Our Leadership

Executive Team

Financial Horizons Group is led by a team of seasoned, dynamic professional with a wealth of experience in the financial sector.
These executives lead a team of over 300 employees across the country to provide the efficient and professional service advisors need to succeed in their business.

+ biography Picture of Nick Pszeniczny, Financial Horizons Group’s President & Chief Executive Officer / Photo de Nick Pszeniczny, président et chef de la direction du Groupe Financier Horizons

Nick Pszeniczny

HBA, B.Comm., CLU

President & Chief Executive Officer

Nick Pszeniczny

Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Nick is a graduate of Lake Superior State University in Michigan and the University of Windsor with degrees in Public Relations and Business Commerce.

Nick started as an advisor in Sault Ste. Marie in 1983 and has amassed experience in all corners of this industry, including time spent in the 90’s as a principal owner of one of Ontario’s largest brokerages with offices in Northern and Southern Ontario. Most notably, Nick was promoted to executive vice-president of Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life and was the architect of Freedom 55 Financial. As a champion of change, Nick went on to lead the evolution of the individual retail distribution structure for the organization to a market leadership position. He also served as a Board of Director for Quadrus Investment Services.

Nick is well known throughout the industry and North America as a member of LIMRA’s International Board of Directors and was the 2006/2007 chairman of LIMRA’s Distribution Leadership Roundtable.

As president and chief executive officer of Financial Horizons Group, Nick leads one of the top national Managing General Agencies (MGA). Nick has a deep understanding of the needs of advisors and is regarded as a visionary leader with strong relationship skills, ambition and a gracious style. He has worked relentlessly with regulators, associations and carriers to help formulate the Canadian financial services landscape.

+ biography Picture of David Stewart, Financial Horizons Group’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer / Photo de David Stewart, vice-président directeur et directeur de l'exploitation du Groupe Financier Horizons

David Stewart

BA, TEP

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

David Stewart

David has been in the financial services industry for over 30 years. After graduating from Laurentian University, David joined Prudential of America, first as a broker and then entering a career in sales management.

David spent many years working as a Brokerage Manager for Wise Riddell Financial Group, where he eventually became a partner. Under his leadership, David developed a boutique approach to helping advisors work with the affluent market.

In 2005, David was appointed as the Vice-President of Sales for Performins Canada and a few years later became their President and COO.

Since joining Financial Horizons Group in 2013, David has focused on the needs of advisors and worked diligently to build processes, systems and support within an MGA environment to help advisors support their clients. Knowledge, passion, and commitment to success are the drivers that David brings to all that he does.

David is an active member within the financial services industry serving on many committees such as ADVOCIS, CALU, and FSRA’s working committee. David is also a standing member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

David oversees and provides leadership to the Financial Horizons Group and Excel Private Wealth teams managing marketing, distribution, operations, sales, information technology, and group benefits. David’s vision and commitment is to elevate the advisor experience, while ensuring that we meet our Corporate pledge to be the financial distributor of choice for independent financial and investment advisors.

+ biography Picture of Marc Lantaigne, Financial Horizons Group’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer / Photo de Marc Lantaigne, vice-président directeur et directeur des finances du Groupe Financier Horizons

Marc Lantaigne

CPA, CA

Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Marc Lantaigne

Marc Lantaigne joined Financial Horizons Group in 2012 to support the firm’s ambitious growth plans. Marc is fluently bilingual and has more than 20 years of financial management experience in progressive management positions in construction, manufacturing, technology, and transportation industries.

Marc obtained his BA in Economics from the University of Western Ontario in 1989, his Graduate Diploma in Accounting from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1992, and his Chartered Accountant (CA) designation in 1995.

Marc represents FHG on the Board of the Canadian Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies in the position of Treasurer.

+ biography Picture of Will Chang, Financial Horizons Group’s Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary / Photo de Will Chang, vice-président directeur aux affaires juridiques et secrétaire général du Groupe Financier Horizons

Will Chang

JD

Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

Will Chang

Will has practiced commercial law for over 20 years.  He spent the first 6 years of his legal career at large law firms – first Gowlings, then McMillan LLP – before moving in-house.  His in-house roles have included General Counsel at Thomas Cook, Head of Legal at Transat Holidays and General Counsel at Granite Global Solutions.  As Executive Vice-President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Will is responsible for the legal affairs of the Financial Horizons Group of Companies and for acquiring new businesses.

