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John McIsaac

Liahoana Capital operates as a licensed distributor of exempt market products. We manage our own Mortgage Investment Corporation (LMIC) and also distribute a range of 3rd party funds. We work with hundreds of individual investors to help grow their wealth while managing risk and preserving capital.

Tell us about yourself?

Following a 20-year career working with Bell Canada in both the Canadian and international markets, I retired and returned to my place of birth, Orillia, Ontario. After three years of ‘being on the sidelines’ I was intrigued with the opportunity Liahona provided me. As a newcomer to the industry, I’ve been compelled to rely on my years’ of leadership experience to guide our business, lead our team and oversee steady, sustained growth.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

The best career advice I ever had was given to me when I was 18. I was working as a summer student at a very successful restaurant– Paul Weber’s, near Orillia. Mr. Weber had asked me to take on the role as manager. At a young age, and with limited experience, I was understandably nervous. Especially managing people who were older and had more years on the job.
The advice Mr. Weber gave to me, and I have shared with many over the years– you don’t have to be a superstar, just be a little better than the person next to you. People will notice. It may take time, but you will be recognized. I still come to the office ahead of my staff; and leave after them. Those words were a great motivator. And I consider myself fortunate to have been mentored by such a tremendous, visionary leader.

What problem does your business solve?

I believe we have two covenants with our investors. The first is to help them make investments which are both suitable to their needs and, ideally, able to generate a decent return. The second obligation, and I believe it to be equally as important, is an educational duty. We view our role as a conduit between the investor and the fund managers. In that capacity, we carry out due diligence on the product to ensure our own comfort with the fund. But beyond that, we do everything practical to ensure our clients are well informed of the risks, understand the investment thesis and know what to expect. A well-informed investor is an important aspect in the transaction and we place a premium on working with our clients to achieve that end.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

The two founding owners of Liahona manage very successful accounting practices– Chaggares and Bonhomme in Newmarket and Rumley-Holmes in Barrie. Rob and Aaron had a vision to add value to their clients’ financial services offering. They started Liahona’s MIC, found success there and extended that success into 3rd party private capital market funds. More recently, Liahona has added an Insurance offering. And we continue to seek additional opportunities which will give our collective clients’ access to a suite of investment opportunities.

What is your magic sauce?

We place a very high value on integrity– say what you do, do what you say. As a relatively small organization, when business decisions are taken, we commit to the best possible outcome. And we use our size to our advantage– without a lot of moving parts, we can be extremely agile.

In fact, one of the best compliments we’ve had, which came from one of the fund managers we work with, was ‘you guys punch well above your weight’. I like the fact we can operate effectively, efficiently– and generate the results that reinforce the confidence we have in our abilities.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Five years is a long time. Particularly given the current economic, social and political malaise which confronts all of us. I believe what has contributed to our past successes, will continue to inform our future successes. We will be patient, prudent and responsive. We will put more emphasis on the near-term, but with a purposeful eye on meaningful long-term, stable growth.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

The biggest challenge we face are those factors we cannot control. Working in a business within the larger macro-economy, we must come to terms with events over which we may have little influence.

But that only serves to remind us we must be vigilant every day. Fight for every dollar and always remember: our clients are our business and we must do everything practical to protect our shared interests from harm.

How can people get involved?

Liahona is always seeking to raise the bar. Our office culture is one conditioned by the search for continuous improvement. We are constantly on the hunt for qualified, professional dealing representatives to help grow our investor base.

We welcome inquiries from interested investors through our website ( If you, or someone you know, would like more information, please have them contact us today.