Alexander Sparks

Alexander Spark, CFA

Investment Counsellor & Portfolio Manager

Alex is responsible for the investment management needs of ultra-high net worth families, corporations, trusts & foundations across the Greater Toronto Area. With over a decade’s experience, Alex began his career in BMO Private Banking’s Portfolio Management Group where he was responsible for trading & managing asset allocation models. Outside of work Alex is an avid golfer.

As your lead advisor, Alex manages a powerful team of multi-disciplinary wealth management professionals within BMO Wealth Management. Taking a holistic approach, Alex and his team design integrated solutions that enable clients to achieve and optimize their family wealth objectives. Alex knows how to navigate the nuances and complexities that wealth brings providing his clients with the confidence to take the necessary action required to reach their goals

Wealth Planning

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Andy Guidi, CPA, CA

Director, Tax Planning

Andy is a dedicated professional helping people preserve and grow their wealth. With an expertise in Canadian income tax, Andy assists clients on business structures, succession and estate planning, owner- manager remuneration, corporate reorganizations, the appropriate use of trusts and holding companies, asset divestitures, business split-ups and a variety of other tax planning strategies.

Drawing on public practice experience, he offers a depth of practical insight, as well as the unique ability to translate complex tax concepts into efficient strategies clients can easily comprehend.

Andy joined BMO Wealth Management in 2014, after filling progressively senior management roles in the domestic tax practice of Grant Thornton LLP, where he developed and implemented tax planning strategies for business owners and high net worth individuals.

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Jason Skentzos, MBA, CFP, CIM, FMA, FCSI

Director, Wealth Planning

With over 15 years of experience working in the financial services industry, Jason’s goal, as part of the BMO Wealth Planning team, is to educate and empower business owners, entrepreneurs and high net worth clients with comprehensive and customized solutions, resolving complex situations through coordinated and proactive wealth plans.

Using a holistic approach, Jason collaborates with his investment, banking, trust, estate and tax colleagues to help clients clearly articulate their personal wealth goals. Together, we provide a multi-dimensional perspective that offers a valuable complement to our clients’ other professional counsel.

Jason currently lives in Toronto with his wife Carley, and in his spare time enjoys golf, tennis, skiing and traveling to personally unexplored destinations.

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Elizabeth Creates, LL.B

Director, Estate Planning

Elizabeth provides estate planning guidance to high and ultra high net worth individuals, families and business owners in the context of their personal wealth and business succession planning.  Her background as an estates lawyer and over 20 years of experience in the wealth management industry allow Elizabeth to facilitate wealth transfer decision-making for clients and assist them with action planning regarding their legacy goals (financial and non-financial).  Her modern approach focuses on the well-being and personal empowerment of clients by bringing them peace of mind and encouraging the pursuit of personal fulfillment.

She works collaboratively with internal and external advisors in order to ensure that all aspects of a client’s wealth plan support their estate planning, succession and legacy goals. She has LL.B. and B.Comm. degrees from McGill University and is a member of both the Law Society of Ontario and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

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James Kraft, CPA, CA, M.Tax

Estate and Insurance Advisor

James provides estate and insurance advice to high net worth clients though sophisticated, forward-thinking wealth management planning. James offers clients informed insight across the broad spectrum of wealth and estate planning issues, leveraging advanced market experience – more than 20 years of specialized tax, estate, and insurance expertise – and a unique understanding of the financial and emotional complexities of family wealth.

He works collaboratively with his colleagues to simplify the complexities associated with wealth and offering affluent families and entrepreneurs a uniquely personalized experience. Together, they aim to help clients realize their aspirations, at all stages of life, through meaningful conversations.

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Lydia Potocnik, LL.B, TEP

Vice President, Philanthropic Advisory Services

Lydia assists affluent clients in building a philanthropic legacy by taking a strategic approach. She guides families through the unique opportunities and strategies that exist to create a legacy that is meaningful and lasting. Her estate planning and trust administration background allow her to also ensure that clients’ philanthropic goals are part of their larger wealth and estate plan. Having worked with both clients and beneficiaries of estates, Lydia’s approach to planning takes into consideration unique family dynamics and conflict resolution.

Lydia joined BMO Wealth Planning in 2011 as a Will & Estate Planning Consultant working with clients on all aspects of their estate and trust planning. She then assumed a leadership role with BMO Trust Company where she was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the estate and trust administration business in Ontario. Prior to joining BMO, Lydia led a very successful philanthropy program at a major hospital foundation where she advised donors on how to build a lasting philanthropic legacy. She has contributed to numerous publications and media appearances related to her work.

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Greg Woolston, TEP

Senior Trust Officer, Director

Joined BMO Private Banking as a Director, Trust Services in 2019. Greg is part of the team of professionals at BMO Trust Company. He provides a full range of trust services to high and ultra-high net worth clients of BMO Nesbitt Burns and BMO Private Banking. Prior to joining BMO, Greg spent 29 years in the trust industry, most recently as a Senior Trust Advisor at another major Canadian financial institution. Greg has a BA from York University, majoring in Mathematics for Commerce, is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Toronto, and holds his TEP designation through the Society of Estate and Trust Practitioners (STEP).

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James Wong, CPA, CBV, M.Comm.

Vice President, Business Owner Planning

James brings over 20 years of experience working directly with business families in developing their business and wealth transition. He shares his knowledge and experience in this area in a co-authored book, “The Transition Experience – What every Canadian family business owner should know beyond succession planning”.

Central to his approach is exploring with family and family members, the impact and responsibility that comes with “trans-generational” wealth, and ultimately developing goals and governance associated with the stewardship of wealth. 

James started his career practicing tax, business valuation and corporate insolvency in a national accounting firm. He joined BMO in 2000 to develop and lead a then new initiative, business succession planning. His experience in business transition planning underpins his wider work with families in developing their wealth legacy. He meets with multiple generations of each family as part of his work to develop lasting stewardship of wealth. Educating younger generations on financial fluency is part of his legacy planning work.