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Canadiana-FinancialCanadiana Financial has been one of those lenders where it’s hard to understand its edge.

Despite great people and service, the rates aren’t that compelling, the product breadth is narrow (it lost some products last year), and insurance premiums apply to some of its conventional mortgages.

That’s probably why the past year hasn’t been so good to the company. As of Q1 2013, its market share was down by half Y/Y—to about 0.4%—according to D+H data.

It’s not surprising then that things are being shaken up at Canadiana.

On June 11, Kevin Conroy, formerly Vice President, Home Financing Solutions at Scotiabank, started as Canadiana’s new president. Conroy is a 25-year industry vet, having most recently led Scotia’s proprietary mortgage sales force.

When a senior bank executive leaves for a small lender, you have to wonder why. We spoke to Conroy a few weeks ago and the gist (apart from undisclosed incentives) is that Canadiana offers him an opportunity to make a greater impact on company performance, build a business from a modest base and develop key partnerships (e.g., new funding sources). For now, “The #1 priority is to develop meaningful relationships with brokers,” he said.

As part of the changes, we understand that Grant Mackenzie will step down as CEO but remain a director of the company and minority shareholder. Mackenzie joined Canadiana two years ago after leaving Macquarie Financial (following its broker market departure in 2011).

Canadiana Financial is primarily owned by industry Hall of Famer Brendan Calder. Calder is past CEO of CIBC Mortgages and co-founder of FirstLine Trust Company.


Rob McLister, CMT

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