It all began with humble Kraft dinner

It all began with humble Kraft dinner

It all began with humble Kraft dinner


MortgageBrokerNews is continuing its series of features on the finalists for Broker of the Year in both categories -- the under 25 employees and the 25 and over. This year’s group is the most diverse, spanning the country. Winners in both categories will be named at the upcoming Canadian Mortgage Awards on May 10 at the Liberty Grand in Toronto.

Jonathan Askew, The Mortgage Store, Verico Money Business Inc., London, Ont.

Finalist in the Mortgage Broker of the Year (Fewer than 25 Employees) category

His humble beginnings with Kraft dinner are now only fond memories for Jonathan Askew who has today joined the ranks of some of the most respected brokers in Canada.

“I started in the industry early in 1991, coming from a background of financial planning and insurance,” says Askew. “It was difficult because in those days rates were 13.75 per cent on a 25 year amortization, and compensation was only 50 bps on a 5-year going down to 10 bps on a one-year term. No volume bonus and the average mortgage size was $102,000. We ate a lot of Kraft Dinner in those days.”

The intervening years were spent building up a customer base, resulting in $30 million in mortgage deals written in 2012.

“That has paid off tremendously because we have a very loyal following,” he says.

A dedicated family man, everything Askew does is for his wife and children.

“I know everyone says that, but what keeps me going is my family,” Askew says, “Truly everything I do, I do for my wife Pamela Bice and my children Bronwyn, Brittany and Devin.

“My key to success is my wife. She is the most positive person I know and she truly believes in projecting a positive attitude which is infectious.”

Passing along his knowledge to newcomers in the channel is a source of pride for Askew, watching mortgage novices grow and mature into seasoned, successful brokers.

“I have trained a lot of agents over the years and take great pleasure in not only seeing their development over time as professionals, but watching the change in their financial status,” he says. “The thing that I enjoy most is that I do not feel like I am going to a job in the mornings. It is not work for me; I truly enjoy what I do. The majority of people never find their true calling in life and I feel very blessed to have found mine.”

Askew personally closed 136 mortgages last year, but remembers the standout deals with personal pride.

“A client came to me who had a 486 beacon and two months later purchased a $420,000 home with a 735 beacon. That is what brokering is all about.”

Although Askew is appreciative of the honour of being nominated as a finalist at the CMAs, he cherishes the gifts and letters of thanks past clients have bestowed upon him.

“I had one client bring me a Persian rug,” he says. “the client was a PhD student from Iran and drove a Checker Limousine. I also received a special bottle of vodka from Poland from one of my Polish clients, and a bottle of single malt Glenrothes direct from Scotland, and countless letters of thanks.”

Those are the awards that I am thankful for every day.”

For a full list of finalists and to reserve your place at the industry’s biggest night visit

  • Jim Straughan 2014-09-25 11:09:10 AM
    I have known Jonathan for a long time .He is definitely a hard worker who puts his clients first.

    Jim Straughan
    Broker of Record Aros Realty Ltd
    519 657 8899
    Post a reply