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There’s advice. And then there’s educator-specific advice.

Our financial specialists work exclusively with members of the education community and as such, understand the complexity of educators’ financial realities. These realities are different. Our financial specialists work closely with you providing customized financial planning advice that gives you confidence that you will achieve your dreams and aspirations by focusing on things like protecting you against educator-specific pitfalls such as cash flow concerns, potential pension income gaps, gratuities, etc.

 

Educators helped Judy and me realize our retirement dreams of spending winters on our sailboat in the Bahamas.

Jim Matthieu
TBU, District 3

Meet our Specialists

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Ahmed Rageh
Toronto, Thunder Bay
Ahmed Rageh
PFP - Senior Financial Advisor - Toronto, Thunder Bay

Ahmed brings a world of experience to his position at Educators – literally. After studying economics in Lausanne, Switzerland, and living in Dubai, Qatar and Egypt, he decided to build his future in Canada. With the Canadian Securities Course, Personal Financial Planner designation, and 7 years working with RBC under his belt, he now helps others create their futures as well. “Canada welcomed me almost 10 years ago and ever since I’ve tried to give back, providing advice to help Canadians grow their assets, maximize their retirement income and achieve their lifetime goals.” Ahmed’s grandfather was the Dean of a college, giving him an insider’s perspective of the education community. He is also fully bilingual in French and English. Ahmed appreciates Educators’ focus on the community and how it provides valuable, in-depth advice around issues unique to the education community, such as understanding the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and OMERS pension, and navigating pension income gaps.

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Ashleigh Abraham
Ashleigh Abraham
Financial Advisor

A graduate of the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree specializing in psychology, Ashleigh went on to positions in commercial real estate, retail, and childcare before coming to Educators Financial Group. After years of serving the education community as a customer service representative, honing her skills in financial planning and investment advice, Ashleigh was promoted to Financial Advisor.

Ashleigh has an acute attention to detail. Her spare time is spent as an amateur film critic. At work, she uses it to help her provide Educators’ clients with the right advice for their specific financial future. “Working with the education community is rewarding,” says Ashleigh. “I feel that I’m giving back for the help teachers gave me when I was growing up.”

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Bill Rakovitis
Toronto, Near North, Algoma
Bill Rakovitis
Senior Financial Advisor - Toronto, Near North, Algoma

There’s a lot to managing ones finances today – from establishing convenient and economical day to day finances, to understanding debt, to choosing investments to save for your future. With his diverse experience, Bill can help Educators Financial Group clients with it all. At the Bank of Montreal, Bill started as a teller and worked his way up to become Financial Services Manager, acquiring his mutual fund license along the way. He has helped clients build their portfolios with investments such as GICs and mutual funds. “I am looking forward to helping education members with their financial needs at every stage in their careers – from just starting out, to preparing for retirement”, says Bill.

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Caitlin Buchko
London, Thames Valley, Greater Essex, Lambton Kent
Caitlin - Educators Financial Group
Caitlin Buchko
RRC - Certified Financial Planner professional - London, Thames Valley, Greater Essex, Lambton Kent

Born and raised in the London area, Caitlin has the know-how and experience to help with all of your financial needs, from mortgage and savings advice, to planning for retirement. A Certified Financial Planner professional, she is also a Registered Retirement Consultant and Registered Financial and Retirement Advisor. Caitlin has worked with 2 of the 5 major banking institutions in different roles, from working closely with mortgage specialists to various Senior Financial Advisor roles. “The best part of my day is celebrating financial milestones with people,” she says. “It can be advising how to pay down debt, purchase a new car or retirement! My satisfaction comes from knowing I helped in some way.” At Educators, she loves “working with members of the education community who are shaping our future leaders. They deserve the best sound advice, and a financial service team dedicated to helping shape their financial future.”

Email Caitlin
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Chris Knoch
South Western Ontario
Chris Knoch
AMP – Agent - Regional Director - South Western Ontario

Education members working with Chris Knoch truly have the best of both worlds. As he worked as a teacher for 32 years, Chris knows first-hand about an educator’s financial challenges, and the importance of financial literacy. “As a teacher I witnessed the gaping void in educating our youth in the area of financial literacy, therefore my favourite aspect of working in the financial field is educating clients of all ages in the intricacies of the financial world”, he says. Now, as an Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) and experienced Mortgage Agent, he combines this personal insight into educators’ needs with an in-depth and specialized education in mortgages and the real estate market. Working at Educators, Chris has found that there is a “team atmosphere, which creates an atmosphere of ease and camaraderie as we all strive to assist our clients.”

