We provide forward-looking solutions
to help our clients across the globe.

It’s all about
financial services

When ext. was launched, we identified a growing trend in financial services. Companies like yours were overloaded and under-resourced, and you needed help. Today, the trend is even stronger.

But you wouldn’t entrust your marketing initiatives to just anyone. You need a partner with proven marketing expertise. A firm that lives and breathes financial services. With people who consistently deliver on your marketing and investment communications objectives, while adding great value along the way.

It’s all we do.
It’s in our DNA.

That’s why our clients count on us. We’re dedicated to supporting financial services companies like yours. Our job is to bring fresh ideas to the table and take a new angle or an elevated approach. Your message needs to be heard through the noise, be engaging and make an impact on your target audiences.

We make your life easier. We enhance your marketing capabilities. We provide bench strength whenever you need us. That’s why you keep coming back. Strong relationships are built on trust and respect. You appreciate what we do for you as much as we appreciate the opportunity to support your marketing needs.

Leading financial services marketing

Jillian BannisterCEO and Co-founderLearn More
Jillian Bannister
Jillian BannisterCEO and Co-founder

As CEO and Co-founder of Ext., Jillian is responsible for the company’s culture, vision, revenue and operations. At the highest level, Jillian leads and develops Ext.’s short and long-term strategy. Drilling down, she is responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the company, including sales, staffing, budgets, employee engagement and corporate citizenship. Jillian was Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter and has held senior marketing and sales roles at an early-stage fintech company and Franklin Templeton Investments. Jillian has an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario as well as a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics.

Richard HeftPresident and Co-founderLearn More
Richard Heft
Richard HeftPresident and Co-founder

As President and Co-founder of ext., Richard is responsible for the company’s business development and communications teams. Richard’s days are spent building ext. into a global leader in financial services marketing, as well as creating content that will get our clients’ messages in front of the right people – meaning everyone. Prior to ext., Richard ran a communications firm catering exclusively to the financials space, as well as occupying various marketing roles at some of the world’s largest financial services firms, including Dynamic Mutual Funds, TD Asset Management, Franklin Templeton Investments and John Hancock. When not in the office, Richard spends as much time as possible watching CNN to ensure he knows exactly what’s going on. The rest of the ext. team implores you to never talk politics or religion with this guy.

Jason KlincansCreative DirectorLearn More
Jason Klincans
Jason KlincansCreative Director

Jason is Creative Director at ext. He has more than 20 years of experience working with clients across a range of industries. He brings a passion for developing and executing highly effective marketing and brand identity campaigns across multiple platforms, including print, digital, signage, web and social media.

Within the financial industry, Jason’s previous work includes leading design projects for OMERS, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and CAAT Pension Plan. He excels at collaborating with and guiding other creative professionals to ensure that project goals exceed client expectations. Jason is a skilled communicator and enjoys working directly with clients to help achieve successful outcomes.

Guy Ben-AroyaDirector, Digital MarketingLearn More
Guy Ben-Aroya
Guy Ben-AroyaDirector, Digital Marketing

As Digital Senior Manager, Digital at ext., Guy brings a deep understanding of the digital landscape to all our clients.

Guy has over 20 years of experience working in digital space with a very strong focus on the financial sector. He has worked across a variety of digital platforms, including web development, email marketing, video production, digital advertising, social media and analytics analysis. Guy’s previous experience includes Director, Digital and eBusiness, Advisor Services at CIBC Asset Management, where he led a team working on a broad scope of digital projects. He was also Digital Marketing Manager at VenGrowth, where he worked on award-winning integrated campaigns.

When not at work, Guy spends his time with family and his two dogs.

Ira BergManaging Director, U.S.Learn More
Ira Berg
Ira BergManaging Director, U.S.

As Managing Director of ext.’s U.S. operations based out of our New York office, Ira leads our U.S. operations, including business development and marketing. He has extensive experience in the financial services industry, most recently as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and General Counsel (GC) of a Manhattan-based creative agency specializing in financial services. He has also served as COO, GC and Chief Compliance Officer of a hedge fund with $2 billion in regulatory assets under management. Trained as a lawyer, Ira’s marketing career spans almost 20 years. During this time, he acquired a deep knowledge of the traditional and alternative asset management industries, including hedge funds, private wealth, venture capital and private equity firms.

