PPI adjusts executive team, aiming to attract more advisors

By Katie Keir | March 7, 2024 | Last updated on March 14, 2024
3 min read
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The management team at PPI Management Inc. has been reshaped, with Cathy Hiscott becoming CEO on Tuesday.

Hiscott, who succeeds Jim Virtue following his December retirement, has worked with the managing general agent (MGA) since January 2021 and was named president last year.

“We’ve worked on [a] strategic plan for the last three years and we are making sure that we’ve got the right talent aligned,” she told Advisor.ca, referencing a host of leadership changes that took effect on Monday.

Seven people received new responsibilities and promotions. The decision came from analyzing the MGA’s setup and services, Hiscott said, which helped the firm better understand the advisors with whom PPI works.

The MGA not only supports its own insurance advisors, who serve middle-market and wealthy clients, but also works with external investment and mutual-fund advisors across several firms. (One is iA Financial Group, which is PPI Management’s parent company.)

The MGA would like to help advisor teams grow, increasing the number of professionals it supports, Hiscott said. Advisors who are aware of growing privacy and regulatory requirements, and who are building solid, growth-focused businesses, are the target demographic.

Hiscott noted in an internal memo that PPI wants to be seen by advisors as “indispensable by 2026,” with these promotions and shifts marking significant investment in its sales support staff.

Jim Brownlee is now executive vice-president of distribution and formerly led strategic growth initiatives for PPI after moving from Canada Life in early 2023.

Carissa Seguin was named to the new role of vice-president of advisor experience, having previously led the digital sales enablement team. Jason McMahon is now vice-president of sales, broad market, a move up from the Ontario regional vice-president role he’d held since 2022.

Emily Groves is now assistant vice-president, sales enablement, while Cam Graham has been promoted to regional vice-president of sales for Alberta. Also in Alberta, Mike Bibby is now regional sales director for Northern Alberta, a switch from his previous focus on Southern Alberta.

Amanda Munroe, the seventh appointee, is taking on another newly created role: manager of digital sales enablement, with a focus on “comprehensive technology support and training.”

Additionally, PPI expanded Patty O’Neill’s mandate beyond basic human resources, and her title is now vice-president of talent and culture. O’Neill will oversee leadership development, talent acquisition, coaching development and training, Hiscott said, as well as cementing the company’s five-year succession plan.

Hiscott said PPI also has hired a practice management consultant and has created a new recognition program for top producers.

Other notable moves

  • CIBC has announced multiple senior leadership changes that take effect April 1 and play into the bank’s growth and top-level succession planning goals.
  • An executive suite and strategy shakeup has occurred at the Ontario Securities Commission.
  • Janine Guenther has joined Oakville, Ont.-based Bellwether Investment Management as a portfolio manager and senior family wealth advisor. She brings several decades of industry experience, the past four of which were spent with Vancouver-based Dixon Mitchell Investment Counsel where she was most recently president. (Don Stuart succeeded her in that role in January.)
  • Manulife Financial Corp. has added Mike Durland to its board of directors. He was a former senior executive with Bank of Nova Scotia in its capital markets division and currently is CEO of Toronto-based Melancthon Capital Corp., a private firm that works with emerging Canadian companies. to its board of directors. Three other directors also were added.
  • Financial planner Munish Mehan and financial advisor Guillaume Girard have joined Millen Wealth Advisors, which is based in Regina and focuses on millennial investors.

If you know of other people moves in the financial industry and/or would like us to consider your announcement, email Katie Keir at katie@newcom.ca.

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Katie Keir

Katie is special projects editor for Advisor.ca and has worked with the team since 2010. In 2012, she was named Best New Journalist by the Canadian Business Media Awards. Reach her at katie@newcom.ca.