Vancea Financial’s focus on helping you understand risk is what sets us apart from the competition. We go beyond simply discussing investment needs and product recommendations with you. Instead, we focus on helping you identify all the risks inherent in personal financial planning, and then provide products and services that help you understand and plan for those risks.

We delve beyond the surface to address all the risks you face, beyond the basic risk profile analysis. We ask the hard questions such as, what happens if you live longer than you expect, or die prematurely? How would your family cope if you fell ill and could no longer work? What would be the impact of not having the right tax-reduction strategy for your individual or business needs?

Vancea Financial's advisors care about the well-being of all clients. We believe that by helping you understand all of the risks you face, we can work together to build a better portfolio for you. A portfolio that suits each and every client’s individual needs.

Understanding Risk to Maximize Wealth

When it comes to managing wealth, risk is often a subject that financial advisors talk little about with clients. That’s what makes Vancea Financial different. While many financial advisors address investment risk, we go beyond that to discuss all the other risks clients face that have nothing to do with investment risk.

We help clients understand the risks involved in areas such as missing out on personal and business tax advantages, underestimating personal and business insurance needs, the financial impact of losing their clients, or the risk to loved ones should you fall ill or pass away unexpectedly. Understanding risk factors is a key part of our financial services strategy, and what we believe sets us apart from the crowd.

At Vancea Financial, we believe that it is through creating a financial plan for clients that takes into account more than just their personal risk profile that they can truly know their financial security is in good hands. All clients are unique, and so are the risks they face in their personal and business lives.

Risk management as it pertains to financial planning strategy involves more than just planning for the good times. It’s also about preparing for the possibility of bad times as well, so your financial strategy is ready for every eventuality, knowing that you and your loved ones are protected should misfortune arise.

Some Questions We Consider When Identifying and Assessing Risk

These are but a few of the questions we consider when working with clients. We don’t just match products to your risk tolerance and financial goals, we match strategies to your unique risk scenarios to help reduce risk and maximize wealth.

A Focus On You & Your Financial Planning Needs

At Vancea Financial Group Inc., we build more than portfolios; we build relationships. Our business structure is unique in that our financial advisors are motivated by your success, rather than by corporate performance targets or the opportunity for promotion. Clients often feel they are little more than a number and that financial planners are more motivated by salary, promotion, and bonuses than in building relationships with clients. Employee success is often defined by the number of products they sell, rather than whether or not the ones they are selling are the right fit for clients.

Our boutique approach means that everyone at Vancea Financial is dedicated to your financial prosperity and to earning your loyalty for years to come.

Our goal is to build relationships that last a lifetime, by getting to know each client and understanding individual needs. We never use hard-sell tactics, and only provide clients with products and services that we truly believe will be of benefit to you. We do not tie employee growth or bonuses to the number of products or services sold, but rather we view employee success through the lens of client satisfaction.

We are successful when YOU are successful in meeting your financial goals! Contact us today to find out how Vancea’s financial planning and wealth management experts can help build a portfolio that meets YOUR individual needs!


Your Team at Vancea Financial Group

James Arnold


Investment Funds Advisor


About James

James and his wife Christine, along with their three children Aaron, Logan and Megan, moved to Stratford in 2002.

James has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and is currently finishing his Certified Financial Planner designation. Prior to joining the Vancea Financial team in 2006, James taught accounting at Conestoga College in Kitchener for four years. During this time, James and his wife owned and operated Play Fair Sports Camp for kids which had locations in Cambridge and Kitchener. James has been involved in various volunteer community activities (Board Director/Treasurer for Epilepsy Huron Perth and Board Director for Stratford Aces, Coaching). He has helped out financially for numerous non-profit organizations in Huron Perth.

James’ knowledge and ability to listen to clients, then find a solution that meets their needs in a non-pressure environment, has paved the way for a successful career in the financial arena in Stratford and surrounding areas.

Gesi Commisso


Certified Financial Planner


About Gesi

Gesi is all about culture, family and providing exceptional service. He’s been in the industry for over a decade and lives in Woodstock with his wife Alex and two kids, Agostino and Siena.

Gesi is both a Certified Financial Planner© and Group Benefits Specialist who thrives on providing service like no other. His continued education helps to ensure he stays relevant and competent.

He focuses on the financial well-being of his clients and helps them accomplish what they set out for. He is an avid soccer fan and enjoys visiting family back in Italy when he can.

Deron Cousens

Associate Partner

Investment Funds Advisor


About Deron

Born and raised in Georgetown, Ontario, Deron is now a resident of Guelph, Ontario. Deron is a former professional hockey player and has been in the financial services industry since February of 2014 where he started with Sun Life Financial. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan Technological University where he played Division 1 hockey, serving as team captain in his final season.

Deron values not only helping his clients achieve their financial goals but developing a relationship with each client. He values a holistic approach to financial planning. This planning approach is not a one size fits all, he tailors each plan specifically to his clients’ needs and goals.

