Financial guidance
Full brokerage firm opens in Keewatin

by Jeff Colbourne
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 05/97) - What do you get when you have five accountants working together in Nunavut?

The answer to all your financial questions and queries.

That's what five southern partners claim to have now that they have a brokerage firm and financial planning house set up in Arviat.

"The future of Canada lies in the North," said Normand Gendron, a partner in Horizon's North. "And we're putting our money where our mouths are."

The partners opened their regional office in Arviat last week with plans to cater to all Nunavut communities.

One partner has set up permanently in the community to find new clients and continue to help the 300 clients they already have in the region, most of whom are Inuit, Gendron said.

He explained that they help Nunavut residents with such things as RRSPs, pension plans, mutual funds, term deposits and cash management accounts.

This will be a necessary service for a community that does not have a local bank branch, he said.

Insurance is also available at Horizons North including group, individual, life and disability, health care, vision care and dental care.

Gendron believes that things will get busy once people know they have an office in town and they understand what the company is all about.

Horizons North is not a fly-by-night company either, he said.

"You can't do this hit and run," Gendron said. "We're very committed to the long-term."

Plans are in the works to hire a local person and train him or her to work as a financial consultant. They expect to hire a couple more people in the near future to run the office.

"We want to have people wind up doing the work we do," he said, "so that eventually it becomes a community-owned business."

Affiliated with Balanced Planning Investment Corp/Insurance Agency in Manitoba, Horizons North operates on a commission basis.

It is a broker for more than 1,200 insurance companies, banks and investment firms in the south.

To convey to communities the interest the company has, Gendron said the company has contributed $40,000 for a high-profile hockey league in Nunavut, $10,000 for a female hockey program and $12,000 for a scholarship fund for students with high academics and an interest in post-secondary education.