(Toronto, ON, July 27, 2017) – Foresters Financial ™ announced today that it has appointed Mr. Michael Stramaglia and Ms. Sonia Baxendale as Co-Interim Presidents and CEOs, replacing Anthony Garcia, effective immediately.
“We are entering the second year of our business growth strategy, a journey of transformational change for Foresters Financial,” says Robert (Bob) Lamoureux, Chair of the Board of Directors. “At this stage, we require a different style of leadership to mobilize, support and align the organization in executing on our strategy.”
The Board of Foresters Financial thanks Mr. Garcia for his service and leadership in developing the 2025 Strategy.
The Board is commencing a search for a new President and CEO. In the interim, Mr. Lamoureux anticipates a smooth transition as Stramaglia and Baxendale have served on the Foresters Board for many years, and both are champions of the company’s growth strategy and leadership team, and are supporters of its collaborative and innovative culture.
“Both Michael and Sonia reflect the values that have guided Foresters Financial in recent years, and will continue to guide us as we look to our future growth,” says Mr. Lamoureux.
About Foresters Financial
Foresters Financial is an international financial services provider with more than three million clients and members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. We provide life insurance, savings, retirement and investment solutions that help families achieve their financial goals and make a lasting difference in their lives and communities. Foresters Financial has assets of almost $13.5 billion, total funds under management of $44 billion and a surplus of $2.1 billion (all figures in Canadian dollars as of December 31, 2016). For more information, visit foresters.com.
Co-Interim President and CEO
Michael took on the role of Co-Interim President and CEO in July 2017. He continues to serve as a member of the Foresters Board – a role he has held since 2013. In his role as Board member, Michael Chairs the Risk and Investment Committee and serves on the Audit and Compliance Committee.
Michael currently serves on the boards of the Equitable Bank, Economical Insurance Group and Munich Re Canada, and is President/Owner of Matrisc Advisory Group Inc., a risk management consulting company.
He has over 30 years of financial services experience, including over 10 years with Sun Life Financial (2002-2012) where he served as a member of the International Executive Team and held various executive positions including global Chief Risk Officer and Executive Vice-President, Investments. He joined Sun Life Financial in 2002 following its acquisition of Clarica, where Michael was Executive Vice-President and Chief Investment Officer and head of the International Reinsurance Business.
Prior to joining Clarica, Michael worked for over 13 years with the Canadian operations of the worldwide Zurich Financial Services Group, where he held a number of senior executive positions including Chief Actuary, CFO, Chief Operating Officer and ,ultimately, President and CEO of the Zurich Life Insurance Company of Canada.
Michael is a qualified actuary and Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst. He maintains a keen interest in advancing industry best practices, including through his current appointments as Executive in Residence at the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services and as co-Director of the Schulich School of Business SEEC Centre of Excellence in Risk Management.
Sonia A. Baxendale
Co-Interim President and CEO
Sonia took on the role of Co-Interim President and CEO in July 2017. She continues to serve as a member of the Foresters Board – a role she has held since 2012. In her role as Board member, Sonia Chairs the Human Capital & Governance Committee and serves on the Audit and Compliance Committee.
Sonia was most recently the President, CIBC Retail Markets. She led the Retail and Wealth Management businesses from 2005 to 2011.
From 1992 to 2011 Sonia played a key role in developing strategy and direction for CIBC and held various leadership roles including Senior Executive Vice-President, CIBC Wealth Management, Executive Vice-President, Asset Management, Card Products and Collections, and Executive Vice-President of Global Private Banking & Investment Management Services. Prior to joining CIBC, Sonia held various positions with American Express Canada and Saatchi & Saatchi.
Sonia was named one of the "Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada" for three years in a row and then joined the ranks of the Top 100 Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2000 she was recognized as one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where she was named Victoria College Alumni of Distinction in 2017.
Sonia is currently on the Board of the Hospital for Sick Kids Foundation, the Toronto French School (TFS) and Laurentian Bank and CI Financial. She has previously served on a number of other corporate and not for profit Boards.