Engagement and execution. Personal and pragmatic. Optimistic realists.

Damir Jesic and Lori Isaac assist mostly private owners and developers throughout Western Canada with creative financing solutions for multi-family, retail, industrial and other ancillary assets. Their synergy of independent thinking and differing yet complementary styles delivers a thorough experience for clients, from engagement to execution.

Damir is the face of the team. He is out on the road, connecting with clients in person, at their project sites, wherever they happen to be. He wants to know what clients aspire to so he can integrate their visions into how he cultivates opportunities within the context of their overall portfolios. Whether helping clients achieve organic or acquisition-focused growth or enabling their succession plans, Damir combines an infectious optimism with a truthful realism when structuring debt capital and negotiating the best financing deal.

Lori infuses the credit side with a pragmatic perspective through due diligence and process. She focuses on the details and documentation to accelerate approvals and amplify efficiency. For any deal, her goal is to ensure that “Team Jesic” delivers according to outlined expectations and timeframes. Intuitive with a problem solving mindset, Lori leverages her relationship and reputation with CMHC to execute effectively.

Together, Damir and Lori bring a unique combination of personal engagement and pragmatic execution to their long-term relationships with clients. It’s the synergy of their styles that help clients translate their goals into creative yet sound financing solutions that fuel portfolio growth and evolution.     

Damir Jesic
Director, Commercial Financing

Lori Isaac
Senior Analyst, Commercial Financing

Penny Aynbinder
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages


Independent thinker. Diverse expertise. Transparent communicator.

Henry has recently joined the First National team, bringing 12 years of commercial financing experience in banking and mezzanine funds to his role.

For Henry, applying his combined expertise in conventional financing structures and non-traditional debt delivers the value of flexibility to his clients. Never one to look at a problem or mandate conventionally, Henry infuses ingenuity and creativity into his independent thinking approach to financing. By tapping his underwriting mindsets from his years in banking and in mezzanine funds, he can integrate both perspectives into his recommendations to clients.

Transparency is vitally important to how Henry engages with clients. He always wants clients to know what he is thinking so he makes sure to provide consistent and detailed updates throughout the underwriting process. Sharing transparently and regularly creates opportunities for the client to add value, sometimes unknowingly, to the underwriting process and sustains a high level of collaboration.

Working at First National, Henry is proud to be part of an entrepreneurial culture that supports originators in supporting borrowers. He’s empowered by the combination of a strong balance sheet, visionary leaders and a spirit to take smart risks – giving him license to be imaginative in how he structures deals and packages financing.

Henry Chung
Director, Commercial Financing


Pragmatic. Deliberate. Passionate.

Robert has recently joined the First National team, bringing five years of commercial real estate expertise, with a specialization in multi-family assets. Commercial real estate is a second career for Robert. He started in academia, with a PhD in Political Science, Canadian Politics and Political Philosophy. He taught at universities including Ottawa, Trent and Waterloo and was published in academic journals and the media.

Robert grew up around the real estate business. He developed his real estate instincts during his years in academia, investing in multi-family income properties. From buying, managing and maintenance to repositioning and tenant management, Robert can relate directly to the challenges his clients face and the opportunities they consider.

Robert’s whole life in academia was focused on public service, and that mindset filters into how he does business. He provides service to his clients by advising on how to use financing to create wealth, either identifying investment opportunities or leveraging existing assets. He also taps his analytical and research skills to break down a problem to its core elements to find a solution.

Working at First National, Robert is excited about bringing the potential of the product portfolio to his clients, helping them either manage or grow their portfolios. The social nature of the role also really appeals to him – collaborating with colleagues, meeting new people and exploring what they are doing and how he can be of service. While he appreciates the institutional stability grounding First National, the entrepreneurial culture is what really resonates with him. He is looking forward to being a part of a fast growing, Canadian business success story.


Robert Meynell
Director, Commercial Financing


Curious. Attentive. Motivated.

Yohan has recently joined the First National team, bringing 10 years of experience in both residential and commercial mortgage financing. In his previous commercial role, he focused primarily on office, retail, shopping centres and industrial assets, which helped him develop a deep expertise in lease analysis and diverse cash flow analysis.

