Who We Are

A photo of Manjit Singh

Manjit Singh

President and Chair of the Board, Ascend Canada / Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer

With more than 25 years of finance, strategy, risk and treasury experience, Manjit has worked in financial services both in Canada and internationally. In his new role, Manjit will have responsibility for leading Sun Life’s Finance organization, including Finance, Tax, Capital, Corporate Development, Investor Relations and strategic finance initiatives including implementation of the new IFRS 17 accounting standard. He will also be a member of the Executive Team.

An active community leader, Manjit is currently the President of ASCEND Canada and is a Board Member of Trillium Health Partners.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Waterloo and Masters of Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business. Manjit is a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) of Ontario, has earned the CFA designation, and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

A photo of Alex Peh

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.

A photo of Andrew Kwong

Andrew Kwong

Board Member / Partner, Deloitte – Risk Advisory Ontario Regional Market Leader

Andrew leads Deloitte Ontario’s Risk Advisory practice, which helps organizations understand that risk is a source of competitive advantage. By managing risk more effectively these organizations can unleash their full potential, creating and protecting value for all of their stakeholders.
With over 20 years of experience, Andrew has worked with public and private clients in banking, mining, retail and telecommunications to identify, assess and manage risk related to business processes, information technology and governance. He advises clients on how to manage risk and helps them transform their control environment leveraging analytics, automation, continuous monitoring and artificial intelligence to drive performance.
Andrew currently serves on the CPA Canada Audit and Assurance Technology Committee and he is a member of the United Way Greater Toronto Major Individual Giving cabinet.  He also served on the CPA Canada Information Management and Technology Advisory Committee and was the Audit Committee Chair for LOFT (Leap of Faith Together).

Andrew is passionate about people and believes in mentoring and giving everyone an equal opportunity to excel.

A photo of Bhavna Duggal

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.

A photo of Farah Qasemi

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.

A photo of 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.

A photo of 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.

A photo of 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).

A photo of Pragashini Fox

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.

A photo of Rani Turna

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.

A photo of 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.

A photo of Gupta Sandeep

Sandeep Gupta

Board Member / Partner, Deloitte & Touche

Sandeep Gupta is an audit partner in the New York office of Deloitte & Touche LLP. He co-leads Deloitte’s fintech audit practice. Sandeep has more than 26 years of experience serving a wide range of companies in the financial services sector including banks and finance companies, broker dealers, and asset management firms (private equity, and venture capital). He specializes in performing reviews of risk management, trading, regulatory and operations areas.

In his fintech leadership role, Sandeep serves emerging growth fintech companies across all sectors with an emphasis on the alternative lending and investing ecosystems and software and services companies disrupting the financial services industry.

Prior to his move to New York in 1998, Sandeep worked in Deloitte’s offices in Toronto, Canada, and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and at an accounting firm in India.

Sandeep is a Certified Public Accountant (US) and a Chartered Accountant (India).

Publications:

  • Marketplace lending 2.0: Bring on next stage in lending
  • Marketplace lenders and banks: An inevitable convergence?
  • Beyond COVID19: New opportunities for fintech companies
A photo of Shirol Liu

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.

A photo of Tzen-Yi Goh

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.

A photo of Victor Tung

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

A photo of Vincent Lee

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.

Alexandra Gabura

Alexandra (Ali) Gabura

AVP, Operations

Alexandra (Ali) Gabura is a Senior Manager in Business Banking at TD Bank where she partners with business, risk and control partners across Small Business and Commercial Banking to ensure risk is being adequately identified, assessed and appropriate mitigation strategies are in place to manage current and emerging risks for the business. Alexandra has held several roles within both TD’s Canadian Personal Banking business and Internal Audit Division.

Prior to joining TD, Alexandra worked at Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC”) where she worked in the firm’s Audit and Assurance practice, earning her Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) designation.  Alexandra holds an Honors Business Administration (HBA) degree from Richard Ivey School of Business at University of Western Ontario.

