Our capital is invested alongside our clients. Our families’ financial security is directly aligned with our clients. Not only is First Avenue a fiduciary to our clients, we are partners.
Passion Never Stands Still.
First Avenue Investment Counsel is a leading investment management firm and family office advising successful individuals and families.
We manage a conservative and long-standing investment strategy that protects and grows the wealth of our clients. We combine this with a fully-integrated approach to planning for every detail of one’s financial life and communicate it in a manner that is easy to understand.
We have chosen Raymond James Ltd as our preferred custodian to provide safekeeping of assets, online access and audited account statements to our clients. The custodial firm reporting to you is independent of the firm managing your portfolio. Clients receive boutique investment management and family office services combined with the security of one of North America’s most sound financial institutions.
Our key asset is the passion found in our people. First Avenue is rooted in a culture of integrity, work ethic, approachability and purpose.
Kash Pashootan, CEO and Chief Investment Officer at First Avenue Investment Counsel Inc., entered the financial services industry in 1999. With more than 22 years of experience, he founded First Avenue Advisory in 2009 at Raymond James while he served as Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager, which then became First Avenue Investment Counsel Inc.
His passion is in uncovering investment opportunities and in people. As a trusted resource for the most respected news outlets, Kash has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Hong Kong Times, Canadian Business, National Post and The Globe & Mail.
He lives by the pursuit of success in business, health and family. He enjoys art, documentaries and spending time with his wife, daughter and son.
Rick is the President and Chief Investment Officer at First Avenue Counsel Investment Inc. Having over 40 years of investment experience, Rick works with the investment team on decision making and strategic oversight of First Avenue Counsel Investment Inc. funds. Rick pioneered the practice of quantitative investment when he founded C.P.M.S. (Computerized Portfolio Management Services Inc.) in 1984 and built it into the leading provider of quantitative investment research in Canada which was later sold to Morningstar.
Brandon Dong, Chief Financial Officer of First Avenue Investment Counsel Inc., oversees First Avenue’s overall financial operation focusing on financial planning and execution, regulatory compliance and risk management. Brandon carries over 25 years of financial and operations experience with the past 15 years serving as senior executives at some of the largest financial service companies including GE and Anbang Insurance, two Fortune 500 Companies. He directly oversaw financial reporting, FP&A, acquisition, development and asset management on portfolios valued over $15 billion Canadian dollars. Brandon holds both Canadian and US CPA licenses. He earned his BBA from Texas A&M University and his MBA from Cornell University.
Nicholas Allaham, Director of the Family Office practice at First Avenue Investment Counsel Inc, has a deep background in tax, trust and estate planning. Prior to joining First Avenue, Nicholas served over a decade at Deloitte in tax at their Private Client Group. His 15+ years of experience advising high net worth families on personal and corporate taxation is a key pillar in every Family Office clients’ success with planning and co-ordination of their wealth. He leads Family Office planning and collaborates with any outside advisors clients may engage. This achieves a true Advisory Board approach for families working with First Avenue Investment Counsel. Nicholas enjoys travel with his wife, volunteering with the local hospital, and lecturing on taxation at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University.
Sammir is a wealth management executive with significant leadership experience in the investment industry and holds the Chartered Investment Management designation. He focuses on client relationship management, portfolio & risk management, and asset allocation for high net worth private clients and institutional clients. Prior to joining First Avenue, Sammir spent 14 years at Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc., most recently as a Managing Director on their Client Wealth Management team. Prior to that he spent 4 years at KBSH Capital Management as a Senior Analyst. Sammir sits on the Advisory Board for AREF Scholarship Fund and is a current Board Member of Peacebuilders Canada.
Matteo is Executive Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at First Avenue. Matteo brings over 30 years of professional investment experience and currently co-manages all of the First Avenue mandates. Prior to joining First Avenue, Matteo was a Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at a boutique wealth management firm where he was responsible for leading the portfolio management team in the development and implementation of quantitative investment strategies for North American pooled funds. Matteo has an MBA from the University of Windsor and has been a CFA charterholder since 1994. Outside of the office, Matteo enjoys the outdoors by hiking and biking. He also loves travelling with his family – especially back to his hometown in Italy.
Jordan Luckock has over 16 years of professional investment experience and currently co-manages all of the First Avenue mandates. Jordan co-managed over $7 billion in retail, institutional and high net worth equity mandates at BMO Global Asset Management. He also spent several years as an Equity Analyst at BMO where he was responsible for covering the Consumer, Industrial, Technology, and Communications sectors. Jordan is a CFA Charter holder with a Master of Science (Finance) degree from Queen’s University. He also loves to coach baseball and basketball, and has three children of his own.
