Decades of Walking a Shared Path
Throughout Canada ICI’s 25-year history, there have been some crucial partnerships between ICI and other major players in the marketplace. One such business partner was Victor Gosselin of Industrial Alliance. Victor retired in March of 2017, but his long-time relationship with Dale Klein continues to reverberate throughout Canada ICI to this day.
In the commercial mortgage business, it’s especially vital to have people you trust working at insurance companies, banks, etc. — almost nothing gets done in this industry unilaterally. “I was a great believer that you would do 90% of your business with 10% of the people that you meet. I met with Dale the first time and instantly knew he was part of that 10%,” Victor says. “In all the years that I worked in the mortgage business, it was probably the best decision I ever made.”
When it came to Victor’s dealings with Dale and Canada ICI, their track record of combined success is highly impressive. Even though they’re both such prominent businessmen, it’s still a bit surprising to hear Victor say that the fund was always protected with every deal he ever did with ICI.
The most important thing I can say is in the 30+ years I was involved with Dale and his company, there’s not one single deal where I had to take a provision against the bottom line that I lost money on,
Victor recalls, before saying it one more time for emphasis: “Not one.”
To develop a great business partnership, it’s important to have some common ground on a personal level. It’s hard to do business with someone you don’t feel a personal connection with, but this was never an issue with Victor and Dale. “We liked a lot of the same things away from the working environment, and we both seemed to have a desire to improve ourselves and the companies that we worked for, which meshed very well,” Victor explains, before paying Dale one heck of a compliment: “But I would be a fool to think I had anywhere near the drive and ambition of Dale.”
In Victor’s opinion, one of the biggest reasons for the success of Canada ICI is Dale’s ability to surround himself with trustworthy, hard-working people — both inside and outside the organization. “If you look throughout his organization at the people that are there, they’re all quality people. Dale doesn’t keep them around just because they’re there,” Victor asserts. “They have to produce, and they have to work well in the team. He’s a great team builder.”
Even though he’s retired from Industrial Alliance, Victor still sees plenty of opportunity for his former employer to do business with the Canada ICI team. “What Canada ICI provides is a product that Industrial Alliance is still looking for to this day,” he says. “There’s common ground there. There’s an opportunity for a relationship to continue, and to grow with the new people involved.”