Connect with us

Features

Morley Greene: Trez Capital is Trés Terrific

Morley Greene

By GERRY POSNER “Serendipity” is how Morley Greene describes what has brought him success in life. Perhaps he’s right, but I concluded, after chatting with him and reading articles about him – the most recent one in the Toronto Globe and Mail, that it was more than serendipity that has given Morley the life that he has now at age 81.

The only child of Abe and Sara Greenberg, Morley was raised across the street from St. John’s High School at Machray Avenue and Salter Street. Not surprisingly, he attended St. John’s High School, though he ultimately graduated Grade 12 at West Kildonan Collegiate. Morley admits he was a disinterested student. His tenacity carried him through though and, as he got older, his interest in learning blossomed.

Law was the path Morley Greene chose and it was a part of his life for over 32 years, after graduating from the University of Manitoba law school. His law career began in Winnipeg, then Edmonton and finally, Vancouver. His career took off almost right from the start, and it was not long after that he started his career that he was made a partner at the very prestigious law firm of Buchwald Asper Henteleff.

The future looked promising and soon after he was married, he was the father of three children. In 1976, Morley, just 35 years old, and with a young family, made a bold decision – a decision which changed his life forever. He decided to leave Winnipeg and try to take his tent and talent elsewhere. He credits the late Izzy Asper with paving his way to another high powered law firm in Edmonton. Izzy called his friend, Aaron Shtabsky, and soon Morley was ensconced at Shtabsky and Company. He specialized in tax, mortgages and the real estate industry. Had Morley remained in Edmonton, it would likedly have been all that he needed for the rest of his life in order to be a financial success.

But then another opportunity presented itself to Morley. The Imperial Development Group came calling. This company, led by Donald Gales, Gerald Libling and Gerald Raizen was in the midst of major property acquisitions and development in Winnipeg and elsewhere. Morley was invited to join the company in an executive capacity. It was a major step up for Morley.
In 1979, he and his family moved back to Winnipeg and things went well – until they didn’t. The high interest rates of the 1980s were no doubt a key factor in the eventual dissolution of the Imperial Group. Morley Greene had to start over.

In 1991 he headed further west – this time to Vancouver, where he joined the very well know law firm of Owen Bird. He became licensed to practice law in British Columbia, his third call to the Bar – after Manitoba and Alberta. For six more years Greene was once again a hard working lawyer in a big firm. But then Morley made a second major decision that changed the course of his entire career. In 1997, he gave up law and decided to take on an entirely new challenge in an industry for which he had been advising as legal counsel for a significant part of his legal career.

In 1997 Morley struck out on his own and started a corporation he called Trez Capital (the name came from a variation of the French word “Treize,” which means thirteen). The company began as a mortgage lender. I will not dig deep into all the projects with which Trez Capital has been involved over the years, but there are very many.
Trez Capital has set new standards for the industry over the past 25 years with institutional-grade processes and strict compliance adherence. The history of the company is well recorded in the recent Globe and Mail article featuring Morley and the story of Trez to which I referred earlier.
What is important to acknowledge is this: From nothing (well not quite, as Morley did raise $3 million dollars to start with from private investors), Morley has made Trez the biggest real estate lender in Canada after the banks. Dwell on that statement. The company has funded more than 1600 transactions for a total value of $14 1/2 billion (you read that right), all channeled into different multi-family dwelling, industrial and office projects.
Trez Capital is active all over Canada and the US. The company has offices in Toronto, Montreal, Dallas, Palm Beach, Atlanta, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles and Vancouver. The company has over 170 employees and assets of over $4 billion under its management. Think about it – all that from a Winnipeg kid from the north end.

I would suggest that part of what made Morley and his company so successful is the way he approaches his work and indeed, his relationships with the people around him. Morley interacts well with everyone and demonstrates a genuine interest in them. Moreover, he is not afraid to admit mistakes. He was quite concerned, for instance, that as a result of the Covid pandemic, Trez Capital would face unpredictable problems, so the company made the decision to stop lending.

Morley anticipated defaults coming – and a lot of them. He was wrong – and he admits it. Instead, there were no defaults and, in fact, Trez Capital had a record number of payoffs on its loans. The result of all that is that, throughout the pandemic the company has remained in good shape and it has resumed investing and lending across North America.

