We are very pleased to announce two promotions within the Common Wealth team, effective immediately.
Grace Li assumes the role of Manager, Plan Operations and Client Service. In this role, Grace will support the plan sponsors through efficient and effective plan administration, continuous improvement in member experience, and fulfillment of Common Wealth’s responsibilities as plan administrator. Working closely with our clients, our plan operations team, and Common Wealth’s leadership team, Grace will focus on creating value and improving retirement outcomes for plan members. We look forward to Grace’s continued client service orientation, leadership, teamwork, and commitment to operational excellence as she assumes this important new role.
Grace joined Common Wealth in 2018 as an Associate, having previously worked as a management consultant at Monitor Deloitte and in corporate tax and audit at PwC. A Chartered Professional Accountant with degrees in mathematics and accounting from the University of Waterloo, where she studied as a Loran Scholar, Grace has been instrumental in the creation of the Advantages Retirement Plan™, a first-of-its-kind collective retirement plan for Ontario Medical Association (OMA) members and their spouses. Grace ably led the complex project management effort to implement this plan, which launched earlier this month. During this project, Grace successfully worked across functions ranging from plan operations, investments, annuities, plan governance, technology, staff training, software algorithms, member education, marketing, legal, and more, developing strong and broad relationships with our clients and partners on the OMA Insurance team. Grace also served as the project lead on Common Wealth’s research collaboration with the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program on portable retirement benefits, including helping to prepare an in-depth report with Aspen on this opportunity to expand retirement plan coverage in the United States.
Connor Bays assumes the role of Manager, Partnerships and Client Success. In this role, Connor will support Common Wealth’s plan sponsor partners in building and scaling retirement programs that have a positive impact on their members’ financial health. Connor will combine his experience across multiple disciplines (including business development, community building, growth marketing, retirement research, and advisory services), to support plan sponsors and members in enhancing retirement outcomes and value-for-money. Connor will also advance Common Wealth’s broader mission of expanding access to retirement security by supporting the development of new partnerships with plan sponsors and other organizations to improve retirement security for Canadians.
Connor joined Common Wealth in 2017 as Associate and Chief of Staff, having previously worked in sales for Canopy Labs (a Y Combinator-backed marketing analytics platform, recently sold to Drop), in fundraising and alumni relations for the Loran Scholars Foundation, and in provincial and federal politics. A graduate of McGill University in economics and history, where he studied as a Loran Scholar, Connor has successfully supported a range of initiatives critical to Common Wealth’s mission, ably carrying out the “nimble generalist” mission we originally hired him for. His work has included:
- Serving as project lead and leading employer and stakeholder engagement efforts for the Common Good Retirement Initiative, including helping to grow a coalition of over 100+ committed employers and helping to secure partnerships with six leading foundations and the credit union Vancity
- Serving as project lead on Common Wealth’s widely-cited report with the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) and the National Institute on Ageing, quantifying the value of a good collective retirement plan
- Serving as project lead on Common Wealth’s partnership with Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector union, in developing a strategy and operational plan to strengthen its members’ retirement security
- Supporting Common Wealth’s ongoing strategic planning and corporate development efforts
We look forward to Connor’s continued initiative, leadership, teamwork, and commitment to excellence in client engagement as he assumes this important new role.
Congratulations to Grace and Connor on their new roles. We are grateful to both of them for their service, and to our clients and colleagues for making their success possible.
– Jonathan and Alex, Co-Founders