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.

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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.

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John H. Hamilton

CFP, CLU, CH.F.C.

Founder & Senior 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.

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David Stewart

BA, TEP

President & Chief Operating Officer, MGA Services and the Ontario Region

David Stewart

Upon graduating from Laurentian University in 1987 David was recruited as an agent for Prudential of America where he experienced success as a leading rookie in Sudbury, Ontario. In 1989 David was approached by the company to begin his career in Sales management. David led sales teams in Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Oakville.

In 1995, David joined Wise Riddell Financial Group as a Brokerage Manager making partner in 1998. 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 in 2010 was appointed to President and COO of the company.

David has learned the needs of advisors and has 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.

He is actively involved in ADVOCIS as a past chapter president, a member of CALU, sits on the Board of CAILBA, and is a standing member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

Now David works as the Executive Vice-President, Sales of the MGA channel of Financial Horizons Group. David is married to his wife Maggie and they have 4 children and 3 grandchildren.

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Marc Lantaigne

CPA, CA

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.

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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.

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Paul Isaacson

CFP, CLF, P.Eng

President, 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.

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James McMahon

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President, Quebec Region, President, Excel Private Wealth

James McMahon

As President, Quebec Region for Financial Horizons Group, one of the most dynamic financial services practices in Quebec, James McMahon has a passion for sales. He is a great leader and respected businessman in the financial services sector.

In 1978, on the advice of his friend Daniel Labonté (then director of Économie Mutuelle) who would quickly also become his mentor, McMahon moved into the insurance industry. He quickly cut his teeth and climbed the ladder of success, thanks to his relentless work ethic and exceptional people skills. In 1990, he became stockholder of Fortier & Labonté, which would go on to become Force Financière Excel, one of the leading brokerage firms in Quebec.

The company continued to develop in high gear by leveraging its personalised service with a dozen acquisitions throughout Quebec over the span of 30 years. Firmly established in Quebec with seven regional offices and a sales force of 2,400 brokers, Force Financière Excel enjoyed an excellent reputation based on the expertise of its brokers, its unparalleled service, its global financial offerings and its ethical practices.

Wishing to increase the size and performance of his firm, James sought out a Canadian business partner with whom to join forces. He ultimately chose to unite Force Financière Excel with Financial Horizons Group, the primary managing general agency (MGA) in Canada in 2012. In doing so, he became President, Quebec Region for Financial Horizons Group.

Thriving on professional challenges, James now directs his development efforts on the basis of the financial coaching approach, required to guarantee both the value of counselling and the future of the financial sector – two of the industry’s major issues. Each day, James carries out his duties with his characteristic dedication and enthusiasm.

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Chris Valardo

CFP

President, Atlantic Region

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.

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Christina Waite

CHRL

Vice-President, Human Resources

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.

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Nina Kavalinas

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Vice President, National Compliance

Nina Kavalinas

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

She has held a variety of roles in the insurance and financial services industry over the past 30 years, working in the retail branch and head offices of several major insurers within their Canadian and U.S. operations.  Such roles include Compliance, Investigations, Fraud and Risk mitigation, Claims, Underwriting, and Project Management.

Nina’s goal is to foster an atmosphere of partnership with Sales Management, Advisors and the MGA as she believes the best compliance program is proactive, and not reactive.

On the personal side, Nina is an advocate of youth in organized play, maintaining both an executive and volunteer role for youth in sports. Part of her responsibilities in these roles include compliance, sanctions for violations, and ensuring safe play in sporting activities.