Headshot of Joanne DeretaFemSTEAM Fall Summit Panelist Biography 

Joanne Dereta ‘72

Years ago, when her mother asked her for help managing her money, Joanne Dereta ’72 recalls she “didn’t have a clue” – an epiphany of sorts that fostered her belief that there are many others in need of assistance with their finances. 

Today, as a founder, managing director and principal of Toronto-based CI Private Wealth, Dereta manages the wealth of millionaires, bringing years of experience as a certified financial planner, a registered financial planner, a chartered investment manager, and a trust and estate practitioner to the table for a number of clients.  

“I love my clients and I love helping them be successful,” says Dereta of her motivation.

With a BA in Economics and Mathematics from Trent as well as an MBA from Queen’s University, Dereta says mathematics was a strength of hers as far back as high school. When first she arrived at Trent, she initially took two mathematics and two language courses but was unsure of what fifth course to take.

“My guidance counselor suggested anthropology but I took economics and loved it. Then I had to decide between an MA in economics or an MBA. I decided on an MBA because of the much wider range of career choices.”

That was clearly a very good call for Dereta. After 11 years with Assante Capital Management as a senior financial planner, she co-founded CI Private Wealth in 1995 and has since designed and implement her Financial Life In Order process, a financial planning road map that takes her clients “from chaos to confidence.”

Dereta says her pre-university indecision on a career path has taught her lessons that have stayed with her – lessons that she’s quick to share with young people today.

“Never underestimate yourself. Don’t allow yourself to think that you might not be good enough to do that or it’s not for you. Don’t be afraid to really stretch. Those who visualize their life five or 10 years down the road are a lot more likely to get to their dream.”  

Watch this inspiring Trent alumnae speak at the FemSTEAM Fall Summit. Visit the FemSTEAM website to watch live October 13th from 9:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.