Will was named “Activist of the Year” by NOW magazine and one of Canada’s “Top 20 Catalysts In Entertainment” by the Toronto Star.  At age 24, Will became the youngest ever instructor at Osgoode Hall Law School, where he served as an Adjunct Professor of Law for 15 years teaching a course on negotiation.  Will enjoys pro bono work, has been a leading activist for a variety of causes, and sat for six years on the Board of Directors of FoodShare.

Will obtained his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1996 and completed his undergraduate studies at The University of Western Ontario.

Will and his wife, Jane, have two young children: one daughter and one son.

+ biography Picture of Christina Waite Executive Officer and Vice President Human Resources and Corporate Affairs / Photo de Christina Waite, directrice générale et vice-présidente principale aux ressources humaines et affaires corporatives du Groupe Financier Horizons

Christina Waite

CHRL

Executive Officer and Senior Vice President, Human Resources & Corporate Affairs

Christina Waite

With over 25 years of Human Resources experience, Christina Waite is an important member of the leadership team at Financial Horizons Group. Christina has a track record of creating and implementing cohesive, best in class programs and practices that support an organization’s strategic direction while driving employee engagement and commitment.

Christina has worked in the financial, hospitality, retail, and manufacturing industries and brings this breadth of experience to her role at Financial Horizons Group. She has held leadership roles at a number of companies. Prior to joining FHG, Christina helped build the Canadian division’s first HR department at Liebherr-Canada Ltd., a heavy equipment manufacturer. Christina joined FHG in 2014.

At FHG, Christina provides leadership for Human Resources and Corporate Affairs. She is responsible for human resources; the employee payroll benefits and pension program; corporate communications; brand; and corporate giving and philanthropic initiatives for all lines of business across Canada. In her short time with the company, Christina and her team have established FHG as an employer of choice.

Christina cites her bilingualism as an invaluable asset, enabling her to connect with management and employees across the country. It is through communication and integrity that Christina has created trust, respect, and an HR foundation.

Christina has been a recipient of several awards and has earned her designation of Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL). Further, she holds many diplomas and certificates, including HR Management from both Humber College and York University. Christina is also certified in Occupational Health and Safety.

Outside of work, Christina was a competitive BMX racer, retiring from racing ranked first, both provincially and nationally, and twelfth in North America. Christina qualified for three world championships (she finished in tenth place at the championship in London, England). Her competitive nature and drive continues to ignite her passion in her work. 

In her community, Christina lends a hand by volunteering at her local elementary school as chair of the school council and member of the Parent-Teacher Association. Christina has also spent countless hours volunteering for the Canadian Cancer Society, CIBC Run for the Cure, and the United Way.

Christina has been married for 25 years and has two children. She enjoys being a part of her children’s extra-curricular activities and taking family vacations in warm weather.

+ biography Picture of Chris Valardo Financial Horizons Group’s Executive Distribution Officer / Photo de Chris Valardo, directeur général de la distribution du Groupe Financier Horizons

Chris Valardo

CFP

Executive Distribution Officer

Chris Valardo

Chris Valardo is a graduate of Mount Allison University, holding a BA in Commerce. He obtained his CFP in 2008.

Chris joined the financial services industry in 1990 as sales representative for Canada Life. By 1995, he was named a Sales Supervisor.

In 1997, Chris joined Manulife Financial as the Sales Manager for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Shortly thereafter, he was named Branch Manager for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. In 2002, Chris was named Regional Vice President of Sales for Atlantic Canada.

Chris joined Financial Horizons Group in 2007 as the Managing Partner for Atlantic Canada, building the Atlantic Branch from the ground up to create one of the largest MGAs in Atlantic Canada. In 2014, Chris became the President, Atlantic Region for FHG.

