Freedom 55 Financial

Our team

Senior management

Steve Kennedy, B.A, CHS
Managing Director
Steve Kennedy | Freedom 55 Financial | Mississauga ON | Managing Director

Steve joined London Life in 1996. Steve has held numerous strategic leadership positions within the organization helping shape financial centres from coast to coast.

In June 2008, Steve was appointed regional manager in Cambridge. In 2012 Steve was appointed Regional Director, Mississauga Financial Centre. In June 2017, Steve was appointed Managing Director, GTA West. “We are focused on providing a unique professional atmosphere that allows the career-changing entrepreneurs to grow their practice and develop personally while flourishing in financial services.”

Mike Woods, B.Comm, CFP®, CLU, CH.F.C., CHS
Regional Director
Mike Woods | Freedom 55 Financial | Mississauga ON

Mike Joined Great West Life as a wholesaler in 1998 moving over to a Freedom 55 Director role in 2003. In 2017 he was appointed Regional Director leading the Downtown Toronto Freedom 55 Financial office.

Since 2013 Mike has served as an honorary chair for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation's "Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer". Through the event, and with the help of: Communities Partners, our Directors, Wholesales, Staff, Advisors, Clients and Friends, we have participated in 2 official World Records and more than $170,000 for Cancer Research.

His favourite part of this role is helping attract the right candidate into the company and helping them flourish.

Pav Gidda
Regional Sales Support Manager

Pav is the Regional Sales Support Manager at Freedom 55 Financial in Mississauga. She joined Freedom 55 Financial in January 2019. She has over 10 years of experience in the financial industry, and two years in coaching and training stakeholders on a proprietary CRM and implementing business practices at dealerships in the GTA and Niagara Region.

Pav graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Arts in Honours Economics, and completed the Post Graduate Certificate Program in Adult Education from Sheridan College.  

Her hobbies include: traveling, cooking, attending fitness classes and movie watching, especially comedies and movies based on true stories. She is actively involved in the Mississauga Friendship Association between Mississauga and twin city Kariya City in Japan. She has already traveled to Japan twice and completed home stays to learn about the culture and the Japanese way of life. 

Marella March
Sales Support Manager

Marella March is the Sales Support Manager at Freedom 55 Financial in Toronto. Her role is to oversee the day to day operations of the region, with a direct focus on hiring, training, and development of staff. She's proactively involved in supporting the growth of our Financial Advisors and their business requirements. Since joining the leadership team in Toronto, Marella has strengthened the business partnerships and the operations of the region. She is recognized for her passion for team building, active coaching, and mentorship. Marella has a diploma in Business Management, including a certification in Project Management. She dedicates her success to her husband and two beautiful children.

Training Managers

Summan Naseer
Training Manager
Summan Naseer

Summan joined Freedom55financial in November of 2018. She has over 6 years of experience in the financial industry and over 10 years in customer service. Originally from Toronto, Summan began her career on the West coast and is happy to be back in familiar territory. She was most recently a Manager, Financial Services for one of Canada’s largest banks. She is an advocate of continuous learning and education and is most passionate about coaching, developing and training Financial Advisors. She is very excited to be working with such a diverse team and part of the Freedom family.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, staying active and travelling.


Anjali Kochar, CFP®, CHS
Director, Practice Development
Anjali Kochar | Freedom 55 Financial | Mississauga ON

Anjali Kochar has been a professional in the Financial Services Industry for over 17 years. She joined Freedom 55 Financial as a Financial Security Advisor in 2001 and built her practice by helping clients develop financial security plans and achieve their financial goals. In 2007, Anjali accepted the position of Director, Practice Development, managing large teams of experienced advisors. She recruits, coaches and develops her advisors, helping them build their practice.

Anjali holds a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics and a MBA in Finance. With her strong commitment to ongoing learning and development, Anjali has also obtained her Certified Health Insurance Specialist designation, and most recently her Certified Financial Planner® designation.

Anjali’s passion for entrepreneurship and helping people achieve financial freedom has driven her to be the strong Financial Services Leader she is today.

