Join CALU and prospective members for this full day event on Wednesday November 8, 2023 which will offer an unparalleled opportunity to engage with industry experts on technical issues to help deliver leading-edge advice and service to clients. There are two participation options – in person in downtown Toronto or virtually via livestream.

Program and speaker details will be updated as more information becomes available and are subject to change.


7:30 a.m. – 8:20 a.m. Registration & light continental breakfast

Registration will be located on the 2nd floor

8:20 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Welcome

      • Robert McCullagh, CFP, CLU, CH.F.C., CHS

        Chair, CALU Board of Directors; Financial Advisor, Benefit Planners Inc.

      • Patrick Uzan, BA (Econ.), CPA, CA, TEP, CLU, Meeting Chair, Vice President, Planning Services, PPI Advisory

Moderator: Patrick Uzan, BA (Econ.), CPA, CA, TEP, CLU, Meeting Chair, Vice President, Planning Services, PPI Advisory
Speaker: Angela Ross, LL.B., TEP, Principal, Tax Services, PwC
Speaker: Kevin Wark, LL.B., CLU, TEP,
Tax Advisor, CALU
(Scroll down for bio information)

During the Fall 2023 edition of the always informative “Tax and Estate Update” our presenters will cover key developments governing tax and estate planning with a focus on high net worth and business owner planning issues. The speakers will cover planning opportunities and pitfalls arising from recent tax legislation, CRA interpretations, case law and market practice issues. By attending this session, participants will also keep current on recent tax legislation, case law, regulatory issues and CALU submissions.

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Refreshments & networking break

Moderator: Hemal Balsara, CPA, CA, CFP, TEP, FEA, Head of Tax, Retirement and Estate Planning, Individual Insurance, Manulife
Speaker: Bryan McNulty, LL. B., BBA, TEP, Tax and Estate Planning Consultant, Equitable Life of Canada
Speaker: Alexandra (Ali) Spinner, BA, MMPA, FCPA, FCA, TEP, Partner, Tax, Crowe Soberman LLP
(Scroll down for bio information)

This session will discuss the tax risks associated with certain tax planning strategies involving life insurance policies that have become increasingly used in recent years. It will review the current and future tax environment and some arguably aggressive tax strategies such as those incorporating life insurance shares, shared ownership of life insurance arrangements, offshore shared ownership DI/CI Programs with return of premium (“ROP”) benefits, etc. The panel will discuss how these strategies may be structured and their intended results including a comprehensive analysis of some of the tax and practical risks. By attending this session, participants will be better informed on those risks and equipped to identify when these strategies are being presented to clients by third parties and advise on whether they should be pursued given the risks.

11:50 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. Buffet lunch

Moderator: Jos Herman, CPA, CA, CFP, CLU, TEP, Wealth, Tax & Estate Advisor, Resources & Solutions Professional Corporation
Speaker: Marco Jotic, CPA, TEP, Senior Manager, Cadesky Tax
(Scroll down for bio information)

In an important planning matter for high income individuals, this session will inform participants about the upcoming changes to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) as initially proposed in Budget 2023 and updated in draft legislation in August 2023. Speakers will discuss various situations that will result in AMT being payable, paying special attention to the proposed 50 per cent reduction in charitable tax credits that would apply to donations. Participants will also learn about potential planning strategies to mitigate the impact of the application of the AMT.

2:10 p.m. – 2:40 p.m. Refreshments & networking break

Moderator: Virginia Hum, B.Comm, CFP, FMA, CLU, CFDS, Advanced Markets Strategist, Insurance, Financial Horizons
Speaker: James W. Murdoch, Partner, Thorsteinssons LLP
Speaker: Marni Pernica, TEP, Partner, Aird Berlis
(Scroll down for bio information)

The past few federal budgets have significantly increased tax reporting obligations for various categories of taxpayers. In this session the presenters will focus on the new compliance and reporting obligations affecting trusts, those engaging in aggressive tax planning transactions and owners of residential property. The session will also discuss tips and traps for affected clients and their advisors.

