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GROWING PLACES By Scott Leslie Doug Smith and the C.R. Smith Financial team have been providing customized, results-driven service ever since Doug’s late father Chuck founded the “Charles R. Smith Insurance Agency” back in 1974. In April of this year the venerable St. Catharines firm moved around the corner from their long-time location at 80 King Street to 386 St. Paul Street, Suite 203. Doug Smith, the president and owner of C.R. Smith Financial says there was no question that he wanted his family firm to remain a fixture in downtown St. Catharines. “I’m a believer in downtown,” Doug explains. “We always wanted to stay here. It’s the place to be – and it’s only going to get better with all the new developments like the Meridian Centre and the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre.” Their new site formerly housed the old Lincoln Theatre but has now been completely renovated and modernized. “It has brought a real freshness to our organization,” Doug says of their new 2,100 square foot office. “The place has a lot of industrial character and nouveau flair including 13-foot ceilings, cement floors and exposed brick walls.” A Wealth of Expertise Retirement’s not in the cards for Doug any time soon. But with the St. Catharines 12

FAMILY OWNED C.R. SMITH FINANCIAL MARKS ITS 45TH ANNIVERSARY BY ADDING STAFF, RELOCATING OFFICE TO SERVE ITS CLIENTS EVEN BETTER.

resident recently celebrating his 55th birthday, he’s been mindful of the need to ensure Smith Financial’s longevity. “A lot of business owners wait until they’re in their late 60s before they make succession plans,” Doug says. “In our case, we’re making sure there’s a succession plan in place that will benefit our clients.” In June of 2017, Doug did just that by adding a third generation to the Smith family business – his nephew Jay Fast – who joined the firm as a financial advisor. He also strengthened the team by bringing Registered Retirement Consultant Brandon Currie on board as a financial advisor in June of last year. “Brandon and Jay both spent two years working in the insurance industry before joining Smith Financial,” Doug explains, “and they bring a great deal of knowledge and energy to the table. Moving forward, they’ll continue to build our clientele while also servicing many of our existing clients.” Just this March, C.R. Smith Financial took its expertise to a whole new level with the addition of Advisor and Chartered Financial Planner Bill Tomlinson. Bill has over 35 years of experience in the industry as a manager and financial advisor and can help clients out in several areas including financial planning, tax planning and portfolio analysis. In recent months, C.R. Smith Financial has also bolstered its administrative team by adding Licensed Wealth Specialist Ashley

Marquis, and Administrative Assistant and Relationship Manager Christine Boothe. That’s in addition to Advisor Assistant – Group Benefits Debbie Boothe and Associate Advisor Matt Milner. “We needed more hands on deck,” Doug says of his growing team, which now has over 100 years of combined experience in the financial services industry. “We’re planning to be around for many years to come so it was important for us to involve more talent and include the next generation in order to continue moving forward in a competitive and knowledgeable fashion.” The Smith family firm has grown in size and reputation over the years – and so has its range of services. C.R. Smith Financial is divided into three core areas. Much of the business is focused on providing group benefits to the business community and comprehensive financial planning services to individuals and families. The firm also provides life, critical illness and disability insurance to companies and individuals through its partnership with Sun Life Financial. Although the C.R. Smith Financial team serves businesses and individuals across Canada, they take great pride in being a local option to their clients right here at home. That means providing convenient hours and encouraging face-to-face meetings with their clients. Smith Financial also offers a local phone number so clients can speak with BUSINESS LINK NIAGARA | AUGUST 2019

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Business Link ~ August 2019  

Business Link is a resource for local businesses. A Word About the New BUSINESS LINK No, you're not imagining things. This is the "Business...

Business Link ~ August 2019  

Business Link is a resource for local businesses. A Word About the New BUSINESS LINK No, you're not imagining things. This is the "Business...