Past Speakers

Jim Leech
Chancellor, Queen’s University
Former CEO, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

An alumnus of the Queen’s School of Business, Mr. Leech is the current chancellor of Queen’s University, and is recently retired from his position as President & CEO of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Mr. Leech joined the $130 billion pension fund in 2001 and was appointed CEO in 2007. His successful tenure as the leader of the fund can be well noted by OTPP’s 13% growth this past fiscal year leading to a record-high AUM figure.

Mr. Jim Leech graduated with an MBA from the Queen’s School of Business and has received many accolades for both his business leadership and philanthropic work.

Michael Castellarin
Managing Director, Clairvest Group Inc

Mr. Castellarin has been with Clairvest since 2002, handling domain research and investment origination, structuring and execution. Prior to joining Clairvest, he worked as a management consultant at Monitor Company and as a marketing manager for the National Hockey League Players’ Association. Clairvest Group Inc. was founded in 1987 as a Canadian-based private equity management firm that invests its own capital in entrepreneurial corporations. Under the current management team, Clairvest has initiated investments in 38 different companies, accounting for invested capital of over $840 million.

Michael earned a M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a B.Comm. with honours from Queen’s University.

Brian Hanson
Managing Partner, Verus Partners

Mr. Hanson founded Verus Partners in 2014 with a group of Senior Partners who have collectively advised on over $750 billion of transactions. He has worked extensively in North America, Europe, and Asia, and has been responsible for building the operations of several leading financial advisory and private equity companies.

Prior to Verus, Mr. Hanson was Vice Chairman of CIBC World Markets and was Co-Founder and Co-Head of UBS’s M&A Group in New York, where he advised on the largest announced transaction in history at that time. Mr. Hanson was a founding member of Gleacher & Co., an independent advisory and merchant-banking firm. Prior to this, he worked at Morgan Stanley in New York and Nomura Securities in Toronto and Tokyo. Mr. Hanson was profiled as one of “23 of Wall Street’s Finest” by Investment Dealer’s Digest.

He is an alumnus of the Richard Ivey School of Business and has an MBA from Stanford University.

David Hay
Vice Chairman, CIBC World Markets

Mr. Hay joined CIBC in 2010 as Managing Director and Vice Chairman of CIBC World Markets. In his role, Mr. Hay focuses on senior relationships for CIBC with particular attention to Power and Utility clients. Among other assignments, Mr. Hay has led transactions for Borealis in its stake in Express Pipelines, for GDF Suez in the sell-down last year of its Canadian Renewables business, and for Cameco in its recent sale of its interest in the Bruce B Nuclear Power Station to Borealis. Mr. Hay’s previous experience includes a turnaround of New Brunswick Power Corporation as its CEO, running his own consulting company, Delgatie Incorporated, and managing European Mergers & Acquisitions at Merrill Lynch.

Stuart Smith
Senior Vice President, Dundee Capital Markets

Stuart Smith was drafted in the second round of the 1979 NHL entry draft, and played 4 seasons with the Hartford Whalers through to his retirement from pro hockey in 1985. He joined Merrill Lynch Canada on the institutional equity trading desk in 1987, and moved to CIBC in the early ‘90s as a Managing Director, where he rose to the position of Head Trader. Stu is now Senior Vice President, Institutional Equity Trading at Dundee Capital Markets.

Adam Vigna

Vice President Head of Private Debt, Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board

Adam is responsible for CPP Investment Board’s private debt investment program. He joined the CPP Investment Board in 2009 and has been a member of the Private Debt group since its inception. Adam is a member of the Private Investments Investment Committee and Credit Investments Committee.

Prior to joining the CPPIB in February 2009, Adam was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs & Co. in the Americas Special Situations Group (“AmSSG”) in New York and Toronto. In this role he was responsible for the group’s Canadian energy effort focusing on both debt and equity investments. Adam also previously worked in Goldman’s Investment Banking Division in New York where he was a part of their Financial Institutions Group (“FIG”).

Adam holds a B. Comm from Queen’s University.

Peter Dowse

Partner, Ironbridge Equity Partners

Peter joined Ironbridge in August of 2006 from EdgeStone Capital Partners, a Canadian middle-market private equity group, where he was a Vice President in the Equity Fund.

Prior to EdgeStone, from 2000 to 2003, he worked at Borderfree Inc., a Toronto-based logistics software developer, where he held positions including Director of Finance and Director of UK Operations. Peter began his career as a consultant at Monitor Group, working on engagements covering corporate strategy, corporate governance, valuation and post-merger integration in North America and Europe. Peter currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Hank’s Maintenance and Service Co. Ltd. and Frost Fighter Inc. and is a past director of Orbit Garant Drilling Inc. and Gesco Industries Inc.

Peter holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Queen’s University and the CFA and CMA designations.

Scott Lawrence

Vice President Head of Relationship Investments, Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board

Scott leads the team responsible for making significant minority investments in public companies seeking a constructive, longer-term relationship with the CPP Investment Board. He has more than 10 years of experience in the financial services sector. He joined the CPP Investment Board’s Private Investments’ department in 2005 as a Senior Principal in the Infrastructure Investing group. Prior to that, Scott was an investment professional at Onex Corporation and held various positions in both finance and operations at GE Capital Real Estate and GE Plastics.

Scott holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Queen’s University.

Evan Siddall

Special Advisor to the Governor, Bank of Canada

Evan Siddall was appointed Special Adviser to the Governor for a two-year term, effective January 23, 2012. In this capacity, Mr. Siddall acts as Senior Representative, Toronto Regional Office (Financial Markets) of the Bank of Canada, leading a team that is responsible for building on the Bank’s strong relationship with the Toronto financial community and for analyzing the evolution of financial markets, institutions, products, and regulations. Mr. Siddall also contributes to the Bank’s objectives of conducting monetary policy to promote a well-functioning financial markets.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Mr. Siddall received an L.L.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University in 1990, and a B.A. in Management Economics from the University of Guelph in 1987. Previously, Mr. Siddall was Corporate Finance Officer of Fort Reliance Co./Irving Oil Ltd., a partner of Lazard Frères & Co. LLC and Resident Managing Director of Lazard Canada Corporation. Over the course of his 20 year career, Mr. Siddall has held a variety of positions in both investment banking and general management, including at Goldman Sachs & Co. and BMO Nesbitt Burns.