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Stephen Smith
Executive Chairman of the Board, First National Financial LLP


Stephen Smith is the Executive Chairman of the Board at First National Financial LLP.

Throughout his career, he has been an innovator in the development and utilization of various securitization techniques to finance mortgage assets and a leader in the development and application of information technology in the financial services industry. Through SFC, he has significant equity investments in a range of financial entities: First National Financial Corporation, Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance, Home Trust, Fairstone Bank of Canada, and Peloton Capital Management.

Mr. Smith co-founded First National Financial Corporation in 1988, serving as CEO until 2022 at which time he was appointed Executive Chairman. He served as Chair of Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company from 2010-2023. He is the Chairman of Peloton Capital Management, a mid-market North American private equity firm, Glass, Lewis & Co., a leading global proxy advisory firm and Fairstone Bank of Canada, a 240 branch bank focused on consumer lending.

Mr. Smith is Chair of Historica Canada, the creator of the Heritage Minutes and publisher of The Canadian Encyclopedia.  He is the member of the Boards of the Rideau Hall Foundation, Canada Infrastructure Bank and the C.D. Howe Institute and is a Honourary Governor of the Royal Ontario Museum.

In 2015, Queen’s University announced the naming of The Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in honour of Mr. Smith and his then historic $50-million donation to the school. In 2019, Mr. Smith was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2023, Mr. Smith pledged $100-million to the Queen’s faculty of engineering, now named Smith Engineering, the largest gift ever made to an engineering faculty in Canada.

Mr. Smith holds a B.Sc (Hons.) in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University and a M.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics. In 2017, Queen’s University awarded him an honourary LL.D.