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Initiative Campaign

Stephen Smith

Advancing business leadership at Queen’s and across Canada

[Stephen Smith]
Photo credit: Margaret Mulligan for First National Financial Corp

Stephen Smith, BSc ’72, is one of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs in the financial services industry.

He studied electrical engineering at Queen’s and is now Chairman, President and Co-Founder, First National Financial Corporation. Although his business life keeps him busy, he is still dedicated to his alma mater and contributes his time, energy and financial support to Queen’s.

A member of the Initiative Campaign cabinet, Mr. Smith believes that business has a social responsibility. He began his philanthropic relationship with Queen’s in 1997, when he established a financial award to support students in Electrical Engineering and Economics. Through the creation of the Stephen J.R. Smith Student Bursary promoting leadership, creativity and involvement, he has helped nearly 250 students to date. The bursary enables students to concentrate on their studies by easing their financial burdens.

He established the Stephen J.R. Smith Chair in Economic Policy to invest in the people of Queen’s who will make a difference influencing future Canadian economic policy.

In 2015 Mr. Smith invested $50-million in business education at Queen’s. His gift ensures that the Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business has the resources to equip the leaders of tomorrow with the skills to sustain Canada’s business, economic, and social development.

Mr. Smith is one of the most successful individual entrepreneurs in Canada’s mortgage market and also plays a wide-ranging leadership role in the community. In addition to his role at First National, he is also Chairman and co-owner of the Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company as well as a director of The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company and The Empire Life Insurance Company. He is also Vice Chair of Metrolinx Inc. (GO Transit) and a member of the Board of the C.D. Howe Institute.