In his personal life, Deron has a passion for fitness which involves working out, boxing and long trail walks with his dog Nash. He is still actively involved in hockey both playing and helping young hockey players. Deron still plays Senior A hockey in Brantford on the weekends throughout the winter season.

Brian Cressman


Certified Financial Planner


About Brian

Brian was born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Prior to joining the London Life Insurance Company in 1999, he was in the banking industry for eight years and also worked as a brokerage sales manager for Canada Life for two years. Since joining Canada Life, and now being part of Vancea Financial Group Inc., Brian’s focus has been on building long-term relationships with present and future clients, assisting in all aspects of their financial security plans.

Brian moved to Stratford in 2011 with his wife Gayle and their young daughter Alexa.

Brian has also earned his Certified Financial Planner designation and maintains his commitment to professionalism, ethics, and education.

Debbie Dawson

Executive Assistant

Licensed Assistant


About Debbie

Debbie joined Vancea Financial Group October 2017 as an office administrative assistant.

Debbie received her CIFC certificate in December 2019 and has over 20 years experience in the financial service industry as a bank teller and loan associate. She also has experience with operating/admin for a small construction company, and owned a hobby farm for 4 years. Debbie completed her small business course at Conestoga College and accounting course at Naylor McLeod. Customer care is a top priority for her as she enjoys the daily challenges her job entails.

Debbie has two young adult children, Carter and Sarah who she enjoys spending time with when they are not busy ATV-ing or in horse competitions. Debbie and her children still enjoy family vacations in the summer, especially camping in a new area each time, exploring Ontario.

When she is not spending time with her family, Debbie enjoys going dancing and to the movies with her friends.

Dino Ferrera

Managing Partner

Certified Financial Planner


About Dino

Dino Ferrera is a Partner and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) at Vancea Financial Group . He has a background in Marketing with his Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Guelph and has been working in the financial services industry for over 15 years.

As a Financial Planner, a large focus for Dino is helping his clients learn about the importance of financial preparedness and risk management. His focus is on helping people accumulate and distribute wealth while protecting their families and their assets. Your retirement, your child’s education, your business, and your home are all dreams he can help plan for and protect.


In his personal life, Dino and his wife Nicole spend most of his time with family and friends. He has a passion for physical fitness (running), spending time outdoors and a strong interest in helping the community. They have two sons, Matthew and Thomas, who keep them on their toes and constantly moving.


Rob Flood


Investment Funds Advisor


About Rob

Rob was born and raised in Woodstock, Ontario and received his Bachelor of Administrative and Commercial Studies degree in the finance and administration stream with a minor in history from the University of Western Ontario.

Rob has worked with Vancea Financial Group Inc. in the Woodstock office since 2013, and really enjoys the team atmosphere around the office. He works closely with clients to find out what their goals and needs are and tailors their financial security plan around what they want most.

Rob and his spouse Val have two adorable boys Weston (1) and Wyatt (3) who keep them busy with their endless energy.

Trina Herman

Executive Assistant

Licensed Assistant


About Trina

Trina joined Vancea Financial Group in November 2015. She brings with her over 10 years of experience working in the financial industry. She has experience in front line customer service, and as a financial service associate to multiple advisors at one of Canada's leading financial institutions.

Born and raised in Stratford, Trina lives here with her husband Scott and their two children Brock and Payton, who are both active in minor sports within the city.

Alyson Kent


Investment Funds Advisor


About Alyson

Alyson joined Vancea Financial Group in 2011. While working as Mike Vancea’s assistant and Office manager, she completed her life insurance and Canadian Investment Funds licensing. In 2016 she transitioned into the role of Financial Security Advisor. Alyson began her career in finance and investments over twenty years ago, after completing a BA and MA in Canadian History. She has also worked in administrative capacities for a number of non-profit organizations.

An active volunteer in her community, Alyson has a special interest in arts and heritage. From 2010 through 2014 Alyson served as Trustee for the City of Stratford on the Avon Maitland District School Board. Her current volunteer commitments include the board of INNERchamber (a concert music series), as well as several social justice causes.

She lives in Stratford with her partner, Mark, and has two young adult daughters.

Tristan Lovric



About Tristan

Tristan and his partner, Sarah, moved to Stratford from Canberra, Australia in January 2019.

Tristan has a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Financial Planning, from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. Previous to joining Vancea Financial Group in September 2019, he was a service technician at an Apple Store in Australia while he earned his degree. He enjoys working as a part of a team at Vancea Financial Group and works with the goal of ensuring clients are making the best decisions to secure their financial security at all stages of life, and taking the time to share his knowledge to make sure clients feel confident in their financial decision making.

In his personal life, Tristan enjoys fishing, playing and watching basketball and squash, and chess.

Reilly McCann


Investment Funds Advisor


About Reilly

Reilly is born and raised in Stratford, Ontario. He graduated from the University of Guelph in 2016, with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree.

