Behind the scenes of CPBI Regional Council of Ontario - October 2022

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Behind the scenes of CPBI Regional Council of Ontario - October 2022

            

An interview with our Regional Council Member Caroline Helbronner

Caroline is a Partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP , and a Member of the Regional Council of CPBI Ontario for more than 20 years.

 

Caroline has practiced exclusively in the areas of pensions, benefits and executive compensation for over 30 years.  She advises on all aspects of the implementation, administration, funding, taxation and wind-up of pension, group benefit, profit-sharing and deferred compensation arrangements.


Caroline has deep experience advising clients in respect of pension, tax, trust and benefit issues arising in connection with cross-border situations, corporate transactions, loan agreements, insolvencies and compliance disputes.  Her practice also focuses on pension investment, governance and fiduciary matters.  She has advised plan sponsors on de-risking strategies, including buy-in and buy-out annuities, and has extensive experience advising clients on pension plan mergers, including mergers with jointly sponsored pension plans.

Caroline’s clients include private and public sector pension plan sponsors and administrators, financial institutions and service providers.

Over more than 20 years, our volunteer Caroline has greatly contributed to enhancing the quality of CPBI's session offering. Her annual legal update sessions are particularly appreciated, as well as her contribution to the pension certificate programs. Caroline is a distinguished expert in the pension law space. All the members of the regional council are grateful to her for supporting CPBI. We hope she will continue in the role of regional council member for many years!

InterviewerCaroline, can you tell us about yourself and your role at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP ?

Caroline:  I have practised in pensions, benefits, and executive compensation for over 30 years and advised on all aspects of the implementation, administration, funding, taxation and wind-up of pension, group benefit, profit-sharing and deferred compensation arrangements. I have vast experience with benefits issues concerning cross-border situations, corporate transactions, loan agreements, insolvencies, and compliance disputes. My expertise focuses on pension investment, governance and fiduciary matters, de-risking strategies, and pension plan mergers, including mergers with jointly sponsored pension plans in the private and public sectors. 

Interviewer:  How and why did you get started in this industry, Caroline?

Caroline:  My early passion for mathematics and problem solving led me to study actuarial science. Luckily my first full-time job was in consulting, and it happened to be a great fit. The dynamic and people interaction aspects of consulting continue to fuel me and get me out of bed in the morning.


InterviewerWe would love to know how long have you been involved with CPBI and what do you enjoy most about your involvement with CPBI?

Caroline: I have been involved with CPBI for so many years that I have lost count.  25 years, at least, I think!  What I like most about CPBI is the broad-based membership which gives one the opportunity to exchange ideas and to learn and grow.

Interviewer:  What is one of the most exciting things that you see going on in your specific area of expertise right now, Caroline?

Caroline:  There are so many exciting things going on right now that it is hard to pick just one. If I have to pick one, it would be the continuing focus and developments in the area of ESG.

Interviewer:  Can you tell us more of your thoughts and insight on the industry at this time, Caroline? 

Caroline:  Although much has changed over the course of my years in practice, it is interesting to see issues that were “hot” in the past crop up again. Take surplus, for example. We spent years on surplus-related matters in the past and now it is a topic which has again come to the fore. I guess everything old is new again! On a broader note, I would have to say that our industry continues to be filled with smart and engaged people who are ready to tackle the problems that continue to confront clients. The future is bright!

Interviewer:  Thank you for your time, Caroline, you provided a great insight on the industry and it was a pleasure speaking with you!

 




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