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Chris Tamber
Chris Tamber
Financial Advisor

Chris Tamber brings to Educators more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining the Educators team, Chris spent many years working for Phillips Hager and North, RBC Global Asset Management as an Investment Funds Advisor, working with both private and non-profit clients providing financial and investment advice and solutions to guide them on the path to financial success. Chris earned an Honours Business Administration Diploma from Seneca College and is working towards becoming a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner). He also holds a financial planning certificate from George Brown College. Chris explains why he was drawn to Educators: “Advisors and teachers share a sense of service. They both want to make a clear, tangible difference in the lives of others.”

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Darryl Martella
Ottawa Region
Darryl - Educators Financial Group
Darryl Martella
RRC® – Certified Financial Planner professional - Ottawa Region

With 15 years of experience in the financial industry, Darryl brings specialized knowledge in the realms of pension and retirement plans, in addition to his proven ability to offer sound, strategic advice on a wide range of other financial planning areas. Darryl has a diploma in Business Administration from Algonquin College in Ottawa, a Registered Retirement Consultant (RRC®) designation from the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning, as well as a Life Insurance License from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. He also recently achieved his Certified Financial Planner® designation. As for what he enjoys most about working with the education community, “I would have to say it’s educating the educators… helping them to clarify and prioritize their financial goals, then implement a plan of action.” Darryl can answer your needs in both French and English.

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Edward (Ed) Gougeon
Ottawa Region
Edward (Ed) Gougeon
Senior Financial Advisor - Ottawa Region

A resident of Orleans, Ottawa, Ed comes to Educators Financial Group from BMO Nesbitt Burns. After 20 years of helping people from all walks of life achieve their financial goals, he’s enjoying working specifically with education members. “It’s an opportunity to apply my skills to a unique group, which I believe is underserved by the financial community”, he says. A believer in ongoing education, he has his Financial Planner 1 and 2, Personal Financial Planner certification, Canadian Securities Course, and is taking his Certified Financial Planner certification. A father of two, Ed says, “serving the education community is a way to say thanks for their service to our children and communities.”

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Federica Screnci
North and Eastern Ontario
Federica - Educators Financial Group
Federica Screnci
AMP – Agent - Mortgage Specialist - North and Eastern Ontario

Federica is all about time with family. Her belief in the importance of family, combined with the knowledge and experience gained in 40+ years in the financial industry, drives her passion for helping educators see their homeownership dreams come true. As an Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP), Federica finds solutions for clients of all financial backgrounds. “I enjoy working with the education community, providing help and guidance to clients who consistently help others,” says Federica.

Email Federica
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Franc Oliveri
York Region
Franc Oliveri
Certified Financial Planner professional - York Region

With a passion for putting financial plans into action, it’s no surprise that Certified Financial Planner professional Franc Oliveri is a big fan of Warren Buffet quotes. One of his favourites is “In the world of business, the people who are most successful are those who are doing what they love.” Before joining Educators, Franc put his love of the financial field to work at Scotiabank, providing proactive planning and advice so individuals and families could put their finances on autopilot and focus on other aspects of their lives. He is pleased to be at Educators, because he believes it provides incomparable service to education members who work so hard in the formation and development of others.

Email Franc
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Graham Walker
Hamilton, Niagara, Grand Erie
Graham Walker
Certified Financial Planner professional - Hamilton, Niagara, Grand Erie

Graham has had a lifelong link to the education community. Not only did he grow up in a household headed by educators, but after getting his Bachelor of Science and MBA at Niagara University, he taught at Niagara College’s School of Business. Before joining Educators, Graham worked in advisory roles at TD Canada Trust and Meridian Credit Union and currently holds both a PFP (Personal Financial Planning) and CFP designation (Certified Financial Planner). Graham enjoys applying his financial planning expertise to empower the education community. “Having been raised by educators, I understand the sacrifices the education community makes for the growth and development of our future generations. I am passionate about giving back to the community that gave and continues to give me so much, so I can help enrich their lives like they did for me.”

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Jim Wanamaker
London, Thames Valley
Jim Wanamaker
Certified Financial Planner professional - London, Thames Valley

When it comes to knowing educators firsthand, Jim Wanamaker has an advantage—he comes from a family of educators. Jim brings many years of experience in financial planning, retirement counselling, and investment advice. Prior to joining our team, he was a Financial Services Manager at one of the largest banks in Canada and has also worked for a leading insurance company. Jim holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Windsor, a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Guelph and the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation. What advantages does he bring to his clients? “It’s the fact I understand the financial concerns of our client. This enables me to recognize their needs, and assist them in attaining their personal financial goals.”

