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Challenging the Norm: How This Medicus Pension Plan Leader is Redefining Financial Security in Medicine

By Sarah Walker

From challenging gender norms to advocating for inclusive policies, Simone Reitzes leverages her experience in pensions and benefits to enhance financial wellbeing and equality for others.

Simone Reitzes, Managing Director of the Medicus Pension Plan™, established by MD Financial Management Inc. and Scotiabank, has always defied conventional expectations. Reflecting on her childhood, she recalls, “I preferred winning math contests over playing with dolls. Back then, we lacked STEAM programs that fostered such interests among young women, and societal norms pushed us toward the humanities instead of embracing numbers.”

This defiance of social norms began early. As a middle child, Simone developed a relentless curiosity and a desire to challenge societal expectations. By high school, her passion for mathematics had deepened, thanks in part to a woman mentor who introduced her to the potential within the field. This guidance led her to the University of Waterloo where she studied mathematics and eventually to a career in actuarial science—an area focused on managing financial uncertainties and risks.

In her role as an actuary, and now as the leader of Canada’s first and only pension plan of its kind designed specifically for physicians, Simone has consistently focused on the human aspect. “Pensions and benefits are fundamentally about supporting people to live their best lives. They’re crucial for mental and emotional well-being,” she explains.

Throughout her career, from global consulting to her 10-year tenure at Scotiabank, Simone has shaped inclusive and progressive financial policies by truly listening to the experiences of others. One notable instance of her impact was after learning about the obstacles faced by a young transgender individual. Upon reaching adulthood, they lost access to their parents’ benefits coverage, which coincided with them sharing their transgender identity, a time when they needed significant support. After hearing this story, Simone advocated for and was instrumental in the establishment of mental health benefits for extended family members of Scotiabank employees. Such changes have profound impacts, not only on individuals but on whole families. “It’s about meeting people where they are, based on their needs, to craft truly inclusive policies,” she asserts.

Drawing from her own experience raising her three children, Simone has also been a vocal advocate for extending parental leave to fathers, recognizing the positive ripple effects this has on women’s careers by not relegating caregiving responsibilities exclusively to mothers.

Now, leading the Medicus Pension Plan, Simone is dedicated to building a pension plan that supports the unique needs of physicians, who often begin their careers burdened with substantial debt and face immense pressures in their professional lives. “It is a privilege to be an innovator in advocating for financial peace of mind for physicians by offering a secure, predictable stream of retirement income,” she says.

Driven by a genuine desire to help others, Simone’s leadership style is characterized by authenticity and compassion. “I’m committed to empowering my team, providing them with opportunities to grow and tackle new challenges,” she states. This commitment to fostering an engaging and rewarding work environment is integral to her vision of creating systemic change.

Simone believes that managing adversity is key to developing resilience, essential traits for anyone wanting to challenge the status quo. “Focus on your response and the impact you have on others,” she advises. “While you can’t control every situation, you can influence and inspire change through your actions and leadership.”

By championing financial security and fostering an inclusive work culture, Simone is not only advancing her industry but also paving the way for women to thrive in the business world.

Her efforts are an example for future generations, demonstrating that with resilience, authenticity, and strategic innovation, it’s possible to dismantle longstanding barriers and cultivate an environment where women are not only participants but leaders and changemakers.

Simone’s story is also a compelling call to action: to embrace challenges, inspire change, and lead with unwavering conviction. This is how legacies are built — not just through personal success, but by lifting others as we climb, reshaping the landscape of business and beyond.