Our Team

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We have carefully selected our Partners, Associates and Staff based on the values important not only to us, but to our clients.

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  • Rob Barkin
    Partner
       416-545-5322
    Partner

    Biography

    Robert Barkin is a senior advisor and consultant on personal and corporate tax planning. He has been in the financial services industry since 1996 and is a Partner at Creative Planning.

    Robert specializes in developing uniquely tailored financial packages for individuals and/or small to mid-sized companies that are designed to maximize their wealth and protect their estates through economical, tax efficient programs specifically suited to the individual or company needs. For high net worth individuals this means optimal estate planning, charitable giving and tax efficiency. For small to medium-sized businesses this means providing tax effective and optimal insurance coverage for key executives, disability supplements, group insurance benefits and best premium/result performance over the full range of corporate insurance needs.

  • Charles Berger
    Partner
       416-545-5325
    Partner

    Biography

    Charles is a partner of Creative Planning Financial Group and has been in financial services since 1986. He provides the full range of services to his clients, specializing in Life Insurance, Wealth Accumulation, Estate Planning, Employee Benefit Plans and Long Term Care Planning.  Mutual Funds are provided through FundEX Investments Inc.

    Charles works with high net worth clients, looking at their complete financial picture on both the individual and business side, focusing on their financial goals and well being.
    Charles serves on several boards and committees, but the cause that he feels closest to is the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Toronto.

     

  • Beni Chencinski, B.Sc Eng., CFP®
    Partner
       416-545-5336
    Partner

    Biography

    Beni is a partner of Creative Planning Financial Group and has been in the finanical services industry since 1996.

    He has an engineering degree (B.Sc.Eng.) and holds a Certified Financial Planner Designation (CFP). Beni specializes in life insurance and living benefits products (Critical Illness, Disability and Long Term Care Insurance)

    His engineering background and analytical approach together with the Certified Finanical Planning designation(CFP) allows him to apply his knowledge and expertise to help clients within the context of life and living benefits insurance in personal and corporate situations.

    He is multilingual, speaking five languages.

  • Richard Cooper
    Managing Partner
       416-545-5328
    Partner

    Biography

    Richard’s passion is problem solving and providing exceptional service to his client. His focus is on the sale of life, disability and critical illness insurance. His clientele are primarily entrepreneurs and professionals. Employing a needs based approach to his services, he aims to provide a solution specific to each client and their situation.

    Mutual Funds are provided through FundEX Investments Inc.

    Richard started in the business of selling insurance in November 1986. Initially, he was trained by a large Canadian Life insurer. Richard joined Creative Planning in November 1989. He has steadily built his business driven by his passion for people and inspired by the culture at Creative Planning.

    He is a member of the board of governors of Mount Sinai Hospital. He sits on the board and executive member at Maple Downs Golf and country club. In addition, Richard was recently appointed to the board of the Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University. His actions support his belief that you get out of life what you put into it.

  • Robert Franklin, BA, CFP, CLU, TEP
    Partner
       416-545-5340
    Partner

    Biography

    Rob has been a life insurance specialist for more than thirty years, working as an integral member of his clients’ advisory teams. He provides practical solutions for business owners and professionals to manage their human resources and protect their wealth.

    Rob earned the professional designations of a Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Life Underwriter and Trust and Estate Practitioner. He is a Partner of Creative Planning Financial Group and a Past- President of our professional association, Advocis Toronto and The Estate Planning Council of Toronto.

    Rob is a member of The Society of Estate and Trust Practitioners, The Conference for Advanced Life Underwriters and a Life Member of the Million Dollar Round Table.

  • Andrew Prenick, BComm, CFP®
    Managing Partner
       416-545-5319
    Partner

    Biography

    As Managing Partner at Creative Planning, Andrew helps business owners, professionals and high net-worth individuals with life insurance planning to protect against the unexpected. Andrew’s team also works with companies to develop cost-effective employee benefit plans and group insurance.

    As a life and health insurance broker and estate planner, Andrew’s goal is to protect and maintain his clients’ lifestyles and the value of their assets. Andrew’s commercial banking background, coupled with a Certified Financial Planner designation, allows Andrew to apply relevant financial knowledge within the context of the life and health insurance business and develop a customized solution for each unique situation.

