CIBC’s Khalili, RBC’s O’Hea Win Women in Capital Markets Awards

Michelle Khalili, CIBC World Markets’s managing director of equity capital markets, and Joanne O’Hea, vice president of institutional equity trading at RBC Capital Markets, were recognized with awards today by Women in Capital Markets.

A five-person jury that includes Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Chief Executive Officer David Denison awards individuals who have helped advance women’s issues in Canadian capital markets. Past recipients include BMO Capital Markets Director Liette Bromley and former TD Securities Deputy Chair Richard Kostoff.

“We do like being able to profile these leaders as members of the community where diversity is something they’ve become personally engaged in,” Women In Capital Markets Chief Executive Officer Martha Fell said in a telephone interview.

Khalili, 45, said she mentors women in capital markets and has been helping to retain them, participating in university recruiting forums, information sessions and networking events. She was given the Women in Capital Markets award for leadership.

“I truly believe the capital markets is a better place with diversity,” said Khalili, who has been with CIBC since 2000 and worked on deals such as last year’s C$300 million ($297 million) initial public offering of discount retailer Dollarama Inc. “If I can help one individual or bring one person into the capital markets industry, then to me, it’s all worth it.”

Khalili was also chosen because of her charity work with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation fundraiser CIBC Run for the Cure, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

‘Remarkable Balance’

“She may be that classic woman who, frankly, does it all, has it all, works hard and achieves a remarkable amount of balance,” Fell said.

Toronto-based CIBC World Markets is a unit of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the country’s fifth-largest bank.

O’Hea, 32, won the ‘Rising Star’ award. She helped found RBC’s RWomen two years ago, an employee-led forum that encourages networking and skill-building within the unit of Canada’s largest bank.

“In a few short years, RWomen has grown to more than 500 members across Toronto and New York, and we expect to have a chapter up and running shortly in the U.K.,” said O’Hea, who has been at RBC since 2007 and was previously with Toronto-Dominion Bank.

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