Our Greatest Strength is Our People

Our Investment Advisors are carefully selected based on performance history, strong ethical standards, and their unwavering commitment to building long-lasting client relationships.


Ben B. Kizemchuk

Chairman bkizemchuk@altusinvest.ca 416 369-3028

Ben is a co-founder of Altus Securities Inc., holding the position of Chairman and previously as CEO since the firm’s inception.

He is best known for developing top talent and mentoring some of Canada’s best Investment Advisors. In addition to executive duties, Ben is an Investment Advisor and Portfolio Manager. Ben specializes in designing balanced portfolios that benefit clients through different markets.

After completing an MBA, with a Finance Major in 1977, Ben began his career with Midland Doherty’s Research Dept. as a Securities Analyst, later becoming an Investment Advisor. In 1989, as a senior executive, Ben became Branch Manager of Midland Walwyn’s head office and proceeded to build Canada’s largest wealth manager in terms of number of employees, clients, assets and profitability.

Ben is an avid reader of sciences, history, economics and capital markets.

In their spare time, Ben and his wife, Kristine, enjoy travelling, cottaging and spending time with their children, Ben and Julie.

Paul Jan Jelec

Director, CEO & CFO pjelec@altusinvest.ca 416 369-3029

Paul Jelec is a co-founder of Altus Securities Inc. He is currently Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Altus and a fully accredited Chief Compliance Officer.

A graduate of the University of Toronto (UTM) with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1979, Paul spent the first 13 years of his career with Midland Doherty and subsequently Midland Walwyn Inc., where he distinguished himself as a producer and sales manager of the largest head office brokerage operation in Canada at the time.

As a Vice President with Midland Walwyn Inc., Paul was instrumental in establishing that firm’s first office in Mississauga, recognizing its superior growth opportunities. Paul is your classic value stock picker. He prides himself in assisting his clients structure both conservative and aggressive portfolios. He welcomes large and small accounts with the goal of helping his clients outperform relevant indexes.

Paul is a Director of the Li Koon Chun Finance Learning Centre at the University of Toronto (UTM), President of the Sherwood Forest Tennis Club in Mississauga and a long-time advocate of the Recreation and Wellness Centre (RAWC) at the University of Toronto in Mississauga.

Paul was honoured as one of the Top 40 Alumni in the First 40 Years at the University of Toronto Mississauga. He is a peer support volunteer for the Kidney Foundation of Canada and has appeared on TV for the PKD Foundation of Canada on several occasions.

He is a leading volunteer for the upcoming 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

Paul is married to Eva and they have three adult children, Andrew, Tara and Daniela.

Paul is proud of his Czech and Nova Scotian heritage.

Elaine Knotek-Holmes

Director, President & COO eknotek@altusinvest.ca 416 369-3033

Elaine Knotek-Holmes has been licensed in the securities business since 1987. She started her career at Midland Doherty. Through take-over and merger that firm became Midland Walwyn which is now CIBC Wood Gundy.

In 1993 Elaine followed her mentor to establish Altus Securities Inc. She is a Director, President and Chief Operating Officer of the company.

Elaine has been active as a past president of the Toronto Society of the Investment Dealers Association and held a seat on the Ontario District Council. She is a member of Smart Choices, a group of professionals in the fields of law, insurance, accounting and investment that educates other professionals on topical issues. Elaine has been a contributor to various financial newspapers and television shows as well as a public speaker on the topic of investment.

Applying 26 years of experience and knowledge as an investment advisor, Elaine tailors a financial plan that offers options, seeks balance, and guides individuals and their businesses toward an investment plan that will achieve their financial goals and create a successful retirement.

Elaine is married to her husband David, they have a son, Mitchell. She loves skiing, boating, reading and is an avid hockey mom.

Clients are saying:

"Elaine has a strong concept of how the economic climate is changing. This is an important attribute for an Investment Advisor. This in turn gives the client confidence for the future of their investment portfolio."

"For more than 20 years Elaine has managed my portfolio exceptionally and has made me confident and secure about my future."

"Today is a twenty year milestone for me. I wanted to thank you for your support and assistance in helping me make it on my own. I am forever grateful that you are my advisor and friend."