Bushra has over nine years of experience as a tax specialist in public accounting. She has extensive experience in servicing private companies and their owners with both their tax compliance and tax planning needs. Bushra is a CGA, CPA and holder of a Bachelors of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto’s Rotman Commerce program. While working in public practice, Bushra completed the CPA Canada In-Depth Tax Course in 2018. Outside of the office, Bushra is a bookworm and enjoys dabbling in portrait photography.
With 17 years of experience in the financial services industry, Beata is a key component for any financial planning needs clients may have. Taking the time to understand and develop comprehensive financial plans, Beata is committed to capturing the entire picture and believes financial plans are worthless unless they are treated as a dynamic document that is updated at least annually. Beata works closely with Nicholas, which means Financial planning is combined with tax planning for clients of the firm.
Michael has 25 years experience in the financial services industry. He is responsible for managing client relationships as well as developing new business for First Avenue Counsel Investment Inc. Michael previously held sales positions at some of Canada's largest mutual fund companies, as well as boutique investment firms where he serviced high net worth clients. Michael holds a Chartered Investment Manager (CIM®) designation. When not at work, Michael enjoys spending time with his family and is an avid outdoors man.
Prior to joining First Avenue Jesse worked with BMO Private Investment Counsel as an associate portfolio manager where he co-managed a portfolio of high-net-worth and ultra high-net-worth clients. In addition to experience working with Canadian and U.S. equity and fixed-income strategies, Jesse also has experience working with various alternative strategies such as real estate, infrastructure, private equity and private credit. Jesse firmly believes a strong client relationship is the key to every successful strategy and enjoys working closely with clients and their families.
Jesse graduated as a student-athlete from Carleton University in 2016 where he played four years of football for the Ravens. Jesse is a CFA Charter holder. Outside the office he enjoys biking, reading and spending time with family.
Gregory joined First Avenue after 11 years with RBC Dominion Securities as an Associate Investment Advisor, where he advised, designed and implemented investment strategies for business owners, high-net-worth families, and institutions. His experience in both equity and credit extends to markets around the globe, as well as various alternative assets. Greg is a CFA Charterholder and graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce in Economics and Finance from the University of Guelph.
Outside of the office, Greg continues to enjoy playing hockey and enjoys finding adventure with his wife and two young children. He also volunteers his time as the treasurer on the board of directors for a local charity.
Connor joined First Avenue in 2017 and has had a keen sense of learning and exceeding client expectations from day one. He is part of the Family Office practice at the firm and works clients and collaborates with lawyers, accountants and other advisors who make up the “Advisory Board” that the firm leads on behalf of clients. Connor is a licensed Chartered Investment Manager. Outside of the office, Connor enjoys the outdoors at the cottage, travelling and learning about new cultures and making honey as an amateur beekeeper.
Muneeb has over fifteen years experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining First Avenue, Muneeb worked at a large asset manager for over a decade in various compliance roles and most recently worked as a compliance officer for an alternative trading system (ATS). Muneeb is a graduate of McMaster University and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Outside of work, Muneeb likes to cheer on his beloved Toronto Raptors and stay active playing baseball.
Prior to joining First Avenue, Alexia worked at a family office where she provided client services and coordinated transactions for ultra high-net-worth clients. Alexia focused on building and sustaining meaningful client relationships which allowed for all client requests to be met to the highest standard. She graduated with the highest distinction from McMaster University with an Honors B.A. in Sociology. During her degree, Alexia was awarded the Lianne Marks Scholarship for outstanding academic achievement and notable contribution to the community. Outside of the office, Alexia enjoys classical ballet training at the National Ballet School.
Prior to joining First Avenue, Myra worked at TD Direct Investing as an Investment Representative providing client support and placing trades for high value clients. Myra graduated with an Honours BSc degree from McMaster University, and has her CSC and CPH completed. Outside of the office, Myra dabbles in some singing lessons and is a huge food connoisseur.
Prior to joining First Avenue, Bailey worked at TD Bank where he built relationships with his clients in his capacity as an Advisor before transitioning to a role specialized in the markets, supporting customers coast to coast, as an Investment Representative with TD Direct Investing. Bailey is a graduate of Carleton University with a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) degree, with a specialization in Finance. As part of his studies, Bailey also spent time in Paris studying at L’Université Dauphine. Outside of work, Bailey enjoys playing golf during the warmer months of the year but misses no opportunity to tie up his skates and play hockey once the weather gets cold.