Andrew Broadhead, CIMDirector, Investment Communications and ResearchLearn More
Andrew Broadhead, CIM
Andrew Broadhead, CIMDirector, Investment Communications and Research

As Director, Investment Communications and Research at ext., Andrew plans, creates and manages content that is easy to find, understand and share. Andrew spends his days uniting excellent strategic thinking and engaging creative – and getting that output seen by the right people. In his previous role as Communications Manager, he launched ext.’s content and social efforts via blogging, newsletter, LinkedIn and Twitter. He’s also deeply familiar with the ins and outs of investment commentaries.

His previous experience encompasses a range of in-house positions, from the darkest and most demanding corners of the back office to the creative suite at one of the world’s largest investment managers, Invesco Ltd. Andrew sharpens his mental focus every day while cycling his single speed through the rough and tumble streets of Toronto.

Colleen MalcolmSenior EditorLearn More
Colleen Malcolm
Colleen MalcolmSenior Editor

As an accomplished copyeditor and writer, Colleen takes pride in offering the highest communication service standards. After studying journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa, Colleen spent several years as a radio news broadcaster, journalist and freelance editor. Before joining Ext. Colleen worked as a Marketing Communications Manager at a global technology company and as a Senior Communications Consultant in the insurance industry.

In her spare time, Colleen devotes her attention to her beloved equine companions on a farm in rural Ontario where along with her son, she offers fresh eggs, rides horses, cultivates gardens and harvests lavender.

Colleen holds a B.A. from Carleton University and a M.A. in Professional Writing from New England College. As a committed Rotarian and member of Editors Canada, she dedicates her free time to advocating for the advancement of student literacy and improving English language educational curriculum standards.

Martin DessureauxConsulting Creative DirectorLearn More
Martin Dessureaux
Martin DessureauxConsulting Creative Director

As Consulting Creative Director at ext., Martin brings creative and design leadership to all our clients. Martin is bilingual (French and English) and has over 20 years of experience building brands locally and globally. His work spans across a variety of creative platforms, including digital, video, social, print, TV and experiential, in industries from financial services to fashion, tourism, consumer packaged goods and automotive. Martin’s previous experience includes Creative Director at Y&R/GTB Canada, where he mentored a team of 12 creatives and led award-winning campaigns for the company’s Ford Canada business. He also recently did work for The Toronto-Dominion Bank. His work has been recognized by Applied Arts, NAA, Cassies, Summit Awards, Promo! Awards and more.

Rojen FletcherWriter and ResearcherLearn More
Rojen Fletcher
Rojen FletcherWriter and Researcher

As Writer and Researcher at ext., Rojen writes investment commentaries, crafts marketing collateral and distils financial data into clear, digestible formats. He has enjoyed education on both sides of the pond. In Wimbledon, London, where he took A-levels in Maths, French, English and Physics, as well as in Vancouver, where he studied English Literature at the University of British Columbia.

He has a keen eye for detail and relishes the challenge of large proofing assignments that regularly land on his desk. Prior to joining Ext., Rojen held a position as an equity research editor in Taiwan for Yuanta Securities Co. Ltd., which laid the foundation for his investments and financial services knowledge and provided a wonderful opportunity to learn Mandarin.

In his free time, Rojen enjoys hiking, golfing and playing soccer (when his knee cooperates) and fondly recalls his days playing Rugby.

George Di FalcoSenior WriterLearn More
George Di Falco
George Di FalcoSenior Writer

As Senior Writer at ext., George turns a wide range of financial concepts into sharp, compelling copy. He spends much of his day delivering content that underscores the financial innovations and benefits that ext. clients bring to the industry. From new website launches to in-depth white papers, George covers a spectrum of writing projects and plays a key part in shaping marketing campaigns. George began his career as a journalist, writing for a number of trade publications and financial magazines, and later switched gears into the world of financial services marketing. His roles with major household names include CIBC and BMO Nesbitt Burns. If he finds a shred of time between his work at ext. and running after his two young daughters, he’ll hit the mountain bike trails or challenge a neighbour to some hoops. He’s still working on a deep three.

Gary AlexanderArt DirectorLearn More
Gary Alexander
Gary AlexanderArt Director

Gary is an inspired Art Director and thought leader who’s spent over 20 years inspiring his colleagues, clients and customers. He’s helped businesses identify and achieve their full marketing potentials by creating unique, customer-centric experiences based on strategic business solutions across multiple platforms, including print, digital, signage, web and social media.


Gary’s career has had him leading comprehensive teams on projects for TD Bank, Bank of America and RBC. He excels in building collaborative, lasting relationships with clients and colleagues to achieve the best possible results.

Vanessa FocklerProject ManagerLearn More
Vanessa Fockler
Vanessa FocklerProject Manager

As Project Manager at ext., Vanessa works within the Project Management Office (PMO) to manage and deliver the design, production and development of projects. She coordinates with Account Managers and collaborates with internal team members to deliver completed projects on time, on specification and on budget. Vanessa also manages ext.’s CRM & Project Management systems. She helps to maintain the sites’ data integrity. She also tests and implements new processes and features, as well as manages project openings, change request and closing processes.

Vanessa’s previous experience includes five years of customer service and back-office work at Scotiabank, two years in administrative, donor relations and marketing roles at Tyndale University in North York, and four years as ext’s Office Manager. Vanessa’s focus outside of work is international development and music. She likes to educate herself in current global development issues and learn how she can help make an impact on alleviating poverty in a sustainable way. Vanessa also loves playing guitar and piano, singing, and recording covers and original music.

Rebecca JanSenior WriterLearn More
Rebecca Jan
Rebecca JanSenior Writer

As Senior Writer at ext., Rebecca applies her extensive industry knowledge to provide our clients with creative, original ideas. She helps them convey often complex financial information in client-friendly formats to successfully drive key business outcomes.

Rebecca’s diverse financial services experience dates back to the dark ages on the client administration side, she’s worked for a Canadian market regulator focused on investor advocacy and also has 15 years under her belt as an in-house writer for various global investment managers where she was responsible for the kitchen sink of communications deliverables for both print and online.

To the chagrin of her parents and her social life, Rebecca has a degree in English lit, is an avid bird watcher and buys newspapers just to do the crossword.

Brenda SpieringSenior WriterLearn More
Brenda Spiering
Brenda SpieringSenior Writer

As Senior Writer at ext., Brenda specializes in transforming complex financial information into client-friendly content to engage readers, boost brands and drive leads.

Brenda brings a wealth of industry experience, having started her career as a personal finance columnist before moving over to become the founding editor of several award-winning digital content marketing platforms for large U.S. and Canadian financial services companies.

Her extensive background includes the development of targeted, plain-language content for social media platforms, e-books, blogs and newsletters.

In her free time, Brenda enjoys gardening, kayaking and spending time with her family and three sons.

Mona MohammadDirector, Client AccountsLearn More
Mona Mohammad
Mona MohammadDirector, Client Accounts

As Director of Client Accounts at ext., Mona helps our clients accomplish their marketing goals. Her responsibilities also include managing members of our Accounts team.

Mona spends her days meeting and strategizing with clients, helping them formulate and then achieve their marketing objectives and visions. She manages client marketing projects, working as a liaison between her clients and the ext. teams. Her main goal is to ensure our clients are happy, and she will do whatever it takes to make their projects successful and lives a little easier.

Mona started off her career at TD Auto Finance, before moving on to Invesco where she spent over eight years in various roles in both Sales and Marketing. Most recently, Mona worked at an advertising agency as an Account Executive before coming to ext. Mona is a huge Toronto Raptors fan. She spends her free time trying new restaurants, reading fashion blogs, watching the NBA and researching where her next big trip will be.

Sanjeev SharmaDirector, Studio Production ServicesLearn More
Sanjeev Sharma
Sanjeev SharmaDirector, Studio Production Services

Sanjeev is Director, Studio Production Services at ext. He brings with him over 10 years of experience. In his current role he manages budgets, timelines, workback schedules, and estimates for print, broadcast and digital deliverables. Sanjeev manages a team of designers, developers and project managers, works directly with vendors and clients, and implements workflows and processes.

Sanjeev’s previous experience includes launching integrated marketing and communications campaigns, loyalty and promotional programs, sales collateral and direct mail campaigns, media campaigns, interactive and social media programs, as well as web and e-commerce initiatives.

When not at work, Sanjeev loves to spend his time with family and friends.

Rico SuicoUX/UI DesignerLearn More
Rico Suico
Rico SuicoUX/UI Designer

As a UX/UI Designer at Ext., Rico translates our clients’ web requirements into user-friendly design. He bridges that gap with a holistic approach that focuses on the end user. Rico is also involved in digital processes such as web development, maintenance and analytics.

Previously, Rico worked at a game studio doing game art and motion design. He loves working with new technology and is constantly searching for new things to learn and adopt into his workflows. Outside tech, Rico enjoys dancing and watching movies.