3:55 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Concluding remarks


Head of Tax, Retirement and Estate Planning, Individual Insurance, Manulife

Hemal Balsara is the Head of Tax, Retirement and Estate Planning Services, and he provides tax, retirement, estate and insurance planning support and consultation to advisors regarding complex cases in the affluent and business markets. He leads a team of professionals providing this type of support and consultation across the country. 

Hemal joined Manulife Financial in 2011 after spending six years in the tax area of a national accounting firm where he researched and analyzed complicated technical tax issues including various tax structuring and estate planning issues, planning for owner manager situations and various corporate and personal tax issues. In addition, prior to specializing in tax, Hemal spent two years in the audit practice. 

Hemal has contributed to various publications including the Canadian Tax Highlights, PwC’s Wealth and Tax Matters, the Canadian Taxation of Life Insurance, and other tax related publications. He has also been a keynote speaker at various industry conferences including STEP Canada’s National Conference, the CALU AGM, CALU Associates, Manulife’s Elite Conference and so on.

Hemal received his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto and graduated with high distinction. He has also obtained his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. Hemal is a member of the CPA Canada, CPA Ontario, the Canadian Tax Foundation and the Estate Planning Council of Toronto, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and the Family Enterprise Exchange.

Wealth, Tax & Estate Advisor, Resources & Solutions Professional Corporation

Jos Herman is the founder of Resources & Solutions, a boutique consulting firm. At her firm, she provides private business and personal solutions focused on tax concepts, tax efficient investment and insurance strategies, asset protection and wealth planning.

Jos is a CPA who has spent over 25 years serving the tax, business and estate planning needs of owner manager clients, professionals and their families.

Jos is able to bring together experience and expertise in a number of areas to create a uniquely integrated financial service that is focused on solving the wealth planning needs of these business owners and professionals.

Jos is a triple threat. She uses her skills to provide an objective perspective related to Accounting, Tax & Estate complexities, Insurance Solutions and Legal Considerations.

Advanced Markets Strategist, Insurance, Financial Horizons

Virginia is dedicated to helping advisors successfully grow their business. With over 30 years of industry experience, it’s a goal she accomplishes with ease. After all, she has first hand knowledge of what it takes to get advisors to the next level.

Virginia started in the business as an advisor herself, and has spent much of her time training them. She’s worked at multiple insurance manufacturers and has developed insurance products.

As the Advanced Markets Strategist specializing in insurance with Financial Horizons, she offers colleagues the benefit of her experience working with top advisors in advanced markets.

Virginia has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Concordia University. She’s also a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), a Financial Management Advisor (FMA), a Chartered Financial Divorce Specialist (CFDS), and a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). Aside from her industry experience and technical background, she is a lifelong learner and a member of Advocis and the Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting (CALU). She is also part of the CALU Associates Technical Education Committee.

Virginia is an enthusiastic and focused individual who’s proud to be a part of Financial Horizon’s team of professionals who help advisors grow their business.

Senior Manager, Cadesky Tax

Marco Jotic is a Senior Manager at Cadesky Tax providing immigration and emigration planning, cross-border tax planning, and estate and succession planning. Marco is an instructor for CPA’s In-Depth Tax Program. 

Marco recently presented in the 2022 Ontario Tax Conference on Emigration Tax Planning.

Tax and Estate Planning Consultant, Equitable Life of Canada

Bryan joined Equitable Life in 2017 after spending over 7 years at another life insurance company. Bryan brings over 25 years’ experience in tax and estate planning for entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals.

He develops and implements advanced estate and tax planning strategies, and collaborates with advisors, accountants and lawyers to deliver value-added services to a select group of clients in the business and affluent markets.

Prior to joining the life insurance industry, Bryan was a tax lawyer and the leader of the Tax Group at the largest law firm in Peel Region and a member of their Wills, Estates and Trusts Group. Prior to that Bryan spent over 11 years at a major accounting firm, providing tax and estate planning advice to high-net-worth individuals.

