprise Risk Services practice with Deloitte with over 25 years of experience. Raj leads the National Technology risk and governance practice in Canada. Raj has a Master’s degree in Commerce. He is a Chartered Accountant (FCA) in England and Wales, a Chartered Accountant (CA) in Canada, a Certified Information Systems Professional (CISSP) and a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). In addition to being on the Board of Ascend Canada, Raj also heads up one the of the five people networks in Deloitte Canada. The network is the Canadian Asian network whose aim is to ensure the harnessing of the professionals of Asian origin in Deloitte Canada.

Rani Turna

Board Member / Partner, PwC

Rani is the lead Partner for the Financial Services Risk Assurance practice at PwC Canada. Rani has spent her entire 25 year career almost exclusively focused on the financial services sector, on large multi-national organizations. Rani has been involved in a wide range of consulting assignments covering risk management, compliance and internal audit. She also spent 2 years at a leading Canadian Bank as the Global Chief Compliance Officer. She has spoken at a variety of industry and client events, and has taught courses with the Global Risk Institute.

Sahezad Pardhan

Sahezad Pardhan, CPA, CA, CF

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Cadillac Fairview

Sahezad is currently the EVP and CFO of Cadillac Fairview (CF) where he is responsible for the leadership of CF’s Finance Function and as a key strategic business partner he directs the company’s overall financial management and oversees planning, reporting, financing, treasury, taxation and valuation for the organization. He brings a range of global experience across finance, strategy and risk, including specializing in real estate. Prior to joining CF, he was CFO of the asset management business of a leading international financial services organization. Sahezad is a graduate of the University of Waterloo where he obtained both his Bachelors and Masters degrees and holds CPA, CA, and CF professional designations. Sahezad is strong champion of diversity and inclusion and is currently serving on the Board of Ascend Canada.

Sandeep Gupta

Board Member / Partner, Deloitte & Touche

Sandeep Gupta is an audit partner in the New York office of Deloitte & Touche LLP. Sandeep has over 18 years of experience serving a wide range of industries in the financial services sector and specializes in performing reviews of risk management, trading, regulatory and operations areas. Sandeep is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Sandeep is also certified by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants, India. In addition to serving his clients, Sandeep serves on the National Board of Ascend, an organization focused on Pan-Asian Leadership.

Shirol Liu

Board Member / Associate Vice President, Global Data CoE & Analytics, Global Audit, TD Bank Financial Group

Shirol is a seasoned professional with a unique blend of experiences in data and analytics, risk management, retail channel, and project delivery. Shirol is dynamic leader with a talent in developing highly effective and empowered teams achieving unprecedented results by pushing the boundaries while aligning with TDBG’s risk appetite. A proven track record translating multiple complex problems into sustainable solutions showcased in the ability to lead large teams through transformational change. She is a two-time recipient of the Vision in Action Award and has held successively senior roles within TD over the past ten years.

Tzen-Yi Goh

Board Member / Partner, McCarthy Tétrault

Tzen-Yi Goh is a partner in McCarthy Tetrault’s Toronto office. His practice focuses on financial services transactions, with a particular emphasis on real estate financings, acquisitions and sales, property development and commercial leasing. Tzen-Yi also has extensive experience in the area of public offerings/private placements of commercial mortgage-backed securities and is a member of the firm’s Securitization Group. He is also a member of the firm’s Construction Law Group. Goh received his BA (Hons.) from Queen’s University in 1996, following which he spent a year in Taiwan working as a journalist at The China Post. He received his LLB from the University of Windsor in 2000, and was called to the Ontario bar in 2002.

Victor Tung

Board Member /Chief Operating Officer and Head of Integration, BMO

Victor Tung is a visionary leader who serves as a catalyst for high-impact, transformative change. His influence can be felt through efforts to evolve the work environment and to prepare the workforce for the future. He is a connector, who is skilled at bridging generations. He puts people first, and in everything he does considers the experience of his team, the broader employee population and the customer.
Victor joined BMO Financial Group in 2012 as the business manager for technology responsible for Strategy, Planning and the execution of Technology initiatives. He progressively took on more responsibilities culminating in his latest executive appointment as the Chief Operating Officer and Head of Integration for BMO Financial Group responsible for the transformation of T&O to create an operating model closely aligned to business/function objectives and integrated, innovative and cost-effective information technology and operational excellence, with strategies, investment plans, operational environments and programs that effectively support aggressive growth and ensure bank/customer assets are protected.
Victor has made a lasting impression not only at BMO, but throughout the technology industry. A respected and sought-after thought leader, Victor is a member of AT&T’s Global Advisory Council, he sits on Coupa Technology’s Executive Advisory Board and is a part of the Canadian Financial Services Cyber Security Governance Council.
Victor is also dedicated to making a positive impact within his community. He is an advocate for continuous learning and established the Victor Tung scholarship which is awarded annually to a student in the Rotman School of Management, Masters in Management Analytics program. A child of immigrant parents, Victor feels compelled to give back and sits on the board of Skills for Change, a non-profit focused on supporting new immigrants. He was named Canada’s Top 40 under 40® in 2018