Alexandra was recognized as MVP Operations and Volunteer of the Year for her work launching and operating Ten Thousand Coffees at Ascend.

A photo of Munawarali Najafi

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.

Connect with Ali: linkedin.com/in/ali-najafi-54302b43/

A photo of Avni Shah

Avni Shah

VP, Finance

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.

Carolyn Ayson

Carolyn Ayson

AVP, Student Affairs

Carolyn Ayson is a Project Management Professional (PMP)®  and senior leader with experience in wealth management, capital markets, technology, contact center and enterprise project management office (PMO). She champions inclusion & diversity and in 2015, founded Speak Up at TD, the first known Toastmasters club in the Toronto area dedicated to supporting people with disabilities. A Distinguished Toastmaster, she is a sought-after speaker at corporate and community events on topics such as career development, work-life and self-advocacy.

A long-term volunteer with Ascend Canada, Carolyn started the PMO in 2015 and has been recognized with the Ascend Operations MVP award. Prior to this role leading Student Affairs, Carolyn was a relationship manager working with Ascend Canada’s corporate partners. Now partnering with students at university chapters across Canada, she looks forward to the opportunity to impact the next generation of business leaders.

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Dominique Villanueva

VP, Student Affairs

In this role, Dominique has developed, launched and led the national program for Pan-Asian students.
Dominique is a business strategist with entrepreneurial spirit. She is experienced in strategy development, product management and execution across multiple products and segments. Dominique has deep experience across financial services and brand consulting and has transitioned into the blockchain space to participate in the startup ecosystem.
Dominique is an advocate for diversity and inclusion having served as a champion for visible minorities, women, and youth initiatives. She has been a volunteer with Ascend since inception in 2012.
Connect with Dominique: linkedin.com/in/dominiquecv/
A photo of Hardeep Saund

Hardeep Saund

VP

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.

A photo of Julie Park

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.

A photo of 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.

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Keting Wong

VP, Strategy

Keting Wong is currently the Associate Vice President of Enterprise Change Management Strategy and Analytics at TD Bank Group.  She is responsible for setting the enterprise change strategy to advance the change management capability, knowledge, and competencies across the organization.  Additionally, she works closely with various key stakeholders across the enterprise to develop robust reporting and drive data to insights for senior leaders. Keting has been with TD for over fourteen years and has held progressively senior roles in Retail Banking, Phone Channel, Corporate Human Resources, Personal Banking Delivery Excellence businesses.

A photo of Maisie Ho

Maisie Ho

VP, Events

Maisie is a senior manager in EY’s financial services assurance practice in Toronto, with over ten 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.

A photo of Margarita de Guzman

Margarita de Guzman

VP, Volunteer Engagement and Marketing

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.

A photo of Numaan Butt

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).

Andrea Breden Ascend Canada

Andrea Breden

Co - VP Marketing

Andrea Breden is a paralegal in the Business Law Group at Cassels. With her corporate expertise, Andrea assists lawyers and clients on the incorporations, amendments, procedures, and updates for private companies. Andrea is also co-delegator of the due diligence search team and co-chair of the Asian Affinity Group. In 2013, Andrea graduated from the University of British Columbia (BA, major in political science) and in 2017, completed the Paralegal Diploma Program at Capilano University. Andrea has previously volunteered for the Amici Curiae (AC) Friends of Court, the MS Society of Canada (Advocacy Task Force), and the United Way campaigns at Cassels.

Connect with Andrea:  linkedin.com/in/andrea-breden/

Anthony Wan

Anthony Wan

VP, Operations & Finance

Anthony Wan is a Vice President within Ernst & Young’s Valuation, Modelling & Economics team. Anthony provides valuation and business modelling services to a wide range of public and private organizations and he leads the business modelling team in British Columbia. He has over 18 years of public practice experience, with over 13 years of valuation and business modelling experience at Ernst & Young.  Before joining Ernst & Young in 2006, Anthony worked at another “big four” accounting firm, providing audit, accounting and related advisory services to public and private clients in various industry sectors.  Anthony is a Chartered Professional Accountant, a Chartered Accountant, a Chartered Business Valuator, a Chartered Financial Analyst Charter holder and a Certified Public Accountant in the U.S.  Anthony holds a bachelor of business administration, with a minor in computer science from Simon Fraser University.

