Michael Katchen

Most companies value innovative thinking. They invest in innovation. But how do you actually “do” innovation?

Founder and CEO of Wealthsimple

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Michael Katchen | Founder and CEO of Wealthsimple
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

If Toronto is the Silicon Valley of the North – a thriving international hub of technological innovation – then Michael Katchen is one of its leading figures. “We’re primed for a historic revolution in innovation,” he says. “We just don’t know it yet.” Katchen is the founder and CEO of Wealthsimple, whose easy-to-use service has redefined investing for a young generation, and whose massive success has disrupted the financial services industry. In keynotes, he talks about how an embrace of innovation as an organic, practical process allows companies to solve big problems, to reinvent themselves and their industries, and, of course, to continually grow. 

“Wealthsimple is an example of fin-tech at its finest … The success of this business has turned heads all over the world.”

— Justin Trudeau

Michael Katchen is the founder and CEO of Wealthsimple, a leading online investment advisor. Frustrated by his options as a retail investor in Canada, Katchen started Wealthsimple to make smart investing easy, low-cost, and accessible to everyone, regardless of age or net worth. Founded in 2014, Wealthsimple now serves more than 30,000 clients in Canada and the United States, has $1.4 trillion in assets under administration, and $100 million in capital. It’s was Best Financial Services Website in the World at the 2016 Webbys. 


Katchen has been called an Industry Mover by the Financial Post, a Change Agent by Canadian Business Magazine, and one of Toronto’s 50 most influential people by Toronto Life. He is also winner of a 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Speech Topics

New Canadian Entrepreneurship Bolder and Bigger Thinking for World-Class Companies

Canada is known for many things—donuts, denim formalwear, polite apologies—but not the kind of bold thinking and risk-taking that propels the world’s biggest, most innovative companies. But the ingredients are all here: great schools breeding top talent, government infrastructure, institutional support. So why aren’t people around the world using Canadian products and services? And how can that change? In this keynote, Michael Katchen talks about why Canadian companies should be bolder and think bigger. And why, with the fast growth of companies like Shopify, Wealthsimple, Hootsuite, and more, we’re witnessing the dawn of the new age of Canadian entrepreneurship.

Genuine Innovation How Process, Not Product, Drives Wealthsimple

These days, every company (and person) will tell you they are innovative. They are trying to cultivate more innovation at work. They deeply value innovative thinking. They invest in innovation. But how do we actually “do” innovation? What does it look like in practice? In this informative talk, Michael Katchen describes how truly innovative companies approach innovation like a process, not a product. It’s woven into the very DNA of a successful company (like Wealthsimple, Katchen’s transformative brand). It allows it to constantly iterate, reinvent a sector, enter new markets, and solve problems. And it’s the core element that helps a company grow. With Katchen’s straightforward advice, we can see what innovation looks like in a growing, game-changing organization, and how you can put it into practice immediately.