MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 18, 2020 / CNW / – The Board of Directors, Knowledge First Financial is pleased to announce that Carrie Russell is joining the company as President and CEO.
Carrie is well known within the financial and financial technology communities for her strategic capabilities, deep market knowledge and experience in leading digital transformation. With a passion for education and conviction that savings empower individuals to live their lives fully and overcome barriers, Carrie is highly aligned with Knowledge First Financial’s vision. Donald Hunter, Chair of the Board of Directors, said, “I am energized by Carrie’s demonstrated enthusiasm for building the businesses she has led, and for her commitment to teams and customers. She is a strong, authentic leader committed to making a difference through purpose.”
“I am delighted to join Knowledge First Financial, an organization that has the capabilities to make a significant impact through education and savings,” said Russell. “In this next chapter, the key to demonstrating our commitment to these vitally important areas is pivoting all technology, product and service decisions around consumer needs and expectations.”
George Hopkinson, who served as President and CEO, Knowledge First Financial is retiring after leading the company through exponential growth over the last eleven years. Hunter said, “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank George for his untiring commitment and many contributions to the business. Under his leadership, Knowledge First Financial became the largest RESP Company in Canada with a best-in-class product offering; he leaves us well-positioned for the future.”
Carrie is currently an independent director for several Canadian financial technology companies. She has held executive leadership roles at D+H, TD Bank Group and, most recently, Equifax Canada. Her appointment as President and CEO of Knowledge First Financial Inc., Knowledge First Foundation and its subsidiary Heritage Educational Foundation is effective September 8, 2020.
Canadian families have relied on education savings plans offered by Knowledge First Financial for more than 50 years. Since 1965, payments from our Plans have reached $8.2 billion and today the company manages $6.8 billion in assets (unaudited as of August 31, 2020) for more than 680,000 beneficiaries. Knowledge First Financial Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Knowledge First 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. The Foundation reinvests excess revenues in initiatives that support student success. Over the last 15 years, Knowledge First Foundation has supplemented Education Assistance Payments to students by over $54 million and awarded $1.6 million in graduate scholarships.