John OgahPMO AdministratorLearn More
John Ogah
John OgahPMO Administrator

As Project Management Office (PMO) Administrator, John supports the internal team in confirming project requirements, scope and objectives. He ensures operational and client-focused information reported through various project management information systems is timely and accurate. He also acts as a reference point for PMO queries and advocates for project management best practices.

John’s previous experience includes work in the health care sector as a Scrum Master and Admin Coordinator, ensuring Scrum values and agile best practices were implemented. When John isn’t working, he focuses on personal development, writing, and playing and recording music.

Susan LiGraphic DesignerLearn More
Susan Li
Susan LiGraphic Designer

As a Graphic Designer at Ext., Susan helps clients express their brand in a digital environment by crafting useful and aesthetically pleasing websites. Prior to Ext, Susan completed a double master’s degree program in Information Design at Politecnico di Milano and Communication design at Tsinghua University. Through this experience, she discovered a special interest in data visualization and infographics to help explain complex ideas. Susan also has a wide range of experience working as a graphic and UI designer at start-ups and design agencies.

Susan is always learning in her spare time and looking for new project ideas. She also enjoys making up weird stories, doodling, bookbinding and keeping a dream journal. She also likes to explore new cities, bike and swim.

Lauren CainGraphic DesignerLearn More
Lauren Cain
Lauren CainGraphic Designer

As a Graphic Designer at Ext., Lauren brings creative ideas to life through print and digital materials. Lauren attended George Brown College’s School of Design in Toronto, Ontario, where she obtained an honours certificate in Art & Design Foundations, as well as an honours diploma in Graphic Design. Soon after graduating, Lauren started as a junior design intern at Ext., and has since become a full-time member of our team.

Before Ext., Lauren worked as a freelance designer and for George Brown’s IN Studio and Web Design team. When she’s not tackling design problems, she’s usually trying to get away from her computer screen. Lauren loves spending time outdoors, creating art, and catching up with friends and family.

Allison WilsonHuman Resources LeadLearn More
Allison Wilson
Allison WilsonHuman Resources Lead

As the Human Resources Lead for ext., Allison spends her time supporting employees and leaders with not only their day-to-day HR needs, but also provides strategic guidance on the growth, development and engagement of ext. employees. Allison has over 15 years of experience in Human Resources, partnering with leaders in firms such as Morningstar, Manulife and ZoomerMedia. Allison plays a key role in building the ext. culture, in establishing the framework to ensure ext. continues to be set up for exceptional employee development. Allison is a trusted advisor and member of the Senior Leadership Team.

When Allison isn’t working in HR, she works as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and a Yoga Therapist. Allison has a passion for food and its healing abilities, and the practice of yoga as a tool for creating balance and connection in our lives.

John SeeleyProject Manager and Analyst, Investment CommunicationsLearn More
John Seeley
John SeeleyProject Manager and Analyst, Investment Communications

As Project Manager and Analyst, Investment Communications at ext., John helps financial firms navigate the complexities of producing investment commentaries. John spends his days ensuring investment commentaries are completed on time and on budget for ext.’s clients. He also acts as a knowledge hub at ext., tracking and updating the ext. team on economic and industry news. He writes a monthly macroeconomic newsletter and monitors the global regulatory landscape to deepen ext.’s industry insights. John’s previous work experience encompasses a variety of positions at multiple financial firms, including John Hancock, Manulife Financial, Scotiabank and CIBC. John stays active by playing hockey a couple of times a week, along with some early – very early – morning runs.

Naomi HamersleyDirector, CommunicationsLearn More
Naomi Hamersley
Naomi HamersleyDirector, Communications

As Director, Communications at ext., Naomi provides strategic communications and marketing counsel to help clients achieve their objectives. She specializes in creative solutions and skillful project execution to help organizations connect with their customers and stakeholders.

Naomi is a seasoned marketing and communications professional with over 20 years of experience in financial services. Prior to joining ext., Naomi held increasingly senior marketing and corporate communications roles at Sun Life where she gained experience across a diverse range of disciplines including, product marketing, thought leadership and content strategy, external and internal communications, and sales enablement. Her most recent role was leading the marketing and communications function for Sun Life’s defined benefit pension team. Naomi has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism from Ryerson University.