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Lisa Raponi
Toronto
Lisa - Educators Financial Group
Lisa Raponi
FMA, FCSI, RRC - Certified Financial Planner professional - Toronto

Lisa’s love for knowledge and comprehensive background in the finance and investment sector enables her to provide educators with the sound financial solutions they’re looking for with the right combination of smarts, and heart. The ‘smarts’ comes from 15 years experience in several roles within the financial services sector. Having graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Economics, Lisa has also obtained her Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Financial Management Advisor (FMA), and Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI) designations. She completed the Registered Retirement Consultant designation through the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning. Lisa’s love for knowledge and dedication to learning motivated her to join the Junior Achievement Program.

Email Lisa
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Mara Rossi
Central Ontario (Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area)
Mara Rossi
Agent - Mortgage Specialist - Central Ontario (Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area)

Mara’s life is diverse. She has studied political science, economics, accounting, finance … as well as reflexology. Her passions range from finance (she’s worked in Collections, Operations, Underwriting, Lending, Sales Leadership and Business Development, and Sales and Client Experience) to being a Reflexologist. As a result, she believes in taking a broad, holistic approach with her clients. “We function in connectedness. Our finances are part of our journey, not necessarily something to be focused on in isolation,” she says. Mara is pleased to work at Educators, because the company supports education members who help our children by building a solid learning foundation and a safe place to explore and have fun. As a licensed mortgage agent, she looks forward to helping clients focus on all their priorities and celebrating with them as new chapters of their story come together

Email Mara
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Mariam Khan
Peel
female-silhouette
Mariam Khan
Senior Financial Advisor - Peel

Mariam’s career reflects her strong passion to help others achieve financial excellence. Before joining Educators Financial Group, she held a number of positions at Scotiabank, most recently as a Financial Advisor, Investment and Retirement Planner. She has achieved accreditations at IFIC and is an accredited Financial Planner. Outside of work, her passions include hiking, biking, and pursuing martial arts with her 14-year-old son.

As a mother, Mariam understands both the value of education and of educators. She agrees with Epictetus that, “Only the educated are free,” and adds her own note to the Greek philosopher’s famous quote: “Teachers shape the future of a country. I am honoured to serve them, working with Educators.

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Matthew Dang
Matthew - Educators Financial Group
Matthew Dang
Financial Advisor

Mathew’s strong interest in investment and finance began in high school. His passion for educating others started with tutoring at a young age and translated successfully into a position at TD Bank, and consequently as Financial Advisor at Educators Financial Group.

As a student, Matthew was thankful for the guidance and education his teachers and professors gave him, that helped him achieve his career. Today, at Educators, Matthew delivers the same positive experience to his clients by providing the utmost care and attention in helping them make informed financial decisions. By offering detailed explanations and honest guidance, he hopes to alleviate all the complexities that come with financial planning. “Helping members meet their financial goals will help them meet their life goals, as well,” says Matthew.

Mathew has completed the CSC (Canadians Securities Course) and is working towards becoming a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner).

Email Matthew
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Michail Tsirikos
Kawartha Pine Ridge and Algoma Districts
Michail - Educators Financial Group
Michail Tsirikos
PFP®, Senior Financial Advisor - Kawartha Pine Ridge and Algoma Districts

Michail Tsirikos is all about focusing on goals. In his spare time, he’s an avid soccer player and coach who shows his team how to score. And professionally, for the past 6 years at Educators Financial Group, he’s honed his skills as a Customer Service Rep, Account Manager, and now Senior Financial Advisor, to help his clients reach their financial goals. Certified as a Personal Financial Planner, his own goals include completing the CFP® certification, and then moving on to become a Chartered Financial Analyst. Michail believes that being a member-driven institution helps to make Educators unique. “Being part of a community and looking out for one another is great”, he says. He looks forward to continuing to make a difference in his clients’ lives and knowing they are on the right path.

Email Michail
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Mike Cunningham
Durham, Huntsville, Lindsay
Mike Cunningham - Educators Financial Group
Mike Cunningham
Certified Financial Planner professional - Durham, Huntsville, Lindsay

Early retirement. Pay grids. Pension income fluctuations. Mike Cunningham understands that education members have a lot of financial considerations, and that navigating it all can be puzzling. Using his education and experience to help clients solve the puzzle of their financial situation is what he enjoys most about the job. His qualifications help. In addition to taking the LLQP (Life License Qualification Program), Mike is a Certified Financial Planner professional (CFP) and Chartered Investment Manager (CIM). He brings over 10 years of experience working with Edward Jones and Sun Life Financial to Educators Financial Group, and is looking forward to working with educators. As he says, “Educators are knowledgeable, detail-oriented clients. They understand that knowledge is power, and are fully engaged in making the most of their investments.”