    Mutual Funds are provided through FundEX Investments Inc.

    Andrew has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and is a member of the Certified Financial Planners Association.

  • Sheldon Taerk, BA, CLU
    Founding Partner
       416-545-5315
    Partner

    Biography

    Sheldon is the Chairman and a founding partner of Creative Planning Financial Group. He has been in the life insurance business for over 40 years. He specializes in corporate life insurance and employee benefits. He is a lifetime member of MDRT, a Top of the Table producer, and a speaker across Canada and the United States. He has spoken at the Ontario Sales Congress and Million Dollar Round Table in Dallas. Sheldon is a member of the Board of Directors of Mount Sinai Hospital.

  • Aviva Abraham
    Group Benefits Advisor
       416-545-5310
    Associate

    Biography

    Aviva’s focus is on providing small to mid-size business clients customized group benefit plans- helping them to grow their businesses and manage their plans through effective cost containment. Aviva also works with management and key employees to protect their financial future with life insurance, disability and critical illness coverage.

    Aviva started her career in public accounting in New York City, working as a CPA in both the public and private sector, and later moved to Toronto. In 2006, she changed careers and began at CPFG, becoming licensed in 2009.

    Aviva believes strongly in the importance of volunteer work in her community, particularly in her children's schools, involving herself in various fundraising endeavors.

  • Karen Bekker
    Karen Bekker, GBA
    Group Benefit Specialist
       416-545-5351
    Associate

    Biography

    Karen’s solid client base includes some of the top 50 employers in Ontario. As a large group specialist, she provides added value, as her core strength is a background in risk management, financial and accounting services. Indeed, she achieved recognition early on in her insurance career from the Global Insurance Monitor. Karen understands her clients' needs and provides tailored solutions. Carriers, too, recognize Karen as one of the top technicians in her field. Exceptional service and smart solutions result in Karen’s continued record breaking client persistency and her reputation as a highly sought after advisor.

  • Marc Berger, B.A., CFP®
    Associate
       416-545-5338
    Associate

    Biography

    Marc provides expert solutions for individual and corporate clients. Areas of expertise include investment planning, insurance and estate planning, and employee benefit plans. Marc has been an associate at Creative Planning since 2005. In 2008 he earned the Certified Financial Planner professional designation. Marc graduated with honours from the University of Western Ontario in 2004. Mutual Funds are provided through FundEX Investments Inc.

  • Nana Brown, CFP®
    Financial Advisor
       416-545-5359
    Associate

    Biography

    Nana has been active in the financial services industry for over fifteen years. She brings her expertise to helping clients manage all elements of their financial health – from analysis and goal-setting to execution and review. Nana is a Certified Financial planner (CFP®).

    Mutual Funds are provided through FundEX Investments Inc.

  • David Chasson, CFA, LLB, MBA
    Senior Wealth Advisor
       416-545-5317
    Associate

    Biography

    David acts as a financial quarterback for his clients providing integrated financial advice, including financial planning, portfolio construction, risk management and estate planning advice.

    Trained as a securities lawyer, David practised law with the Ontario Securities Commission.  Prior to joining Creative Planning, David was a Wealth Advisor with a bank-owned investment dealer.  He also spent a number of years as an investment banker with another bank-owned investment dealer.

    David graduated from the joint LLB/MBA program at Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business.  David is also a CFA charter holder.

  • Les Freeman
    Insurance Broker & Wealth Advisor
       416-618-5151
    Associate

    Biography

    Les has been in financial services since 1994 helping business owners, professionals and high net worth individuals manage business and financial risk. He and his team focus on insurance, estate planning, and wealth management.  Mutual Funds are provided through FundEX Investments Inc.

    Les focusses on tax efficient investing and the use of insurance as asset class to allow clients to achieve more stable returns by diversifying and minimizing risk.
    Utilizing the client’s existing corporation, we achieve superior performance while minimizing costs.

    Les helps businesses maximize the value they receive for their group benefit premiums, ensure price stability of their plan and maximize employee goodwill.

    Les enjoys playing tennis and skiing with his family. He is a Director of the Thornhill Park Tennis Club.