Chris has had a successful career as a financial advisor. He has been a Top of the Table MDRT producer, and is a multiple conference qualifier with 4 separate life insurance companies.

Chris has been married to his wife Leslie for 25 years, and together they have raised two children. Chris is heavily involved in football, sitting on the Board of Football Canada, and Football NS, and coaching high school football for over 20 years. Chris is passionate about working with youth in the community.

+ biography Picture of Denis Blackburn Financial Horizons Group’s President, Quebec Region / Photo de Denis Blackburn, président de la région du Québec du Groupe Financier Horizons

Denis Blackburn

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President, Quebec Region

Denis Blackburn

Denis Blackburn joined Financial Horizons Group as President, Quebec Region in August, 2020. A dynamic and distinguished leader, Denis has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. With a passion for coaching and developing strong professional relationships with advisors, Denis greatly values the importance of independent advice.

Denis started his career as a Financial Security Advisor 1986, first working in financial products and services for a large insurance company, and later moving on to training and management roles. For the next 20 years, Denis worked at a major bank where he held positions of increasing responsibility, culminating in Denis heading up the company’s insurance firm. More recently, Denis held a senior position at a financial institution and was responsible for the strategic direction and growth strategies for the network of independent advisors with high-net-worth clients.

Throughout his career, Denis has built strong relationships with elite advisors and many insurance companies. He also recognizes the importance of having a strong national strategy that leaves room for local interpretation. Denis understands that advisors are different not only from one coast to another, but also from one city to another. As someone who is inspired by the independent advisor profession, Denis dedicates himself to identifying new opportunities to add value for advisors. Denis is determined to assist advisors in sustaining business growth and optimization.

Most recently, Denis served on the board of directors of Innovassur and the Coalition pour la promotion des professions en assurance de dommages. Denis was also Vice-President of the Corporation des assureurs directs de dommages du Québec (CADD).

On a personal level, Denis is a man for whom family is very important: he is the father of four children and also a stepfather of two children. Passionate about Quebec, he enjoys the simple pleasures in life, like terrific culinary experiences.

+ biography

David Ho

BSc, CLU, ChFC

President, Torce Financial Group & Vance Financial Group

David Ho

David is the leader of Torce Financial Group based in Markham, Ontario and Vance Financial Group based in Vancouver, British Columbia. David joined our team in 2019 when Torce and Vance merged with Financial Horizons Group.

An accomplished sales leader, David has 45 years of experience in the financial services industry. At Financial Horizons Group, his goals include recruiting top advisors, supporting existing advisors, and ultimately continuing to grow the Torce and Vance lines of business.

David previously served as Vancouver Chapter President of the Life Insurance Management Association (LIMRA). Additionally, David was formerly the President of the Markham, Richmond Hill, and Vaughan Business Association, the United Way York Region Special Gift Committee Chair, and the President of the Canadian Chinese Charity Foundation (a foundation that he founded).

+ biography Picture of Guy Papillon President of Odyssey Financial Group and Senior Vice-President, Group and Affinity Markets / Photo de Guy Papillon, président du Groupe Financier Odyssée et vice-président principal de l’assurance collective et des marchés d’affinités du Groupe Financier Horizons

Guy Papillon

-

President, Odyssey Financial Group, and Senior Vice-President, Group and Affinity Markets

Guy Papillon

In addition to serving as President of our subsidiary, Odyssey Financial Group, Guy Papillon has held the role of Senior Vice-President, Group Benefits and Affinity Markets, at Financial Horizons Group since January 2021.

In this role, Guy provides overall leadership to Odyssey Financial Group, and leads our Sales efforts for our Group Benefits and Affinity Markets line of business.

After he and his flourishing organization, Odyssey Financial Group, joined Financial Horizons Group in 2016, Guy quickly became a key member of our leadership team, proving himself eminently capable of leading national initiatives. Coming from an actuarial background, Guy boasts more than 30 years of industry experience and never runs out of ideas for promoting business development. Over the years, he has gained extensive experience in sales and business development roles in the group benefits sector. Guy has an outstanding track record of success and has held leadership positions at multiple major organizations within the industry.