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Nadeen Hibbs
Waterloo, Avon-Maitland
Nadeen Hibbs
Certified Financial Planner professional - Waterloo, Avon-Maitland

Nadeen acquired her true passion for financial planning early in her career when she started to see the impact her advice and guidance had on her clients.  She has since obtained her Personal Financial Planner (PFP®), Qualified Association Financial Planner (QAFPTM), and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designations.

Before joining the team at Educators Financial Group, Nadeen has spent over a decade in banking including a position as an Assistant Branch Manager at RBC, where she also volunteered for community events. She is excited about how Educators is dedicated to helping the education community with their financial needs.  “Teachers are my super-heroes,” she says. “They’ve made a huge impact on who I am today, and I am proud to give back to this incredible community.”

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Nanaki Vij
Nanaki
Nanaki Vij
Financial Advisor

Nanaki’s two passions, the environment and economics, are clearly evident in her studies and career thus far. She achieved a Bachelor of Science degree at McGill University, in Environmental Sciences and Economics. After graduating, she worked at the One Earth Initiative and interned at the United Nations Environment Programme.

Nanaki joined Educators Financial Group as a client services representative in 2020. Now a Financial Advisor, she is finding that her two passions can be combined – she has a particular interest in Environmental Social and Governance investing. Currently enrolled in the CSI Wealth Management Essentials course, she is committed to Educators’ and our clients. “I love to work with Educators,” she says. “It’s a close-knit group of professionals, dedicated to serving the education community.”

Email Nanaki
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Robert Johnston
Simcoe
Robert Johnston
Certified Financial Planner professional - Simcoe

After graduating from York University with a degree in Economics, Robert worked in the IT industry for a few years before shifting gears to become a Financial Consultant with Investors Group Financial Services. An avid Formula 1 Racing fan, he has a ‘track record’ of helping families build their financial future and plan for retirement. At Educators, he says he is looking forward to helping “a unique and intelligent group of professionals” with all their financial needs. Have questions about retiring? Talk to Robert – as well as being a Certified Financial Planner professional, he is a Registered Retirement Consultant, whose retirement dream is to follow the Formula 1 on its global tour!

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Sami Kamal
Sami - Educators Financial Group
Sami Kamal
Financial Advisor

Sami’s dedication to the education community started 6 years ago when he became a Customer Service Representative with Educators Financial Group, right after graduating from York University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Since then, Sami has been promoted to Financial Advisor.  He believes, “It’s important to build a relationship with every client. This lets me correctly plan for their individual and unique financial goals and dreams.” Before the pandemic, Sami loved to travel to different countries with his spouse and hopes to be able to do this again soon!

Email Sami
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Shannon Lamont
Guelph, Orangeville, Bluewater
Shannon Lamont
Senior Financial Advisor - Guelph, Orangeville, Bluewater

Shannon knows how to make a dream become a reality. Growing up, she had two dreams: becoming a teacher, and working in the business world. Today, she has achieved both, through a career where she teaches clients about the business of finances. She has her RRC® (Registered Retirement Consultant) designation from the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning, is working towards becoming a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner), and aims to ultimately become a CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst).

Working as a Financial Advisor at Scotiabank, she developed in depth knowledge of borrowing and investing. She has chosen to work with Educators Financial Group because, “Some of the most influential people in my life have been my teachers. Working for a company that has the teaching community’s best interests at heart really drew me in.” Shannon looks forward to helping her clients at Educators achieve their dreams.

Email Shanon

Our Leadership Team

 

Our Board of Directors

 

Cathy Welling

ICD.D

Ms. Welling is an experienced Corporate Director with an accomplished career as a Senior Financial Services Executive. She managed several complex International and Canadian Businesses for Scotiabank, including: Insurance; Pensions; Asset Management; Private Banking; Investment Advisory; Direct Investing and Trust Services. Cathy spent her career in a highly regulated industry and has been a Senior Executive on several core Oversight & Governance Committees. She also sat as Director on several Scotiabank-related Boards which were both private and publicly traded. Cathy retired from Scotiabank in 2017 as Senior Vice President, Insurance, Pensions and Wealth for their International Bank.

Ms. Welling received her ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors and currently sits as Director for CDSPI, C6 Launch Systems Inc. and contributes to multiple Independent Review Committees in the Canadian Mutual Funds industry.

 

I want to know about the financial concerns that keep education members awake at night.