Maybe the most telling part of the Trez Capital story is that the company has over 30,000 individual investors and many of those investors (and indeed, many borrowers) have been investing with (and borrowing from) Trez Capital since 1997 – when the company first began. That tells me that Morley knows what being in a relationship-driven business is all about and that he and his team have developed an esteemed – and well-deserved reputation for trustworthiness.
When the pandemic was in full force, Trez Capital, led by Morley Greene, reached out to its investor base, calling them each week to keep them informed as to the current status of the company. Morley and his top brass also made sure that all key employees were informed as to what was transpiring, in accordance with the most rigorous standards of corporate transparency – further evidence of a corporation that places a premium on individual relationships.

At 81, Morley is still very active in Trez Capital, even though he has ascended to a more hands-off role as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. When I spoke to him, he was busy in his Dallas office. He spoke very proudly of his three children: daughter Mara – now Madam Justice Mara Greene of the Ontario Court of Justice (and, in her spare time a hockey player); daughter Sara Greene, a professor at McMaster University in the Faculty of Social Work; and son Jonathan, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Political Studies at Trent University.

As I mentioned at the outset, Morley attributes his success to serendipity. I would suggest otherwise. In my view, Morley’s life work and in particular, his creation and building of Trez Capital is a testament to Morley Greene’s work ethic, tenacity and commitment to valuable relationships – trés outstanding and nothing less.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Features

Popularity of Online Casino Games in Canada

In recent years, the popularity of online casino games in Canada has surged, captivating the attention of a diverse audience seeking thrilling entertainment. With the convenience of accessing these games from the comfort of home, Canadians are exploring the vast world of virtual casinos that offer an extensive array of gaming options.

Diverse Selection of Casino Games:

One of the key factors contributing to the widespread appeal of online casino games in Canada is the vast selection available. There are hundreds of top casino games online, covering every genre imaginable. From classic table games like poker and blackjack to immersive slot machines with captivating themes, Canadian players have a plethora of options to choose from.

The Rise of Online Slots:

Among the various casino games, online slots have witnessed a significant surge in popularity. The ease of gameplay and the potential for substantial payouts make slots a preferred choice for both seasoned players and newcomers. With themes ranging from ancient civilisations to popular movies and TV shows, online slots offer a diverse and engaging experience for players of all preferences.

Convenience and Accessibility:

The accessibility of online casino games is a key driver behind their growing popularity in Canada. Players no longer need to travel to a physical casino to experience the thrill of gambling. Instead, they can enjoy their favourite games with just a few clicks on their computer or mobile device. This convenience has opened up the world of online gambling to a broader audience, attracting both seasoned gamblers and those trying their luck for the first time.

Technology Advancements:

Advancements in technology have played a pivotal role in enhancing the online casino gaming experience. High-quality graphics, realistic sound effects, and seamless gameplay contribute to an immersive environment that mirrors the excitement of traditional brick-and-mortar casinos. Additionally, the integration of live dealer games brings an authentic touch to online gaming, allowing players to interact with real dealers in real-time.

Regulatory Environment:

The regulatory environment in Canada has also contributed to the popularity of online casino games. While each province has its own regulations, the overall legal framework allows for a thriving online gambling industry. This has given rise to reputable online casinos that prioritise player safety and adhere to strict industry standards, ensuring a fair and secure gaming environment.

Social Aspect and Community Engagement:

Online casinos in Canada are not just about individual gameplay; they also provide a platform for social interaction. Many online casinos feature chat rooms and community forums where players can connect, share experiences, and discuss strategies. This sense of community adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the gaming experience, making online casinos a social activity beyond the solitary pursuit of winning.

The popularity of online casino games in Canada is undoubtedly on the rise, driven by a combination of diverse gaming options, convenience, technological advancements, and a favourable regulatory environment. With a wide array of top casino games available at their fingertips, Canadians can indulge in the excitement of gambling from the comfort of their homes. As the online casino industry continues to evolve, it’s clear that virtual gaming is here to stay and will likely continue to captivate audiences across the country.

Continue Reading

Features

Life in Israel four months after October seventh

Orly & Solly Dreman

By ORLY DREMAN

(Special to the JP&N) Feb. 1, 2024

In every news broadcast that we hear that “The IDF spokesman is permitted to announce”… then every person in Israel sits down, holds their breath and waits to hear the names of the soldiers fallen in action that day. This causes deep sadness to every family in Israel. For example, I found out the son of my T.V technician was killed and my handyman’s son was seriously injured. Death in Israel is so personal.