Prior to joining First Avenue, Jason worked at a credit union for over 14 years where he had experience serving members in the branch, managing an advice team and supporting one of the largest practices at Alterna Wealth as an Associate Investment Advsior. He is currently part of the Family Office practice at the firm and is responsible for working with clients and collaborating with their Advisory Board consisting of lawyers, accountants and other advisors. Jason is a Certified Financial Planner practitioner, Chartered Investment Manager, and graduate of the University of Ottawa (Summa Cum Laude). Outside of the office, Jason gives back to his community by volunteering his time serving on the board of Options Bytown - a local non-profit which is focused on providing permanent housing for those at chronic risk of homelessness. Jason is also a CrossFit athlete and aspires to one day coach other athletes.
Stephanie has been working as an Assistant for the past 11 years. Prior to joining First Avenue, Stephanie worked at Holt Renfrew’s head office. She has a strong administration background and loves to collaborate with her colleagues.
Her passions outside of work include travel, exercise and spending time with her family. Her favourite places to travel to are Italy, Spain and Prince Edward Island.
We provide portfolio management combined with ongoing financial planning. Clients have direct access to our investment team. Private Client Group professionals carry Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designations and have extensive experience in effective client communication. They are members of the firm’s Investment Committee and are present at portfolio management meetings, working closely with First Avenue’s Chief Investment Officer. They have an in-depth understanding of portfolio holdings and market outlook. First Avenue clients also have access to the firm’s Chief Investment Officer.
- Financial and estate planning as part of the ongoing client experience
- Professional money managers, not professional salespeople
- No commissions or trailer fees
- Transparent, straightforward investment strategy
- Regular communication in human language
- Direct access to the firm’s Chief Investment Officer
- Portfolio Managers’ own capital invested alongside yours
Often, lacking great advisors is not the shortfall. Successful families have one or more advisors they trust and have worked with for years. The common weakness exists in the fact that there is not a formal process to how one’s advisors communicate and work together. As a result, there is little co-ordination and integration among strategies and advice from one’s various advisors. This is what our Advisory Board service solves.
After getting to know you and understanding your structure, the first step then for every First Avenue Family Office client begins with building their families’ Advisory Board. Understanding which trusted advisors you already have in place and which we need to add to complete the team: your Advisory Board. We are not here to replace any trusted advisors you may already have, but rather complete the voids and provide a structured platform where all work collaboratively on an integrated basis for your benefit.
Once your Advisory Board is in place, it is our responsibility to co-ordinate and lead the activities of your board. It may sound formal and it can be but it can also be as simple as ensuring ongoing coordination and integration of tax, investment, risk management, trusts and legal professionals. The result is a client experience where one is certain that the various considerations are heard and deeply contemplated.
A full-time collaborative approach considering all facets of your wealth: this is the Family Office difference.
Every asset you own, from investment portfolios and real estate to fine art, summarized on one document. The dashboard to every conversation. Kept up to date and reported to you quarterly. When doing any planning, we look at your entire picture and our Advisory Board will consider all angles. It’s about much more than just investments.
Whether it’s an immigration lawyer because your child is considering moving to the US after post-secondary studies, or it’s executing a complicated estate planning strategy with various trusts in multiple jurisdictions, we are relentless with planning for every facet of your financial world. But, planning is only the first step. Execution is equally important and we are beside you through the entire process. Rather than simply providing a referral and leaving the rest to you, we co-ordinate, and lead execution, attending meetings with your auxiliary professionals to ensure accurate integration at all stages. You avoid dealing with too many individuals and benefit from a further layer of governance on the work being done.
As your children become more independent, there may come a time where you wish to start involving them more in managing family finances. This is the pre-cursor to them making their own sound decisions in the future. Properly preparing beneficiaries for these responsibilities is essential. In conjunction with you, First Avenue Family Office organizes roundtables involving all generations and leads regular interactions to progress education and instill confidence in future generations. This education about the stewardships of wealth motivates successors to increase their involvement, which is invaluable in preserving wealth and family culture.
Every family is complex, and wealth can add a unique dimension to family dynamics. Emotions often replace rational and sound reasoning. Combine this with multiple beneficiaries with different personalities and objectives and it can create divisions within a family. As a trusted, objective partner, we create a safe platform and help guide conversations, allowing family members to maintain healthy relationships. Every beneficiary and family member has their own personality and differing financial needs. We work with each member and incorporate all objectives into the overall family wealth plan. This preserves relationships, wealth and the family legacy.
Wealth brings the opportunity to create impact. Before this, it is crucial to focus on oneself to understand: What is your legacy? What are your values and motivations? First Avenue Family Offices ask the appropriate questions and guide conversations to ensure philanthropists to have the greatest impact and create a family legacy. Our Family Office service captures all of the details of your financial world and helps your family make sense of it all. The result: addressing every facet of your financial life in an integrated and personal manner. We understand family dynamics and complexities and will take the necessary time to get to you know you and work through all important areas that need to be planned for.