Chuck Hamilton

President and Chief Executive Officer

Inquisitive by nature, Chuck enjoys interacting with members to learn about the education community, and the unique financial issues they face. He thrives on bringing value to members, drawing from his experience in marketing, investment management and financial planning. In his role, he leads corporate strategy and business development. Chuck earned a B. Sc. degree from the U. of Winnipeg, a M. Sc. degree from the U. of Manitoba, and the Chartered Director (C.Dir.) designation from The Directors College.

I want to know about the financial concerns that keep education members awake at night.

I am passionate about delivering an educator-specific experience that allows our members to achieve their financial goals.

Angèle Lévesque

Vice President, Marketing

After 20 years developing marketing for clients such as American Express, RBC, CIBC, D+H, Zag,Bank and Collabria, Angèle knows how easy it is for clients to feel confused about their finances. “People can get stressed by money. It’s satisfying to get to know your customers and help them make smart financial decisions.” Her busy career has taken her to Toronto, New York, and London, and included roles on both the client and agency side. Her personal life is just as busy – she’s a hockey mom, as well as the co-chair of her sons’ School Council, and on the Board of a national charity.

I am passionate about delivering an educator-specific experience that allows our members to achieve their financial goals.

I’m motivated to work with our fund managers to maximize performance for our clients.

Stuart Mulcahy

Chief Financial Officer

Stuart keeps a razor eye on maximizing the performance of Educators Mutual Funds. As CFO, he also ensures that the organization performs to the highest standards required of a financial services company. Stuart is described as a creative thinker, proactive change agent, and pragmatic decision maker who has a passion for excellence. Stuart has held senior finance executive roles at TD Bank Financial Group. He earned a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland and holds a Chartered Accountant designation through the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

I’m motivated to work with our fund managers to maximize performance for our clients.

I believe employee engagement is a key factor to delivering  an exceptional client experience.

Pat Bellissimo

Vice President, Human Resources

In over 25 years working in financial services, Pat has learned that happy, productive employees make for happy clients. Pat also believes that you lead people with your heart as well as your head – you use your heart to listen to the needs and feelings of others, and your head to interpret their words to establish next steps. Today, Pat is responsible for Educators’ Human Resource Strategy, including; cultural environment, talent acquisition, learning and development, compensation policy, new employee onboarding and performance management programs. She has been instrumental in utilizing human resource initiatives to establish a culture of employee engagement.

In addition to her HR responsibilities, Pat holds the position of Principle Broker of record for Educators’ brokerage unit. Pat has participated in a variety of human resources programs through Dalhousie, York and the University of Toronto and has obtained her Principal Broker of Record designations.

I believe employee engagement is a key factor to delivering  an exceptional client experience.

Helping employees and education members achieve success is very rewarding for me.

Dan Martonfi

Regional Vice-President, Client Advisory Services

With over 15 years of experience in the financial industry, 8 of which spent working specifically with education members, Dan enjoys helping people achieve their financial goals. Dan completed his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, Canadian Securities Course, Financial Planning I and II, Wealth Management Essentials and the Conduct and Practices Course. While he’s now calling Brooklin home, he lived south of the border for some time working as a Financial Advisor for a large American firm. Dan says his “passion for helping people” and his “keen interest in financial planning” led him to choose his current career path. A path that has not only led him to Educators Financial Group, but also to volunteer with the Junior Achievement Program, where he applies both his passion and expertise to increase the financial literacy of our youth. Dan also volunteers with FP Canada, assisting with scoring the Certified Financial Planner exam.

Helping employees and education members achieve success is very rewarding for me.

Karen - Educators Financial Group

I truly enjoy working with our advisors and members in finding new ways to enhance our overall client experience.

Karen Hubbard

Regional Vice-President, Client Advisory Services

In addition to being an educational advocate, Karen brings to the team over 20 years of financial specialist experience – spending a good part of that time as an advisor with the Private Wealth Management Division of a major financial institution. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University and has her Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. When describing what she enjoys most about working at Educators Financial Group, Karen says, “it’s definitely sitting down with clients – helping them to employ wealth-building strategies and build effective financial plans for life events.”

I truly enjoy working with our advisors and members in finding new ways to enhance our overall client experience.

 

Working at Educators Financial Group

We’re made up of talented, creative, dedicated, and passionate problem solvers. We appreciate people who help make dreams a reality for our clients and our organization.

Thank you for your interest in applying to work at Educators Financial Group.

 

Not sure if you see a fit right now?

Send us your resume with covering letter at careers@educatorsfinancialgroup.ca and when there’s something available, we’ll get in touch.

 
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