Professional Development
Entrepreneur Workshop

Entrepreneurial Workshop – The Solo Actuary: Reinvent YOUR Future

Toronto: Eaton Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard Street

September 13, 2014

Program - The Solo Actuary: Reinvent Your Future

If you have often thought that maybe one day you would start your own business, or if you want to hone your entrepreneurial leadership skills in order to move forward in your current organization, this workshop is for you.

Come hear the stories and advice of actuaries who have already walked down the entrepreneurial path.

You may also be interested in attending the Saturday morning Actuarial Evidence Seminar sessions for an additional fee.

12:00 – 13:30  Lunch (joint with Actuarial Evidence Seminar registrants)

 Keynote speaker: Peter Carayiannis

Peter Carayiannis is the president of Conduit Law, a firm he founded in 2012 that describes itself as lean, responsive to clients’ needs, and focused on delivering greater value than its larger competitors. Its evolution into a Canadian market leader recently led to him being included among the “Fastcase 50”, a list of legal innovators and visionaries.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Carayiannis worked at one of Canada’s largest national law firms as a corporate lawyer with specific expertise in banking, finance, and energy law. Since leaving the traditional large law firm environment, he has focused on finding more efficient and effective ways of working with his clients.

He will tell you his story and offer insights into what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur.     

13:45 – 17:00  Getting Down to Business

Session 1 • Where Do I Begin?
• Why you? Why not?
• Making the big decision and taking the plunge.
• What other decisions must be made?
• Which parts are easy and which are hard?

Session 2 • Show Me the Money: Getting Your Business Financed
• Getting through the first lean months.
• How much will you need?
• Sources of funding.

Networking Break – Entrepreneurs’ Market
• Over coffee, enjoy a few quality moments with one or more entrepreneurial actuaries in a “speed dating” environment.

Session 3 • The Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs
• Deciding what services to offer.
• Making it through the early weeks.
• Generating early revenue to create momentum.
• Controlling expenses (legal, technology, insurance, marketing).

Actuarial panellists will include:

Boris Brizeli
• Founded Brizeli Consulting in 2004.
• Previously worked for Gerling Global, Aetna, and General Electric.

Greg Gillis
• Established Lawton Partners Pension and Actuarial Services in 2004.
• Previously worked for Great-West Life, Aon Consulting (now Aon Hewitt), and more.

Phil Gold
• Co-founded GGY Axis in 1989.
• Previously worked for Manulife Reinsurance and National Reinsurance.

Maryse Larouche
• Co-founded GML Actuarial Services in 2002.
• Previously worked for Sobeco (now Morneau Shepell) and Metropolitan Life.

Deborah McMillan
• Founded Knowledge Makes Cents in 2014.
• Previously worked for Baynes and White.

Joe Nunes
• Co-founded Actuarial Solutions in 1998.
• Previously worked for the Government of Ontario and Mercer.

Kevin Pledge
• Founded Acceptiv and Onvivo in 2014.
• Founded Insight Decision Solutions in 2000.
• Previously worked for Foresters (UK and Canada) and AMP.

Experts from the financial sector will include:

Landon Gray, Manager, business centre, Business Development Bank of Canada
A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, Landon Gray has developed a passion for working with entrepreneurs during more than 12 years in commercial banking.

Mr. Gray joined the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) in 2001, and worked in Winnipeg before relocating to Ontario in 2003. In October 2013, he was appointed to the position of manager of the firm’s business centre in Toronto, focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises. He has since been responsible for developing a formal tech strategy while continuing to expand in other industries. During his time with the BDC, Mr. Gray has also served on numerous committees both within and outside the bank.

Alkarim Jivraj, Managing partner, Expresso Capital
Alkarim Jivraj is a managing partner at Expresso Capital, which provides technology companies with innovative growth funding solutions. During a career in which he has helped firms obtain more than $1 billion in growth capital, he has served as the managing partner of Intrepid Business Acceleration Fund, a venture capital fund, and Intrepid Equity Finance, a boutique technology advisory firm. Mr. Jivraj started his career at Yorkton Securities, a technology-focused investment bank, where he headed its technology investment banking practice and co-managed in-house venture funds.


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