In his free time, Guy enjoys spending time with his family as well as in outdoor sports including hiking, skiing, golf and biking.

+ biography Picture of Heidi MacDonald Financial Horizons Group’s Senior Vice-President of National Operations and Advisor Services / Photo d’Heidi MacDonald, vice-présidente principale des opérations nationales et des services pour conseillères et conseillers du Groupe Financier Horizons

Heidi MacDonald

-

Senior Vice-President, National Operations & Advisor Services

Heidi MacDonald

With over 15 years of industry experience, Heidi utilizes her expertise to guide overall national Operations at Financial Horizons Group, Continuum Financial Centers, Excel Private Wealth and Heritage Group Financial. Heidi leads all aspects of Operations for Contracting, Information Technology, Advisor Services, and Administration across our vast branch network.

Since joining Financial Horizons Group in 2005, Heidi has held various leadership roles in regional and national Operations and Project Management.

Heidi is a Director on the board of the Canadian Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (CAILBA), as well as a member of the Strategic Governance board for APEXA. Applying her Six Sigma training, Life License Qualification Program (LLQP) and ‘get it done’ attitude, Heidi consistently designs and delivers processes to support our independent advisors.

In her free time, Heidi enjoys spending time with family and friends, entertaining, and making use of her Red Seal Chef Certification.

+ biography Picture of Todd Hynes, Financial Horizons Group / Photo de Todd Hynes, Groupe Financier Horizons

Todd Hynes

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Senior Vice-President, Shared Distribution Services

Todd Hynes

Todd Hynes joined Financial Horizons Group as Senior Vice President, Shared Distribution Services in April, 2021. A driven leader with over 35 years of industry experience, Todd has the ability and commitment to identify and seize growth opportunities.

As SVP, Shared Distribution Services, Todd works to enhance our support services and to further develop and deliver our Advisor Value Proposition. Todd’s role places him in the middle of numerous important initiatives, enabling him to develop and execute strategies that bring together regional wealth and insurance specialists, marketing, and sales training and development.

Todd has a wealth of experience, both as an advisor and on the carrier side, with a record of accomplishment in sales leadership, M&As, strategic planning, and product design. Most recently, Todd held a leadership role with one of our carrier partners, where he was heavily involved with the recruitment and development of independent advisors.

Todd is a member of the LIMRA Research Advisory Group, FSRA for MGAs, Advocis and GAMA.

A true family man, Todd regards his career as a partnership with his wife, Denise. Todd has two daughters—his eldest is obtaining an honours degree in Mathematics and his youngest is preparing for her LSAT with hopes of practicing law.

+ biography Picture of Sandy Richardson Financial Horizons Group’s Senior Vice-President of Strategy and Project Management / Photo de Sandy Richardson, vice-présidente principale, stratégie et gestion de projets du Groupe Financier Horizons

Sandy Richardson

M.Ed.

Senior Vice-President, Strategy & Project Management

Sandy Richardson

Sandy is responsible for the creation, execution, and renewal of a competitive business strategy that delivers desired business results and drives advisor satisfaction. Also leading our project management office, Sandy makes sure our projects are aligned with our overall strategy and that they make a difference for our advisors. 

Sandy has over 25 years of experience leading strategy in a range of organizations—from large national and international companies, to start-ups, and high growth small and mid-sized companies.

Dedicated to taking a collaborative approach to strategy development and implementation, Sandy is passionate about connecting great team members from across the organization with our purpose, promise and vision so that together we produce exceptional advisor, organizational, and business results.

+ biography Picture of Nina Kavalinas Financial Horizons Group’s Vice President of National Compliance

Nina Kavalinas

-

Vice President, National Compliance

Nina Kavalinas

Nina is responsible for all aspects of our MGA, Advisor and Mutual Fund compliance programs, focusing on policies and procedures, investigations, regulatory inquiries, audits, reporting and liaising with Advisors.

She has held a variety of roles in the insurance and financial services industries for over 25 years, working in the branches and head offices of several major insurers in both Canada and the United States. To date, her roles involved work in compliance, investigations, fraud and risk mitigation, claims, underwriting and project management.

