20 AMAZING YEARS BUILT ON STRENGTH AND COURAGE
It takes strength to be firm,
It takes courage to be gentle.
It takes strength to conquer,
It takes courage to surrender.
It takes strength to be certain,
It takes courage to have doubt.
It takes strength to fit in,
It takes courage to stand out.
It takes strength to feel a friend's pain, It takes courage to feel your own pain.
It takes strength to endure abuse,
It takes courage to stop it.
It takes strength to stand alone,
It takes courage to lean on another.
It takes strength to love,
It takes courage to be loved.
It takes strength to survive,
It takes courage to live.
20 years…who would have thunk! When I started QFS in January, 1997, I had a dream of building the most successful, broker-centric, MGA in Canada. EVERYTHING we would do, we would do with the advisor in mind. Milestone after milestone, QFS became a leader in the industry; the first MGA to have its own full-fledged conferences for advisors; the first to bring on-line technology to the MGA space in Canada; the first MGA to move to the FundSERV platform for investments; THE MGA who brought The Leap System and Moneytrax to Canada; and the first MGA to hold a symposium with more than 450 advisors in attendance, with many more firsts still to come! 2016 concludes our 20th year in business, and what a fantastic year it has been. 2016 will, again, be a record year for QFS in terms of FYC, with more advisors settling more than $25,000 in Contest Credit FYC than ever before, including 19 advisors over $100,000 and 5 more on the cusp of going over $100,000 before year-end! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to each and every advisor, and staff member, ever associated with QFS, for making the past 20 years successful beyond my wildest dreams.
For me personally, 2016 has been a wonderful year filled with love and travel. Together, Randi and I have enjoyed numerous trips this year, including first visits for both of us to London, England, Amsterdam and Berlin, and of course the QFS conference in Belgium…what a trip that was. AND EVEN BIGGER NEWS, after knowing each other for 40 years (we met first year of high school), and dating for the past 20 months, Randi and I got engaged earlier this month!
Randi is an amazing woman. She is successful in her own right as an Investment Advisor at CIBC Wood Gundy, has excellent values, is a fabulous cook (not good if I want to keep my weight down), and together we share many common interests. I’m so excited about our future together.
My 4 wonderful children, along with my gorgeous, delicious, granddaughter, Dylan, now almost 17 months old, are always my pride and joy. Each of my kids continue to mature and show me just how good they really are. My youngest, Riley, continues her studies at Queen’s University, finishing her 4th year in a psychology major, and is now looking at enrollment in a Master’s Degree. My other 3 kids remain at the centre of my succession plan, learning more each day about what it takes to run a successful MGA. Corey, Haley and Jesse are all amazing. I love getting compliments about them from advisors and staff alike, and I am so proud of each one of them. Corey continues to amaze me with his insights on marketing and social media. Jesse has taken our communication platform to a whole new level of professionalism, and Haley is back from maternity leave, now working in our Markham office as Office Manager of Markham and Sr. Compliance Officer for QFS.
Our continued growth is no accident, we have a dedicated Business Development Team and administrative staff who make it their job to make my life, and your life, easier and better. The QFS BD team are excellent at what they do. Because of them, we have more QFS advisors than ever before, and more productive advisors than ever before. Our admin team, led by Diana, are just a great bunch of women and men, dedicating their day to your business. Pat Armstrong, who is retiring at the end of this year, after more than 17 years with QFS, is the longest serving QFS employee, other than myself. Pat has been here for every one of our “firsts” and has made such a huge contribution to our growth. Pat we will miss you! Diana, Teresa and Sharron have also been here almost since the beginning, while others like Amanda, Eva and Erica are relatively new to the team. Seasoned or new to the team, ALL our staff, in every office, in every province, do their jobs with passion and dedication. And most importantly, we continued to be the MGA that cares about YOU. It’s who WE are that makes QFS NOT YOUR TYPICAL MGA!
And, finally, thank you to my executive team of Nick Simone, Larry Goldberg, Joseph Trozzo, Perry Villanueva and Scott Edgington. These guys worked harder this year than any other year in our history! Along with you, they are the ones that deserve the credit for our growth this year. I can’t think of a group more determined than they are. Even when the year seemed to be going a little sideways, they stood up to the challenge, determined to meet our objectives for 2016.
We have an exciting 2017 planned, celebrating our 20 years in business. We’ll introduce an unbelievable Advisor Rewards Program, hold the best Business Development meetings we’ve ever had, you’ll see some of our best ever sales contests and we’ll give away lots of 20th anniversary prizes throughout the year…stay tuned, it’s going to be a celebration year!
Unbelievably, as I close off my holiday letter, the world finds itself confronted by more terrorism, more hatred, more bloodshed, more poverty and more strife. Aleppo is just the latest tragedy in the news. Major terrorist attacks in Brussels, Nice and Turkey took numerous innocent lives. Other attacks on campuses, in restaurants and on the streets of major cities and towns, and smaller ones too, throughout the world, is now an everyday occurrence. Will we, or our children, or their children, ever see a world at peace. What do we have to do to stop this? It’s hard to celebrate when there is so much sadness elsewhere.
I repeat myself from years past, do what you can to make someone else’s life better…your life will be better for it.
On behalf of myself, and the entire QFS family, I wish you all a wonderful holiday season filled with health, happiness and laughter, and may the New Year be good to us all, EVERYWHERE.