Gregg Blaha, CFA

Director, Executive Vice President & CCO gblaha@altusinvest.ca 416 369-3025

Gregg is a successful and experienced Investment Advisor with over 25 years in the business. He graduated from University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Commerce and completed his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. He joined Midland Doherty in 1988 and became a founding partner at Altus Securities in 1996.

He provides wealth management advice and solutions to high net worth individuals and their families, holding companies, trusts and charitable foundations. His depth of experience combined with his acumen as an entrepreneur provides him with a unique perspective on the financial services landscape.

Clients are saying:

“Gregg Blaha has looked after my father’s and my finances for over 20 years with great success. I trust his advice and guidance and will continue to do so in the future.”

Will Lockett, CFA

Vice President wlockett@altusinvest.ca 416 369-3042

Will has been serving a wide variety of private clients for more than 35 years. He can act both as a portfolio manager and as an advisor with a focus on the long term.

Received from a client:

(My wife) in particular and I more recently, have known you to be professional, knowledgeable, and personally helpful in understanding our circumstances and needs in connection with our stock holdings.

We have relied heavily on your knowledge and perspective which have proven to be unfailingly sound and productive.

Words are inadequate to express our deep gratitude to you for your kind assistance over many years.

Rodger Gray

Vice President rgray@altusinvest.ca 416 369-6206

An industry veteran, Rodger was the founder and CEO of Toll Cross Securities. He is a specialist in resource funding both in energy and mineral extraction. Rodger is a graduate of Laurentian University. Rodger sits on the board of Azabache Energy and Happy Creek Minerals.

David Macdonald MBA, CA, CPA

Vice President Corporate Finance dmacdonald@altusinvest.ca 416 369-3035

David grew up in Ottawa and has family roots in Nova Scotia, as he is the great grandson of the Honourable James Macdonald (former Chief Justice of Nova Scotia, of MacDonald Street and Blink Bonnie Terrace in Halifax). David graduated from Carlton University with a B.Comm (Honours) and from Queen's University with his M.B.A. and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. David is affiliated with the Institute of Certified Professional Accountants.

David was Supervisor, Corporate Tax with Procter and Gamble, Manager, Corporate Tax with Lambert Canada Ltd., Vice President, Corporate Finance, Royal Trustco Ltd, prior to entering the brokerage business. David has held senior Investment Banking positions with brokerage firms: F.H. Deacon Hodgson Inc., Sanwa McCarthy Securities Ltd., Brawley Cathers Limited and Blackmont Capital Inc. Most recently, since March 2009 David was Chairman of Corporate Finance and Senior VP at Burgeonvest-Bick Securities Limited.

David has been a guest speaker at various business functions and been a Director of numerous public corporations and served as Chairman and Governor of the Hamilton Tiger Cats and past Vice-Chairman of the Canadian Football League on two occasions.

David specializes in restructuring, taxation and mergers and acquisitions as part of a broad Investment Banking Practice.

Ben W. Kizemchuk, CIM, DMS

Portfolio Manager & Investment Advisor bk@altusinvest.ca 416 369-3024

Ben specializes in full service wealth management for high net worth investors. He focuses on managing the Growth and Income Portfolios, and reducing taxes. Clients include families, professionals, holding companies, trusts, and institutions.

Ben started his career in 2003 at the National Bank of Canada. Ben joined TD Wealth in 2006 where he won the Top Developing Investment Advisor Award in 2010. Ben joined Altus Securities in December 2013.

In his spare time Ben supports the Canadian Opera Company, educational charities, and is an active investor in Canada’s start-up tech sector.

Clients are saying:

"Ben is a wellspring of financial knowledge. He is a patient, disciplined investor, who works carefully with each client to help them realize their goals. We feel like we are in great hands with his consistent returns, and professional ethic."

"Ben has provided me with excellent investment advice since I began my career as a lawyer. I have immense confidence in Ben. In fact, after seeing how superb a job he was doing, I have referred Ben to many friends and colleagues, not to mention my own family members. Ben takes the long view and is always open, accessible and candid. Ben is one of my "go-to" financial advisors and I look forward to continued investment growth under his guidance."