Our synagogue recently mourned twenty seven year old Inbar Heiman who was kidnapped by Hamas from the Nova music nature party on October seventh and was murdered in captivity. She was a gifted young woman filled with love and compassion. She was a creative artist that was supposed to enter her senior year at university this academic year. We had prayed and wished that she would return until her family received the tragic news of her death.

When we made personal medical visits to the Hadassah hospital, we often heard helicopters overhead bringing in wounded soldiers from Gaza. In the surgery department we saw a reserve soldier being released after six weeks in the hospital. His wife and newborn baby were with him. The department had a touching farewell gathering with Israeli flags, music and cakes. This is how every soldier who leaves the hospital is treated. More than fourteen thousand civilians and soldiers were hospitalized since October seventh with most of the injuries being in the hands and legs, burns, head and eye injuries.

We seldom are in the mood to go to a restaurant these days, but if we do, such outings are accompanied by guilt feelings. Is it right to go when our people are suffering?- the hostages are starving. We all wear the metal disc that says “Bring Them Home now- Our hearts are captured in Gaza”. They occupy our thoughts pervasively. Some of the hostages have suffered untreated gunshot wounds and the hygiene conditions are poor, many of them not showering for four months, sitting thirty meters under the ground in dark tunnels, with no electricity and suffering from extreme malnutrition. Some of them have diseases like Celiac, Asthma, Colitis, Diabetes, Fibromialgia, heart diseases and allergies. They are getting no medications and time is running out for them. Twenty five of them have already perished. What sort of civil society will we be if we abandon them?

Whole families are recruited for combat duty in different areas of the country. It might be a brother and a sister fighting in Gaza or a father in Judea and Samaria while another brother is fighting on the Lebanese border. If you ask soldiers who have lost their siblings in combat if they wish to go back to fight after the shiva, they do not hesitate, even though it is so hard on the parents. This demonstrates the dedication of Israeli citizens and their wish to complete the task of exterminating the Hamas, while at the same time knowing their family member did not die in vain. The grief is intergenerational and we are even acquainted with grandparents whose grandchildren are in combat and they are given the opportunity to go to workshops that help them with their anxiety.

In a Knesset Committee it was recently reported That many survivors from the Nova party have taken their own lives. Others continue to experience the trauma of the horrific events. They cannot sleep nor eat. Many were sexually abused and even though they were not murdered they continue to experience the pain- the sights, voices- cries for help and the fear. They are in a sense also fighters who awaken to a new existence everyday and continue to fight for their existence.

At the military cemeteries there is one funeral process after another and the families are asked to leave the site to make room to prepare for the next funeral. Wounded soldiers arrive in ambulances, on hospital beds or wheelchairs in order to eulogize their fallen comrades.

The reservists who return home after months of combat are having troubles adjusting because this war, like the War of Independence, is very meaningful. It is the most justified war our homeland has encountered. Upon their return there is a big downfall in physical and mental energy. A stranger cannot understand this. These soldiers were disconnected from normal civilian routine for a long time and they had difficult and intimate experiences with their combat mates. They have lost friends and did not have time to mourn. They must release the stress they were exposed to. They are back in body but not always in spirit. They also might be recruited again in the near future to the southern or the northern front, the war is not over. Many men who were injured worry about their future fertility and sexual functioning.

They entertain such existential thoughts as would it be better that I am killed in action before I have children and leave no descendants, or losing my life and leaving behind orphans. Dozens of children remain orphaned from both parents. They also have witnessed their family members being murdered and their homes burned down. Years ago, Solly treated and did a follow up on a family where both parents were murdered in a terrorist attack. Even though the children were adopted by loving relatives they suffered from survivor guilt and this expressed itself in such phenomena as dropping out of school, turning into juvenile delinquents and having trouble in intimate relations.

The evacuees from the south and the north are dispersed in hundreds of hotels in the center of the country. Hence, they have no permanent home, have no privacy and many have no work, nothing to do for months on end and experience feelings of powerlessness. Some pupils are not capable of returning to their temporary schools because of anxieties, depression and fear. Some teenagers have turned to drugs and alcohol which increases violence and vandalism. For them school is experienced as a waste of time. Their friends were murdered, some still have relatives in captivity and everything is falling apart. They also experience sleep disruptions and are in no mood to study. For them life is a living hell. Some families are moved from city to city several times. The children do not have friends in the new locations and they feel lonely and express a lack of social support.

