The Top Pension and Group Benefits
Consultants in Canada

Expert operators 

Benefits and Pensions Monitor recognizes the Top Pension and Group Benefits Consultants of 2024, a collection of group benefit and pension firms honoured for their renowned and varied experience in consulting on a variety of pension, employee benefits, and group benefits tasks.
Their clients hold them in high regard due to the impressive array of results they consistently generate. 
No matter the complexity or size of the task, all of this year’s winning consultants are steadfast in their commitment to delivering industry-leading pension and group benefits solutions that continue to propel the industry’s evolution. 

Elegant Investment Solutions, Inc.   


Headquarters: Toronto, ON  
Years in Operation: 6 
Focus: Pensions

The firm, with a focus on pensions, is led by president Colin Ripsman, who has over a quarter of a century of institutional investment experience, along with a law degree and an MBA in finance. 

Ripsman and partner Igor Litvinov focus on defined benefit and defined contribution plans, particularly on investment-related issues and governance. 

They leverage their expertise in consulting, investing, and the law to: 

  • improve decision making
  • enhance the risk-and-return profile of the portfolio
  • control fiduciary risk

While the conglomerates deal with a lot of areas, that’s not the model Elegant follows.

Ripsman explains, “We are laser focused, we do the things that we do well and don’t focus on other areas."

And he adds, “We have really strong governance roots. My belief is to help clients manage their portfolios in a more effective way and come up with holistic and innovative solutions, but most importantly controlling fiduciary risk. We’re uniquely positioned to deliver on those types of solutions.” 

While some may view the firm’s narrow focus on pensions as a detraction, for Ripsman it’s a badge of honour that ensures his team can deliver the best unbiased pension and investment consulting. Elegant’s size is another plus point for clients relative to some firms, who are in the OCIO space to build their own fund of funds to market.

“To work with a small firm where you’re actually working with the principals where you’ll have that continuity over time is becoming a lot more appealing,” says Ripsman. “The benefits of our laser focus is that all of our revenue is generated from consulting projects, there are no conflicts of interest.”

“We deliver a very high-quality specialty offering. Being a smaller, more targeted firm, we use our leaner structure to deliver prudent and cost-effective solutions” 
Colin RipsmanElegant Investment Solutions, Inc.

Elegant Investment’s full range of services includes:  

  • governance structures
  • plan design
  • recordkeeper searches
  • investment manager searches (bundled and unbundled)
  • contract review and negotiation
  • manager and recordkeeper monitoring
  • fee benchmarking

Defining its role to the client is another of Elegant Investment’s priorities, to ensure there is a transparent convergence of expectations. The firm begins with a well-defined governance framework to promote an understanding of roles and responsibilities, key objectives, and activities.  
“Our promise to our clients, which we deliver on, and what our clients say, is that we deliver our projects on time and on budget. Our holistic approach helps to improve the quality of decision making. We demonstrate and document it all so that our clients can consider all the key inputs and make a reasonable and prudent decision,” says Ripsman



Headquarters: Richmond Hill, ON 
Years in Operation: 3 
Focus: Compensation, Benefits, and Retirement Consulting

Being able to decipher situations from all angles sets the firm, which focuses on benefits and retirement consulting, apart from the rest. 
This is driven by founder Joseph Chan, who had a decade-long background in actuarial and group insurance underwriting. He then flipped to the client side, first overseeing the Canadian benefits and wellness department for construction giant Lafarge, before heading up benefits and pensions for Walmart’s 100,000 employees in Canada. 
This 360-degree appreciation is what differentiates Looniewell, as it’s embedded in the firm’s internal processes and across its team members. 
“We have actual hands-on experience working at an employer, where some brokers or consultants might be very good with strategy, but they haven’t executed,” explains Chan. “We know what the reality is in rolling out benefits and pension programs, changes, or communication to employees. A lot of times, we actually help clients execute the strategy that we have built for them.” 
The firm prides itself on not only being able to adopt the employer’s perspective, but also going down to the individual employee vantage point. 
Chan highlights how important this is. 
“For employees, it’s about how much money are they going to pay out of pocket and what are they going to get. We’re able to give clients that perspective,” says Chan. “When we design newer programs, it’s all flexible benefits and the execution is tough. It requires a lot of communication and education to tell employees what it means personally for them.” 