"Ben is my most trusted source of financial advice."

"Ben has been advising my family for several years. He has always provided high quality returns without taking excess risk and grows income at a remarkable rate. We have been continually impressed with his service and standards. His quantitative approach allows us to have true confidence in his advice. Working with Ben is a pleasure."

"Thanks Ben for your watchful eye. It's a nice feeling of security."

Vay Jonynas, CFA

Investment Advisor vjonynas@altusinvest.ca 416 369-9029

Vay was born in London, Ontario in 1952. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario with an MBA in 1976 and shortly thereafter joined the staff of the investment department at the Confederation Life Insurance Company in Toronto as an equity research analyst. While at Confederation Life, Vay completed the course requirements to earn his Fellow of the Life Management Institute designation.

He moved over to the research department of a brokerage firm in 1981 during which year he also completed the course requirements to earn his Chartered Financial Analyst designation. As such Vay has been thoroughly schooled in fundamental Ben Graham investment analysis techniques.

He has been handling client accounts as an Investment Advisor since 1985. All told Vay now has 37 years of experience in the investment business and 29 years of experience dealing with individual client accounts.

Vay joined Altus Securities in the spring of 2009 and intends to continue serving his client base at Altus for another twenty years. At Altus, Vay sees his role as helping clients to avoid the pitfalls in the markets. He applies a Warren Buffet type approach to investment selection for his clients so that their investment portfolios can prosper and grow exponentially over time.

Andrew Beach, CFA

Investment Advisor abeach@altusinvest.ca 416 369-6205

After graduating from Dalhousie University in 1997, Andrew began his career at RBC Dominion Securities. After a couple of years learning the business, he moved onto two boutique dealers, while earning the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Designation. In 2001, he joined Toll Cross Securities, initially as an institutional trader, before eventually settling in as an Investment Advisor specializing in small-cap mining companies. Andrew joined Altus Securities Inc. in the summer of 2014.

In his spare time, Andrew enjoys travelling with his wife Megan, and their two little girls Lucy and Alice.

Laurie Gerrard

Branch Administrator lgerrard@altusinvest.ca 416 369-3032

Laurie joined Altus Securities Inc. as their first full time administrative employee in 1994. Laurie continues to assist Investment Advisors in administering client accounts, along with other corporate duties as Branch Administrator. She started her career with Midland Doherty in 1986 with experience in credit, as a Sales Assistant, and opening branches.

Donna Waites

Sales Assistant dwaites@altusinvest.ca 416 369-3031

Donna is a Sales Assistant at Altus Securities Inc. with over 20 years of experience in the investment industry. Prior to joining Altus in 2002, she assisted on the Institutional Trading desk at First Marathon and National Bank Financial.

Peter Gray

Sales Assistant pgray@altusinvest.ca 416 369-6027

Peter joined Altus Securities Inc. in 2014 as a Sales Assistant. Prior to joining Altus, he worked as a research assistant at Toll Cross Securities where he gained valuable experience and insight into the junior resource market.

Karem Martin

Administrative Assistant kmartin@altusinvest.ca 416 369-1062

Karem joined Altus Securities Inc. as an intern in May 2015, now a full time Administrative Assistant. Born and raised in Venezuela, Karem studied Political Sciences and Public Administration in the Central University of Venezuela. She successfully completed the programs in International Business Management and Logistic Management at Centennial College and obtained for both an Ontario graduate certificate. Karem enjoys living in the active city of Toronto and shares the same passion for baseball as Torontonians.


Mort Small

Vice President msmall@altusinvest.ca 902 496-6600

Mort was born in Grand Manan, New Brunswick and is a Beaverbrook Scholar from University of New Brunswick in 1965. He was in the trust industry from 1968-1983 during which times he held several senior executive positions. He joined the investment industry in 1983 and has held the titles of Partner and Director with previous independent dealers. He currently is a VP at Altus Securities Inc.

David Hennigar

Investment Advisor dhennigar@altusinvest.ca 902 496-7583

David grew up in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia and graduated with a B Comm. (Honours Accounting) from Mt. Allison University and an MBA from Queens University in 1962.

