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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.

The Firm

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.

Our clients have outgrown working with financial advisors who recommend products and act as third-party distributors. When you work with First Avenue, you are hiring professionals with experience and distinct expertise for every aspect of your wealth. You work directly with the team responsible for making all investment decisions. We are available and accountable to you at all times. We do not receive commissions or trailer fees for investment management, eliminating any potential for conflicts of interest or biased advice.
We have great conviction in how we manage portfolios. First Avenue employees invest alongside our clients, using the same investment strategy in their personal portfolios. Our own families’ financial security is directly aligned with our clients.
Your portfolio manager at First Avenue is a fiduciary. That means we have a duty to act with care, honesty and good faith, always in the best interest of our clients. Investment decisions must be independent and free of bias. As fiduciaries, we are held to the highest professional standards, level of education and experience in the investment industry.
First Avenue, its portfolio managers and all employees of the firm are registered with and monitored by the Ontario Securities Commission.

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

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 J. Pashootan CIM Founder, Chief Executive Officer & CIO

Kash Pashootan, CEO and Chief Investment Officer at First Avenue Investment Counsel Inc., entered the financial services industry in 1999. 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.

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 is an avid athlete who trains daily, has a passion for art and enjoys quality time with his wife and daughter.

Richard J. Przybylski President & CIO, STYLUS

Rick is the President and Chief Investment Officer at STYLUS. Having over 40 years of investment experience, Rick works with the investment team on decision making and strategic oversight of STYLUS 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.

Nicholas Allaham CPA, CA, TEP, CIM CFO & Director, Family Office Practice

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.

passion found in our

Sammir Assaf CIM Managing Director, Client Services

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.

Julianna Varpalotai-Xavier CPA, CA, MBA Chief Compliance Officer & COO, STYLUS

Julianna is the Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Operating Officer at STYLUS. Julianna has more than 15 years of senior management experience in the investment industry. Prior to joining STYLUS, Julianna was Chief Financial Officer for Covington Capital Corporation and Chief Operating Officer for the University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation where she was instrumental in expanding the operations from its inception. Previously, Julianna also held positions at CIBC World Markets, Manulife Financial, Prudential Insurance Company of America, and Deloitte. Julianna has an MBA from the University of Cambridge.

Matteo Verrilli MBA, CFA Senior Portfolio Manager, STYLUS

Matteo is Executive Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at STYLUS. Matteo brings over 26 years of investment experience and is responsible for the management of all STYLUS funds. Prior to joining STYLUS, Matteo was a Senior Vice President at CPMS where he was responsible for leading the Client Services team that assisted institutional investors and advisors in the development and implementation of quantitative investment strategies. He also headed up the Investment Committee at CPMS and managed the Canadian Momentum Fund. Matteo has an MBA from the University of Windsor and has been a CFA charterholder since 1994.

people. First Avenue is

Jordan Luckock M.Sc., CFA Portfolio Manager, STYLUS
David Spencer CFP, CIM Director, Private Client Group

After graduating from McGill University with a Bachelor of Commerce, David spent 7 years with TD Wealth working with high net worth clients of the bank. As a Chartered Investment Manager and a Certified Financial Planner, he works closely with clients day to day, ensuring they are up to date with their investment portfolio and overall financial plan. Regular communication is David’s hallmark, leading to meaningful relationships with clients of the firm. Outside of the office, David is a competitive swimmer, marathon runner, and enjoys spending time at the cottage in Muskoka.

Michael Lippi CIM Vice President, Private Client Group, STYLUS

rooted in a culture of

Beata Krajcovic CFP Financial Planner, Private Client Group

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.

Connor Duncan CIM Associate, Family Office Practice

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.

Nicole Cordingley Senior Associate, Client Services

Prior to joining First Avenue, Nicole has advanced to increasingly senior positions within BMO Nesbitt Burns. With more than 20 years in investment management, Nicole has built and maintained successful client relationships based upon her attention to detail, extensive industry knowledge and genuine passion for working with people. Outside of the office, Nicole enjoys her time outside of the city at her family home in Aurora. Nicole is an avid runner and very proud hockey and baseball Mother to her two boys.

integrity, work ethic,

Alexia Mateus Associate, Client Services

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.

