Founder’s Message

By Blake Wilson

The Blake Wilson Group evolved from my desire to make financing more accessible to everyone, with a specific focus on self employed business owners.

For over 12 years, I worked in insurance and risk management as a broker. I pieced together complicated insurance solutions for a vast network of corporate and private clients. I learned how to leverage multiple insurers and develop relationships with underwriters to ultimately package together the best solutions for my clients.  I developed a niche working with clients whose operations were complicated to insure, honing a unique approach to a conventional concept.

With complex brokering experience under my belt, I returned to Atlantic Canada to help grow our economy through financial brokering. Shortly thereafter, I founded the Blake Wilson Group

We’re not your bankers, we’re your brokers. Tell us about your financial dreams. We’ll tell you how we can help.

Blake Wilson

Founder, Blake Wilson Group

Blake-Headshot
Our Team
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Blake Wilson
Founder - The Blake Wilson Group
Blake@blakewilsongroup.com
(902) 835-6420 ext 101

Blake founded the Blake Wilson Group to help clients obtain financing for their personal and commercial needs, including mortgages and business financing.

Blake began his brokering career over 15 years ago in the Insurance and Risk Management Industry. Blake has assisted Fortune 500s, sole-proprietors and many individuals and entities in between. He has worked with high net worth, commissioned, salaried and self-employed individuals on both the east and west coasts of Canada. While in insurance and risk, he recognized all clients shared a common challenge: the need to secure financing at the lowest cost of capital.

 

After seeing this theme recur over many years, across many relationships, and in tandem with a tightening regulatory and lending environment, he recognized the need for creative financial brokering with a strategic, long-term view. This was the springboard from which he entered the world of financial brokering.

Since then, he has become a trusted broker, assisting individuals as they face financing challenges and opportunities in a complex-to-navigate, ever-evolving lending environment. Providing exceptional customer service is a fundamental value of Blake and the members of his team.

 

Blake and his family reside in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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David Skinner
Residential Services Director
(902) 835-6420 ext 106

David is an accomplished mortgage broker with over 30 years of financial services experience.

 

David entered the financial services industry in 1976 with HFC in Marystown, Newfoundland. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he worked in a variety of financial services roles including personal loans, dealer plans and commercial banking.

 

In 1994, David became a mortgage broker. Throughout his career, David has brokered under CIBC, Home Loans Canada and most recently TMG – The Mortgage Group. Over the decades, the mortgage and lending industry has evolved, but one thing has remained constant: David’s focus on delivering great client service. David firmly believes in ongoing communication throughout every step of the mortgage process and tailoring his approach to suit every client’s unique needs. His “no surprises” philosophy paired with his ability to get tough deals done have enabled him to build a reputation as a top Canadian mortgage broker.

 

Throughout his career, David has been recognized multiple times. While with Home Loans Canada, he was their number one Broker twice, and was a top-ten broker seven times. Since joining TMG – The Mortgage Group, he has consistently been recognized as one of the organization’s top brokers nationally. A true testament to David’s value lies in the reality that his clients re-engage him for generations of mortgage advice. He is now helping third-generation family members obtain mortgages; something he is very proud of.

 

When David is not assisting clients, he can be found mentoring other mortgage brokers, driving his sportscar with the top down, or volunteering his time with a variety of charitable organizations.

 

David is a dedicated member of Shriner’s Canada. If you do not know him by the name “David”, you may know him by the name “Salty the Clown”. Salty is present at many community events throughout Halifax, helping kids (and adults alike) enjoy the lighter side of life. In addition to his extensive involvement with Shriners, David cooks for Hope Cottage, is a Mason, and is a former Sunday School teacher.

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Susan Skinner
Learning & Development Director
(902) 835-6420 ext 107

Susan has worked in the financial services industry for over forty years; she’s been a trusted mortgage advisor since 1987.

 

Susan brings a wealth of experience to The Blake Wilson Group team. She began her career in the financial services industry in 1976 with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in Newfoundland. For over 15 years, Susan worked in progressive roles within CIBC including Mortgage Officer, Special Loans Collector, and Team Leader.

 

In 2001, Susan began her brokering career with Home Loans Canada, a division of CIBC. She joined TMG – The Mortgage Group in 2011 to work with her partner, David Skinner. Together, they built a thriving residential mortgage business and have received many industry awards.