Since then, he has found himself working primarily in the financial services industry with over 5 years of experience helping clients achieve their financial goals.

Reilly's focus is to provide the exceptional service and advice that clients deserve through all stages of life. As a proud Partner and Financial Security Advisor at Vancea Financial Group, Reilly intends to make your unique and personal financial decision-making process a success, and to build strong long-lasting relationships along the way.

Outside of the office he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend Kristen, travelling, playing golf and hockey, and spending time at his family cottage.

Kelitta Martin

Executive Assistant

Licensed Assistant



Kelitta graduated from Conestoga College where she studied Legal Office Administration. She has over 10 years experience in customer service and administration. With a background working in the financial service industry, along with the medical industry. Kelitta enjoys the challenges each day brings at work, while providing excellent customer care.

Kelitta lives in Tavistock with her husband Fraser and their two sons Izaac and Bryson. She volunteers on her school’s Parent Council and coaches Figure Skating. Kelitta spends her spare time being outdoors with her family biking or walking and enjoys watching her sons take part in minor sports.

Trevor Neeb

Managing Partner

Certified Financial Planner


About Trevor

Born and raised in Stratford, Trevor has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph and holds a Certified Financial Planner Designation.

With more than 20 years of experience in financial services, Trevor focuses on providing quality service and honest advice. His personal goal is to ensure clients are well informed, and to assess their unique situations and tailor a solution to match.

Trevor resides in Stratford with his wife, Mallory, children Anderson and Taylor, and their poodle, Walter.

Julian Piwowarski


Investment Funds Advisor


About Julian

Julian is an experienced and knowledgeable Financial Security Advisor and Investment Funds Advisor, ready to work with you on your family’s financial future.

He has a B. Comm degree, an MBA in Business Administration and is finishing his CFP designation.

Specializing in comprehensive investment management, retirement planning and insurance protection, he believes his breadth of experience and knowledge in wealth management and advanced financial planning, are key factors in helping his clients achieve their financial goals and insurance protection.

Julian has had a variety of careers, including a tax auditor for the CRA, a Manager of Hospital Information Systems, a Project Manager for a large project with the Ministry of Health’s ehealth division and a Financial Advisor.

After a 10 year career as a Financial Advisor, serving businesses and families, Julian joined the Vancea Financial team in 2021.

Julian is a member of the Festival City Rotary club, previously treasurer of the foundation and a member of the local Music and Opera Appreciation group, as the treasurer. Julian also enjoys golfing and curling and keeping fit at the gym.

When he’s not spending time helping his clients in Stratford protect and grow their wealth, Julian is spending time with his partner, Rosemary.

Michael Vancea

Managing Partner

Certified Financial Planner


About Mike

Mike has been in financial services since graduating from the University of Waterloo where he received his B.A. degree in Economics. In 2013, he earned his M.B.A. degree from Dalhousie University. Mike is also a Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Life Underwriter and continues to upgrade his education to help ensure he stays at the top of his game.

In 2001, Mike moved to Stratford where he, along with his wife Carla, raised their daughters Micaela and Abigail. They are both attending Western University now.

Mike’s goal is to offer his knowledge and experience in the area of wealth and estate planning as well as employee benefits to clients and their many referrals.

Mike enjoys working on the many boards around Stratford as well as coaching soccer and playing ball in the summers.

Rebecca Vandenberg

Executive Assistant


About Rebecca

Rebecca joined Vancea Financial Group after seven years of experience in the Financial Service Industry as a Customer Service Representative and as a Universal Banker. She is dedicated to providing clients with the highest level of customer service and care.

Originally from Northern Ontario, Rebecca moved to Woodstock in 2001 with her husband Jason to start a family. They have two sons, Brody, and Aiden and a stubborn cat named Meika who rules the house.

Outside of work, Rebecca can be seen with her nose in a book. Going to concerts with her family and visiting friends and family up North any chance she gets. Usually with a poutine in hand. She loves getting involved with local charity events that are close to her heart.

Nikki Wettlaufer

Executive Assistant

Licensed Assistant


About Nikki

Nikki holds an honours diploma in Paralegal Studies. In 2007 she began her career in the London Life legal department as a Law Clerk eventually moving up to a Team Lead position. In 2016 she moved back to her hometown of Stratford, where she would eventually find herself working at Vancea Financial. Nikki has a combined 17 years of administrative and management experience under her belt and takes great pride in servicing the needs of our clients.

In her free time, Nikki enjoys spending time with her son Ben and husband Dan. She is a self-proclaimed foodie, an avid baker and loves hiking and the outdoors. She has also gone to school for Aesthetics, wig making and theatrical makeup and still dabbles in these via teaching, weddings and in the theatre from time to time.

Experience the Vancea Difference

We’re confident that our unique approach to financial planning will provide you with new insight into your financial needs now and in the years to come.

Make an Appointment Today