The Westcap team has more than a century of investment management expertise.
Westcap team members for the HeadStart on a Home program include:
Senior Director, HeadStart on a Home
Rhonda Young is the Senior Director for the HeadStart on a Home Program. Ms. Young has more than fifteen years of experience financing both commercial and residential construction projects. Prior to joining the Westcap team, Ms. Young was Commercial Manager for Concentra Financial where she managed an $80 million commercial portfolio. For six years she led and syndicated a number of projects with Credit Unions and other Financial Institutions across Canada. From 1997 to 2006, Ms. Young worked for various levels of provincial government as a Senior Investment Analyst for Saskatchewan Opportunities Corporation (SOCO), Crown Investments Corporation (CIC) and Investment Saskatchewan.
Marlin Stangeland is the Senior Director for Westcap Mgt. Ltd. with over 20 years of experience in a wide range of private and public ventures. Most of his career has been spent operating his consulting firm through which he undertook a wide variety of projects including managing a $40 million portfolio of investments in small and medium sized companies, business start-up and expansion projects, corporate turn-a-round assignments as well as founding the BioAccess Commercialization Centre. In 2007 Mr. Stangeland was invited to join the Saskatchewan government and assist as Chief of Staff to the Minister in overseeing portfolios such as the Crown Corporations of Saskatchewan, Enterprise Saskatchewan and First Nations & Métis Relations. Mr. Stangeland holds a Chartered Accountant (CA) designation and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Saskatchewan.
Client Relations & Communications Coordinator
Ainsley Robertson acts a liaison for the various stakeholder groups of the HeadStart on a Home Program, and organizes communications to promote the Program. She also manages and fosters relationships with registered representatives with respect to Golden Opportunities Fund and supports the communications efforts of Westcap’s other funds under management. Prior to joining Westcap, Ms. Robertson worked in communications and management in the nonprofit sector and digital industry. Currently, Ms. Robertson is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of a local nonprofit organization, The Princess Shop. Ms. Robertson also volunteers with various other boards and community organizations including the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce’s Knowledge and Youth Committee, Saskatoon Environmental Advisory Committee, SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) Advisory Board, and the Greystone Heights Community Association. Ms. Robertson received her Bachelor of Commerce degree with the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan.
Joel Wilde joined Westcap Mgt. Ltd. in 2012 and is an Account Analyst for the HeadStart on a Home Program. Prior to joining the Westcap team, Mr. Wilde worked in the financial industry for six years, holding a variety of positions. Most recently, he worked in the chartered banking system managing a portfolio of high value clients. Mr. Wilde holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and is currently taking his MBA, both with the University of Saskatchewan.
Grant J. Kook
President/Chief Executive Officer, Director
Grant J. Kook is President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of Westcap Mgt. Ltd. Mr. Kook is also President and Chief Executive Officer of Cheung On, an international investor syndicated fund he co-founded in 1989. Mr. Kook has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ramada Hotels since 1992. Mr. Kook was appointed the Chairman of the Board of Directors for SaskTel in February 2008. He was voted one of Saskatchewan’s Men of Influence by Saskatchewan Business Magazine in March 2008 and is a recipient of the Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan. Mr. Kook also sits or has sat on the boards of a number of private and publicly traded companies, the Hong Kong Canada Business Association, Agwest Biotech, and was nominated in 1999 and 2003 for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Mr. Kook is a Vice President of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA), and the Chairman of the Board of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan. Mr. Kook was the Vice President of the 2004 Nokia Brier Organization, Sponsorship Chair for the 2006 Vanier Cup, and the Vice President of Sponsorship for the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships as well as a member of the Minister’s Advisory Council on Information Technology.
Douglas W. Banzet
Chief Operating Officer, Director
Douglas W. Banzet is the Chief Operating Officer and a director of Westcap Mgt. Ltd. Mr. Banzet has been Director of Finance of Cheung On since 1995. From March 1993 to June 1995, Mr. Banzet was an independent management consultant to a variety of small and medium-sized Saskatchewan businesses. Prior to March 1993, Mr. Banzet held various senior management positions with a number of large Canadian trust companies. Mr. Banzet has over thirty-five years experience in the financial service and asset management fields. His experience includes investment valuations of both private and public businesses, feasibility analysis, risk assessment, commercial loan financing, administration, budgeting, planning and management of large commercial loan portfolios. Mr. Banzet also serves as a director of a number of private Canadian companies involved in life sciences, oil and gas exploration, biotech, value added processing, health care, manufacturing and agriculture.