In these two roles, Bryan advised his clients and their families on business succession, tax reduction and estate planning, and drafted wills and family trusts to help clients achieve their objectives. He also specialized in Canada-U.S. cross-border estate planning for American citizens or individuals who own property in the United States.

Bryan, called to the Ontario bar in 1997, is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and Wilfrid Laurier University. He is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and a member of the Conference of Advanced Underwriting (CALU) Associates Committee. Bryan was also on the board of directors of both the Estate Planning Council of Mississauga and the Toronto Branch of STEP.

Bryan has authored articles for Canadian Tax Highlights; has spoken at conferences for the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Bar Association, CALU, STEP and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants; and has taught the taxation section at the School of Accountancy run by the Instituted of Chartered Accountants of Ontario.

Partner, Thorsteinssons LLP

Jim is a partner of Thorsteinssons LLP and practices in the firm’s Toronto office. Jim’s practice includes both domestic and international personal and corporate tax, trust and estate planning. Jim also represents clients during audits and appeals with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Jim is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and the Canadian Tax Foundation. He is a member of and Past-Chair of the Taxation Section of the Ontario Bar Association (OBA).

Jim has spoken at numerous conferences and continuing education programs offered by the Canadian Tax Foundation, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the OBA, STEP, the Institute of Chartered Accountants (Ontario), the Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting (CALU) and Cambridge Forums.

Jim has been published in the Canadian Tax Foundation’s Canadian Tax Journal and Canadian Tax Highlights, STEP Journal, Taxation Law (OBA), and Tax Litigation (Federated Press).

Jim was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1999. He received his LL.B. from the University of Western Ontario in 1997 and his Bachelors of Business Administration (Honours) from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1993.

Partner, Aird Berlis

Understanding both the financial and personal elements of a family is essential to ensuring that a client’s estate plan reflects their unique circumstances. Marni works closely with her clients to provide them with practical, thoughtful advice regarding their estate plan.

Clients appreciate Marni’s strong relationship-building skills and reputation as a thought-leader, and trust her because they are comfortable confiding in her and confident in her ability to advise them effectively. As Co-Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Tax Group and Estates & Trusts Group, and a member of the Estates & Succession Planning Group, Marni’s practice focuses on estate, income tax and succession planning, including cross-border planning, planning to reduce estate administration tax (formerly known as probate fees), the preparation of wills, powers of attorney and trusts, and assisting with estate administration. Additionally, Marni advises clients on how to reduce personal and corporate tax, including the effective use of a family trust.

Marni offers thoughtful and effective planning for clients ranging from young families who are just starting out to multi-generational families who are looking for effective ways to transition assets to the next generation. Marni enjoys navigating the complexities that arise in complicated and layered family structures, such as the dynamics that are present in blended families. Marni also has significant experience with cross-border planning for clients who have U.S. or other foreign connections.

Marni frequently writes and speaks on topics involving tax, estate planning and business succession planning for audiences such as insurance and financial advisers, accountants, professionals, and fellow lawyers.

Principal, Tax Services, PwC

Angela is a Principal in Family Enterprise Services at PwC specializing in high net worth tax consulting.  Working exclusively in tax planning, Angela is responsible for providing sophisticated estate planning services to shareholders of private and public companies and to other wealthy individuals and families. She advises on will and probate fee planning, tax planning for estates, charitable giving strategies, immigration and emigration planning, the use of domestic and offshore trusts and their taxation, buy-sell planning, estate freeze and capital gains exemption planning techniques, creative uses of insurance and distribution planning for corporations and trusts.

Angela has over 20 years of experience in providing high-end tax advice and planning to clients. Angela graduated with an LL.B. from the University of Toronto and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1997.  While no longer practising law, she did practice for over 9 years as a tax lawyer in both an in-house counsel role and in a top-tier Toronto law firm.  She is a member in good standing at the Law Society of Upper Canada, a member of the Canadian Tax Foundation, Ontario Bar Association, Law Society of Upper Canada, and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

Angela is currently a tax advisor to the Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting (CALU) and has spoken at a number of conferences for the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, CALU, Senior Estates & Trusts Practitioners’ Forum, and the Law Society of Ontario on various estate planning topics. Angela has also authored articles for the Canadian Tax Foundation, CALU and Federated Press. 

