Latest News

Knowledge First Financial’s Culture Earns Recognition from Great Places to Work® Institute Canada

Yelena Stepanyan, Director of Investments, Knowledge First Financial Inc. joins Women in ETFs to open trading at the Toronto Stock Exchange on International Women’s Day

Knowledge First Financial’s Culture Earns Recognition from Great Places to Work® Institute Canada

Mar 8, 2018

A work environment that puts people first each and every day is what has Knowledge First Financial Inc. earning kudos from Great Places to Work® Institute Canada. The company is certified as a Great Place to Work® and, most recently, recognized as a 2018 Best Workplaces for Women.

Yelena Stepanyan, Director of Investments, Knowledge First Financial, is a member of the Canadian chapter of Women in ETFs and was on hand to open trading at the Toronto Stock Exchange on International Women’s Day. “I knew that my passion was in investments and markets. However, there are many different roles and career paths, and my choice was driven by work-life balance,” said Yelena. “I have three children and being able to spend quality time with them is important. Working in a family- friendly culture at Knowledge First is very valuable to me.”

A family-friendly work culture is just one of many traits that motivates employees to give it their all. Yelena continues, “Knowing my work makes a difference inspires me to ensure our portfolio managers are delivering the value our customers are counting on.” Carma Lecuyer, Vice-President, Human Resources and Administration, sums it up, “I am inspired to come to work every day because of our mission which is to help Canadian families maximize their education savings.”

Knowledge First Financial works hard to create a work environment that engages and encourages its employees to reach their personal best, as it’s best in class engagement score will attest. Making the workplace fun, building teamwork towards a common goal and supporting transparent communications is what drives many of the initiatives the company offers its employees. In an effort to continually improve its employment brand, the company looked externally to measure its work place culture against the best of the best, and sought to achieve certification as a Great Place to Work®.

Great Place to Work® certification is based on direct feedback from employees, who participate in an extensive and anonymous survey about the workplace experience. Knowledge First Financial ranked equal to or above the average results for other Canadian Financial Services & Insurance companies in all five Trust Index© Dimensions – credibility, respect, fairness, price and camaraderie – and earned an overall score of 85%.
“Our employees feel respected and believe they can make a difference,” said George Hopkinson, President & CEO. “Employees recognize the sense of community, teamwork and fairness within the workplace.” The company plans to build on the learnings from the certification process to become an employer of choice.

About Knowledge First Financial Inc.

Canadian families have relied on education savings plans offered by Knowledge First Financial for more than 50 years.  Today the company is a leading provider of Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP), providing sound financial management and administration of more $3.6 billion in assets on behalf of approximately 250,000 customers. Since 1965, payments from the plans have reached $4.1 billion.

Knowledge First Financial Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Foundation and is the investment fund manager, administrator and distributor of Registered Education Savings Plans. Knowledge First Foundation is a not-for-profit Canadian corporation with no share capital. The Foundation is therefore able to reinvest excess revenues in initiatives that support students, such as the Knowledge First Financial Graduate Scholarship Awards.

About Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work® ( is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, Great Place to Work® recognizes the Best Workplaces™ across the world in a series of national lists including those published by Fortune magazine (USA) and The Globe & Mail (Canada). Great Place to Work® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures.