Erin Barber, Shareworks by Morgan Stanley
Angela Dawson, Shopify
Ana-Luiza Georgescu, KPMG
Sarah Gilroy, Computershare
Andrew MacDougall, Osler
Mark Mead, BMO
Amanda Voegeli, Willis Towers Watson
Tara Wiseman, Kinross

June Davenport, Shareworks by Morgan Stanley



On 01 December 2020, GEO was pleased to host attendees at GEO's Toronto Chapter Meeting. Thank you to everyone who attended, as well as to our speakers and event sponsors for their support.

Stay tuned for more information on upcoming activities in the Toronto region.



Highlights from 01 December 2020

GEO's Toronto Chapter Meeting

When You Can No Longer Delay the Inevitable
Most compensation decisions for 2020 were made before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic March 11, 2020. But lock-downs and other containment measures shattered the assumptions on which those decisions were made. In the new normal, with new operations, frequent readjustments to plans and a much longer road to a healthy and safe environment, compensation adjustments can’t be deferred until later. Later is now, or will be soon. What should you do?

Not every industry has been impacted in the same manner but even those largely unscathed by events (so far!) will be considering many of the same concerns. Attendees joined us as our panel discussed the different ways they are approaching compensation determinations to:

  • recognize performance under pressure to preserve operations, protect employees, shore up finances and pivot to new technologies and strategies;
  • adjust for changes in stock market prices due to the first and second waves and political uncertainty;
  • address investor reactions;
  • take into account a renewed focus on human capital;
  • align incentives with new strategic plans; and
  • address continued future uncertainty.

Presented by:
Tierney Bondy, AVP, Compensation & Initiatives, Canadian Tire Corporation, Ltd.
Assad Mallick, CCP, GRP, CHRL, BComm, VP, Total Rewards - Human Resources Cineplex Entertainment
Alexander Pattillo, Senior Director and Toronto Market Leader, Rewards, Willis Towers Watson
Chris Roszell, VP, Executive & Investment Compensation, Manulife


Highlights from 26 February 2020

GEO's Toronto Chapter Meeting

Turbulence in Global Commerce: Economic Impacts (2020 and Beyond)
Major changes to global commerce are on the horizon. What are the likely conclusions to Brexit and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – and how will it affect the Canadian economy?

Not-So-Certain: Stock Option Taxation Changes and Implications
The March 19, 2019 Canadian federal budget proposed major changes to the preferential tax treatment of stock options. What are the strategies your organization is considering and why? Now that timing of the proposal is uncertain, has that had any further impact on your equity strategy?

Panel Discussion: Equity's Role in Attracting and Retaining Technology and Critical Talent
From the established to pre-IPO, how are Canadian companies utilizing equity to attract and retain talent? Our panel explores the challenges of communicating the value of equity in an era of decreasing tenure, and changes to how stock options will be taxed.

Maximizing Total Rewards: Strategy, Technology and Communication
Willis Towers Watson demonstrates its best-in-class Total Rewards Optimization platform and discusses with Shopify its approach to maximizing the perceived value of its total program.

Presentation Materials


Highlights from 27 September 2019

GEO's Toronto Chapter Meeting

Whither Options? What are people doing now?

  • Quick check-up on the rules - the known, the unknown and the timing
  • Affected issuers: the impact on compensation mix; competitive concerns
  • Exempt issuers: are there indirect impacts?

Presented by:
Christine Barwell, VP of Human Resources, Alamos Gold Inc.
Dov Begun, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Assad Mallick, VP and Head of Total Rewards, Cineplex Entertainment

Financial Wellness – Reducing Employee Stress About their Finances

  • What is financial wellness?
  • What are the benefits of investing in employee financial well-being?
  • Planning for a financial wellness program
  • Tools and resources

Presented by:
Lucy Battiston, Head of PlanRight, PlanRight Advisor Network, Manulife Financial Corporation
Ingrid Wilson, VP, Human Resources, Echelon Insurance


Highlights from 30 May 2019

GEO's Toronto Chapter Meeting

Don’t go MAD: Lessons from the trenches on Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures

  • M&A: What you wish you had known, or want to know now, about using equity incentives to help buy, sell or retain, a management team through an acquisition or divestiture.

Presented by:
Sabrin Lila, Hydro One
Mike Thompson, Willis Towers Watson
George Trisic, Liberty Algonquin Business Services

Think Fast: Using short and long term incentives better in a more agile environment

  • Are your compensation and performance systems as agile as your workforce?
  • How do you use long term incentives in a short term environment: building flexibility without abandoning fairness and consistency
  • Join a lively discussion that may disrupt how we do performance and compensation going forward!

Presented by:
Angela Dawson, Shopify
Assad Mallick, Aviva
Linda Speedy, KPMG

Moving Right Along, Footloose and Fancy Free: Managing long term equity for Globally Mobile employees

  • Understand the taxation and administrative headaches of equity incentives when getting the right person to the right place at the right time
  • Are you and are your employees aware of international or even intra-national travel impacts on the taxation and administration of equity?

Presented by:
Narendra Acharya, Baker McKenzie
Christian Laniel, Manulife Financial
Cathy McGill, PwC
Mark Mead, BMO Financial Group

Interactive Session

  • What is happening with Options: A brief heads up on the implications of changes proposed in the federal budget
  • Ask Me Anything! What would you most like to know about incentive compensation practices today?