Vincent Lee

Board Member / Managing Director and Head of North American Institutional FX Sales, CIBC World Markets

With over two decades of experience, he leads teams in Toronto and New York servicing CIBC’s largest foreign exchange clients. Vincent started his career as an intern at TD Bank in 1994 and quickly established himself as a builder of relationships and the provider of innovative solutions. He rose through the ranks to eventually become the Canadian Head of Institutional FX Sales at TD before joining CIBC. Vincent Lee is a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia.
He is an active participant in visible minority, mentoring and charitable initiatives. Vincent is a husband and the proud father of two daughters. In his free time, he is an avid tennis player, skier and golfer.

Ali Najafi

VP, Operations

Ali Najafi is Director Inclusion & Development, Global Diversity at RBC. He leads the development and implementation of enterprise diversity & inclusion strategies as well as professional development initiatives, marketing and communications, and network integration and optimization efforts. He has been with RBC for over 18 years and held a variety of progressive roles within Personal & Commercial Banking. Ali is also actively involved in his community as a soccer coach for the past fifteen years, as well as being a member of his local elementary school Parent Council.

Ankita Ohri

AVP, Operations

Ankita Ohri is a Senior Manager in Finance at TD Bank where she partners with business, technology, program management teams in the development of a new data warehouse that will support risk and regulatory reporting and modelling. Prior to this, she held several roles within the TD Bank audit division leading cross-functional audits in the global data & analytics and governance, risk, compliance audit teams; along with strategic initiatives and employee engagement activities. Ankita is a CPA, CA and worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”) where she provided external assurance and advisory services to companies in a multitude of industries – financial, publishing, mining, not-for-profit etc. Ankita holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree from Schulich School of Business, York University.

Avni Shah

AVP, Finance & Treasurer

Avni Shah is a Manager at TD Bank responsible for providing specialized in-depth audit expertise, and contributing to the planning, risk assessment, and execution of audits and/or related processes in the capital markets business. In this capacity, she also leads the Market Risk Center of Excellence where among other things, the market risk scores assigned to the Bank’s businesses are assessed and calibrated. Through her involvement with the TD Securities audit analytics team, Avni has piloted various agile initiatives and led them through implementation.
Prior to joining TD, Avni spent five years with EY where she worked in the firm’s assurance practice servicing financial institutions. Avni obtained her undergraduate degree from McGill University and is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountant in Canada (CPA).
Avni was recognized as MVP Operations in 2017, and selected from the many volunteers to receive the ”Volunteer of the Year” Award during the 2018 Ascend Gala for her tremendous contributions on the Events and Operations management teams. As the AVP Finance for Ascend Canada, Avni now supports the day to day management of the organization’s funds ensuring alignment to Ascend Canada’s Vision, Mandate and Strategy.

Hardeep Saund

VP, Sponsorship

Hardeep is the Head of Process Excellence in RBC Insurances Transformation Team. Hardeep leads RBCIs Process Excellence, Business Process Management and Strategic Analytics practice areas. He has over 10 years of experience in leading and executing cross functional teams within various Financial, CPG and Manufacturing Companies across North America. Hardeep is both a Professional Engineer and Certified Six Sigma Black Belt and holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Business. Hardeep is the Co-Chair of the Centennial Gala Foundation – an organization dedicated to recognizing and honoring excellence through youth scholarship and education programs. Hardeep was also a senior member of the TD South Asian Diversity Council and a mentor for TRIEC.

Jay Hira

VP, Strategy

Jay Hira is a Senior Director of Initiatives and Implementation with RBC’s Enterprise Strategy and Corporate Development (ES&CD) team. In his role, Jay assists in creating an engaging and entrepreneurial environment and liaising with various business and functional partners on behalf of the Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer. Jay joined RBC in 1996 and has held various senior positions throughout his tenure, mainly in Finance. Jay is skilled in portfolio management, business relationship management, analytics, risk management, and banking.
Jay has been a champion of diversity and inclusion throughout his career. Jay actively supported the introduction of the Canadian Aboriginal Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC) to Canada and was the first treasurer of CAMSC. He was also a Member of Persons with Disabilities workstream for the CAO/CFO office in RBC and was recognized for his efforts by being awarded a place on the RBC Convention. Jay currently volunteers with Ascend Canada, an organization which was founded in 2012 to enhance the presence, visibility and influence of current and future Pan-Asian business leaders in Corporate Canada.
He earned an MBA and a MA in Finance from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He currently lives in Oakville with his wife and has two daughters in university.