Robert J. Connoly
Chief Financial Officer
Rob Connoly is the Chief Financial Officer with the Manager. Mr. Connoly has more than 17 years of investment management experience with expertise in real estate investment analysis and market research. Prior to joining the Manager in 2003, Mr. Connoly was with Boston Development Corp. from 1996 to 2003 and Summit Development Group from 1992 to 1994 where he identified and evaluated real estate acquisition opportunities. Mr. Connoly has a strong financial background and his experience includes advising TCU Financial Group from 1994 to 1996 to manage the availability of capital funds and the identification of appropriate market instruments for investment. Mr. Connoly’s background in financial management also includes the assurance of compliance with regulatory boards. Mr. Connoly holds a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation, and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. He is a member of the Society of Management Accountants of Saskatchewan, the CFA Institute, and the CFA Society of Saskatchewan. Mr. Connoly serves as a director of a number of private Saskatchewan companies involved in real estate development.
Wanda Hunchak holds the office of Vice-President with Westcap Mgt. Ltd. Ms. Hunchak has more than a decade of experience investing in Saskatchewan business opportunities. Prior to joining the Manager in 2003, Ms. Hunchak was the manager of client services within the chartered banking system from 1996 to 1998 and a manager of a commercial credit portfolio from 1998 to 2001. In 2001 she joined Saskatchewan Opportunities Corporation (SOCO) as a venture capital investment analyst and later that year became a senior management consultant with one of Canada’s largest agricultural consulting firms. Ms. Hunchak holds a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, and is a member of the Society of Management Accountants of Saskatchewan, the CFA Institute, and the CFA Society of Saskatchewan.
Mr. Burgess has more than 23 years of financial management experience which includes experience with companies in a large variety of sectors and all sizes; from large public companies to smaller owner-managed businesses. Prior to joining the Manager in 2008, Mr. Burgess was employed as a Controller with three different organizations as well as providing consulting services from 2001 to 2008. Mr. Burgess has over 16 years public practice experience with both a large national firm and a local Saskatchewan firm. Mr. Burgess was a partner with the firm of Orr & Company (predecessor to Virtus Group LLP) for 9 years. Mr. Burgess has dealt with all areas of public practice including extensive experience in taxation, both corporate and personal. Mr. Burgess holds a Chartered Accountant (CA) designation and is a member of the Institutes of Chartered Accountants of both Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Ms. Mann joined the Westcap team in 2005 and is responsible for a broad range of communication efforts. She is involved in the development, management and implementation of various shareholder and community initiatives for the Funds. As well, contributes to the execution of other Westcap programs. Ms. Mann holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing with distinction from the University of Saskatchewan.
Other Westcap team members include:
Jamie B. Schwitzer
Jamie Schwitzer holds the office of Vice-President with Westcap Mgt. Ltd. Mr. Schwitzer has nearly 15 years of investment management experience during which he has developed and implemented rigorous and detailed due diligence processes applicable to a wide range of sectors and investment instruments. Prior to joining the Manager, from 2007, Mr. Schwitzer was a partner with Victoria Park Capital, a private equity firm managing a $400-million-plus portfolio of investments. From 2000 – 2007, Mr. Schwitzer was an investment manager with Crown Capital Partners, a specialty finance company involved in subordinated debt, mezzanine and equity financings across life science, manufacturing, retail and oil and gas sectors. His background also includes managing money market and fixed income investments, public equities, currency trading and asset/liability management with Crown Life Insurance Company. Mr. Schwitzer holds a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, and is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Saskatchewan. Mr. Schwitzer also serves as a director of a private Saskatchewan company involved in the technology sector.
Tyler Bradley has 9 years of experience in venture capital and corporate finance in start-up and growth stage companies. Prior to joining the Westcap team in 2007, Mr. Bradley was an Investment Analyst for a seed-stage investment fund from 2005 to 2007, where he was responsible for new investments and portfolio management. Between 2001 and 2005, Tyler Bradley worked in various corporate finance roles with start-up and growth-stage companies. Mr. Bradley received his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) candidate. Tyler Bradley is an active member and Director for the Saskatchewan Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs.
