Okanagan Edge and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce are partnering to showcase some of the region’s most exciting entrepreneurs through the “Top 40 Under 40” program.
Sponsored by BDO, the “Top 40 Under 40” recognizes high-achieving professionals in our community and showcases their accomplishments. This marks the sixth year the chamber has conducted a “Top 40” showcase. Honourees will be featured throughout the year on Okanagan Edge.
Kayla Caruana was raised in the Okanagan and co-runs an award-winning financial planning practice with her mother. Kayla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business (BBA) specializing in finance, is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and at the time she wrote the exams she was the youngest CFP at IG Wealth in the country. She is a Registered Retirement Consultant (RRC) and is enrolled in the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation trending to become the one of the youngest CLU’s in Canada. Kayla gives back to the community through her advocacy work with the Financial Advisors Association of Canada (Advocis) as well as her work with the Lake Country Rotary.
Kayla and her mom (her business partner) run seminars in the community for financial literacy for seniors. They were recently honoured by the not for profit Women In Leadership (WIL) and in November of 2019 they spoke at a WIL event on the topic “Women in Wealth” that empowers women to take control of their finances. Kayla has also spoken to the Women in Science and Engineering students at UBCO where she talked about financial literacy to over 150 female students. Kayla is apart of the leadership council at IG Wealth Management. She was chosen (as well as 15 others in the country) to be interviewed by the Senior Vice President of IGM on her thoughts on the industry, the IG Wealth Management’s direction, and what they can improve on. In 2019 Kayla was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Lake Country Chamber of Commerce and was United Way’s honoree at the philanthropy day lunch that recognizes donors who make an impact in the community.
The industry uses a lot of paper which Kayla finds quite wasteful, so she created a sustainable initiative where when she takes on a new client, she plants two trees. Kayla is the 2021 President Elect for her Rotary Club in Lake Country. Kayla currently sits on the board for United Way’s GenNext as past chair. She has been working with the United Way since 2010 where she was Miss United Way that year. She currently runs a yearly golf clinic called “Ladies Swing Away for United Way” that draws nearly 40 women, the event donates over $3,000 to the United Way each year. Kayla also works with United Way on their strategic charitable giving and was on the panel to help choose who would receive the Youth Initiative Grant from the Okanagan Foundation. Kayla is also on the board for Advocis as the Advocacy director, her role entails a lot of travelling to Victoria, Saskatoon, Toronto and Calgary to rally the B.C. government to get behind protecting the title “Financial Planner” as currently in Canada there are no rules around the title and anyone can use it. She wants to raise the bar for the financial planning industry to hold everyone to a higher standard in educating themselves before giving financial advice as consumers are confused on who they can trust with their entire life savings.
Kayla has achieved the distinguished Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. The process in which it takes to complete the CFP typically takes three to four years, whereas Kayla finished in two years and became the youngest CFP at IG Wealth in Canada and 22nd youngest in the industry.
Kayla has won six awards in her first two years of business. In her first year she won the “Practice Growth Award” twice, that is given to a tenure Year 1- 4 consultant. She also won a “Spirit Award” twice that was voted on by her peers. This award is given to the person who helps grow the culture within the workplace and Kayla has shown tremendous leadership and has stuck to her values in doing so. Her team this year was No. 1 in British Columbia.
Q&A with Kayla Caruana
How are you currently approaching the current situation?
Client meetings are done virtually or over the phone now and this seems to work for the time being. We are extroverts and we like hugs, so it has been tough. We have been running educational webinars to help enhance clients plans and offer value since we can’t meet face to face.
Where are you now? Are you still working, at home or at work? How is the business you own/work for currently?
Our team has always pivoted well when things change. We have all decided to work from home for the time being and it works really well for us! Our existing client relationships and the work we do for clients has strengthen through this pandemic as we have had more time to call and converse with them. Clients, especially during times of uncertainty, look to their financial planner for guidance and assurance, and because we are Certified Financial Planners (which is rare in our industry), they know they can trust us and we can help guide them.
What is your favourite quote?
My favourite quote comes from a writer, Mary Jo Putney “Competence is a great creator of confidence”
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