For Yohan, adding value means tapping his own wealth of precedents developed from vast exposure to different asset classes and scenarios. He believes that solid, productive relationships stem from a commitment to honesty and integrity. Naturally attentive, he focuses on exploring opportunities with his clients, advising on project approaches and making recommendations based on what he’s seen done. With a give and take mentality, Yohan’s professional relationships with clients often evolve organically into friendships based on the nature of their conversations and interactions.

Commercial real estate has always intrigued Yohan. And throughout his career so far, his curiosity and drive to learn have motivated him. He joined First National with a desire to diversify his expertise even further by leveraging the broad product line to service all of his clients’ needs. He also appreciates the balance between entrepreneurialism and structure, seeing First National as the perfect fit to enable his continued growth.

Working at First National, Yohan is excited to build his business within the growing First National business. The entrepreneurial nature of First National’s culture really appeals to him, resonates with his career aspirations and reignites his true passions – being able to be out there meeting people, having conversations and driving business.


Yohan Kadoch
Director, Commercial Financing

Dave Morrison
Senior Credit Officer

Stefan Steele
Senior Analyst, Credit Adjudication

Creative connections. Long-term focus. Ethical ambition.

Tim Kennedy operates with one vision, one approach, one goal – only doing what’s absolutely best for every borrower. His focus is to deliver value in three key ways. First, he prides himself on building creative connections. His personal and professional network is strong and diverse, and he is open to putting people in touch to drive the success of a deal. Second, loyalty and long-term relationships are vital to his approach. Taking an empathetic perspective, Tim invests in understanding borrowers’ experiences and walking in their shoes to establish trust and ensure transparency. And finally, he leaves no stone unturned when structuring deals. With combined financing and transactional expertise, Tim offers a fresh perspective on what it means to be resourceful for construction and retail/office/industrial deals. When asked to describe himself, Tim is clear that he’s definitely young, hungry and aggressive, but with a strong moral compass. Determined and committed to investing in the long game, he strives for success, yet his path is paved by ethical ambition and doing the right thing rather than the prosperous thing at all costs.

Tim Kennedy
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Drew Thompson
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages


Personal attention. Consistency. Confidante.

Scott has been a part of the First National Financial commercial team for the past 11 years, and has originated more than $1 billion in commercial financing.

For Scott, 99 per cent of his business is referral based and tends to deep, enduring business relationships where he is considered advisor and partner. In addition to his experience, Scott has a strong educational background focused on all aspects of commercial real estate.

In Scott’s view, his personal touch and consistency have contributed to the longevity of his client relationships. Many of his clients are private family commercial owners, and he is intimately connected with their businesses and knows what they are doing currently and what they have coming up at any given time. He meets with clients regularly, listens actively and becomes a confidante about the inner workings of their businesses and family dynamics.

Working at First National, Scott knows that he can pursue his unique approach to real estate. With the ability and encouragement to work independently as well as unparalleled flexibility in product scope and sources of capital, Scott can proactively source business for clients and address the opportunities that do arise with tailored solutions.


Scott Lynds
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

scott_seated - web

Shared experience. Likeminded executors. Diversified expertise.

Team Foote represents a classic case of déjà vu. Jim Foote’s and Brian Hammond’s careers in the industry have intersected more than once, to great success. And they reunite again at First National. What contributes to this successful collaboration? Jim describes it as a natural coming together, based on past shared experiences in mortgage origination and underwriting. During their careers within different lending environments, Jim and Brian’s perceptions about structuring effective financing have evolved similarly. For them, effectiveness is a combination of insight and analysis, enabling them to quickly identify what is required to meet a client’s individual needs. There is a natural banter, back and forth and idea sharing until they uncover the right answer with the right timing.  

Jim and Brian also have a similar philosophy on getting deals done. At First National, they have the resources they need to execute successfully according to that philosophy. Committed and dedicated, Jim and Brian invest time with clients to understand their businesses. They simplify the complex. And they apply different structures to extract the maximum amount of value. Jim’s and Brian’s diversified expertise, which includes construction, land development, retail and CMHC, has been shaped by the inclination toward ingenuity and the tenacity to take on a challenge. They commit to seeing projects through to completion and take pride in seeing how their collaborations with clients are changing the skylines and cityscapes throughout all of Ontario.