Partner, Tax, Crowe Soberman LLP

Alexandra (Ali) Spinner is a Partner in Crowe Soberman’s Tax Group, a member of the firm’s Management Committee, and leader of the High-Net-Worth tax practice. Her practice focuses on helping wealthy families and high-performance professionals structure their affairs in a tax-efficient manner. She works closely with her clients to ensure that their short and long term personal, financial, estate, and philanthropic goals are carefully considered in their planning. Ali brings a high level of passion and warmth to her practice and enjoys building deep relationships with her clients across generations.

Ali’s broad technical expertise includes domestic, cross-border, and international tax matters for individuals, trusts, estates, and corporations. She is experienced in complex estate and trust planning, post-mortem planning, corporate reorganizations, and the preparation of Canadian tax returns and compliance forms. Her transaction advisory experience includes tax due diligence and business purchase and sale structuring. She has testified in Ontario court and has been recognized by the court as an expert in taxation matters.

Ali has more than 20 years of experience in public accounting and tax and estate planning. In 2022, she was elected as a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario. The distinction of Fellow formally recognizes her exceptional service to the professional and to the broader community.

 Ali is a past lecturer in the Commerce Program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, CPA Canada’s In-Depth Tax Program, and the School of Accountancy Tax Program administered by CPA Ontario.

In 2020, Ali was the recipient of the Award of Excellence presented by the Jewish Foundation’s Professional Advisory Committee. In 2016, she was a winner of the M&A Advisor Emerging Leaders Award (Top 40 Under 40). In 2015, she received the CPA Ontario and the Institute for Management & Innovation at the University of Toronto’s Alumni Award. She is also a 2002 recipient of the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award from the University of Toronto.

Vice President, Planning Services, PPI Advisory

Patrick joined PPI Advisory in 2022 and has over 26 years of tax planning experience and expertise in the areas of succession and estate planning, corporate reorganizations, and insurance planning. As Vice-President, Planning Services, Patrick supports advisors in the high net-worth market in developing and implementing estate and tax planning strategies as well as delivering tax seminars and presentations, and authoring industry papers and articles. Patrick graduated from McGill University with his Bachelor of Arts in economics, and Concordia University, where he obtained a post-graduate accounting diploma. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA),  a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), a member of Advocis and an Associate Member of Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting (CALU).

Tax Advisor, CALU

Kevin is a Tax Advisor at CALU and Managing Partner, Integrated Estate Solutions. He has written and spoken extensively on taxation and estate planning topics. He is the author of the popular consumer book entitled The Essential Canadian Guide to Estate Planning (3rd Edition) as well as The Essential Canadian Tax Guide Series on Insured Buy-Sell Arrangements, Life Insurance Transfers and Income Splitting Planning.

Kevin is the Editor-in-Chief of the CALU Report and a regular contributor to the Advocis FORUM Magazine and e-magazine, CALU’s INFOexchange and He is frequently interviewed and quoted in a number of financial publications on issues relating to tax and estate planning. 

Kevin is a member of Advocis, The Institute, the Canadian Tax Foundation, Canadian Bar Association and the Society for Tax and Estate Practitioners. He also sits on the board of the Royal Lepage Shelter Foundation.



  • Limited capacity
  • Access to on-demand videos of sessions (CE info below)

Virtual only

  • Unlimited capacity
  • Access to on-demand videos of sessions (CE info below)

CE credits

Subject to approval by the agencies, you will be eligible to receive CE credits for attending our four sessions either live in-person, online or post-event via on-demand video from the following eight jurisdictions and agencies across Canada:

Institute for Advanced Financial Education (Advocis)
Insurance Council of British Columbia
FP Canada
Alberta Insurance Council
Insurance Councils of Saskatchewan
Insurance Councils of Manitoba
Chambre de la sécurité financière (Québec)
Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) (subject to approval)

We will provide more information on CE credits as soon as we can.


Symposium Registration