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Genus Expands Scholarship Program

Genus Expands Scholarship Program

$20,000 Support for Aboriginal Students

Genus has introduced a $20,000 scholarship program for students from the Alberta Metis Settlements and Carcross-Tagish First Nation in the Yukon. Representatives of the leadership in the two communities will select students to be awarded the scholarships based on a combination of need, merit, and aptitude.

Investing in People, in Education, in the Community

Genus has a distinguished reputation as a strong and dedicated partner in providing investment solutions and support to Aboriginal communities. The firm currently manages assets for the Metis Settlements General Council, Carcross-Tagish First Nation in the Yukon, and the Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve, which includes several First Nations communities, on Vancouver Island.

As part of its community partnership program, Genus provides educational scholarships in all of the Aboriginal communities it serves.

“In addition to supporting community initiatives and activities, Genus is dedicated to expanding educational opportunities for students,” said CEO and Chief Investment Officer, Wayne Wachell (pictured right). “The Genus Aboriginal Achievement Scholarships recognize the accomplishments of high school seniors who have demonstrated academic achievement and wish to further their studies at a post-secondary institution. Our goal, in conjunction with Aboriginal leaders and representatives, is to help give them a head start,” he added.

Wachell, a founding partner of Genus, has a deep understanding of the value of mentoring and sharing. He has served on National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation committees regarding issues facing Aboriginal youth, and for more than 15 years has mentored University of British Columbia Commerce students focusing on a career in investment management. He currently serves on the board of the Bill Reid Foundation and was a director of the National Aboriginal Tourism Association.

Starting in 2010, Genus is offering 10 one-off scholarships of $1,000 each. Eight of the scholarships are earmarked for the Metis Settlements of Buffalo Lake, East Prairie, Elizabeth, Fishing Lake, Gift Lake, Kikino, Paddle Prairie and Peavine. The remaining two scholarships will be awarded to graduating students in the Carcross community in the Yukon.

The scholarships can be used to cover the cost of tuition and books as well as living expenses for graduation seniors of high schools who intend furthering their studies at a recognized university or post-secondary institution.

In addition to the scholarships, Genus has announced a matching program for students who attend an educational institution that has engaged Genus as a money manager. In these cases, Genus will contribute an additional $1,000 to the student for a total of $2,000 in scholarship assistance. The names of qualifying post-secondary institutions will be made available to scholarship recipients.

“Helping to reduce financial barriers and encouraging students to attend post-secondary institutions is an ongoing priority for Genus,” says Wachell. ““The scholarships are an investment in people, in education, in the community – they can make a big difference, not only in terms of educating our youth, but as an investment in the future economic growth of the communities we serve.”

Genus boasts a decade-long history of successfully managing assets for Aboriginal communities and organizations. The firm’s portfolio managers and investment professionals are highly experienced at servicing the needs of Aboriginal communities who have decided to use Trusts to protect their Land Claim Settlements or Resource Revenues.

“We have a deep understanding their unique investment needs and consider this one of our areas of expertise,” says Christy McLeod, a partner and portfolio manager at the firm responsible for advising Aboriginal clients.

“We recognize the need to balance today’s economic and social needs with that of future generations. Volatile investment markets and a historically low interest rate environment have imposed increased investment challenges for Trustees and Community leadership alike,” says McLeod.

“We help Aboriginal leaders understand the various risks; including management strategies like the development of appropriate spending policies; cash flow management; portfolio structure and asset mix considerations.

“All these play an important role in developing an appropriate risk management strategy that will help stand the test of time and increase the probability of success in meeting community objectives,” says McLeod.