Gaurav Upadhya

Gaurav Upadhya

Gaurav Upadhya is an experienced Board Director with significant expertise in financial analysis (QFE) and risk management. He is currently on the Board and is Audit Committee Chair for AMEX Bank of Canada. Gaurav also has strengths in strategy, leadership, and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices.

From 2018 to 2023, he served as the Global Chief Actuary and Chief Risk Officer for Foresters Financial, a 149-year-old fraternal Canadian life insurance company operating in Canada, the US and the UK, serving over 2.5 million members and certificate holders, and having a surplus over $2.1 billion. Gaurav was a member of the Executive Committee, reporting directly to the CEO. He also worked closely with the Board. Additionally, Gaurav managed a team of over 40 risk and actuarial professionals and oversaw the risk, capital and actuarial work at the company.

Previously, Gaurav worked at Manulife John Hancock for almost 19 years in various roles of increasing responsibilities. Most recently, he was Senior Vice President, Global Product and Insurance Risk Management where he oversaw the risks and profitability of new business across businesses in Canada, the US and 10 countries in Asia. In addition to setting policies and monitoring performance on the global new business portfolio, Gaurav advised businesses, senior management and the Board of Directors on internal results and external leading practices.

Prior to that role, Gaurav was VP, Risk and Capital Management for John Hancock where he helped guide the company through the 2008 financial crisis, and greatly expand and strengthen capital and risk practices in the years following. In that period, he also led all of the financial aspects (finance, actuarial, capital, tax, investments and risk) of the merger of its US life companies and tax groups.

Gaurav’s background also includes work as a Managing Director at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, helping a variety of clients with risk management policies and practices, financial and actuarial process modernization, and external audits, and speaking on such topics at industry conferences.

Gaurav was born in India where he contracted polio at the age of three. He has since walked with crutches and leg braces.

Board Memberships and Committee Experience

  • Board Director and Audit Committee Chair, AMEX Bank of Canada (2021 – present)
  • Chair, Advisory Committee, Ascend Canada (2022 – present)
  • Member, Advisory Board, Smith School of Business at Queen’s University (2018 – present)
  • Board Member, Canadian Club Toronto (2021 – 2023)
  • Board Director, Ascend Canada (2015 – 2021)
  • Member, Advisory Board, University of Waterloo (2012 – 2020)
  • Member, Advisory Board, University of Toronto (2013 – 2018)
  • Co-Chair, Inclusion and Diversity Council, Foresters Financial (2020 – 2023)
  • Chair, United Way Leadership Campaign, Manulife (2010)

Education and Credentials

  • Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA)
  • Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA)
  • Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA)
  • Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Master of Mathematics (Actuarial Science), University of Waterloo (1993)
  • Bachelor of Commerce Honours (Finance), Queen’s University (1991)