Behind the Brand®

Behind the Brand®

Welcome to Behind the Brand® presented by Neo, hosted by Jeff Adamson, co-founder of Neo Financial and SkipTheDishes. On this podcast, we learn from leaders who are reimagining, innovating, and transforming the financial and retail industries across Canada.


April 9, 2024 41 mins

S02E01: Abraham Tachjian, Director of Digital Banking, PwC

Episode Title: 

Abraham Tachjian | Former Open Banking Lead to the Government of Canada

“Consumers don’t care about open banking… It's an industry term… They care about the capabilities that come with it.”

—  Abraham Tachjian  

We’re speaking with Abraham Tachjian, Open Banking Lead to the Government of Canada and the self-described authority on Open Banking...

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“Our teens today will find themselves in five or more really quite different careers over the course of their lifetime... how we equip youth with the skills to be able to transfer and adapt through their different career journeys and environments is really, really key to our work.”

—  Erin Barton

Erin Barton is the Chief Development Officer for JA Canada and one of Canada's leading non-profit executives. She has been nam...

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“And that's what that's what entrepreneurship gives you. It gives you access to problems that are really hard to solve that, in my case, at least, for the kind of problems I like to solve, I can't find anywhere else.”
—  Mike Murchison

In this episode, Mike Murchison, the co-founder and CEO of Ada, shares insights on redefining success beyond external measures and embracing intrinsic motivation for personal growth. He em...

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“There is so much unmet legal need within businesses of all sizes that I don't see AI as a threat, I see it as an opportunity to make legal more important and more valuable to the businesses that it's serving.”
—  Brett Colvin

In this episode, Jeff delves into the vibrant realm of legal services alongside Brett Colvin, a fellow founder based in Calgary. Tune in as Brett unfolds his remarkable path from law school to tran...

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“I think entrepreneurship is the profession of the future, and I think ‘entrepreneurial’ is the trait of the future.”
—  Mark Harrison

In this episode, Jeff sits down with Mark Harrison, Founder of MH3 Collective, who shares his approach to life and entrepreneurship, emphasizing the importance of self-management and taking control of one's destiny. Mark highlights the significance of building relationships and going ...

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“This is the element of humanity and compassion and empathy of banking that we don't have today that really needs to come in.”

— Dr. Mohamad Sawwaf

Join us on this episode of Behind the Brand as we sit down with Dr. Mohamad Sawwaf, a dynamic force in the world of finance, ethics, and innovation. With an impressive academic background and a diverse portfolio of experiences, Dr. Sawwaf has dedicated his career to transform...

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“I think specialization is really important. Do what you're really, really good at, be really well known for it, and then they will start giving you other things to do because they know that they can depend on you.”

—  Kirsten Gauthier

Join us in this episode of Behind the Brand as we sit down with Kirsten Gauthier, the founder of Public Office. From her early days in advertising to her entrepreneurial ventures, Kirsten ...

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“We want to showcase that just because we're a small business doesn't mean we can't have a big impact.
—  Connor Curran 

Connor Curran started Local Laundry equipped with a Google search, 50 dollars, and a vision for a mission-driven clothing company. But starting was the easy part. Many lessons, and many pivots later, Local Laundry is now a widely recognized Canadian brand. 

This week’s episode of Behind the Bra...

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“Problems are great things once they’re identified, and if there’s a willingness to address them. Because they alert you to a way to get better.”
—  Senator Colin Deacon

In this episode, we sit down with ‌Senator Colin Deacon, a leading voice in Canada's financial landscape. With a keen eye for innovation and a passion for empowering consumers, Senator Deacon's perspective is nothing short of enlightening.


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“We're in this position and in this space where we can do things differently than what incumbents do, because we have the opportunity to reimagine it.”
—  Hanna Zaidi

With her extensive regulatory compliance expertise and forward-thinking approach, Hanna Zaidi has been a driving force behind innovation and transparency in the financial sector. Her leadership has propelled Wealthsimple to the forefront of digital fina...

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“Another thing the best companies are doing is just moving fast or being very clear in the interview process.”
—  Ilya Brotzky

While working in Brazil, Ilya Brotzky joined a startup accelerator that aimed to connect American invcestors with Brazilian startups. Immersed in the startup culture, he observed a pool of skilled Brazilian developers wanting to move to Canada but facing language and soft skills barriers.


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“The opportunity for me is like to look at the challenges as part of the fun of it, right? … How do you overcome those challenges in a way that pushes the business forward?”
—  Karen Danudjaja

Frustrated by the limited non-caffeinated options in cafes and a desire to move beyond commercial real estate, Karen Danudjaja harnessed her entrepreneurial prowess to launch Blume – a brand that would transform our approach to...

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“I loved being in the storm fighting fires and, and seeing the unbelievable potential that things have and, you know, trying to bring that to reality.”
—  Joe Parenteau

When it came time to upgrade his dinnerware, Joe Parenteau looked to the usual suspects—EQ3, Pottery Barn, and West Elm. However, he was disappointed to find that the shopping experience for premium home goods lacked inspiration and the simple joy he ...

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“This is a fluid landscape, whether it's how we manage our people or how we identify different markets, we've just understood the world is always changing.”
—  Michael Ryan

Michael Ryan's love for pushing boundaries ignited his extraordinary journey into the world of foot care, starting as a certified pedorthist in Canada. For over 14 years, he honed his expertise within outpatient settings, from private practices to...

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“Of course make your debt reduction a priority, but over here you also need to start learning to love yourself enough to put money aside for your future. And that is an act of self-love.”
—  Lesley-Anne Scorgie

Lesley-Anne Scorgie’s passion for personal finance ignited at a young age. At just ten years old, she took a hundred-dollar birthday gift from her grandparents and made her first investment by purchasing a Can...

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“Brand trust is gonna be critical and it's always been critical, but in the age of AI, brand trust is gonna be critical.”
—  Darby Sieben

In the late 1990s, Darby Sieben embarked on his journey as an internet early adopter, eventually founding his own digital marketing company. Over the years, he has earned a reputation as a respected industry leader, driving impactful change and spearheading product strategies.


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“Sport is a tool for social change that you can make [a] meaningful impact in communities, you can influence consumers.”
—  Russell Reimer

Having produced for NBC during the 2000 and 2002 Olympics, Russell Reimer recognized the power of storytelling in captivating audiences and generating interest in the games. This insight inspired him to establish Manifesto Sport Management, where he continues to tell the stories of ic...

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“So there's been, I think this huge change in how Canadians sort of want and need to bank.”
—  Ian Burns

Established in 1938, Servus Credit Union is a member-owned, community-based financial institution. With an impressive network of over 100 branches and a staggering 380,000 owners, Servus Credit Union proudly holds the title of being the largest credit union in Alberta.

Leading the charge at Servus Credit Union is I...

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“I don't really view my own successes as my own. If I had one superpower, it's about hiring people that are smarter than me and let 'em fly, you know? Giving them the tools and the right environment for them to win because that's what everybody wants, ultimately.”
—  Michele Guimond

As an avid backcountry skier, downhill mountain biker, and trail runner, it only makes sense that Michele Guimond found her way to worki...

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“The other thing I would say too is it's important to celebrate decisions where you decided not to do something, that was maybe a great idea. So products you thought about launching that you decided not to launch and in hindsight that was a great decision.”
—  Peter Furnish

Peter Furnish has had a long and exciting career, full of interesting experiences that have helped him learn valuable lessons. His journey has ta...

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