Stuart Ayers
Director, Advisor Experience

A graduate of Queens University, Stuart joined Freedom 55 Financial as a financial security advisor in 2007 after completing his Certified Financial Planner program at George Brown College in Toronto. As a varsity athlete and coach to elite young athletes thereafter, Stuart has a passion for coaching and developing talent. Stuart has been a director, business development since 2011 after being appointed new advisor training manager in 2009.

Robert D'Alimonte, B.A., CFP®, CHS
Director, Practice Development
Robert D'Alimonte | Freedom 55 Financial | Mississauga ON

Rob began his financial planning career with London Life in 1996 as a Financial Security Advisor. In 2005, he was appointed Director, Business Development and began helping advisors start and develop financial business practices. He currently holds the title of Director, Practice Development, continuing to help successful advisors grow their thriving financial business practices to the next level. Rob is motivated daily by attracting new candidates to our organization and helping Financial Security Advisors turn dreams into realities. Rob is a graduate of York University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and he has earned two prestigious industry designations, the Certified Health Insurance Specialist (CHS) and the Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®).   

Peter Gillespie
Director, Practice Development

Pete joined London Life as a financial security advisor in 1992. He enjoyed his time as an advisor, and decided to enter management in the spring of 1999 as a manager of new representative development. He has taken on roles of increasing responsibility and is currently Director, Practice Development in the Toronto Central Financial Centre with a team of over 40 advisors.

Pete thoroughly enjoys recruiting and introducing the career to potential candidates, as well as consulting with senior advisors to take their practices to greater levels of success. He was actively involved in the development of Freedom 55 Financial’s economic grower process, a fact finding process designed for younger clients. He is a multiple time recipient of GAMA’s agency builder awards. Pete is a proud member of Advocis and GAMA, and enjoys learning from fellow leaders, particularly at LAMP, GAMA’s annual leadership conference. He has been a featured speaker at LAMP on the subject of recruiting. He is currently President of the board of directors of GAMA International Canada.

A graduate of the University of Western Ontario (BA Economics) and York University (MBA), his fondest education memories belong with his high school, Brebeuf College in North York, where he is involved with the alumni association. Pete is active in the community with a number of local charities, and recently passed 200 aphaeresis donations with Canadian Blood Services.

Pete enjoys spending time at the cottage and at the farm in Shelter Valley with his beautiful wife Mary, and their 2 sons, Bob and Tom.

Simon Ioia, Hon. B.Sc.
Director, Advisor Experience
Simon Ioia | Freedom 55 Financial | Mississauga ON

Simon Ioia started with Freedom 55 Financial at the Toronto East Financial Centre in December 2011. He joined the organization because he wanted to build a thriving business and enjoys helping people. In December 2013, Simon joined The Corporate Solutions Team as a partner and financial security advisor. He holds an honours degree in kinesiology from York University, where he graduated in 2010. Simon’s leadership skills and work ethic stem from over four years with the Canadian Forces Reserve, where he participated in numerous training and field operations across Canada. In his spare time, Simon enjoys an active lifestyle, including cross training, skiing and the occasional round of golf. Simon also volunteers his time with Crown Jewels for Mental health – an organization that raises money for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

Tony Kartalianakis, B.B.A., CFP®
Director, Advisor Experience
Certified Financial Planner®
Tony Kartalianakis

Tony graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2013 with a Bachelors of Business Administration degree. He joined Freedom 55 Financial in 2014 as a financial security advisor in the Burlington-Niagara office. He built his practice there until 2017 when he was invited to join the GTA West management team as Training Manager.

Outside of work, Tony splits his time between team sports and the performing arts. He plays and coaches basketball competitively, coaching his former high school team to a city championship in 2015, and he has recently been involved in community theatre projects with Theatre Ancaster. Developing young athletes is where Tony discovered his passion for coaching. In 2018, Tony was appointed Director, Advisor Experience, where he continues to coach and develop financial security advisors to build successful businesses.