He worked as a Security Analyst, Assistant Branch Manager, Branch Manager and Atlantic Regional Director for Burns Fry Ltd. before founding Acadian Securities Inc. He is experienced in all areas of the investment business, has been a member and Chairman of the Atlantic District Council of The Investment Dealers Association, and served two terms as a National Director.

He has extensive experience in corporate mergers and acquisitions – including the takeover of Fraser Papers Inc. by Noranda, the acquisition of the Halifax Shipyards, the restructuring of National Sea Products, taking Empire Co. public, the reverse takeover of Crown Life by Extendicare Inc., and numerous other transactions.

David has served on a number of public and private Boards of Directors including Fraser Cos., Crownx Inc., Extendicare Inc., Assisted Livings Centers, Crown Life Insurance Company, Halifax Developments and Highliner Foods where he is currently Chairman. Recently he retired as the lead trustee of Crombie REIT, and Scotia Investments Ltd. He currently is Executive Chairman of his family’s Thornridge Holdings Limited and its associated Companies.

He has been involved with a number of local charities and is currently a Member of the Leadership Roundtable for the Canadian Stemcell Foundation.

Formerly he was a Director of The Institute for Public Policy Research and its Treasurer and was a member of the Trilateral Commission for six years. He is currently a member and on the Executive of the Atlantik Brucke.

David continues to provide investments services to clients and family members.

Arnold Johnson

Investment Advisor ajohnson@altusinvest.ca 902 496-7585

Born in Quebec and educated there, Arnold moved to New Brunswick to attend the University of New Brunswick. On graduation with a double major (Psychology & Biology) his first employer was a large international document corporation with an office in Halifax. After a successful 12 years, a move as Atlantic Regional Manager to a new Canadian national corporation breaking ground and manufacturing revolutionary equipment in the word processing/mini-computer field followed. A short stint as a small business owner/operator during the recession of the early 1980’s caused him to re-align his career path and he began a 30+ year commitment as an Investment Advisor with a multi-national firm based in New York.

During this time frame, he has enjoyed interacting with clients and assisting them in achieving their financial goals with advice and direction by creating customized investment plans. Subsequently his clients have been individuals, small businesses, large corporations, mutual fund companies, and pension fund managers.

Additional exposure and experience has been earned through participation as a Director of numerous private corporations, and Board Member of a local University Investment Committee (Pension & Endowment Funds) for more than 10 years with 3 years as Chairman.

Knowledgeable in stocks, bonds, debentures, mutual funds, tax shelters, trust units, ETF’s and with access to select foreign markets, he is pleased to meet with prospective new clients to discuss their needs and requirements thereby creating a plan to achieve their reasonable goals. Arnold's focus and bias is toward the blue-chip-income-growth dividend paying sector of the financial investment horizon. Existing clients meet and review their individual circumstances and accounts at least once a year including their other Professional advisors - CA/Lawyer - as needed.

Curtis Gibbons, CFA®, CFP®

Investment Advisor cgibbons@altusinvest.ca 902 496-2098

Curtis grew up in Marion Bridge Nova Scotia and graduated with a BBA (concentrations in finance and accounting) from Cape Breton University and a MBA in International Business from the University of New Brunswick.

He has been registered as an Investment Advisor in Halifax for 15 years and has extensive knowledge and experience in stocks, bonds, options, exchange traded funds and mutual funds.

He enjoys helping clients realize their financial goals by integrating the planning, taxation, investment management, and estate planning components of wealth management into a customized solution for each client.

Curtis earned the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation in 2004 and the Certified Financial Planner® designation in 2005.

Curtis lives in Fall River and enjoys spending time with his wife Jennifer and their two sons Carter and Liam.

Michele Beaver

Branch Administrator mbeaver@altusinvest.ca 902 496-7581

Born & raised in Halifax, NS. Over 18 years experience in the investment industry servicing Investment Advisors & clients. Michele started her career at Midland Walwyn and has worked at several institutions as Branch Administrator & Investment Representative. Michele has been married for 30 years. She loves cooking, reading & spending time with her family & friends.

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