In the realm of parenting many mothers even those who were NOT directly exposed to the dramatic events reported that their children cry more (eighty three percent). Others say the children have difficulties sleeping (seventy three percent), have concentration problems (fifty four percent) and many children are developing eating disorders. In sixty percent the anxiety of the children is so high it hurts functioning. For example, they are often afraid to leave the house. Other disturbances were reported such as bed-wetting, insisting on sleeping with their parents and acts of anger and aggression.

We, as Israelis are also concerned with our Jewish brethren who are experiencing thousands of antisemitic incidents, higher than the number of all incidents in the last decade. There are many Jews in the diaspora who are considering emigration to Israel after experiencing antisemitic events such as seeing their synagogue, Hebrew school, kosher butcher and other Jewish businesses being stoned and burned. For them Israel is their safest haven.

On a more optimistic note the Jewish people have prevailed over thousands of years despite terrible events. In spite of the uncertainty not everything is lost. We are united and strong. The soldiers are full of motivation and good values. I firmly believe that if we are patient and persist, the Jewish people and the state of Israel will prevail.

Orly Dreman is a 10th generation Israeli. Her cousin, Ruvi Rivlin, was a former president of Israel. Orly’s father was a diplomat who served both in North America and in Europe.
By profession Orly is an English teacher. She has dealt with children suffering from ADD.
Since childhood, Orly has been involved in voluntary work with the disabled, the challenged, new immigrants, the elderly and others. 

Continue Reading

Features

The Critical Job Roles in Online Business

More companies than ever are embracing remote working. As of 2023, around 16% of businesses have a fully remote working model, with many more adopting a hybrid one. All of this should come as welcome news to anyone looking for a better work-life balance. As well as saying goodbye to grueling commutes, remote employees can embrace lucrative salary packages, generous benefits, and more. Ready to reap the benefits of online work yourself? Below are just a handful of remote working opportunities to consider.

Video Game and Casino Platform Development

Whether it’s creating Canadian online slots for real money casinos or an open-world epic, great games need talented developers. Thankfully, this is one sector where the typical rules of the 9-5 don’t apply. In the US, an experienced game developer can expect to take home around $103,000 annually. For a midweight casino games developer, a starting salary of around $65,000 is fairly respectable.

Software Engineering

If you have a background in software engineering, you’re in luck. Currently, it’s one of the highest-paid online roles around, with an average salary of $108,000. There’s no one size-fits-all remit for a software engineer, but typical roles include designing applications, testing, and creating system upgrades.

UX Design

User experience is becoming increasingly important as companies strive to make their digital products more accessible. Unsurprisingly, there’s a high demand for user experience designers, with many positions now advertised as remote-first roles. You’ll need to have sufficient software and development experience to excel here. What’s more, you’ll need to work closely with clients to meet the needs of the consumer. If you think you could do well in a role like this, expect an annual salary in the region of $97,000.

Web Design

One role you’ll never struggle to find is that of a web designer. It’s a pretty broad field, so expect a lot of disparity when it comes to job remits and starting salaries. At a minimum, a web designer worth their salt should be able to create accessible websites for a wide range of clients. You’ll also need to be familiar with coding languages and testing. Less experienced web designers can expect to command a starting salary of around $43,000. If you’ve been working professionally for more than a few years and have a solid portfolio to back you up, you can easily negotiate twice that amount.

Entry-Level Online Roles

For digital natives, remote working will come as second nature. Don’t have the skills to land a web designer or developer job? Not to worry. There are an increasing number of entry-level remote roles out there.

Customer service roles are readily available, with positions to cater to all experience levels. At the bottom rung of the ladder, you might be tasked with making sales calls or resolving complaints from customers. A customer service agent can comfortably make around $40-50,000 a year. If you operate on a commission basis or can take advantage of a generous bonus scheme, you could easily double this annually.

Is Remote Working Here To Stay?

Even as many businesses encourage workers back to the office, there’s an deniable upward trend in the number of remote and hybrid-only roles on the job market. Video conferencing technology and collaboration tools are making it easier than ever for remote teams to remain connected. Meanwhile, company executives are finding it hard to argue with significantly reduced overheads and increased productivity.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2017 - 2023 Jewish Post & News