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  • From Brain Drain to Brain Gain: Positioning Toronto as the New Centre of Global Tech Talent
Sep 24

From Brain Drain to Brain Gain: Positioning Toronto as the New Centre of Global Tech Talent

Roundtable Luncheon with Ed Clark, Janet De Silva and Yung Wu

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 12:00 to 13:30
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Ed Clark, Chair, Vector Institute of Artificial Intelligence; Former President and Chief Executive Officer, TD Bank


Ed Clark retired as Group President and CEO of TD Bank Group on November 1, 2014 after 12 years as CEO.

Following TD’s acquisition of Canada Trust Financial Services in February of 2000, Ed joined TD Bank Group as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TD Canada Trust. In this role he oversaw the successful integration of the TD and Canada Trust banking operations. He then served as President and Chief Operating Officer starting in July 2000. Before joining TD, Ed was President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada Trust Financial Services.

In 1985, he joined Merrill Lynch, and three years later Ed was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Financial Corporation, a position he held until he joined Canada Trust Financial Services Inc. in 1991. From 1974 to 1984, Ed held a number of senior positions in the federal government.  In 1982, he won the Outstanding Civil Servant of the Year Award. 

Ed graduated from the University of Toronto in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He earned his Master’s degree and Doctorate in Economics from Harvard University in 1971 and 1974 respectively. Ed has also received honorary degrees from Mount Allison University, Queen’s University, Western University, University of Toronto, York University, and Ryerson University.

Ed is a significant philanthropist and supports a number of social agencies. Ed has been a major donor to the United Way and was the 2010 Cabinet Chair for United Way Toronto. Ed was a member of the Chair's Advisory Council for Habitat for Humanity Toronto and has been a lead supporter. He provides support to WoodGreen Community Services, an organization that delivers programs to build sustainable communities in the Toronto area and has been a lead donor to Homeward Bound, a programme to help single mothers get a post-secondary education and permanent jobs. Ed has been a strong advocate on behalf of the LGBT community and a lead donor for EYS, an organization supporting LGBT youth on the street. He was chair of the advisory board for the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto and a major donor to the University.  Ed has also been a donor to a number of hospitals.

In 2014, Ed was elected to the Board of Trustees of US public policy organization, the Brookings Institute. He was also appointed Chair of the Premier’s Advisory Council on Government Assets by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and in 2015, he was appointed Business Advisor to Premier Wynne.  Additionally, Ed was named to a housing task force by Toronto Mayor John Tory that looked into how Toronto Community Housing serves the people of Toronto.  

Ed was appointed a Director of Thomson Reuters in 2015. Currently, Ed is Chair of the Vector Institute, an independent non-profit institution dedicated to Artificial Intelligence. He is also a partner in Radical Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on A.I. start-ups and an advisor to Spin Master.

Ed has been recognized in Canada and around the world for his leadership at work and in the community. He was acknowledged by GTA Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) with the 2011 Outstanding Philanthropist award.

Ed is regularly asked to speak at a number of prominent international events on a wide range of topics, including the Canadian economy, the banking industry, leadership values, and the importance of creating a diverse and inclusive culture in the workplace.

Ed has been honoured numerous times for his vision, integrity and strong leadership. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2010 – one of the country’s highest distinctions – for his “contributions to Canada’s banking and financial industry, and for his voluntary and philanthropic endeavours.”

In 2010, Ed was named Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year – widely viewed as the most prestigious award in Canadian business. In 2011, Ed was named Ivey Business Leader of the Year by the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.  In 2012 and 2013, Ed was named to Barron’s prestigious annual list of the World’s 30 Best CEOs. Canadian Business awarded Ed CEO of the Year in 2013, and in 2014, American Banker named Ed a Lifetime Achievement Honoree.  In October 2014, the Harvard Business Review named Ed to The 100 Top Performing CEOs in the World. In March 2017, Ed received the Canadian Dealmakers Award. Most recently, he was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame for his "outstanding professional achievements and enduring contributions to Canadian society."

Currently, Ed is Chair of the Vector Institute, an independent non-profit institution dedicated to Artificial Intelligence in fields as diverse as finance, education, environment and clean tech, retail, advanced manufacturing, transportation and health care.

Ed and his wife Fran live in Toronto; they have four grown children and twelve grandchildren. 


Janet De Silva, President and Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Regional Board of Trade

Jan De Silva is an experienced international business executive with a track record of excelling in on-the-ground leadership roles.

As President & CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Jan is spearheading efforts to make Toronto one of the most competitive and sought-after business regions in the world.

Prior to joining the Board, Jan spent 14 years in leadership roles in Asia.  She served as CEO of Sun Life Financial’s Hong Kong subsidiary and Mainland China joint venture. She co-founded and was CEO of Retail China Limited, which was acquired in 2010. She later served as Dean of Ivey Asia, leading the Hong Kong campus and Asia operations of Ivey Business School of Western University.

Highly respected for her business advocacy and government engagement efforts, Jan has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, a Woman of our Time by Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post and made the Canadian Board Diversity Council’s inaugural Diversity 50 list. She currently sits on the boards of Intact Financial Corporation, Blue Umbrella Limited and the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance.


Yung Wu, Chief Executive Officer, MaRS Discovery District

Yung is a pioneering entrepreneur, serial investor and experienced corporate director. He has a proven track record of founding, scaling and backing several breakthrough scale-stage companies spanning digital automation, mobile analytics and big data, media and entertainment, enterprise software, financial services, and pharma.

Before joining MaRS, Yung was chair of NFQ Ventures, an early-stage investment firm based in Toronto. He has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 and for leading one of the country’s 50 Best Managed Companies.

Toronto ON, C.D. Howe Institute, 67 Yonge Street, Suite 300

C.D. Howe Institute events are open to members and their guests. Members can register online by signing in here, or contacting cdhoweevents@cdhowe.org.