A new leader is taking the reins at iA Clarington Investments Inc. following former president and CEO Adam Elliott’s partial exit in April of this year.
Catherine Milum, who comes from Manulife Investment Management Ltd., will succeed Elliott. Elliott, who had led iA Clarington since 2021, remains president of iA Private Wealth.
Milum was most recently head of retail distribution with Manulife, and left the firm in April. She held that role for one year, but worked at Manulife for more than 20 years across various senior roles. She brings three decades total of experience in marketing, client service and advisor training. As head of wealth sales, a role Milum held from 2013 to 2022, she helped Manulife double its assets between 2013 and 2019.
“I spent close to 27 years at Manulife — so most of my career,” Milum said in an interview. “When I was looking at where do I go now, there were things that were really important to me.”
She prefers firms with independent distribution models and entrepreneurial advisors, similar to her experience with Manulife. “I like advisors, I know advisors and I believe in [unbiased] financial advice,” Milum said, who was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2019 by the Women’s Executive Network.
Milum also values iA Clarington’s connection to the broader company’s insurance division. She’s always worked on the wealth side of the industry, but said asset managers can be more “innovative” when they have greater access to products such as insurance and alternatives. She also praised the organization’s ESG offerings.
Milum’s appointment comes during a year of change for iA Financial and its wealth subsidiaries: iA Clarington Investments, Investia Financial Services, iA Capital Markets and iA Private Wealth.
Stephan Bourbonnais became iA Financial’s executive vice-president, wealth management, in January, moving from iA Private Wealth where he was later replaced by Elliott. The company then unveiled its plan for dual registration as well as a “one wealth, four door” strategy that will align its businesses and advisors.
Milum is drafting a 90-day plan for iA Clarington that ties into the broader company’s planned enhancements between now and 2030. Those pertain to the overall business model, the firm’s external partnerships and advisor services.
Bourbonnais said he personally assessed more than 20 candidates to be iA Clarington’s president and CEO, and that Milum stood out.
“She has a good understanding of what it means to deal with independent advisors and work within an insurance company,” he said, as well as passion and wealth distribution expertise. “We had a natural fit and [she is] the next piece we needed for our leadership team.”
Milum said iA Financial is a “powerhouse,” adding, “I’ve seen Investia and iA Private Wealth rise, and you’re going to see more of that from iA Clarington.”
For the quarter ended June 30, iA Financial Group reported net income of $196 million, down from $270 million in the previous quarter but up from $152 million a year earlier.
As of July 31, iA Clarington had $12.5 billion in assets under administration (AUA), iA Private Wealth had $48 billion in AUA and Investia had $57 billion in AUA. iA Private Wealth has more than 460 advisor teams and Investia has more than 1,500 individual advisors.
Here are other notable financial industry moves this week.
- Lara Zink has resigned from her role as president and CEO of Women in Capital Markets (WCM) to pursue a position in the finance industry. Zink began leading WCM in February 2021, and has more than 25 years of experience in capital markets. Mary Vitug, who chairs WCM’s board and has been a WCM director since 2014, will become acting CEO as of Sept. 18. On the same day, Giulia Cirillo, current WCM vice-chair and a director since 2016, will become acting chair. Vitug is a director with several organizations, including Nicola Wealth, and was with Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets for 24 years. Cirillo is the chief human capital officer with , a Toronto-based IT consulting firm.
- Stephanie Wolfe has become the seventh and final member of the leadership team at Horizons ETFs Management (Canada) Inc. She is executive vice-president and head of marketing, effective Tuesday. Wolfe will help execute the company’s growth strategy as well as enhance product and client experiences, a release said. Her industry tenure of more than two decades includes her most recent role as strategic advisor, Women’s Segment, with BMO Private Wealth, and her position as head of Canada marketing with BlackRock. President and CEO Rohit Mehta told Investment Executive last month that he hopes to more than double Horizons’ AUM over the next five years.
- Harper Private Wealth has joined Wellington-Altus Private Wealth Inc. in Vernon, British Columbia, coming from RBC Dominion Securities. The team includes advisors Ron Harper, Kali Peebles and David Spencer as well as associate Theresa Larsen. Senior investment advisor Harper had been with RBC DS for nearly 40 years, spending some of that time as a vice-president and branch manager. Peebles has more than 20 years of experience while Spencer has been an advisor since 2015.
If you know of other people moves in the financial industry and/or would like us to consider your announcement, email Katie Keir at firstname.lastname@example.org.