Bert Pepito
Director, Advisor Experience
Bert Pepito | Director, Advisor Recruitment | Vancouver BC and Mississaugua ON

In 1990, Bert joined London Life in the North Vancouver Regional Office, Leaving his profession in Engineering and with no previous background in sales. Attracted by London Life’s training program, he felt the training would give him confidence to reach out and help people as well as making it a career. Bert was invited into the management program in 1992 where he held positions as Staff Development Assistant and then Sales Staff Manager for the next 7 years. He was also involved in the New Advisor Training School in London Head Office from time to time and Career introduction to the advisors of the then Offshore Insurance Company in Taiwan as part of the expansion strategy in Asia. He was also involved in the Advisor transitioning during the acquisition of Prudential of America in 1996. In 1999, Bert went back to the Advisor practice in Vancouver for the next 13 years and had grown his practice by creating a book of business of over 1,000 clients.

Bert moved to Toronto In October 2012 and joined Freedom 55 Financial in Mississauga as a Director, Business Development. His passion is to help Financial Security Advisors achieve career success and new heights, and develop their business to their personal measure of success. He gets a great deal of satisfaction witnessing the impact he makes on a Financial Security Advisor’s practice.

Supported by a team of experts

The following people are available as resources to Freedom 55 Financial:

Michael Bobkowicz
Sales Consultant, Wealth Management

Mike joined the organization in 1998 and has performed a number of different roles in a variety of areas during that time. He has continued to progress into roles with increasing responsibilities. Mike has had the benefit of working across multiple business and product lines, providing him with a holistic view of our clients. He holds a BA (Honours) degree York University, has earned the FLMI from LOMA, is Life Licensed and has completed the MFDA designation.

Andrew Borek, B.Comm
Regional Sales Manager, Wealth Management
Andrew Borek | London Life | Mississauga ON

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Ryerson University and has successfully completed courses through the Canadian Securities Institute. He has over 10 years of experience within the financial services industry working at some of Canada’s largest Banks & Insurance Companies. Andrew recently joined Great West Life in August 2015 as a Sales Consultant focusing on Wealth Management. He works closely with Freedom 55 Financial Advisors to provide them with any sales and marketing support.

Tyler Chapman
Sales Consultant, Wealth Management
Tyler Chapman

Tyler joined Freedom 55 Financial in February of 2019 with over 4 years experience in various business development roles. Prior to joining the team, Tyler worked at one of Canada's largest insurance providers in their investment division, focusing on the growth of the mutual fund, segregated fund, and ETF assets of the company. Tyler is a graduate of the University of Guelph, obtaining his Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing Management. He is a student of the industry, most recently acquiring the Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) designation. In his spare time, you can find Tyler enjoying a round of golf on the weekend.

Anthony Cheung, CFA
Private Wealth Counsellor, Wealth Management
Anthony Cheung

Anthony joined Great-West Life/London Life in early 2013 and brings at least 10 years of industry experience in the financial services industry.  While Anthony initially started as an insurance advisor, his experiences range from working with retail, high net worth and institutional investors for various firms to building relationships with advisors at a global fund company, another Canadian insurance company as well as at Great-West Life/London Life.  As a CFA charter holder, Anthony also brings exceptional technical expertise when working with advisors to build high value investment solutions to clients.

Jaclyn Dawson
Sales Consultant, Insurance
Jaclyn Dawson

Jaclyn joined Freedom55financial in January 2019 as an Insurance Sales Consultant. Prior to her joining our team, Jaclyn was a financial advisor with IG Private Wealth Management for over 4 years. Jaclyn ran a successful practice that focused on the pre-retirees/retiree market. She built forever lasting relationships with her clients, and to this day still stays in touch with them. She continues to be dedicated to helping Canadians achieve their financial dreams, and is excited about starting this new chapter in her career. In her spare time, Jaclyn likes to catch a Leaf game, keep active, and enjoys the summer at her family cottage. 