“I’m not afraid to invest in resources and bring in talent, but I ensure it’s without sacrificing our high-touch, highly responsive service” 
Joseph ChanLooniewell 

Many of the firm’s clients take advantage of being able to get support across:

  • benefits
  • pension
  • compensation

Chan adds, “We bring that holistic perspective, which a lot of clients really like because we’re not looking at one piece at a time. We’re able to intelligently speak to strategies that address their total business needs.” 
This is delivered via Looniewell’s Know Your Client discovery, which is undertaken even if the client only wants one of the firm’s three services. 
“We want to understand the company philosophy, what the business priorities are, what their employee value proposition is, to ensure that even if we’re doing only one piece, it fits into the bigger strategy,” says Chan. 
Another similar structural advantage of Looniewell is that it is small enough to remove unnecessary red tape and empower its people to be proactive. The firm also pays at or above industry average, along with bonuses and short-term incentives for its team, which drives further motivation to maintain standards. 
Chan says, “If our clients need things that are out of the ordinary, often at the bigger firms, it needs senior partner level approval. But with us, we get it done. I’m the owner, so it starts and stops here, and we don’t report to shareholders. Our interests directly align with our clients.”


Headquarters: Vancouver, BC 
Years in Operation: 12 
Focus: Benefits, Pensions, and Investments

Regarding itself as a rarity in the industry, George & Bell Consulting has gradually shaped itself to be a composite machine. 
It has a 50-strong team who collaborates to offer an impressive package: 

  • pinpointing issues with precision
  • drafting innovative solutions
  • delivering difficult messaging if necessary
  • articulating concepts into understandable pieces

“Our people are very technically proficient and communicate well,” says partner Greg Heise. “Consultants that can really distil the issues down and make clear, concise recommendations that the clients understand is what sets us apart.” 
George & Bell Consulting has a core of 10 partners who have up to three decades of pensions and group benefits industry experience.  As the owners, they strategically lead, and the firm’s size allows them to directly impact the day-to-day business. 
“As owners, we’re the ones who benefit from delivering on our commitment to the clients, we don’t have other stakeholders as a distraction. It's very simple and back to basics,” explains Heise. 

“Our clients get access to our senior people, and we generally have more hours to devote toward client work than we would at larger firms. Our clients reap the benefits of that”
Greg HeiseGeorge & Bell Consulting 

Part of that straightforward approach to consulting with pension and group benefit clients involves staff crisscrossing the vast Western Canada. Heise himself undertakes 10-hour round-trip car journeys for meetings. 
“It’s not the norm, but I once took an hour-and-a-half flight to attend a meeting that lasted five minutes for one of my clients.” 

Even with a switch to more remote work, George & Bell values face-to-face meetings and feels this is another difference maker. 
Heise says, “It does set us apart. For example, we took over a client recently and they hadn’t seen their actuaries in person in about four-and-a-half years. Travel for us is part of the business.” 
Being a certain size and having full control of its affairs, the firm is proactive as a thought leader in the pensions industry. That involves positioning itself with government regulators and lobbying efforts with politicians. 
“We consider ourselves full-throated advocates for our clients,” adds Heise. “It’s easier when you're a smaller firm to just take a stance and we don’t necessarily have to walk in the center. As much as we can, we take a position on an issue and stand by it.”

Read below to see all of our Top Pension and Group Benefits Consultants, and click through to their profiles to learn more about them and why they may just be the firm you turn to for advice on pensions and group benefits.

The Top Pension and Group Benefits Consultants in Canada

  • Bodhi Research Group
  • Covenant House Toronto
  • Gallagher Benefits Services (Canada) Group
  • INTEGRIS Pension Management
  • Kensington Health Centre
  • Leslie Consulting Group
  • Lounsbury Life & Group Insurance Services
  • Mosley Group Benefits
  • Naviguide
  • Normandin Beaudry
  • Penmore Group
  • People Corporation
  • Smith Pension & Actuarial Consultants
  • Sterling Brokers



Benefits and Pensions Monitor launched the nominations for its inaugural Top Pension and Group Benefits Consultants report on March 11 in line with the publication’s goal to recognize the elite consultancy firms in the benefits and pensions sector. Entrants were requested to outline their accomplishments over the last 12 months and explain the distinctive service offerings that distinguish these firms, along with the value they deliver to their clientele.  
In the process of selecting the final 20 Top Pension and Group Benefits Consultants, BPM meticulously evaluated all nominations, scrutinizing each firm’s significant contributions to its clients and the benefits and pensions industry.