Julie Park

VP, Finance

Julie Park is currently a Director at Manulife Financial. She is responsible for providing accounting and capital advices to global investment units on the application of various accounting standards and capital guidelines and transaction structures that optimize the accounting and capital results for the company. Prior to joining Manulife in 2013 from Ernst & Young, she was a Manager in the Assurance Services group focusing on Asset management and banking / capital markets. Julie is a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant and holds an Honours in Mathematics and Master of Accountancy from the University of Waterloo.

Ka Yan Ng

Ka Yan Ng

VP, Communications

As VP Corporate Communications, Ka Yan Ng has overall responsibility for Ascend Canada’s communication strategy and tactical approach. She leads a small team that produces the Annual Report, the soon-to-be-relaunched newsletter, and provides editorial support for marquee events and programs.
Ka Yan is passionate about telling a purposeful story to engage readers and help them connect the dots. She has extensive experience in internal and executive communications, and media relations. At RBC, she is a Senior Manager with the RBC Corporate Communications team. Prior to joining RBC, she was a financial journalist.
She has been an active Ascend volunteer since 2016, providing communications counsel and support for the annual Ascend Canada Leadership Awards, annual Fall Conferences, and the Catalyst and Ten Thousand Coffees initiatives. In 2018 she received the MarComm MVP Award for her contributions as a volunteer.

Maisie Ho

VP, Events

Maisie is a manager at EY’s financial services assurance practice in Toronto, with seven years of experience in the insurance sector. In addition to her client serving role, she is the Canadian representative on the steering committee for EY’s Pan Asian Professional Network.
She has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto, Mississauga, and is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA). In addition to being the VP of Member Programming for Ascend Canada, Maisie is an alumna of and volunteer with the Air Cadet program.

Margarita de Guzman

VP, Volunteer Engagement

Margarita is an Associate Vice President at TD Bank and has diverse leadership experience in risk consulting and internal audit. She started her career at Deloitte, where she earned her Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) designations.
Margarita is passionate about strategy setting, innovation, and talent management. Within TD. She currently serves as the Global Lead for the Audit Division’s Employee Engagement Council, participates in various mentorship programs, and is an active member of the TD Finance Indigenous Peoples committee. She has also participated in Inclusion and Diversity panel discussions for International Women’s Day and the TD Finance Mentorship Program.
Margarita obtained her graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Waterloo. In her spare time, she enjoys fitness, dining, cooking, and travel.

Numaan Butt

VP, Governance

Numaan Butt is Vice President, Head of the Business Line Accounting And Reporting at TD Bank Group. Numaan leads a team responsible for general ledger and financial reporting for various business lines including Mortgages, Credit Cards, Treasury and Balance Sheet Management and Wholesale Bank. Prior to TD, Numaan spent fours years with Deloitte & Touche LLP where he worked in the firm’s assurance and advisory practice. Numaan is a Chartered Professional Accountant in Canada (CPA).

Patrick Bhang

VP, Marketing

Patrick currently leads Digital Merchandising and Retailing at RBC. In his role, Patrick is responsible for delivering best-in-class retail experiences and innovation in the physical channel. He is an award-winning marketing leader with a successful track record of delivering business results for brands such as Royal Bank of Canada, President’s Choice Financial and Bell Canada. At RBC, he was awarded the Gold Performance Award in 2015 for leadership and delivery of exceptional business results and the Best Team Achievement Award in 2014. Patrick is passionate about leveraging technology to connect people and businesses. He supported the launch of High Speed in Canada (Bell), drove the growth of Digital Banking (President’s Choice Financial) and successfully launched the Social Media channel at RBC in Canada (2011) and the Caribbean (2016).
At Ascend Canada, Patrick serves as the Vice-President of Marketing and is focused on developing Pan-Asian leaders and promoting inclusion in the Canadian workplace. He is a graduate from University of Toronto and lives in Downtown Toronto with his wife and two kids.

Pat Wong

AVP, Operations

Patricia Wong is an Associate Vice President at TD Bank. She leads the audit of the Payments, Fraud and Insurance Technology Solutions.
Prior to this, she held several roles within the TD Bank audit division, such as operations and business management, training and supporting the SVP & Chief Auditor in strategic initiatives.
Pat is a CPA, CA, and completed her accountancy training in the Assurance practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”), focused mainly on asset management clients. During this time, she also spent 30 months working on large European Private Equity real estate fund clients in the PwC London, UK office. She spent a year leading Assurance training in the National Learning and Development office of PwC Canada.
Pat occasionally facilitates and reviews cases for CPA Ontario (legacy ICAO).
Pat holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University of Toronto, Trinity College.

