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Rebuilding For The Better: Boosting The Bottom Line Through Workplace Retirement Plans

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

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The Empire Club of Canada Presents:
Rebuilding For The Better: Boosting The Bottom Line Through Workplace Retirement Plans

Workplace retirement plans are about more than providing improved financial security to Canadian workers in retirement. In fact, there is strong evidence to suggest that workplace retirement plans also offer a business advantage to employers as well as value to the overall economy.

There is no doubt that Canadian employers will continue to face challenges as our country, and the rest of the world, recovers from COVID-19. But as Einstein famously said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Employers have the opportunity to realize a competitive advantage by rethinking workforce compensation strategies, offering or enhancing workplace retirement benefits, and reducing employees’ financial stress.

Join the Empire Club of Canada on Nov. 16 for a virtual event that will launch the new research paper by HOOPP and Common Wealth, The Value of a Good Pension: The business case for good workplace retirement plans.

The event will feature a panel discussion on the key findings of the research including how workplace retirement plans offer value to an employer’s bottom line, security to employees and improved economic stability for all.

Tim Shortill, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), Chief Operating Officer

Alex Mazer, Common Wealth, Co-Founder & Co-CEO

Rahima Mamdani, YMCA of Greater Toronto, Chief People Officer

Rocco Rossi, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, President & CEO

For more information on the key findings discussed in the video and to access HOOPP and Common Wealth’s report, The Value of a Good Pension: The business case for good workplace retirement plans, please visit

*The content presented is free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.*

*Views and Opinions Expressed Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the speakers or panelists are those of the speakers or panelists and do not necessarily reflect or represent the official views and opinions, policy or position held by The Empire Club of Canada.*

headshot of Rahima Mamdani

Rahima Mamdani

Chief People Officer, YMCA of Greater Toronto

Rahima Mamdani is the Chief People Officer at the YMCA of Greater Toronto. She is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership for Human Resources, organizational development and talent management. Rahima began her career in telecommunications and technology companies including Bell Canada, Saville Systems and Rogers iMedia before moving to the not-for-profit sector. Prior to joining the YMCA, she held the position of Vice President, People & Culture at United Way Greater Toronto.

Over her career, Rahima has provided HR consulting services for not-for-profit organizations such as Right To Play and Greenpeace Canada and volunteered with the Toronto Children’s Aid Society, the Aga Khan Development Network, Médecins Sans Frontières and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She has spoken at numerous conferences on issues of diversity, inclusion and equity.

Currently, Rahima is a member of the Steering Committee for the Common Good Retirement Plan and a volunteer with the Human Resources Professionals Association.

Rahima is passionate about creating strong, values-based and equitable organizational cultures and supports that attract and retain top talent. She is a Certified Human Resources Executive and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology and a Masters of Library Sciences from the University of Toronto.

headshot of Alex Mazer

Alex Mazer

Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Common Wealth

Alex Mazer is co-founder and co-CEO of Common Wealth, a fast-growing financial technology company whose mission is to make it possible for everyone to achieve retirement security. Common Wealth is focused on serving small and mid-sized employers and others that have been underserved by traditional providers.
The company’s digital group retirement plans combine personalized retirement planning, automated investing, smart saving and guaranteed lifetime income, facilitated through the company’s intuitive, cloud-native technology platform. Common Wealth offers its plans primarily through benefits advisors, HR platforms, associations, unions and other partners. Common Wealth has received multiple awards for its work in retirement plan design, including a WorldPensionSummit innovation award from Pensions & Investments.

Before Common Wealth, Alex served as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, an advisor to some of Canada’s leading pension funds, and in various public service roles. As Director of Policy to the Ontario Minister of Finance during the global financial crisis, Alex helped deliver major reforms to Ontario’s retirement system, including laying the groundwork for the enhancement of the Canada Pension Plan. He is a graduate of McMaster University (as a Loran Scholar), the University of Toronto and Harvard Law School (where he served as an editor on the Harvard Law Review).

He volunteers as a coach with West Toronto’s AAA youth baseball program and as a board member for the Loran Scholars Foundation.

headshot of Rocco Rossi

Rocco Rossi

President & CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

A successful entrepreneur and business executive, champion fundraiser and dedicated public servant, Rocco Rossi joined the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) in 2018 as President and CEO.

Prior to joining the OCC, Rossi most recently served as President and CEO of Prostate Cancer Canada where he helped to advance the research, advocacy, education and awareness of the most common cancer in men.

Mr. Rossi also served as CEO of Heart and Stroke Foundation – one of Canada’s largest non-profit organizations – overseeing consecutive years of record fundraising combining for over $600 million in total and launching many new, life-saving initiatives.

His passion for public policy has led him to stand for election both for the position of Mayor of Toronto and for MPP.

Mr. Rossi has held senior positions at the Boston Consulting Group, TORSTAR, Labatt/Interbrew and MGI Software. He is a graduate of McGill and Princeton.

Rossi currently serves as a member of the Board and Audit Committee of TerraVest Industries. A past board member of United Way of Greater Toronto and other charities, Mr. Rossi has been an active community builder. In fact, in 2012 he was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for his Philanthropic and Community service.

A dedicated adventurer, Rocco has walked the legendary Camino de Santiago several times, cycled the 1900 km length of Yonge Street from Rainy River to Toronto, kayaked the 500 km from Toronto to Ottawa, and climbed to Everest Base Camp.

Mr. Rossi has a BA (Hons) in political science from McGill University and a Masters of Arts in politics from Princeton University. He is married to his wife of 34-years, Rhonnie, and they have a 31-year-old son, Domenic John, who is a teacher.

headshot of Tim Shortill

Tim Shortill

Chief Operating Officer, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP)

Tim Shortill is HOOPP’s Chief Operating Officer and he is responsible for the operational leadership of the Information Technology & Facilities Services and Communications & Public Affairs divisions. He is accountable for delivering on HOOPP’s vision, while contributing to the development of its strategic direction and the overall management of the organization.

Tim has held senior positions in both the pension world and government. Most recently, he was Senior Vice-President of Strategy, Communications and Public Affairs at OPTrust, where he worked with and advised the Board of Trustees, CEO and senior management. He led strategic initiatives and communications for the organization with emphasis on building the brand and mitigating reputational risk.

Previously, Tim spent more than 10 years with the Government of Ontario, including as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Finance, where he helped craft and implement four provincial budgets, and as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Transportation.

He holds a BA in Political Science from Western University and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.