Connect with Anthony:  linkedin.com/in/anthonycwan1/

Christina Ma

Christina Ma

Co-VP, Students Chapter

Christina Ma is a Portfolio Management Assistant at RBC PH&N Investment Counsel. She works closely with her Investment Counsellor to provide strategies that help meet clients’ overall financial objectives including investment management and wealth planning. Christina started her career in Investment Banking Operation with J.P. Morgan Singapore in 2009. Prior to joining RBC PH&N Investment Counsel in 2017, she spent two years with RBC Dominion Securities as an Investment Advisor Associate. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) with Major in Economics and Minor in Commerce. She holds CIM®, PFP® and QAFP™. Christina has been an Ascend member since 2019 and serving as a volunteer supporting the Vancouver Student Chapter since 2020.

Connect with Christina:   linkedin.com/in/christina-jie-ma

A photo of Constance Chow

Constance Chow

Co-VP Marketing

Constance Chow is a regional marketing manager at KPMG Canada, leading marketing initiatives and campaigns for a number of industries and functional groups. She is experienced in professional services marketing covering event and content marketing, communications as well as digital promotion. Prior to KMPG Canada, Constance spent several years at PwC Canada and Deloitte providing marketing support to various practice groups including China Business, Advisory and Enterprise Risk Services. Constance has international work experience having worked in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Toronto. She 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.

Connect with Constance: linkedin.com/in/constancechow

Fornia Lau Ascend Canada

Fornia Lau

VP Events

Born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver, Fornia graduated from UBC Sauder School of Business (Finance Major) and developed into a versatile business professional with a diverse set of skills and experience ranging from financial marketing, events planning, project management to business development.  She is a proven leader in planning and hosting large-scale financial conferences for both institutional and retail focus of more than 500 attendees. Fornia is currently Manager of Sales and Partner Support at Aviso Wealth. She also previously worked at a financial marketing firm and at a major Canadian bank in both personal banking and online brokerage divisions. She is also passionate in supporting non-profit organizations and led various campaigns for BC Children’s Hospital, United Way, and S.U.C.C.E.S.S during her tenure with past employer.

Connect with Fornia:  linkedin.com/in/fornia-lau-b21bb226

Geraldine Tagle

Geraldine Tagle

Co-VP, Students Chapter

Geraldine Tagle is a Marketing Manager at KPMG with expertise in events and sponsorships. In her role, she oversees the marketing and communications plan for a variety of the firm’s practice lines, delivering integrated marketing campaigns to strengthen the KPMG brand and support relationship development. Prior to joining KPMG, Geraldine had roles at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC where she focused on student recruitment and promotion. Geraldine is an alumna of Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business.

Connect with Geraldine: linkedin.com/in/geraldinetagle/

Jerry Wei Ascend Canada

Jerry Wei

VP Mentorship

Jerry is an Area Sales Manager for Mobile Investment Consultants with CIBC, he leads a team of investment consultants that help Canadians achieve what is important to them through an in-depth discovery process and a holistic approach to financial wellbeing. Jerry and his team work closely with the branch banking team to bring the best of CIBC to all clients. Jerry has over 12 years of experience in a variety of leadership and advisory roles. Prior to joining CIBC, Jerry was with TD Bank where he held progressive roles with the retail channel. Some of his accomplishments include launching the first Mobile Investment Consultant team in BC and recipient of multiple performance leadership awards. Jerry is proud to lead the Mentorship Committee with Ascend Vancouver Chapter. He has a passion for helping people overcome the difficult points in their career by sharing his personal experiences and offer words wisdom to help people discover their own path forward.

