President and CEO
DOMINION LENDING CENTRES
For Gary Mauris, the head of Canada’s largest mortgage network, 2016 was an exceptional year: DLC brought Mortgage Architects, Capital Partners and Marlborough Sterling into the fold, and launched an insurance brokerage, InsureLine. Meanwhile, Mauris himself appeared on Face the Nation with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, was awarded the 2016 Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce Business Leader of the Year Award and was inducted into the Mortgage Hall of Fame. “Honestly, I don’t know how I’m gonna top it,” he says.
For Mauris, this industry recognition comes after 11 years of defining his place in the mortgage world and finding himself and his company in the crossfire of competitors and the broader industry time and time again. “To finally see that changing and getting the confidence and have people really start to embrace and endorse you – it’s quite flattering, actually,” Mauris says. “It’s kind of surreal. You kind of pinch yourself and just think, ‘Hey, look what we built.’ And the good news is, we’re at the bottom rung of the ladder; we’re just starting. There’s so much more for us to do. We’ve got great support in the industry now, our voice is being heard, and that’s incredibly encouraging.”
Apart from his obvious pride in DLC, Mauris is also extremely proud of his charity work with the I Am Someone Campaign to End Bullying, as well as Bikes for Kids, which in 2016 facilitated the gift of new bicycles for more than 2,000 kids on Christmas morning. “Making a difference and using your influence is, in my opinion, incumbent on being successful,” Mauris says. “It’s really cool being number one; it’s cool to do what we’ve done in the Canadian mortgage space, but it’s way cooler to make a difference in the lives of others.”
The only cloud that sits over his year is the fact that the Canadian government failed to address the house of cards that is unsecured, high-interest debt – something Mauris confronted Prime Minister Trudeau about directly. But when it comes to the frenzy that the tightened mortgage regulations brought in 2016, he’s not one for negative sentiment. After all, he says, the difference between someone who’s ordinary and somebody who’s extraordinary is knowing that they’re always going to be in a climate of change. Given that context, he only worries about what he can control and what’s within his immediate power.
“Our space has dramatically changed and looks significantly different now than it did 10 years ago, and it’s going to look significantly different in the next 10 years,” Mauris says. “I promise you that we will never sit on our laurels. We are going to continue to innovate and create, look for opportunities, and aggressively pursue them. Period. It doesn’t matter what anvil they throw us.”
When it comes the mortgage landscape in 2017, Mauris describes himself as “cautiously optimistic,” but is quick to point out that the Canadian mortgage industry is made of resilient individuals who have a knack for adapting.
“We are aggressively running into the eye of the storm to find opportunity and come out on the other side even stronger,” he says. “If there is a good business that we think makes sense and that is a nice fit and that is core to our existing businesses, then we’re buyers. Verico, if you’re selling, call me.”