Nina holds a seat on a number of industry committees, where she provides insight and expertise to the changing regulatory environment. 

Over the past several years, Nina and her team have developed a strong educational approach to compliance, building trust and partnerships with our Sales Leadership, Advisors and Carrier partners. Nina and her team believe the best compliance program is a proactive one.

Nina is an advocate of youth in sports and maintains executive board positions at both the provincial and regional levels. Part of her responsibilities in these roles includes governance, audit and compliance while ensuring safe play in sport.

+ biography Picture of John H. Hamilton Financial Horizons Group’s Founder and Special Advisors / Photo de John H. Hamilton, fondateur et conseiller spécial du Groupe Financier Horizons

John H. Hamilton

CFP, CLU, CH.F.C.

Founder & Special Advisor

John H. Hamilton

John H. Hamilton entered the financial services industry in 1978 as a life insurance advisor. He developed a specialty for estate and retirement planning, putting on seminars for both corporate and individual clients.

In 1983, John was appointed Branch Manager of the Standard Life brokerage office in Kitchener-Waterloo with the task of marketing Standard Life’s product and services to agents and brokers throughout Southwestern Ontario. Over the ensuing 15 years, the location became Standard Life’s flagship office in terms of new premium and service.

In 1990, John formed his own company, Financial Horizons Incorporated, to facilitate his growing seminar business. In 1999, Financial Horizons Group was established as a Managing General Agency (MGA), holding contracts with Canada Life, Maritime Life, CNA Life, and Standard Life. Initially, the company provided full-scale brokerage services to approximately 100 advisors in Southwestern Ontario. Today, Financial Horizons Group represents all of the life companies in Canada who have an MGA channel, and supports thousands of advisors. The company was purchased by Great-West Life in July, 2017, with John assuming the title of Founder and Senior Advisor.

John obtained his Honours BA from the University of Waterloo in 1973, his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation in 1983, his Chartered Financial Consultant (CH.F.C.) designation in 1989, and his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation in 1997.

John is very active in the industry and his community. He was formerly on the Board of Directors for Advocis, after having served as President of the Kitchener-Waterloo Chapter in 1991. John is also a past President of the Cambridge Minor Hockey Association, and has coached several sports teams over the years. He and his wife Terry are very involved in the Arts and have a 500 seat theatre – the Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge – named in their honour.

John and Terry have two sons, Chris and Justin, who are both graduates of the University of Western Ontario, and who both have successful careers in the financial services industry. The whole family is very active in sports, including golf, hockey, and skiing. The family spends as much time as possible at their family cottage on Georgian Bay.

+ biography Picture of Paul Isaacson Financial Horizons Group’s Special Advisor for Western Region / Photo de Paul Isaacson, conseiller spécial de la région de l'Ouest du Groupe Financier Horizons

Paul Isaacson

CFP, CLF, P.Eng

Special Advisor, Western Region

Paul Isaacson

With over 30 years in the financial services industry, Paul brings a wealth of knowledge and a full understanding of our business to Financial Horizons Group. He has experience in key insurance and investment distribution channels, with a strong track record of success.

Prior to joining FHG, Paul was President of a large, national MGA, where he provided leadership to the Executive team through development and execution of strategic plans. He provided directional leadership nationally, and was responsible for the overall financial results, operational performance, and sales and distribution goals, including managing relationships with independent Advisors and suppliers.

Paul has also held the role of Senior Vice-President, Distribution & Sales with a national wealth management distribution company, offering a full suite of financial products and services with 2400 licensed advisors. In this role, Paul provided leadership nationally for the MGA, MFDA, and IIROC divisions of the company. As a member of the Executive team, Paul was a key contributor to the development of the company’s strategic plans and initiatives.

Paul also had a 20 year career with a large insurance company where he was successful in growing business throughout Alberta and British Columbia.

Paul has Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Chartered Leadership Fellow (CLF) designations, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Financial Planners Standards Council of Canada for five years from 2005-2010. He brings extraordinary expertise in both life insurance and financial services in order to develop and support sales and marketing of all products and services for the Western Region.