Pierro Mazza, CFP, CFA, CIM, TEP
Director, Wealth Planning
As a member of the Wealth Management Consulting team, Piero brings together the knowledge and experience of our in-house tax and estate professionals and works with Investment Advisors and their clients to develop sound wealth management plans.
He provides support and direction about complex issues such as retirement and distribution planning, tax planning, cash management, estate and gift planning, transition planning and charitable giving.
Piero has 15 years of experience in the financial services industry having worked for a large, Canadian brokerage firm and Insurance company as a financial planner providing comprehensive planning for their high net worth clients in the area of tax, estate, insurance and retirement planning. Piero has a Business Degree, is a member of the Financial Planning Standards Council, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and the CFA Society of Toronto.
Chris Markou, LL.B, BA (Hons)
Director, Estate Planning
Chris advises high net worth individuals and families on specialized Estate & Trust solutions as part of an integrated wealth planning team.
Chris draws on his prior experience as an estates lawyer in private practice to assist BMO clients with complex estate and trust planning solutions in a variety of contexts. He provides support and direction on matters related to estate, gift and tax planning, succession planning for business owners, charitable giving and planning for family members with special needs.
Prior to joining BMO Wealth Management, Chris operated his own law firm, worked as in-house counsel with an insurance company, and worked in the estates and real estate groups in one of the largest and oldest law firms in Brampton, Ontario. Chris has been actively involved in the community as a member of numerous boards and committees, and has chaired and presented at several programs for the Ontario Bar Association.
Lydia Potocnik, LL.B, TEP
Vice President, Philanthropic Advisory Services
Lydia assists affluent clients in building a philanthropic legacy by taking a strategic approach. She guides families through the unique opportunities and strategies that exist to create a legacy that is meaningful and lasting. Her estate planning and trust administration background allow her to also ensure that clients’ philanthropic goals are part of their larger wealth and estate plan. Having worked with both clients and beneficiaries of estates, Lydia’s approach to planning takes into consideration unique family dynamics and conflict resolution.
Lydia joined BMO Wealth Planning in 2011 as a Will & Estate Planning Consultant working with clients on all aspects of their estate and trust planning. She then assumed a leadership role with BMO Trust Company where she was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the estate and trust administration business in Ontario. Prior to joining BMO, Lydia led a very successful philanthropy program at a major hospital foundation where she advised donors on how to build a lasting philanthropic legacy. She has contributed to numerous publications and media appearances related to her work.
John Paniccia, CPA, CA, CBV, FEA
Vice President, National Director of Business Advisory & Succession Planning
John is an experienced business advisor and brings a broad base of technical and business planning experience to BMO Wealth Management. John offers individuals and business owners expertise in business succession, transition, sale, M&A, insurance and valuations for the purposes of wealth planning and transfer.
John has over 15 years of experience primarily in the Big 4 professional services firms, as well as experience in a family owned private business. Within professional practice, John has lead a significant number of complex business valuations and business advisory engagements for private and public companies involved in a variety of industries in connection with M&A, corporate reorganizations & income tax planning, shareholder disputes, corporate finance activities, as well as succession, tax & estate planning for private business owners.
James Kraft, CPA, CA, M.Tax
Estate and Insurance Advisor
James provides estate and insurance advice to high net worth clients though sophisticated, forward-thinking wealth management planning. James offers clients informed insight across the broad spectrum of wealth and estate planning issues, leveraging advanced market experience – more than 20 years of specialized tax, estate, and insurance expertise – and a unique understanding of the financial and emotional complexities of family wealth.
He works collaboratively with his colleagues to simplify the complexities associated with wealth and offering affluent families and entrepreneurs a uniquely personalized experience. Together, they aim to help clients realize their aspirations, at all stages of life, through meaningful conversations.