Harvest sponsored Women in Wealth panel offers strategies, tips

November 14, 2019


Women are increasingly turning to wealth management as a career.

It offers flexibility, the chance for advancement and income growth and a way to create an entrepreneurial business. Wealth management also offers the flexibility to manage work and family commitments more easily while building a clientele.  Strategies, tips and inspirational stories will be the focus of the upcoming Women in Wealth Management Conference on November 26, 2019 at the Steam Whistle Roundhouse in Toronto.

The conference is sponsored in part by Harvest Portfolios Group Inc. who will be hosting a panel discussion.

 “We’re thrilled to be sponsoring this panel which will discuss the changing industry landscape and the opportunity it creates for women,” said Caroline Grimont, Harvest’s Marketing Vice President.

The panel will be moderated by Ann Richards who recently retired after 25 years as an investment advisor and portfolio manager with CIBC Wood Gundy. Ann is also a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI).

The three wealth professionals on the panel come from different perspectives and will offer insights into their path to career success. They are:

Jackie Porter, CFP, Senior Advisor at Carte Wealth Management

Jackie was left alone at 16 when her mother died, but her mother’s guidance has helped anchor Jackie’s personal and professional life ever since. Among her mother’s lessons were the value of a can-do spirit and the importance of self reliance. She also emphasized the ability to reach out when you need help. She will draw on these themes in her panel discussion.

Jackie told Wealth Professional in an interview that she got her first job when she was 13 to be able to enjoy the things her mother could not afford to buy. She had several jobs in high school and university and learned how to be frugal and fiscally responsible.

Jackie co-authored Single by Choice or Chance, the smart woman’s guide to living longer better, and continues to share her story with other women. She enjoys public speaking.

“Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses,” she told Wealth Professional. “That’s not what’s that important. What’s really important is the peace of mind that comes with having money for the future and having that financial stability for the long term.”

Ginny Arnott-Wood, CFP, Wealth Advisor and Associate Portfolio Manager, Raymond James

Ginny offers discretionary portfolio management through the Raymond James Private Investment Management Group (PIMG) program. She began her career as an investment advisor for a bank-owned firm where she learned to trade bonds and choose high quality stocks.

But her most important lesson was learning how to listen to clients and then create strategies to help them achieve their goals.

Her career has included the sort of market corrections that give sleepless nights – and a perspective on how to handle turbulent times. They include the Asian currency crisis of 1997, the bursting of the Dot-com bubble in 2000, the 9-11 attacks in 2001 and financial crisis and recession of 2008.

“These crises taught me that one of the most important parts of my job was to remain calm in the face of market turbulence,” she says.

She says clients expect her to be able to explain why markets are volatile and how it affects them. “Often, they just want to know I’m there keeping an eye out.”

Ginny worked in magazine publishing and advertising before switching gears to become an investment advisor in 1997. In addition to her CFP designation, she has earned a Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) designation which qualifies her as a discretionary portfolio manager.

In 2017, Ginny teamed up with the Raymond James office in Burlington. Ginny conducts financial literacy workshops, particularly for women and young people, including a financial basics program for clients of Gillian’s Place, a shelter for women who have experienced domestic abuse.  

María José Flores Suarez, Chief Compliance Officer, Carte Financial Group 

María is a native of Ecuador, fluent in Spanish and English and earned a B.Sc. in accounting from the University of the Americas, in Quito.

Maria came to Canada with her family in 2005 and enrolled first at Ryerson University and then went on to Humber College to further her studies in business management.

An early encounter with a financial advisor who became a friend, led her to Carte Financial as a co-op student while at Humber. The advisor put her in touch with Carte president Kirk Purai, who has since became a mentor.

Following the internship, she was offered a full-time position in 2008. As Carte grew, Maria was offered more opportunities and is now chief compliance officer. In this role, she is primarily responsible for insuring internal and external compliance with securities laws, regulatory requirements, policies and procedures.

Maria tries to pass on the mentoring she has received to other women by making time to listen, “no matter what the question, or what the situation. I always make myself available.” She also speaks at networking events.

“My dad decided Canada would bring a better future for my brother and myself, and he was not wrong,” she says. “Canada has giving me not just education and a job but a true home.”

Maria is a member of The Federation of Mutual Funds, the Association of Canadian Compliance Professionals (ACCP) and the Canadian Association of Life Independent Brokerage Agencies (CAILBA).


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