Laurie LuptonGeneral Manager & Partner, Ext. MarketingLearn More
Laurie Lupton
Laurie LuptonGeneral Manager & Partner, Ext. Marketing

Laurie is General Manager and Partner at Ext. Marketing. Her deep financial, capital and regulatory expertise helps drive informed marketing strategies, strong execution and measurable results. Prior to joining Ext., Laurie led Global Marketing for Manulife Asset Management. Her experience includes building, transforming and promoting leading financial services brands, including Manulife, HSBC and Merrill Lynch.

Laurie holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, and has completed her Canadian Securities Course and Partners, Directors and Officers Exam. More recently she earned her Diplome d’etudes en langue français and completed Ivey’s Investor Relations Program.

Laurie is a board member at Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter and also leads their fundraising committee.

Katie McManamonAccount AssociateLearn More
Katie McManamon
Katie McManamonAccount Associate

As Account Associate at Ext., Katie’s daily duties include supporting Account Managers, assisting on projects and helping with client communications. Prior to joining Ext., Katie spent six years in customer service and cash office administration within a large retail chain. Upon moving to Canada from Ireland in 2019, she began working at Cision. She spent two years as Office Administrator, where she helped with day-to-day operations and supported teams throughout the company.

Katie attended the National University of Ireland, Galway where obtained a BA in Geography & Economics, followed by a post graduate diploma in Business Studies. Outside of work, Katie likes to stay active – you’ll find her trying out a different sport any chance she gets! Otherwise, she spends her time catching up with family and friends.

Sandy WongVice President, Communications and StrategyLearn More
Sandy Wong
Sandy WongVice President, Communications and Strategy

As Vice President, Communications and Strategy at ext., Sandy is a seasoned marketer and content strategist who has spent nearly 18 years working in the financial services industry. Equally at home on Wall Street, Bay Street or Burrard Street, she has run successful campaigns for respected wealth managers, including Philips, Hager and North; Franklin Templeton Investments; and RBC.

Sandy has helped brands ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 firms get noticed. She has worked extensively with conventional mutual funds, ETFs, venture capital, private equity, SRI and ESG solutions, and alternative investments. Having led high-octane creative teams, she knows a thing or two about how ideation turns into return on investment. When she’s not working, Sandy ensures her passport is well worn – and can often be spotted in airport waiting areas with two small children in tow.

Kevin GordonDirector, Relationship ManagementLearn More
Kevin Gordon
Kevin GordonDirector, Relationship Management

As the PMO lead for ext., Kevin is responsible for ensuring a disciplined, professional, and repeatable approach to the successful delivery of projects and products for our clients. As a certified Project Management Professional for almost 25 years, Kevin takes pride in helping organizations establish a quality-focused, project-centric culture. Kevin’s previous experience includes five years with the Royal Bank of Canada. As a Senior Project Management Consultant, he helped implement a large Project Office across an organization of almost 60,000 people. Kevin also worked for 21 years at Franklin Templeton Investments, a global investment management firm with over US1.5 trillion in assets under management. During his 21 years, Kevin helped establish three PMOs, implementing best practices, governance, career paths, coaching and mentoring.

Disha GandhiAccount ManagerLearn More
Disha Gandhi
Disha GandhiAccount Manager

As an Account Manager at Ext., Disha supports our clients and internal teams as they produce content, marketing, and communications. As the Account Manager, Disha helps to drive project success by taking a client-first approach and owning her projects through their entire life cycle.

Before joining Ext., Disha worked in the consumer-packaged goods, finance, and retail industries, helping companies with their marketing and branding efforts. She also worked in advertising agencies, supporting multiple brands and accounts, and managing clients with a focus on digital. Disha completed post-graduate education in Marketing Management. She is skilled in client relations, account management, brand building, social media marketing and project management.

Melanie WalkerDesktop Publisher & Graphic DesignerLearn More
Melanie Walker
Melanie WalkerDesktop Publisher & Graphic Designer

Melanie is Desktop Publisher and Graphic Designer at Ext., where she adds flair and finesse to client presentations and brochures. As a production artist with 20 years of experience, Melanie spends her days designing appealing client collateral. Over the course of the pandemic, she went back to school to study UX Design, which she has recently received from George Brown College. She has a background in print and digital advertising and has experience with motion graphics. Prior to Ext., Melanie worked with TD’s Agency 361 creating ads and banners displayed throughout their branches, on billboards and even in the York Concourse of Union Station.

In her down time when her new puppy isn’t keeping her busy, Melanie enjoys spending time with her family, reading with her book club, and knitting and crocheting.