For Immediate Release
Toronto, Ontario, January 12, 2022 – The Board of Directors of First National Financial Corporation (TSX: FN, TSX:FN.PR.A, TSX:FN.PR.B) is pleased to announce the appointments of Stephen Smith as Executive Chairman of the Board and Jason Ellis as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director effective January 12, 2022.
Mr. Smith co-founded First National in 1988 with Moray Tawse. Since taking First National public in 2006, Mr. Smith served as the company’s founding Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and now will continue to provide strategic guidance to the management team in the newly created role of Executive Chairman.
Mr. Ellis joined First National in 2004 with responsibility for First National’s treasury and capital markets activities, was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2018 and added the title of President in 2019. Mr. Ellis will be responsible for day to day operations and the design and maintenance of strategy in the pursuit of business excellence.
In making the announcement, Mr. Smith stated: “Jason is uniquely qualified to lead First National as my natural successor. For close to 20 years, he has played increasingly important strategic roles within our business and, at every stage has made meaningful contributions to value creation. Passing the baton to Jason is something that I am pleased to do as I know he will take First National to the next level of achievement for the benefit of our employees, customers, partners and shareholders.”
Prior to joining First National, Mr. Ellis served in the Asset/Liability Management group at Manulife Financial and with RBC Dominion Securities in Toronto and New York where he traded fixed income and interest rate derivatives. Mr. Ellis is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, holds an MBA from McMaster University and is a CFA charter holder.
Mr. Ellis stated: “First National became one of Canada’s leading non-bank lenders because of the entrepreneurship of Stephen Smith and Moray Tawse. I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead the company they founded and pleased that Stephen will serve as our Executive Chairman where he will continue to contribute to the success of our business. I look forward to working closely with Stephen and the other 1,600 dedicated professionals at First National to further the company’s legacy of service, innovation and growth.”
About First National Financial Corporation
First National Financial Corporation (TSX: FN, TSX: FN.PR.A, TSX: FN.PR.B) is the parent company of First National Financial LP, a Canadian-based originator, underwriter and servicer of predominantly prime residential (single-family and multi-unit) and commercial mortgages. With more than $121 billion in mortgages under administration, First National is one of Canada’s largest non-bank originators and underwriters of mortgages and is among the top three in market share in the mortgage broker distribution channel. For more information, please visit www.firstnational.ca.
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