Gavin Preston has worked in the investment management industry for over 6 years. He joined the Westcap team in late 2011 after working for a number of years in a top investment counseling firm based in Calgary. There he worked with and advised high net worth private and institutional investors and also played a key operational role to enhance client service. Gavin received the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2008 and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Calgary in 2004. He is currently on the Board of Directors for the CFA Society of Saskatchewan.
Myron Johnson completed his Master in Business Administration with Great Distinction at Queen’s University in 2010. After completing his MBA, Myron worked briefly with a bank-owned retail brokerage firm before transitioning to a privately owned resource-focused boutique investment bank in Calgary, where he spent two years as an analyst/associate, focused on domestic and international junior oil and gas exploration and production companies. While in Calgary, Myron worked on oil and gas financing deal-flow of over $2 billion as well as a number of M&A advisory mandates and projects. Myron has completed all 3 levels of the CFA program and is currently fulfilling his work requirements to become a CFA charterholder and is a member of the Calgary CFA Society.
Director of Corporate & Community Relations
Ms. Gessner has been with Westcap Mgt. Ltd. since its inception and is responsible for the overall administrative management of the office of the President as well as the lead liaison with the Fund’s Board of Directors and sub-committees. Ms. Gessner has over 20 years of office management and administrative experience in the financial and information technology sectors.
Director of External Communications
Jackie McHarg joined the Westcap Mgt. Ltd. team in October 2013 as Director of External Communications. Prior to joining the Westcap team, she was a senior Advertising Executive with Post Media Network, the owners and managing company of the Star Phoenix and the Leader Post. Jackie brings 18 years of relationship management and communications experience.
Payroll Investment Plan Coordinator
Virgil Cairns has been working with employee investment opportunities since 2004 and is responsible for the delivery of Golden Opportunities Fund’s Payroll Investment Plan, which continues to realize significant growth. Mr. Cairns works with the Fund’s network of Investment Advisors to support the introduction, implementation and on-going management of Golden Opportunities Fund’s Group Payroll Plans. Mr. Cairns is an active volunteer in Regina minor sports having served as the President of Hockey Regina Inc. and manager of Team Saskatchewan at the Baseball Canada National championships. Mr. Cairn’s volunteer efforts as President of Hockey Regina Inc. with the southern Saskatchewan hockey community were instrumental in the creation of Saskatchewan’s Provincial Bantam Hockey League.
Haley Anderson joined Westcap Mgt. Ltd. in early 2012 and is responsible for supporting the activities of the investment accounting and investment operations teams. In addition to financial support, she is involved in the activities of the communications team. Ms. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in finance from the University of Saskatchewan.
Jacklyn Sveinbjornson joined the Fund Manager in 2010 and is responsible for client relations, fielding requests from shareholders and financial advisors. In addition to this, she also provides ongoing administrative support to the Senior Executive team. Ms. Sveinbjornson holds a Business Administration Diploma from Saskatoon Business College and has over 4 years of experience in customer service.
Jenna Mack joined Westcap Mgt. Ltd. in 2012. She is responsible for office reception and front end office administration, providing support to all members of the team. Prior to joining Westcap, Ms. Mack was with a leading oil field services company where she held the position of Administrative Assistant and has over 5 years of customer service experience.
Westcap's Business Ready Investment Development Gateway (BRIDG) Program
Vern Bachiu is a member of Westcap’s Business Ready Investment Development Gateway (BRIDG) program. BRIDG has been established to assist First Nations and Métis communities to establish development corporations with the goal of creating community wealth. BRIDG helps communities establish good governance in these corporations and helps equip them with the business infrastructure and capacity with which to undertake business developments and investment. Vern has over 30 years of experience working with First Nations – 20 years with the Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) and 10 years with the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies. While with MLTC, Vern was a senior member of the team that established successful business investments in forestry, aviation, hospitality, and other sectors. Vern has been a director of West Wind Aviation, MLTC Northern Trucking, Polar Oil, Meadow Lake OSB, and MLTC-Ceres Fertilizer. He subscribes to the nation building approach identified by the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development as an appropriate approach to First Nations and Metis communities developing good governance. Vern has a Master of Education degree from the University of Saskatchewan.