Investing in the Future - A CI Financial and Schulich School of Business Initiative


The goal of this initiative is to leverage the strengths and synergies of the two organizations to bring real world learning experiences to students through internships, innovative projects, and industry events.

  • Investing in the Future – Navigating the World of Blockchain, Digital Assets, and Cryptocurrency

    Panel Discussion & Networking Event

    Tuesday, March 5th | Registration begins at 5:00 pm
    Schulich School of Business
    Robert R. McEwen Auditorium
    111 Ian Macdonald Blvd.
    Toronto, ON  M3J 1P3

    Blockchain technology has enabled a diverse array of digital assets. From cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and stablecoins, digital assets are reshaping how we perceive value and ownership. In this panel discussion, our speakers will delve into the Blockchain theory and the fundamental concepts behind it, how it operates, its potential applications, and its adoption in the financial services sector and other industries. They will also discuss the possibility of digital assets fulfilling their promise of transparency, efficiency, and trust. We would like to invite you to join us and participate in an interactive session with the panelists by bringing in your questions.


Kambiz Vatan-Abadi

Chief Innovation Officer - CI Financial
President & UDP - CI Direct Investing

Kambiz has over 28 years of experience navigating financial technology, securities, brokerage, and large-scale organizations, as Chief Innovation Officer at CI Financial (“CI”), he analyzes and engages with disruptive technologies to develop and digitize existing core businesses, participates in digital ecosystems, manage, and launch new technology initiatives, conduct data governance, and sustain innovative strategies on existing value networks and core businesses. He is also the President and UDP of CI Direct Investing (ex. WealthBar), an industry-leading Fintech company providing Digital Advice (Robo Advisory) services in Canada.

Kambiz led CI Financial in its Digital Transformation journey since 2019, during this time CI adopted a series of emerging technologies and emerging business practices such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Automation, Agile methodologies, DevOps, CI/CD, Data Visualization, Microservice Architectures, Cloud computing…. CI Financial won the 2022 Digital Transformation Award in Canada under his leadership.

Before taking his roles at CI Financial, he was the CEO and president of CI Investment Services Inc. (ex. BBS Securities Inc.) and its highly-ranked Canadian online broker CI Direct Trading (ex. Virtual Brokers). He has worked in a variety of senior management roles with the company since its inception and was one of the main architects of its proprietary Broker Management Systems, Books and Records, and its technologically disruptive practices. Prior to joining BBS Securities Inc., he was leading the Engineering and R&D departments at Butane Industrial Co., one of the largest household appliance manufacturers in Asia.

In addition to being an Advisory board member of the Schulich Tech MBA program, Kambiz is an active member of Fundserv (National Exchange and Platform for Mutual Fund Trading and Settlement in Canada) Strategic Technology Advisory Committee, he also served as a member of the IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada)/CIRO (Canadian Regulatory Investment Organization) Ontario District Council from 2018 to 2023.

Mr. Vatan-Abadi holds a master’s degree in Automation/Mechanical engineering from the Sharif University of Technology. He is a Certified Lead Auditor for Quality and Management Systems from SGS Switzerland and a Certified EFQM (European Federation for Quality Management) Auditor from Belgium.

In his leisure time, Kambiz enjoys playing music on his piano, a hobby he has had since childhood.

Hashim Mitha

Chief Executive Officer - MeetAmi

Hashim is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of MeetAmi (“MeetAmi”) Innovations Inc., a Vancouver-based fintech company that has developed a family of digital asset investing products and services that empower wealth management advisors.

MeetAmi’s wealth management platform helps firms de-risk the process of investing in digital assets. The AmiLearn platform and AmiServices division help firms and advisors design their digital asset practice, meet their fiduciary responsibility, and address their proficiency requirements to confidently invest and oversee client portfolios invested in digital assets.

Hashim is a bold visionary who is leading the expert team at MeetAmi. His authentic and strong leadership enables him to build a culture within organizations that lay a foundation for success. With MeetAmi, he is creating a place of education, information, and transparency that empowers advisors to invest in digital assets no matter their level of understanding.

Throughout his career, Hashim has always had a passion for driving the adoption of new technologies and building effective teams to commercialize innovations. He knows how to restructure organizations for growth opportunities. In 2017 he was President and COO of one of Canada’s premier providers of voice, data, and media services which received the TSX Venture Top 50 Award as one of the strongest companies on the TSX Venture Exchange. Prior to this, he consolidated corporate learning organizations and created one of the largest education companies in the United Kingdom.

In 2017, Hashim started his journey into the world of blockchain and bitcoin learning about cryptocurrencies, mining operations, liquidity pools, exchanges, custodial providers, investment challenges as well as understanding the regulatory landscape.

He holds a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia.

Contact Hashim at .

Sarah Morton

Chief Strategy Officer - MeetAmi

Sarah is the Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder of MeetAmi (“MeetAmi”) Innovations Inc, a Vancouver-based fintech company that has developed a family of digital asset investing products and services that empower wealth management advisors to confidently invest and oversee client portfolios invested in digital assets.

Sarah provides strategic leadership and vision to MeetAmi’s team. Sarah is driving the strategy of a bold vision, the first of its kind while integrating learning, consulting, product, and vendor selection into a compliance and workflow engine to meet Canada’s regulatory requirements.

Sarah is a serial entrepreneur, starting six companies, and having served on several boards and acting as an advisor for over eight organizations during the past 19 years. She started her first company in 2005, seeing the opportunity for companies to essentially “rent” their IT computer needs rather than spend large amounts of capital to run their own. This concept eventually became known as cloud computing and today is ubiquitous.

Contact Sarah at .

Pauline Shum Nolan

Panel Moderator

Dr. Shum Nolan is Professor of Finance at the Schulich School of Business. She teaches MBA Investments and Fintech. She is also the founding Director of the Master of Finance program and had served as the Director of the PhD program at Schulich. Her research spans several areas, including mutual funds, ETFs and art as an investment. Dr. Shum Nolan has won prestigious awards for her work, including the CFA Society Toronto Hillsdale Research Award twice. Dr. Shum Nolan also founded Wealthscope, a fintech that specializes in data-driven portfolio and retirement planning analytics.

  • About CI Financial

    CI Financial is a diversified global wealth and asset management company with over $451 billion (as of January 31, 2024) of assets under management/administration. Since 1965, CI Financial has consistently anticipated and responded to the changing needs of investors, driven by a commitment to provide individuals and institutions with the highest-quality investments and advice. 


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