Philippe Sarfati - The visionary
Philippe Sarfati joined iA Financial Group in September 2021, embarking on a new stage in a remarkable 35-year career in the financial industry and risk management.
He says he was “surprised and flattered” that the company thought of him, and that the positive impression was mutual. “What really interested me was the interpersonal interaction and the nature of this significant challenge. Maintenance is not one of my strengths! I get bored, and bored very quickly, and that’s not good!” With a variety of work experiences for several large organizations in North America under his belt, it’s no surprise that as soon as he started in his new position, Philippe Sarfati had already come up with a game plan for the next three years and started to put in place a succession plan for his departure. “I’m 66 years old, I’m in good health and I’m hungry for challenges. It’s very exciting. I love building, transforming and improving.”
A team player, Philippe Sarfati gives a lot of credit to his colleagues, and puts a lot of trust in them. “I’m proud of many accomplishments, including certain changes we’ve already started to make. In just a few months, I’ve received support and approval for my vision of the work to be done. It’s work that can’t be done alone,” he says, adding that the spirit of cooperation, professionalism and the level of skill is very important for the success of these projects.
He holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in economics and the other in business, as well as an MBA in finance and international business from the HEC business school in Montreal. Mr. Sarfati has always been passionate about risk management. “Making sure a company has control systems that ensure healthy performance for our shareholders and protect the company’s creditors is fascinating!”
Passion is also at the heart of his personal life – running, fitness, jazz and classical music and good wine are all part of his daily life. “I strongly believe in a healthy mind and a healthy body.” His interest in wine even led him to achieve the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 2 Award.
With an analytical mind, incredible focus and a good dose of intuition, Philippe Sarfati is a reserved man with a great sense of humour. “I don’t take myself too seriously, but I take what I do seriously,” he says, “In my opinion, there always has to be a certain element of humour, interpersonal skills and a desire to connect with people.” Whether it’s at iA Financial Group or outside of work, Philippe Sarfati lives life to the fullest. “Some colleagues might say that I move too fast!” he says with a smile.