Adam Chu

VP Student Chapter

Adam Chu is the District Vice President for the Richmond, South Vancouver and South Delta district of TD Bank. He leads and oversees TD’s Branch Banking operations for 21 branches and over 300 employees who strive to deliver a legendary experience with each interaction with every customer.
Adam started his career with TD 12 years ago and has held various roles in areas including Branch Banking, Branch Strategy & Solutions and Personal Banking Operations. In Personal Banking Operations, Adam led a team that provided strategic guidance on initiatives and implemented process improvements across our Banking Services and Credit Centre Operations units.

Adrian Tan

Advisory Board Member

Adrian Tan is an associate partner of transfer pricing at EY. He has been with EY for over 16 years and started his career in Singapore before moving to Vancouver, BC in 2006. Adrian specializes in the technology, media and entertainment and consumer products sectors. He is actively involved in EY’s diversity and inclusiveness initiatives and is one of the founding members of the Ascend Canada, Vancouver Chapter when the chapter was formed in 2013.

Anita Manalo

VP Volunteer Engagement

Anita Manalo is the Senior Manager of the International Tax Services Practice at Ernst & Young. She has been with EY for over 12 years, focusing for the last 5 years on cross-border tax planning for large multi-national corporations. Anita has been a member of Ascend’s Vancouver Core Committee since 2013 and also currently sits on the board of EY Vancouver’s Professional Women’s Network. She is also a busy mother of three children, ages 9, 3, and 20 months old and is an avid snowboarder.

Bronche Cheng

Advisory Board Member

Bronche is a tax partner and the HR Partner of KPMG’s Tax Practice in the Greater Vancouver Area. She has over 15 years of experience providing tax services to public and private real estate owners, developers and investors. Bronche specializes in structuring domestic and cross-border capital investments, involving corporate structures, trust vehicles, partnerships, and REITs. She has participated in many successful securities offerings, including IPOs and other equity/debt offerings of publicly-traded entities as well as syndication of private real estate funds. Bronche has also advised on the structuring of inbound investment into Canadian real estate, including property acquisitions and real estate development. Bronche is fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin and English.

Constance Chow

Co-VP Marketing

Constance Chow is the National Marketing Manager for the China Business Network practice at PwC. She leads and manages national marketing initiatives and campaigns that includes event and content marketing, communications as well as digital and social media advertising targeted at the Chinese business community locally and abroad. Prior to PwC, Constance spent four years at Deloitte in a marketing capacity within the Enterprise Risk Services practice. She has over 15 years of marketing experience, working locally and internationally including Hong Kong, Shanghai and Toronto. Constance holds a B.Comm from the University of British Columbia and an MBA in International Business and Marketing from Schulich School of Business, York University.

Frances Leung

VP Events

Frances Leung is the Executive Assistant to Senior Vice Presidents for the Pacific Region of TD Canada Trust and TD Commercial Banking. She has extensive experience developing key relationships with private, corporate, and governmental entities in Canada, Asia and UK. Since settling back in Canada in 2015, Frances has continued to expand her experience across administration, project management and business development. Frances is also the proud recipient of the MVP Award for Ascend Canada Sponsorship Team in 2016.

Kerby Sit

Vancouver Chapter President, Ascend Canada

Kerby joined RBC PH&N Investment Counsel in 2010 and specializes in discretionary investment management working with high net worth individuals, corporations and not-for-profits. Prior to her current position, Kerby spent five years at a national brokerage firm where she worked with high net-worth clients. Kerby graduated with Honours in Finance from the University of British Columbia and became a CFA Charterholder in 2009. She was involved with the UBC alumni group and served as Director of Corporate Partnerships on the committee of Sauder Business Club of Vancouver. Currently, she is on the steering committee of Mosaic B.C. at RBC, which is an employee resource group that supports the success of visible minorities and newcomers to Canada across RBC.

Taehee Kim

AVP Student Chapter

Taehee Kim is a branch manager at TD Canada Trust. She is passionate about financial literacy and community work. She has been with TD for over 10 years and held various different roles in personal banking. Taehee devotes her personal time to give back to the community through volunteerism. She served as a director and a volunteer for C3 Society for over 7 years and is now involved as a director in Burnaby Business Improvement Association.

Vineet Verghese

VP Membership

Vineet Verghese is the Director of Business Development of the BC Commercial Financial Services at RBC. He leads the business development initiative of mid-markets business banking clients in the Lower Mainland and chairs the Bank’s Trade Accelerator Program in BC. Vineet has been with RBC for over 8 years and has held a variety of progressive roles within personal and commercial banking. Vineet is also actively involved in his community as a treasurer and council member of a not-for-profit community organization for the last 7 years.