  • Ken Gilburt
    Insurance & Investment Advisor
       416-545-5326
    Associate

    Biography

    Ken has been an insurance and investment advisor since 1983. He has a degree in business administration from York University, and holds a Chartered Life Underwriter designation.

    Ken’s practice focuses on assisting individuals with wealth accumulation and estate planning. His particular interests are in helping individuals reach their retirement income goals, and assisting retirees in maximizing their after tax income.

    Mutual Funds are provided through FundEX Investments Inc.

  • Daniel Keller
    Financial & Insurance Advisor
       416-545-5327
    Associate

    Biography

    Daniel provides insurance solutions in both the individual and small business markets, assisting clients with their personal health, life, disability, critical Illness and employee benefits insurance needs. As a broker, he can properly assist his clients with protecting their health and the wealth. Mutual Funds are provided through FundEX Investments Inc.

    He works diligently with the goal of providing the best solutions and service for his valued clients.

    Daniel began working in the insurance business in 2006. He joined Creative Planning in 2008 as an independent associate advisor. He has completed both LLQP and CSC.

    Daniel is a board member of his Clanton Park Synagogue, and has chaired and continues to assist Eitz Chaim his Children’s School with multiple fund raising projects.

  • Graeme Martin, CFP®
    Insurance Advisor
       416-545-5305
    Associate

    Biography

    Graeme provides insurance planning advice for both businesses and individuals. With nearly 10 years of experience, and along with the expertise of the Franklin Tranter & Associates Team, he strives to build long-term relationships and help clients accomplish their goals by adding value to the risk management planning process.

    Outside work, Graeme sits on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Triathlon Club as their Vice President. He completed his first Ironman in August 2013 and continues to enjoy the training and social aspects of the sport.

  • Joan Morrow, CLU
    Insurance Advisor
       416-545-5352
    Associate

    Biography

    Joan’s clients perceive her as the catalyst that helps them make those difficult insurance and financial decisions. For the past 25 years, they have come to realize that it is important to have a Financial Advisor on their side…to manage their risk AND investment portfolios. Joan encourages her clients to take all the time they need to feel completely comfortable with their financial choices.

    Joan is a Chartered Life Underwriter (’98) and is licensed under The Investment Funds Institute of Canada (’93). She offers a full range of insurance and investment solutions to her individual, family and small business clients. She has been a proud member of Advocis since 1989 and is a firm believer in continuing her education to enhance her client support and advice.  Mutual Funds are provided through FundEX Investments Inc.

  • Robert Olivella
    Senior Consultant
       416-871-7626
    Associate

    Biography

    Rob has been in the financial services industry since 1992. After studying business at York University, Rob went into sales for one of the big 3 life insurance companies. Rob now specializes primarily in group benefits and group retirement savings plans. He also specializes in providing tax effective insurance solutions and investment advice to his corporate clients. Mutual Funds are provided through FundEX Investments Inc.

  • Jack Pollak
    Senior Associate, Estate Planning and Product Specialist
       416-545-5313
    Associate

    Biography

    Jack is a Senior Associate, Estate Planning and Product Specialist at Creative Planning Financial Group. With over 25 years as an accomplished and trusted insurance advisor, Jack has gained a breadth of financial and business management experience. Throughout this time, Jack’s expertise has been sought after by hundreds of accountants, tax advisors, attorneys and other insurance agents as a partner in securing clients’ estate plans and insurance needs. Having contracts with insurance companies that span most of the life insurance market, means that Jack can provide a wide spectrum of products and unbiased solutions tailored to meet his clients’ objectives. His client-centric approach has been beneficial in all cases, simple or complex, and with all parties, be they self-employed individuals, corporations or small and medium sized businesses.

    Jack considers that his greatest successes are achieved with clients who “don’t want to be sold insurance”, but rather want to understand how best to meet financial targets in cost effective, tax efficient ways while protecting themselves, their families and their businesses.

  • Cheryl Solomon, CHS, EPC
    Insurance Advisor
       416-545-5312
    Associate

    Biography

    An independent insurance advisor, Cheryl has been working in partnership with Creative Planning Financial Group for many years. Able to handle all of your insurance needs, she is particularly passionate about building a plan that will allow her clients to continue to live independently. Living benefits have been key elements of her business for many years. A developing focus of her practice is in the area of elder and estate planning. Cheryl is a Certified Health Insurance Specialist (CHS) and Elder Planning Counsellor (EPC).