Jim Foote
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Brian Hammond
Senior Manager, Commercial Mortgages


Service obsessed. Eastern Canada experts. Genuinely invested.

Jody Comeau spends the majority of his days on the road, meeting with new and existing clients and constantly learning about their lives, strategies, plans and goals. When opportunities surface and evolve into deals, the analyst team of Lisa and Jen mobilize to establish the parameters of what’s possible, assemble an effective package and execute on the details. While each one of them brings individual strengths to the team, their skill sets complement one another well and contribute to the team’s overall success. There are no heroes or superstars -- each and every deal is a true team effort and constant collaboration, both within the team and with clients. Service is most certainly the foundational philosophy of Team Comeau’s approach. It’s a core value and daily call to action. For Team Comeau, wowing clients is the service standard – whether it’s the creativity in solutions, the thoroughness of CMHC packages, the depth of discovery at the outset or the efficiency and speed of response. Every action that the team undertakes, every interaction, every text, handwritten card and gift on closing has a purpose – to show clients that they are genuinely appreciated, deeply respected and highly valued. 

Jody Comeau
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Lisa McFarlane
Senior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Jennifer Horne
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages


Multi-family specialists. Strong work ethic. Knowledgeable guidance.

Jonathan Phillips and Frank Casola have been working together as a team for five years. As multi-family specialists focused on the Greater Montreal area, Jonathan and Frank share a determination to get deals done efficiently, a commitment to constantly building knowledge and an unyielding work ethic. When engaging with their clients, they believe that there is no difference between the two. In their view, they are, “the same person,” for clients, always in sync about service commitments, execution and delivery. Being available to clients and honest with them are core elements of their shared work ethic and integrity standards. They maintain a direct, open line of communication with clients, creating trust by consistently delivering on their “make it happen” approach as deals unfold. What they say, they mean. And what they promise, they deliver. They set realistic expectations, and manage those constantly to achieve clients’ goals. While they focus on getting the work done, Jonathan and Frank are also fun loving individuals with a strong passion for real estate, their clients and the work that they do.

Jonathan Philipps
Director, Commercial Financing

Frank Casola
Senior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Team Philipps_WEB

Industry longevity. Western Canada experts. Invested personally.

When Team Syme - Steckler began nine years ago, it was a new but welcome presence in Vancouver real estate financing. With a philosophy that emphasizes trust building, enduring relationships and personal investment, Team Syme - Steckler is now a fixture in Western Canada real estate and a go-to for construction financing expertise. The team has grown to include two senior financing specialists and two dedicated analysts – collectively bringing diverse industry experience as well as the perspective that comes from longevity in an industry that has seen its share of ebbs and flows. Russ, Paul, Laura and Zach share similar values and invest personally in each deal and client relationship. When building relationships, the team believes in finding commonality and connection, delivering what’s promised, offering solution options and collaborating productively. With a strong foundation of trust and friendship, clients gain confidence from knowing that they have a partner that celebrates successes but also stands firm and tackles challenges head on. 

Russell B. Syme
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Paul Steckler
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Laura Evans
Senior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Alison Afaganis
Senior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Zachary Vanier
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages



Benoit Allaire
Director, Commercial Financing

Lina Angelini
Senior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Isabelle Rivrais
Senior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages


Pierre Leroux
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Simon Verdy
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Gilad Ben-Dor
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Anthony Gurreri
Senior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages


Mitchell Tomulka
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Adam Powadiuk
Director, Commercial Financing

David Tawse
Business Development Manager, Commercial Financing

Jimmy Castonguay
Senior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages


Reliable resource. Authoritatively accurate. Sensible advisors.

