Tax, Retirement & Estate Planning Services

Navigating the complex world of taxation, retirement, and estate planning to help deliver positive outcomes for investors

Get to know the Tax, Retirement & Estate Planning Services team

Tax, Retirement & Estate Planning Services (TREPS) is an industry leading team of accountants, lawyers, and other specialists skilled in identifying opportunities for advisors and clients within changing regulatory and market environments. With extensive knowledge and experience in tax and legal matters related to investments, the TREPS Wealth team provides case-level advisor support while working with our sales teams.

John Natale, LL.B., BComm, EPC, CFP

Head of Tax, Retirement & Estate Planning Services

John is the Head of the Tax, Retirement & Estate Planning Services, Wealth team at Manulife. He and his team provide case-level support on tax, retirement, and estate planning matters to advisors across the country.

John joined Manulife in 2001, having previously worked as a tax lawyer with a national accounting firm and a private law firm. He has experience with estate and retirement planning strategies and a wide variety of general tax matters, including personal and corporate taxation, trusts, and investment-related topics generally.

He’s a frequent speaker at industry conferences and seminars, and has appeared as a guest expert on industry podcasts and BNN Bloomberg TV. John has published numerous articles on tax and estate planning, and is co-editor of Canadian Taxation of Life Insurance.

He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of British Columbia. John was called to the Ontario Bar in 1998. He has obtained his Canadian Securities Course certificate and completed the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants In-Depth Tax Course. John has Elder Planning Counselor and Certified Financial Planner designations, and is a member of the Ontario Bar Association and the Canadian Tax Foundation.

Education: B. Comm. University of Toronto (1993); LL.B. University of British Columbia (1996)

Joined company: 2001

Began career: 1996

Jon Hreljac, CPA, CMA, CFP, TEP

AVP Regional Tax, Retirement & Estate Planning Services

As AVP Regional Tax, Retirement & Estate Planning Services, Jon provides estate and trust planning services and tax consultation to advisors, their teams, and business partners throughout Ontario, Manitoba, and the Atlantic provinces.

Prior to joining Manulife in 2011, Jon spent ten years in the income tax field at a national accounting firm as well as spending time in industry. He has an extensive background in providing tax consulting and accounting services to individuals and corporations.

Jon received a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a specialization in accounting. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified Financial Planner, and a Trust & Estate Practitioner.

Education: Brock University, BBA, 2001

Joined company:  2011

Began career: 2001

Serge Lessard, Lawyer, FIN. PL., FLMI

AVP Regional Tax, Retirement & Estate Planning Services

Serge Lessard is an Assistant Vice President, Regional Tax, Retirement & Estate Planning Services within Wealth at Manulife. He is a tax lawyer, a financial planner, and holds the Fellow, Life Management Institute designation from Life Office Management Association. He has over 21 years of experience in the financial services industry as a sales representative, product manager, trainer, insurance and investments product designer, advanced concepts developer, and sales support specialist.

At Manulife, Serge provides tax and legal support to advisors and training to the field. Serge is an experienced speaker, having held meetings with more than 1,000 accountants involving more than 2,500 presentations. In 2014, Serge was named one of the 25 most exceptional financial planners of the last 25 years in a contest organized by the Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF) and voted on by IQPF members.

Education: Laval University, Bachelor of Laws (1992), Training for life insurance license (1997), Training for mutual funds license (1999); TÉLUQ University, Financial Planning Certificate (2004)

Joined company: 2011

Began career: 1993

Denika Heaton, BBA, Juris Doctor, TEP

AVP Regional Tax, Retirement & Estate Planning Services

As a Regional Assistant Vice President (Wealth), Tax, Retirement & Estate Planning Services, Denika provides estate and trust planning services and tax consultation to advisors, their teams, and business partners throughout the Prairie Provinces and in British Columbia.

Denika joined Manulife in 2017. Prior to that, Denika was in private practice. She practiced as a tax, trusts, and estate lawyer with a cross-border tax law firm and represented high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs, and owner-managers. Denika focused on succession planning, often with cross-border tax implications. Denika received a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a specialization in accounting and taxation. She holds a law degree (JD) and is called to both the Alberta and Nova Scotia Bar. She received her Trust & Estate Practitioner designation and has also completed the Chartered Professional Accountants In-Depth Tax Course (Part I, II, and III). Denika is a member of the Law Society of Alberta, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, and the Canadian Tax Foundation.

Education: Juris Doctor (Laws), University of New Brunswick (2012); Trust and Estate Practitioner full member with Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (awarded designation in 2016); Parts I, II, and III Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA Canada) In Depth Tax (completed in years 2016, 2017, and 2018 respectively)

Joined company: 2017

Began career: 2012

Curtis Davis, FMA, CIM, RRC, CFP

Tax, Retirement & Estate Planning Consultant

Curtis joined Manulife in 2017 and has developed a solid background in tax and estate planning built on thirteen years of financial services experience. He works closely with advisors and sales teams to support the tax, retirement, and estate-planning needs of their clients. Curtis has published articles related to tax and estate-planning strategies in various industry publications.

Curtis earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in History and Political Science from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. He also holds the Certified Financial Planner, Financial Management Advisor, Canadian Investment Management, and Registered Retirement Consultant designations.

Education: Bellarmine University, BA — History and Political Science (2002) 

Joined company: 2017

Began career: 2003

Jason Giuricich, BBA, CPA, CA

Senior Tax, Retirement & Estate Planning Services Consultant

Jason Giuricich joined Manulife in 2002 after spending several years with a national accounting firm. He has experience working with business-owner clients in a variety of tax matters. He has held various positions at Manulife, including consulting on both wealth-management and insurance-based strategies. He works closely with advisors and sales teams to support the tax, retirement, and estate-planning needs of their clients.

Jason received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. He’s a Chartered Professional Accountant and a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario) and has completed both the IFIC and Life License Qualification Program (2007).

Education: Wilfrid Laurier University, BBA Honours (1998); Chartered Professional Accountant and a member of CPA Ontario

Joined company: 2002

Began career: 1999


Tax, Retirement & Estate Planning insights 

Manulife Investment Management wants to help add value to advisors by providing access to a team of professionals, located regionally and at head office, who have the expertise to help deliver innovative solutions and approaches tailored to meet clients’ unique needs.

Tax planning

Paying too much tax hurts. As an advisor, an important part of your value proposition is to identify strategies that will help your clients minimize the amount of tax they pay. That’s where we can help.

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Estate planning

Clients work hard to accumulate assets and want to make sure they're passed on to the people they selected and in the manner they intended. We’ve got you covered with resources to help.

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Retirement planning

Navigating the complex world of retirement planning is challenging. We can assist with strategies and tools to help your clients maximize their government benefits and retirement income.

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Tax, Retirement & Estate Planning Services  Insurance 

For support on taxation, retirement and estate planning with life and living benefits insurance solutions