Dennys Dias, CFP®
Account Manager, Sales
Business Development, Group Customer

Dennys has over 18 years experience working within the group retirement and benefits industry. He has enjoyed working with Great-West Life for the last 10 years as both an investment and retirement manager and as a group benefits account manager. Prior to GWL he worked at Fidelity Investments as a Senior Team Manager, group retirement, working with U.S. clients. In addition to his experience, Dennys holds his life license, is a Certified Financial Planner® professional and is currently working towards his CEBS designation. Dennys will support our region in both Employee Benefits and Group Retirement Services.

Vanessa Funtera-Smith
Sales Consultant, Insurance

Vanessa Funtera-Smith is a dedicated life, critical illness and disability insurance specialist who works with London Life financial advisors to grow their insurance business. Vanessa supports advisors by providing product & sales training for new and established advisors, case consultations and assists in client meetings to help advisors increase their insurance sales while providing the best tailored insurance solutions for clients. Vanessa has been working with the Great West Life group of companies since 2001. She holds a degree in Psychology from University of Western Ontario, and a Certified Health Specialist designation.

Charles Hsu
Advance Case Consultant, Life Insurance

Charles is responsible for helping Financial Security Advisors across the GTA in the “Large Case” Life Insurance Market. Having been in the insurance business since 1997, Charles provides advanced technical support, case consultation, and joint sales appointments helping advisors work with affluent individual to create tax advantaged wealth solution through the use of permanent Life Insurance products.

Garrick MacBride
Advance Planning Strategist, Living Benefits

Garrick has been working as an Advanced Planning Strategist for Canada Life since 2013. He has a background in underwriting and sales consulting and is a graduate of Western University, with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science and Government.

Nick Rao
Credit Planning Consultant, Mortgage

Nick joined product solution team in August of 2018 as a credit planning consultant. Prior to this Nick worked as a mortgage specialist for over 7 years with the banking industry. Previous to joining the insurance industry Nick worked as a fitness manager with a health fitness club. He is a business management graduate. Nick came to Canada in 2005 and enjoys fitness and self-improvement. Spend a lot of his spare time reading philosophy and religious literatures.

Joanna Silaidis
Credit Planning Consultant, Mortgage

Joanna brings more than six years of valuable experience in residential mortgages and more than 10 years in law and administration. Her primary role is assisting Financial Security Advisors with Freedom 55 Financial in Mississauga with their mortgage business for their clients. She provides product solutions for the Advisors and mortgage clients as it pertains to pre-approvals, home purchases, transfers or refinancing. She finds it very rewarding helping clients improve their cash flow, pay off their home sooner and help them to be in a position to do complete financial security planning.

Andrew Summerley
Advanced Planning Strategist, Living Benefits

Andrew Summerley is an Advanced Planning Strategist, Living Benefits with the GTA product solutions centre. He works directly with insurance advisors in various distribution channels providing hands on field sales support and coaching for Critical Illness Insurance and Disability Insurance.

Andrew first joined Canada life in 2005 as a Head Office Sales Strategist and Associate Manager of LB marketing, responsible for Canada Life CI and DI product design, sales tools and marketing. Prior to joining the company, Andrew was an independent insurance advisor who built a block of business from the ground up working with small business, professional and family clients.

His diverse industry and business background gives him a unique perspective on product, marketing and sales.

Access expert advice on stocks and bonds, and award-winning online trading, through Qtrade in alliance with The Canada Life Assurance Company

Talk to us to find out more, or go to the brokerage services landing page

Sean MacDonald, CFP®, CIM
Securities Specialist, Qtrade Wealth Management
Sean MacDonald | Qtrade Sean MacDonald

Sean is a securities specialist with Qtrade who works with our advisors and their clients in an effort to co-ordinate the clients’ investment strategies using both individual securities and Investments funds. This helps us give clients the right advice. Entering the industry in 1990 with a Degree in Finance, Sean earned his Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) designation. After spending the first part of his career as a financial advisor and mutual fund representative, building a large practice, he shifted his focus to developing Financial Security Advisors. His goal is to build great relationships with all the advisors he supports so that the Financial Security Advisor can continue to be their clients’ primary source of advice.