Connect with Jerry: linkedin.com/in/jerry-wei-267b1493/

Joanne Sun

Joanne Sun

Vancouver Strategic Council Member

Joanne Sun is a Tax Partner at BDO and currently leads BDO’s Global Employer Services group in the Western Region and is the Leader of BDO’s Immigration Services practice in Canada.  She has over 20 years of professional experience assisting employers in managing the Canadian and U.S. tax issues arising from the cross-border movement of its employees, consultants, directors, and executives.  She partners with Global Mobility, HR, Legal, Tax, and Finance teams in a wide range of industries, including financial services, mining & natural resources, engineering & construction, and technology & life sciences sectors.  Joanne also has extensive experience in executive compensation matters (equity compensation) and expatriate policy design and implementation.

Joanne joined Ascend in 2013, and was one of the founding members of Ascend Canada’s Vancouver chapter.  She is passionate about people development, and sparking new ideas with diversity.  She has participated in a number of premier leadership programs, joined various Diversity & Inclusion employee community groups, and has actively mentored many employees in the organizations that she worked for over the years.  In 2018, she proudly served as a mentor to emerging leaders in Ascend Canada’s Mentorship Program to share her personal experiences and help her mentees develop professionally to their full potential.  Today, she continues to serve on Ascend’s Strategic Advisory Council (Vancouver Chapter) along with our Vancouver Chapter President and many of the chapter’s founding members.

Joanne is a graduate from the University of British Columbia.  She earned her CPA, CA designations in both B.C. and Quebec, and has also been admitted to practice before the United States IRS.  In her spare time, she can be found working out in her pandemic-home gym, exploring new Asian fusion recipes, and treasuring time with her blended family.

Connect with Joanne: linkedin.com/in/joannesun/

Julia Loh

Julia Loh

Co-VP, Sponsorship & Membership

Julia is a senior manager in the Vancouver office of PwC in the Corporate Taxation practice. She specializes in Canadian corporate tax and international tax issues encountered by companies operating in multiple jurisdictions. Julia has 10+ years of experience serving public and private corporations and advises clients with their day-to-day tax issues, including tax planning, compliance and tax accounting. She primarily focuses on the consumer and industrial products, technology and retail sectors. In 2014/2015, Julia completed a one-year secondment at PwC’s New York City office, where she worked within the banking, capital markets and insurance practice and also within the state and local tax practice.   Julia feels that diversity and inclusion is essential to creating a competitive economy in a globalized world, and is actively involved with PwC’s Diversity and Inclusion programs. She’s also participated in PwC’s Women in Leadership program, a career development program for emerging women leaders.

Connect with Julia: linkedin.com/in/julia-loh-ca-28450028/

A photo of Kerby Sit

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.

Connect with Kerby: linkedin.com/in/kerbysit

Rex Chan Ascend Canada

Rex Chan

Co-VP Sponsorship & Membership

Rex Chan is the Western Canada Relationship Manager for TD Future Builder, TD Asset Management.  He focuses on servicing and growing TD’s Group Retirement Savings Plan program by working closely with TD Asset Management colleagues in planning and executing strategies that deepen the institutional client base.  Rex began his career with TD 20 years ago and has held a variety of roles in retail banking, management, business banking, sales leadership and coaching.  He has been an Ascend member since 2012 and serving as VP Mentorship and supporting the Vancouver Chapter’s Mentorship program since 2018.

Connect with Rex: linkedin.com/in/rexchan1

Shen Lo

Shen Lo

VP, Volunteer Engagement

Shen Lo is a Senior Manager in KPMG’s Risk Consulting practice in Vancouver, specialized in the financial services sector. Shen is specialized in helping clients in risk management while steering through transformative change and assisting clients in designing and implementing controls for new services, processes and technologies. Shen has more than 10 years of processional experience gained through public practice in Vancouver and Toronto, in Bank of Montreal’s Global Asset Management division in Toronto and at Royal Bank of Canada. Her experience comprises providing external and internal consulting, assurance, and management services, primarily to financial services companies. She serves as the VP Volunteer Engagement for the Vancouver chapter since 2018.

Connect with Shen: linkedin.com/in/shen-lo-702a9679/