 

Susan believes her success is attributed to getting to know her clients by asking them the right questions. She honed this skill throughout her time as a leader within CIBC’s client call centre. By asking the right questions, Susan can quickly target the proper solution for her clients.

In addition to brokering, Susan is a firm believer in supporting her community. She supports the Make a Wish Foundation through her involvement on the annual Brokering Wishes planning committee, and through her involvement with Diamonds & Divas.

 

In her spare time, Susan can be found digging in the dirt in her garden.

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Joan Cote
Residential Services Manager
(902) 835-6420 ext 103

Joan started working in the mortgage industry in 2003 with Home Loans Canada. One week after Joan started her new career, Hurricane Juan struck. Needless to say, Joan’s first few weeks in the mortgage industry were memorable! Prior to joining Home Loans Canada, Joan was the Office Manager for an advertising company.

 

For many years, Joan worked closely with David and Susan Skinner. Clients know Joan as the friendly and knowledgeable voice at the other end of the telephone. Along with David and Susan, she joins The Blake Wilson Group as Residential Services Manager. Joan’s attention to detail, technical knowledge and focus on keeping clients informed throughout the mortgage process makes Joan an excellent manager. Joan has been instrumental in helping thousands of clients obtain mortgage approvals throughout the years, managing the process from start to finish.  

 

While Joan’s three children were young, she was a full-time Mom and Volunteer with school committees/events as well as various sports organizations including Bedford/Ringette Nova Scotia.

 

In Joan’s spare time, she enjoys “DIY” projects, gardening and creating pieces of Seaglass Art for ‘Smuggler’s Cove Seaglass’.

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Blair MacDonald
Mortgage & Financing Broker
Blair@blakewilsongroup.com
(902) 835-6420 ext 104

Blair has over eight years of combined financial services and risk management experience. He is a broker with the Blake Wilson Group.

 

Blair’s career in financial services began with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). During his time in banking, Blair honed his client management and product knowledge skills. He sold various financial products with a specific focus on mortgages and other secured lending options.

 

Following his time in banking, Blair joined Admiral Insurance. Blair was quickly recognized as a top performer, advancing to a management position where he oversaw a sales team. Blair has exceptional people management and communication skills.

 

Blair has re-entered the world of financial services as a broker with the Blake Wilson Group. Blair has an exceptional ability to connect with people and simplify the complex world of financial services. Blair and Blake work in parallel, providing solutions to their clients.

 

Blair represented Canada at the World Championship for Debating. Blair is a father of two. He and his family currently reside in the Beaver Bank area. Blair is originally from Cape Breton.

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Yifei Xing
Mortgage & Financing Analyst
Yifei@blakewilsongroup.com
(902) 835-6420 ext 105

Yifei is our bilingual (Chinese/English) Mortgage and Financing Analyst. Yifei is passionate about helping individuals finance their dreams, particularly the Chinese community. This includes Chinese investors, permanent residents and those that are new-to-Canada.

 

Yifei joins the Blake Wilson Group following experience in both the banking (Bank of East Asia) and hospitality industries. While in banking, Yifei analyzed and participated in diverse facets of corporate loans, including delivering financial statements, presenting data to the Credit Committee and working with internal and external stakeholders to execute loans for import/export companies.

 

Yifei is devoted to lifelong learning. He completed his Bachelor of Business Administration from Acadia University with a double major in Business Administration and Economics. He is a certified Professional Risk Manager and has completed his Canadian Securities Course. Yifeirecently wrote his CFA Level 3 exam, and is in the process of obtaining his Chartered Investment Management (CIM) designation.

 

Yifei has made significant contributions to the various communities he’s associated with. He was President of Acadia’s Chinese Students and Scholar’s Association and is a member of The Halifax Chamber of Commerce and Fusion Halifax.Yifei was born in Jinan but has made Halifax his Canadian home. In his spare time, you can find Yifei enjoying the great outdoors or trading in the stock market.

 

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ShanShan Li
Mortgage Consultant
ShanShan@blakewilsongroup.com
(902) 835-6420

ShanShan is the Blake Wilson Group’s bilingual (Chinese/English) Mortgage Consultant. She specializes in assisting the Chinese community with their financing needs. This includes Chinese investors, permanent residents and those that are new-to-Canada.

 

ShanShan has worked in the Canadian banking industry for the past several years. Most recently, she worked for a major chartered bank as a Mortgage Specialist. She is well versed in new-to-Canada lending policy, and works closely with Yifei Xing, our Mortgage & Financing Analyst.