  • Ken Stern
    Investment & Insurance Advisor
       416-545-5323
    Associate

    Biography

    Licensed to provide insurance and investments since 1991, Ken advises clients on Life, Disability, Critical Illness and Long Term Care insurance and Investment products.

    He is securities licensed through Aligned Capital Partners (IIROC). SMA platform provides Customized Global Balanced portfolios blending active management of global large cap equities and individual fixed income securities with ETFs which are used to enhance returns and reduce risk.

    In 2001 Ken earned “Top of the Table” status in the Million Dollar Round Table. He also presented at the MDRT Annual Meeting (2005).

    He earned Bachelor of Science (Honors) from Boston University (1973) and is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Planners. He also holds Chartered Alternative Investment Planner designation.

  • Mike Tranter, B. Eng.
    Insurance & Investment Advisor
       416-545-5364
    Associate

    Biography

    Mike is an associate of Creative Planning Financial Group and a member of The Franklin Tranter Team. He specializes in developing and implementing wealth and financial risk management strategies for individuals, families and business owners.  Mutual Funds are provided through FundEX Investments Inc.

    Mike graduated with an engineering degree from McMaster University in 2007. He worked in the engineering profession for almost 5 years before making the switch to the financial services industry.
    Mike is in the process of attaining his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professional designation.

  • Chad Tranter, BACS, CFP®, CLU
    Insurance Advisor
       416-545-5347
    Associate

    Biography

    Chad is a financial planning specialist and holds the designations of Certified Financial Planner & Chartered Life Underwriter. He studied at the University of Western Ontario where he obtained his degree in Finance and Economics.

    Chad & his team have over 90 years of experience in providing advice to professionals and businesses owners working as an integral member of their advisory team. He believes in providing his clients with objective and insightful financial advice with a highly personalized approach.  Please visit his Linkedin page for details on services he provides.

    Chad is a past executive board member for the Advocis Toronto Chapter, Association of Stony Lake Cottagers, and the Estate Planning Council of Toronto. Chad completed an Ironman Triathlon for the Sanfilippo Children’s Research Foundation and enjoys spending down time with his family.

  • Judy Tranter, BACS, CHIS, TEP
    Insurance Advisor
       416-545-5346
    Associate

    Biography

    Judy has provided professional financial advice with a specialized focus on estate planning for many years. She holds a designation as a Certified Health Insurance Specialist and past member of the Society of Trust and Estate Planners and the Million Dollar Round Table producer.

    Judy is past President to the Toronto Branch of the Canadian Diabetes Association, former chair of the Hospice Association of Ontario, member of the Junior League and various other community boards. She is deeply involved in her community and is an avid sports woman, enjoying many outdoor activities.

  • Steve Yermus
    Insurance Advisor
       416-545-5334
    Associate

    Biography

    With over 20 years of experience in the Insurance and Financial Services industry Steve brings a lot of experience and knowledge to meet the needs of his clients.

    He provides a highly personalized approach to insurance planning by getting familiar with his client’s various relationships through fact finding and an understanding of their personal goals. Steven started out in the Life Insurance business with Sunlife Financial in 1993 and has patiently developed strong relationships with various insurance companies. His strength is working with small business owners and Professionals.

    He has been an associate at Creative Planning Financial Group since 2001.

  • Lidia Zielinski
    Insurance Advisor
       416-545-5329
    Associate

    Biography

    Lidia worked with Mel Gilbert, co-founder of Creative Planning for 17 years. She has over 20 years of experience in life insurance, retirement and employee benefit plans.

  • Carole Taniguchi
    V.P. Operations
       416-545-5339
    Management

    Biography

    Carole’s entire professional career has revolved around the life insurance industry, working in the corporate realm until 2003 when she joined Creative Planning Financial Group. Her experience in managing various lines of business (individual life, annuities, group benefits and pensions) and head office operations (new business, in force administration and claims) as well as the insight gained while in the role of Insurance Ombudsman provides her with the expertise to oversee the operations of CPFG.