Presented by:
Connie Bao, Kinross
Angela Dawson, Shopify
Ana Luiza Georgescu, KPMG
Andrew MacDougall, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Assad Mallick, Aviva
Mike Thompson, Willis Towers Watson


Highlights from 20 February 2019

GEO's Toronto Chapter Meeting

Attendees articipated in group discussions on Global ESPP and Global Mobility, sharing knowledge, experiences, problems and solutions with other compensation leaders, addressing challenges such as:

Roundtable Discussion on Global ESPP

  • What works in different jurisdictions – and what to watch out for
  • How important is employee participation in different jurisdictions
  • How do you reconcile different domestic and foreign tax and securities law issues

Presented by:
Ana-Luiza Georgescu, KPMG
Tara Wiseman, Kinross

Roundtable Discussion on Global Mobility

  • Key issues in managing compensation arrangements for mobile executive teams
  • How do you maintain consistency in approach across different jurisdictions
  • What should you avoid (if you can)

Presented by:
Lynne Lacoursière, Osler
Mark Mead, BMO


Highlights from 19 November 2018

GEO's Toronto Chapter Meeting

Trends in Equity Incentives – Where are We Going, and Why?

  • Trends in use of long-term incentives versus salary and cash incentives
  • What types of awards are included in long-term incentives and how is the equity mix changing
  • Common performance measures, prevalence of TSR and use of relative performance
  • The drivers of change

Presented by:
Lucie Guindon, Director, Total Rewards, Iamgold Corporation
Mark Mead, Managing Director, Executive Compensation, BMO Financial Group
Amanda Voegeli, Managing Director, Rewards, Willis Towers Watson

Gender Pay and Pay Transparency – in Ontario and Beyond!

  • An introduction to Ontario’s Pay Transparency Act, 2018
  • Timing and steps for, and progress on, implementation
  • Expectations for compliance enforcement
  • Experience with foreign pay transparency legislation

Presented by:
Marcelle Crouse, Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy, Ontario Government
Jason Hanson, Partner, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Careen Jones, Director, Corporate Policy & Special Projects Branch, Ontario Government
Krista McBeth, Director, Talent Operations, Shopify Inc.
Tara Wiseman, Vice-President, Total Rewards, Kinross Gold Corporation



Highlights from 02 June 2015

GEO's Toronto Chapter Meeting

Current Trends in Performance Award Design

  • Approaches for decreasing cost (and delivering more shares or value) while maintaining incentives
  • Setting appropriate expectations with internal stakeholders and minimizing fluctuation from those expectations
  • The latest trends in compensation analytics

Presented by:
David Outlaw, Equity Methods
Robert Slaughter, Equity Methods

Post Vest Holding Periods – The Intersection of Corporate Governance, Plan Design, and Financial Accounting

  • Overview of the current corporate governance environment related to mandatory post vest holdings periods
  • Outline the competitive practice and prevalence of post vest hold periods
  • Discussion of the financial accounting benefit and reduction in compensation expense that may be realized for awards that include mandatory post vest holding periods
  • Post vest holding periods as a design consideration in both the United States and Canada

Presented by:
Terry Adamson , AON Hewitt
Daniel Coleman , AON Hewitt


Highlights from 12 November 2014

GEO's Toronto Chapter Meeting

In a recent study of employee share plans released by the London School of Economics and University of Toronto, results consistently show that employees are more loyal and satisfied when part of an employee share plan. In addition, plan participants take less time off and are more likely to go the extra mile and work overtime. Attendees learned more about how to increase employee satisfaction and engagement levels at your organization through increased participation in your employee share plan.
Presented by:
Dr. Rafael Gomez, Associate Professor & Undergraduate Director of Employment Relations Program at the University of Toronto


Highlights from 03 June 2014

GEO's Toronto Chapter Meeting

Canadian Taxation on Non Resident Trusts
The winner of the 2014 GEO Award for the Most Innovative and Creative Plan Design discussed how they have been able to excel at building an award winning global employee ownership culture, even in the face of difficult economic conditions and challenging political and labor markets. In this presentation the Kinross team shared their "out of the box" thinking that led not only to the creation of a unique share plan design that met both their industry needs and worked within the various economic constraints - but also resulted in their selection as the 2014 winner of the coveted GEO award for innovation and creativity!
Presented by:
Chris D'Iorio, Aon Hewitt
Peter Megoudis, Deloitte

The Kinross Experience
The deadline for filing crucial elections for offshore employee benefit plan trusts is fast approaching. If such elections are not filed by June 26, 2014, the whole trust may be subject to Canadian taxation on its income. This panel will provide an overview of the new rules and discuss the traps that can taint a company's EBP trust, as well as the procedures for minimizing the exposure of a tainted trust.
Presented by:
Connie Bao, Kinross
Tara Wiseman, Kinross


Highlights from 18 April 2013

Westjet Airlines Philosophy Presentation

Westjet Airlines Philosophy
Westjet Airlines philosophy of having a committed employee base profiting from the success of the airline that was driven by employee share ownership. Its Canadian content factor is almost pure bred 100% and a success for Canadian enterprise in what is typically a graveyard industry.
Presented by:
Scott Hausberg, Manager, Compensation, WestJet, Calgary


01 December 2020
9:00am Pacific
10:00am Mountain
12:00pm Eastern


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