The three-person team of Dru McAuley, Jesse Selles and Will Hunter operate from one core foundational philosophy: if it’s commercial real estate and it makes sense, they will do everything possible to find a funding solution that benefits the borrower. Team McAuley has a stable of steady clients who have benefitted from this philosophy, and discovered much more along the way – thorough research, authoritative analysis, sensible advice and productive solutions. For Dru, Jesse and Will, it is vital to speak the client’s language and consistently be a reliable resource. Committed to educating from a credible position of authority and accuracy, the team digs into information and does research that the client doesn’t often expect. They approach due diligence as if they were the borrowers themselves, advising clients from the perspective of,  “what am I trying to achieve and what is the most efficient way to get there?” Relationships are long term and evolving. It’s never just one deal. And once a deal funds, the file is still considered active. They are consistently available and work just as hard to address issues, advise clients and provide solutions about the most recent deal, real estate in general or other business matters. Fully invested in every relationship and every deal, Dru, Jesse and Will make a commitment to all clients: nobody will work harder for you in generating the ideas and solutions that move your business forward.


Dru McAuley
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Jesse Selles
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

William Hunter
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages


Pragmatic realists. Foresight-based approach. Efficient executors.

Jamie McCallum’s 20 years in the industry has provided him with the insight to make decisions with foresight. His experience is diverse, including time spent at CMHC, construction expertise, CMBS and underwriting. As a result, he can evaluate current trends from a broad perspective and help clients find value within their portfolios. Daniel Pegoraro joined Jamie five years ago. As a team, they service their clients based on a proactive mindset – developing strategies for new mandates to mitigate any possible scenario or potential issue and constantly reviewing existing clients’ portfolios for opportunities to add value and diminish risk. Sharing a commonality of vision about real estate, risk, client service and relationship dynamics, Jamie and Daniel are pragmatic in their approach and ensure that what they promise, they deliver. That commitment has contributed to their reputation for executing quickly, aggressively, efficiently and cost effectively. Clients know that Jamie and Daniel will always push to the limit, yet never waver from the realistic goal. They focus consistently on being available to clients, finding opportunities, offering good advice and getting the deal done. 

Jamie McCallum
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Daniel Pegoraro
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages


Sound advice. Diverse skills. Reliable delivery.

Our team is made up of seasoned individuals from different parts of the industry, creating a unique, collective and complementary expertise. Each member has a defined role and skill set, but we come together seamlessly to service clients with the highest levels of professionalism. Our collaborative approach means that we all contribute ideas and perspectives to how solutions are developed and executed. Transparency and honesty are values for us. We set clear expectations, treat clients respectfully, respond quickly and act responsibly. We work to gain a deep understanding of client needs and aim to simplify the process as much as possible. Committed to openness and active listening, we provide sound advice and make realistic promises to build trust and long-term relationships with our clients.  

Edgar Kieser
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Devin Sembaluk
Senior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Lisa Wright
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages


Trusted advisors. Sought after specialists. Foremost authorities.

Seniors housing is often a complex, highly specialized undertaking with many moving parts including real estate, business operations, care delivery and government funding. It’s a niche expertise that requires deep product knowledge, pedigree and a problem solving philosophy. In addition to its apartment financing expertise, Team Kimmel is a foremost authority in seniors housing, offering sought-after specialization supported by a high touch advisory approach and a commitment to building long-term, trusted relationships. An agile team of four, team Kimmel functions as a cohesive unit rather than several individuals interpreting a common vision. Relying on a highly collaborative approach, each member contributes ideas, perspectives and expertise to solution development. When a client calls one team member, essentially he or she is getting the benefit of the expertise of the entire team. Team Kimmel emphasizes face-to-face interactions, direct and transparent dealings with decision makers and a focus on action – get on the street, get your feet wet and live it to learn it. There is a quiet confidence balanced with bold leadership, making team Kimmel the first call for both aspiring and established borrowers in the Canadian seniors housing and apartment industries.

Brian Kimmel
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Ryan Paquet
Manager, Commercial Mortgages

David Bagheri
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Miyadh Mutahar
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Team Kimmel

Darryl Bellwood
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Andrew Argenta
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Trevor Bloom
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Patrick Cutler
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages


Michele Cook
Director, Commercial Financing

Sally Ng
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages