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The Experts

Glenn Stephens, LLB, TEP
Director, Planning Services
PPI Financial Group

Glenn Stephens has been with PPI Financial Group since 2004, providing tax and legal support to PPI Associates across Canada. After being called to the Ontario Bar in 1982, Glenn spent two years with a major accounting firm before joining the insurance industry as a tax and estate planning consultant. In 1990, he entered private practice, and became a partner with a Toronto law firm specializing in taxation, estate planning and corporate law. In 1996, Glenn joined a major Canadian insurance distributor as a tax and estate planning consultant. Glenn has lectured and written extensively on the subjects of estate planning, taxation, and life insurance. He is a CLU Comment editor, a contributing editor of Insurance Planning (published by Federated Press), and is a regular columnist for FORUM magazine. He is also the author of Estate Planning With Life Insurance, now in its fourth edition (2008) from CCH Canadian Limited. Glenn is a member of the Society for Trust and Estate Practitioners as well as the Canadian Tax Foundation.

In Valuation … from tax implications to asset protection, Glenn assesses the tax implications of life insurance policy valuation in business and personal financial planning.

In Tax Changes Impact Financial Advice, Glenn addresses the consequences of key Canada Revenue Agency assessments on financial planning issues.

James W. Kraft, CA, CFP, CLU, Ch.F.C., TEP, MTAX
President, Planningwise Inc.

James is a visionary who has been inspiring and motivating clients to think in non-traditional ways for over 20 years. He possesses a comprehensive understanding of the financial and personal challenges facing both owners of private businesses and affluent families. He is a leader in the field of tax, succession, financial, and estate planning, and has played a key role in guiding clients and professional advisors in the development of planning strategies to address financial planning objectives. James strategizes a course of action, gaining the support of the client’s professional advisory group, and then manages to the client’s objectives. He provides ‘arm’s length’ objectivity when recommending estate, retirement, and tax planning strategies.

James is very active in the professional community. He serves on several industry boards and committees locally and internationally, which adds to his appreciation and understanding of diverse client dynamics. James is a Chartered Accountant who holds a Master of Taxation degree from the University of Waterloo. He is co-author of Comment, a newsletter published by Advocis, and is a favoured speaker at professional seminars.

In Financial Independence for Business Owners, James speaks on the major implications for business owners concerning retirement and succession planning.

Lea Koiv, BComm, CMA, CA, CFP, TEP
Senior Advisor, Taxation & Pension (Central Region, Retail Markets Division)
Standard Life

Lea, a University of Toronto Commerce & Finance program alumnus, joined Standard Life in 2001. She is currently Senior Advisor, Taxation & Pension in the Central Region of the Retail Markets Division. In this position, she provides advice for high net worth cases. Lea assists in positioning products to brokers and advisors on a tax-advantaged basis, including participating in the development of sales concepts and marketing materials. She authors the company’s well-received Taxing Issues series. She has spent her entire career in taxation, with a major portion of it having been spent with international accounting firms.

Lea has authored tax training programs for the CICA, and her articles have appeared in Taxation of Executive Compensation, Benefits Canada, and CALU InfoExchange. As well, she is currently on the Editorial Board of CALU as well as part of CALU’s Tax Advisory Group and IFIC’s Registered Products Working Group. She is a favoured speaker for Advocis, CALU, the Estate Planning Council, and the Society of Management Accountants.

In Retirement: Are We Going To Be OK?, Lea discusses alternatives for dealing with the diminishing values of retirement savings plans in today’s economy, and longer life expectancy.

Sheila Munch, CFP, CDFA, FDS, EPC
Senior Financial Planning Advisor
Assante Financial Management / Munch Financial Group

With over 30 years of experience providing financial advice, Sheila has a keen ability to relate to her clients. She gets to know her clients’ personalities and lifestyles, and provides them with financial strategies and tactics that will enable them to achieve their life goals. Sheila recognizes the importance of understanding the financial impact of a divorce on families. In addition to her CFP designation, Sheila has obtained specialized training in divorce financial planning and the collaborative process, and she helps clients and their lawyers navigate through divorces.

Sheila was awarded the Advisor’s Edge Advisor of the Year Award in 2000, and received one of five national Honorable Mentions in 2002. Sheila has been invited as a professional expert on BNN, CP24, and Rogers TV. She has also been called on to provide financial planning advice for publications such as MoneySense, More and Today’s Parent magazines, as well as Investment Executive.

In From “I Do” To Undo: The Impact of Divorce on Financial Planning, Sheila speaks on the financial issues confronting couples upon the dissolution of their union.

The Moderator

Sandra Pollack, CFP, CLU, Ch.F.C., TEP
Founder and Principal
TRIMARAN Financial Ltd.

Sandra, a graduate of McGill University with 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, is the creator of The Strategic Wealth Process™, an innovative process that provides financial direction to entrepreneurs and professionals who wish to alleviate complexity in their financial lives. This process places special emphasis on asset preservation and risk management and allows business-owners to focus on business opportunities and create free time for themselves and their families.

Sandra is actively involved in the insurance and financial services industries in Montreal and Ottawa, particularly in the areas of estate and financial security planning for the independent business owner.

Sandra brings a wealth of front-line experience and knowledge to the moderator's role for Update 2010. This lets her question the experts from the perspective of today's financial advisors and planners.