Ian Thomas - President and Chief Executive Officer
Ian is a values-led and people-centric executive with a proven track record of driving solid financial results, setting strategy, developing empowered teams and delivering a differentiated client experience. He has over twenty years of experience as a senior leader, with deep knowledge in areas of strategy development, risk management, retail and business banking, wealth management, and commercial lending.
A champion of the Canadian credit union system, Ian is a Board member of the Credit Union Central of Canada (CUCC) and previously served as CEO of Kindred Credit Union in Ontario. Prior to that, he held several executive roles during his ten years at Coast Capital Savings including as Chief Risk Officer, Vice-President Retail and Wealth, and Chief Member Experience Officer, in addition to his extensive risk advisory experience at Deloitte.
Ian holds an MBA (Honours) from the University of Calgary and a BA in Communications and Business from Simon Fraser University. In addition, he holds an Institute of Corporate Directors Designation (ICD.D), and a Diploma of Strategy and Innovation from MIT.
Armita Alikhani – Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer
Armita has strategic and operational oversight of brand stewardship, research, strategic planning, products and partnerships, employee and corporate communications, community impact, and ESG strategy. She is focused on driving BlueShore’s core purpose of passionately improving our clients’ financial well-being in an interconnected digital world, and on promoting BlueShore’s exceptional client experience and deep financial expertise. Armita works with the CEO to lead strategy development and oversees the success of enterprise wide projects.
Armita has over 20 years of experience in a variety of industries including financial services and technology. Throughout her career, she has led numerous strategic marketing and corporate initiatives for organizations such as Aviso Wealth, Microsoft Canada, Avaya, and FINCAD, in house and on the agency front.
She holds a BA in Communications and Political Science from Simon Fraser University, and is completing her MBA from the Edinburgh Business School. Armita is deeply committed to community giving and has contributed to a number of organizations serving as a Board member for Dress for Success Vancouver and the SFU Alumni Association.
Deborah Best - Chief Human Resources Officer
With more than 25 years of Human Resources experience across a wide scope of business lines within financial services, Deb oversees the strategic planning and execution of all facets of Human Resources at BlueShore including culture, recruitment, talent management, employee advisory services, compensation, benefits, rewards, learning and leadership development. She is responsible for ensuring a high-performing, engaged and inclusive corporate culture to help move BlueShore's business and people practices forward.
Deb is known for her innovative change leadership, and is a strong advocate for inclusion and diversity aligned to Corporate Social Responsibility principles. Along with her BA in Psychology (University of Manitoba) and Master of Science in Management (Geis School of Business), Deb holds the designation of Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR), Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) and Global Remuneration Professional (GRP). She has been awarded the HR Professional of the Year and is deeply committed to community giving through volunteerism.
Ezekiel Chhoa – Chief Risk Officer
Ezekiel oversees enterprise-wide strategic management of risk. As a member of ELT, he works with his peers to set the overall strategic tone while leading an independent, stand-alone risk management function.
Ezekiel has 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining BlueShore, he held a variety of senior roles at HSBC Bank. In 2008, he moved to Geneva to lead a global cybersecurity team for HSBC Private Bank. Ezekiel returned to Canada in 2010 to roll out an enterprise risk management program, and later was instrumental in implementing a vast financial crime and regulatory compliance change program for HSBC Bank Canada. His expertise was called upon to provide feedback to OSFI as the regulator was contemplating financial crime best practices, and he has worked on a number of OSFI regulatory exams. In addition to OSFI, his career has led him to work with a number of regulators including FINMA in Switzerland, the OCC and DOJ in the US, and most recently the BCFSA in Canada. Ezekiel believes in the good of social impact and has served on the Boards of community organizations. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and a Master’s degree from the University of Manchester.
Fred Cook - Chief Information Officer
With more than 20 years of senior management experience, Fred provides strategic direction to the Information Technology Solutions, Corporate Business Solutions, and Facilities departments. He leads the planning, design and implementation of technology solutions and standards, helping to position BlueShore Financial as a credible innovator in the financial services marketplace. Fred also oversees the development and evolution of BlueShore Financial’s innovative Financial Spa® branch design concept. The integration of technology, administrative processes and facility design concepts ensures BlueShore Financial’s signature client experience.
Fred is a past Director and Board Chair of The Exchange Network, and has served on the Hewlett Packard Canada Executive Advisory Board. Fred has also been a blog contributor for Bank Systems and Technology and served on their Readers Advisory Board. He was recently appointed by the Central 1 Board to serve on the C1 Technology Committee and currently leads the Temenos-Microsoft Global Peer Group. Fred and BlueShore’s Technology Department have been recognized for their innovative work in a number of enterprise business software applications.
Diane Dou - Chief Experience Officer
Diane is responsible for leading the strategy and operations of BlueShore’s branch network, Solution Centre, and Wealth Management lines of business.
She is an innovative leader, with strong commercial and governance acumen and over 20 years’ experience in financial services. She has served in a number of C-Suite roles with leading global and regional financial institutions, including HSBC Investment Funds Canada, HSBC Personal Banking and Wealth Management Canada, and Prospera Credit Union. Before joining BlueShore, Diane was the Western Canada Market Leader for Financial Services at Ernst & Young Canada. Here she led a consulting practice for regional banks, credit unions and wealth management firms in Western Canada.
Diane is passionate about giving back to the broader community. She has served on a number of Boards including the Terry Fox Foundation, British Columbia Real Estate Association, Hong Kong Canada Business Association, the Abbotsford Airport Authority, the Abbotsford City Business, Innovation and Economic Development Committee and Credit Union CUMIS Wealth Management.
She holds an Institute of Corporate Directors Designation (ICD.D), an MBA in Global Asset and Wealth Management, and a BSc in Computer Science.
Derek Lee – Interim Chief Financial Officer
Derek is responsible for leading and managing financial strategy, initiatives and activities across the organization. Derek is a seasoned finance and treasury professional with over twenty-four years of experience in increasingly senior roles in the financial services industry, in both Canada and internationally. Derek is passionate about building, inspiring and empowering strong and effective teams that add value throughout the organization.
Derek’s career has included previous roles at HSBC, Credit Suisse and Price Waterhouse, spanning such areas as asset and liability management, capital planning and issuance, recovery and resolution planning, secured funding programs, regulatory and rating agency relationships, taxation, strategy, financial planning, derivative products support, treasury financial control, mergers and acquisitions, audit and business advisory and accounting.
Derek is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA CA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of Saskatchewan.