 

Prior to entering the mortgage industry, ShanShan worked for a multi-national in Tianjin China in project-management and sales related roles. She relocated to Halifax in 2015 and is proud to call Atlantic Canada her new home.

 

ShanShan has a Bachelor of Computer Science from Tianjin University and has taken the IFIC (Investment Funds in Canada Course) through the Canadian Securities Institute (2017).

 

In her spare time, you’ll find ShanShan assisting various newcomer associations throughout Halifax. These include Pier 21 and The Chinese Society of Nova Scotia. ShanShan is also heavily involved with ISANS – Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia – as a career mentor.

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Jim Kennedy
Commercial Services Executive
jim@blakewilsongroup.com
902-877-6595

After years as a client, Jim Kennedy joins us as the newest member of The Blake Wilson Group.

 

Jim has over 12 years of experience in Real Estate. During this time, Jim has accumulated a portfolio of 119 residential and 67 commercial units. Jim’s experience has made him an expert on negotiating with lenders and knowing what it takes to complete complex transactions. Jim will use this experience to strengthen our commercial financing team.

 

Jim’s career has seen him working with several startups who challenge industry norms, with a focus on company culture. His familiarity with the challenges faced by entrepreneurs will serve his clients well throughout the commercial financing process. Jim takes a holistic approach with clients, exploring all commercial and personal lending options.

 

Jim is very active in Halifax’s entrepreneurial community as a past coach for Futurpreneur and judge for the Launchbox business pitch competition through Acadia University. When not working, Jim is commonly found on the soccer field playing or coaching his boys at Bedford Soccer Club.

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Tanya MacKenzie
Executive Assistant
tanya@blakewilsongroup.com
902.835-6420 EXT: 101

Tanya is The Blake Wilson Group’s Executive Assistant. She oversees day-to-day administrative dutieswith a focus on commercial deals.

 

Tanya began her career in the Health and Fitness Industry obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics from St. Francis Xavier University.

 

After spending over 15 years as a Personal Trainer and Health Coach, she began a new phase of her career at the Royal Bank of Canada in 2010. Beginning as a Client Service Representative, she was quickly recognized for her organizational and administrative skills and was offered the position of Client Assistance Officer giving her more responsibility over the day to day operations of the branch,serving in that role for 5 years.

 

When the opportunity presented itself to join RBC’s Commercial Services Team as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Presidents, Tanya seized the opportunity.

 

After 3 years as Executive Assistant for Commercial Banking Tanya saw a great opportunity for career growth and joined the Blake Wilson Group in April 2019. She works closely with staff and clients to ensure optimal team success.

 

Tanya lives in Halifax with her 12-year-old son. In her spare time, you can find Tanya doing CrossFitor spending time with friends.

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TMG THE MORTGAGE GROUP

TMG The Mortgage Group has assisted hundreds of thousands of Canadians, just like you, get the best financing solutions and mortgage rates

Since its inception in 1990, TMG has maintained the philosophy that gave rise to its birth – a company created with old-fashioned family values that would remain relevant and strongly competitive in the mortgage marketplace.

More than 25 years later, TMG has grown into a national full-service mortgage brokerage. TMG has an enviable reputation in the mortgage industry, having achieved a high level of respect among agents, brokers, lenders and industry partners. Over the years, TMG has built a strong reputation for integrity and professionalism.

Today, TMG has over 800 brokers and agents nationwide.  The company continues to grow and is able to attract first-rate professionals. Over the years, TMG has experienced impressive and continuous growth.

Deciding to work with a TMG mortgage broker may be the best decision you will make when obtaining the perfect mortgage. With us, you are sure to find the best solutions. Unlike banks, we have a variety of mortgage options tailored to your specific needs. We review the best options together, help you make key decisions and support you through the application and closing process. We become your guiding partner through the entire process and throughout the life of your mortgage.

Our services are fast, reliable and efficient.

The TMG Leadership Team
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Grant Thomas
Co-Founder - TMG The Mortgage Group
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Debbie Thomas
Co-Founder - TMG The Mortgage Group
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Mark Kerzner
President - TMG The Mortgage Group
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Steve Whitehead
Executive Vice-President - TMG Atlantic
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Andrew Matheson
Area Vice-President - TMG Atlantic