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BPS Wealth Management becomes major Co-Funder with SVP Vancouver

Posted by SVP Vancouver

SVP Vancouver is thrilled to announce a new and exciting partnership with the BPS Wealth Management Group (BPS) at CIBC Woody Gundy. Through SVP’s Co-Funding model, BPS will invest their charitable funds in Investees selected by SVP in 2015 and future years. BPS will provide 30% Co-Funding for each grant approved by SVP, amounting to at least $150,000 per year.  In addition, BPS will invest upwards of $200,000 in discretionary funding to both current and past SVP Investees each year.

The significant infusion of philanthropic capital resulting from this partnership ensures that SVP will have the means to go deeper with our existing Investees to strengthen organizational capacity, invest in additional Investee projects, launch new charitable initiatives, and ultimately achieve greater impact in our community. This is a massive stride toward our vision to ensure more children and youth reach their full potential – contributing to a stronger community and a better world.

For many years, BPS has supported children and youth through the CIBC Wood Gundy Caring For Kids Fund. Each year, BPS raises the majority of their charitable funds through the annual Boston Pizza Foundation golf tournament, which grossed $715,000 this year on June 15, 2015. SVP is now one of three charitable beneficiaries at this very successful, well-attended event.

We asked the three founders of BPS Wealth Management – who are also long-time SVP Partners – Geoff Bertram, Tom Porteous and Eric Southam some questions about why they’re passionate about helping kids and why they have entrusted SVP Vancouver with the task of dispersing their charitable funds. Here’s what they had to say:

Who is BPS?

BPS Wealth Management is a group within CIBC Wood Gundy comprised of Geoff Bertram, Tom Porteous, and Eric Southam, as well as seven support staff and associates. Our clients are successful families, businesses, and organizations who share similar business and philanthropic values.

The combined BPS experience spans 100+ years. We amalgamated our resources five years ago as the three of us shared similar business, philanthropic, and personal beliefs as to how our business should look and feel to our clients. The whole is bigger than the sum of the parts; we’re better together!

What inspires you and why is philanthropy important to your group?

Our clients inspire us. They are successful, humble people. To see how they came to be the people they are, the work ethic they have, and how they maintain their wealth while augmenting the lives of others less fortunate is motivating and inspirational.

You can’t care about just one aspect of your life; it has to be balanced and resources should be shared in many different aspects with many different people who have a need.

What are you most passionate about?

We’re passionate about building our business with like-minded families, cultivating and growing our existing relationships, and furthering our contributions in the community.

How did BPS first get involved with SVP?

Ten years ago, Tom was introduced to SVP through Board member Alanna Donahue to some of the founding SVP Partners. Tom recalls having a lengthy discussion with David Sutcliffe, Norm Francis and Sam Znaimer at the SVP welcome meeting. He walked away truly inspired and became a Partner soon thereafter. Geoff and Norm have been long-time friends, so it didn’t take long for Geoff to become a Partner, and so too Eric.

Why did you choose SVP for this Partnership?

SVP is a perfect fit that allows us to dovetail our own values with those of our clients. For years, BPS Wealth Management has been donating a significant portion of our fees to local philanthropic organizations through CIBC’s annual Miracle Day. We wanted to leverage our efforts and move away from “cheque-book philanthropy” into a more sustainable model for initiatives we care about. SVP’s governance and venture capital philosophy applied to social investments is a compelling story and we can be sure that there is a legacy for years down the road as monies are stewarded by dedicated Partner teams.

Could you explain the BPS / Boston Pizza Foundation relationship?

The Boston Pizza Foundation (BPF) has been incredibly supportive of the CIBC Wood Gundy Caring for Kids Fund. They have allocated over $1.5 million dollars in the last ten years to community programs we support, predominately benefiting kids in the downtown eastside. They also donate thousands of pizzas for annual Skate with Santa events where all children from the seven inner-city schools we support come out for a day of skating and pizza.

The Boston Pizza Foundation Invitational is BPF’s annual golf tournament fundraiser and the 2015 tournament marks its 22nd year. Over the past 20 years, this tournament has raised almost $4 million for children and families in need. Cheryl Treliving, BPF’s Executive Director, and her team do a fantastic job in staging a first-class event. The tournament was founded and is led by George Melville and Jim Treliving, and Geoff Bertram is the long-time chair. Their goal has always been to provide a great time for all, while raising money for some deserving Canadian charities.

To our knowledge, it is the most successful golf tournament in the Lower Mainland. It raises approximately $650,000 each year to support the Boston Pizza Foundation, The Kids Help Phone, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  With this new Co-Funding partnership, SVP has become one of tournaments benefiting charities and will receive approximately 30% of the proceeds. On top of the tournament proceeds, BPS Wealth Management contributes an additional $100,000 per year in charitable funds, which will also be invested through SVP Vancouver.


In closing…

We feel very fortunate to be partners with SVP to help positively shape the future of children in-need and youth at-risk. SVP’s venture philanthropy model is an excellent catalyst and conduit to community investment opportunities and gives us confidence that our philanthropic monies are invested for maximum impact, long-term sustainability, and with effective governance.

It’s our business to effectively manage our clients’ money every day, and we feel fortunate we can now invest BPS Wealth Management and Boston Pizza Foundation’s charitable dollars with the same dedication through SVP.



BPS Wealth Management Group
Tom Porteous, Geoff Bertram, Eric Southam


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