Izabella Policht M.Econ Senior Accountant
Raki Raoufi Vice President Construction, EMBLEM

Raki is a seasoned professional with over 21 years of experience in the design and construction industry both in Canada and the Middle East. With a proven record of accomplishment in conceptual development, planning, design and construction of award-winning building projects, Raki’s experience in high-rise and design-build projects provides a fresh approach to project development. She has an extensive background in fast track high-rise projects, directing each phase of construction from design to completion.

Prior to joining Emblem Developments, Raki was the Vice President of Pre-Construction and Design for Multiplex Construction Canada, a subsidiary of Brookfield. At Multiplex, Raki led the Pre-Construction Group, leveraging her extensive experience working as a professional architect and a design manager to work with consultant teams, monitor design development and constructibility, generate value-engineering targets and provide constant support to the project team throughout the different phases of each project.

Some of the projects that Raki managed include: Trump Hotel and Residential Tower, Bay Adelaide East Tower & Podium, Campus One Student Residences, Core Condominium, King High Line Mixed Use, Transit City Projects, and Index Tower designed by Norman Foster located in Dubai.

Raki holds a Master of Architecture from Islamic Azad University. She is also a LEED® Green Associate.


Alistair Rennie Director of Development, EMBLEM

Alistair has over 8 years of experience in end-to-end design and preconstruction management and brings his expertise in managing complex residential and mixed-use projects to EMBLEM Developments. In this role, he focuses on overseeing the development of projects from inception through to construction commencement, with a focus on design development and constructability.

Prior to joining EMBLEM Developments, Alistair was the Pre-Construction Director at Multiplex Construction Canada, a subsidiary of Brookfield, where he managed the majority of the company’s residential projects. Some of the projects Alistair has managed during the pre-construction phase include: Transit City Phases 1 and 2, Centre Point, 25 St Dennis Drive, 90 Eastdale Avenue, Junction House, Corio Development, St John’s McNicoll Centre, and Pavillions.

Alistair holds a First Class Honours Degree in Architecture from Oxford Brookes University. He also holds a diploma from Kingston University.

Shamil Jiwani Associate Director, EMBLEM

Shamil draws on 5 years of investment banking and corporate finance experience with a focus on real estate mergers and acquisitions. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of EMBLEM Developments. His role is centred on ensuring executional excellence across all stages of a project’s lifecycle through the management of acquisitions, development, sales, construction, and customer care.

Prior to joining EMBLEM Developments, Shamil worked in the Real Estate Investment Banking Group at BMO Capital Markets, where he was involved in multiple M&A transactions, corporate restructurings, and secondary offerings in the real estate sector. Shamil began his career working in the Advisory Group at Deloitte, where he was responsible for advising domestic and international clients on business valuation matters related to tax, M&A transactions, audit and accounting.

Shamil holds an Honors Business Administration (HBA) Degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.

Paride Morello Project Manager, EMBLEM

Paride brings 15 years of international experience in real estate project design and development. He has worked on a variety of challenging projects including high-rise developments in New York City, Europe and the Middle East.

Prior to joining EMBLEM Developments, Paride was the Project Director for Engineering at Katara Hospitality, a major hotel owner, developer, and operator in Qatar. He was responsible for overseeing and directing the engineering design of the company’s portfolio of new developments and major renovations, Some of the projects Paride has worked on include the Plaza Hotel in New York City, the Katara Towers and Doha Marriott in Qatar, the Intercontinental Carlton Cannes in France, and the Langham Palm Jumeirah Five Star Resort in Dubai.

Paride holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Padua, Italy. He is a Chartered Engineer in the UK, a registered Professional Engineer in Italy, a Six Sigma Green Belt, a Project Management Professional and a LEED Accredited Professional.

and purpose.

Stephanie Wang Senior Accountant, EMBLEM
Nicholas Bourgeois Project Manager, EMBLEM
Dilan Abeygunasekara Analyst, EMBLEM

Dilan assists in the financial modelling and due diligence of various development projects. Prior to joining EMBLEM Developments, Dilan completed internships working as an Investment Banking Analyst at Yorkdale Partners, and as a Venture Capital and Investor Relations Analyst at Frontier Merchant Capital Group. Dilan holds an Honours Business Administration degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.

Sabrina Lee Executive Assistant, EMBLEM

Passion drives the relentless pursuit of progress.
As a family office, we plan, co-ordinate, lead and counsel on all facets and complexities of wealth.

Our Services

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

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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.

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We are available and accountable to you at all times.


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