President's Message

Greg Yuel

Greg Yuel

PIC Investment Group Inc is a family office. We own Operating Companies and place equity investments. We provide financial services, HR support, M&A search, identification & closing expertise, payroll & benefits, Board governance & strategic planning for our companies. We are grateful to serve our companies each and every day.

Our biggest companies maintained the positive momentum they went into the year anticipating, while the smallest learned how tough business can be. The year provided great examples of the evolutionary phases of business: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing. ClearTech and Caron performed particularly well.

At PIC we brought closure to issues that had been hanging over us for years; in CAM (division of Kreos), Panther, and with a minority investment – Titanstar. Those long tough battles took negative energy that can never be replaced. We also spent incredible amounts of time and Expense on three opportunities that just did not result in anything. I also enjoy great satisfaction with the funding announcements for the Gordie Howe Sport Complex and then the opening of the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital, efforts that I’ve spent the past 11 years helping come to fruition.

Long Lake Insurance (LLI), Adventure Destinations Inc (ADI), and Kreos went back to ‘Forming’ stage as they underwent reorganization for various reasons. The Long Lake merger with Strasbourg Agencies delivered a wonderful new managing partner – Scott Frizzell – to lead the entire team for PIC and Athabasca Basin Development (ABD). The LLI experience perfectly exemplifies everything I’ve thought possible in PIC Group growth. We purchased Long Lake Insurance with a culturally aligned partner (ABD) with similar long-term growth expectations and then added another partner with the same view and eagerly intent on building a team culture focused on serving. This is a great company. Please contact LLI for all your insurance and vehicle registration needs.

At the same time Kreos started the year with a transformative acquisition more than doubling their size in staff and revenue. Then, Kreos got sideswiped by their new supplier at the end of the year. They will spend this year continuing their ‘Forming’.

A perfect example of the responsibilities taken by PIC Group Portfolio Managers – which include Laurie Dmytryshyn, Craig Bell, Terris Chorney, Hugh MacGowan, and myself – took place this year. ADI required help and providing that assistance revealed the magnitude of the problems under the surface. From initial efforts in January to the end of the fiscal year ADI was completely restructured thanks to the efforts of three of the Portfolio Managers, plus Eric Verity and three other interim managers for Thompson’s Resort. Vison, Mission and Goals were established along with rebranding and a new strategic plan now ready for final agreement by the new team at ADI.

Round Table Management and Panther spent the year ‘Norming’ as they worked through an entire year of strategic planning culminating in the approval of their mandate to start fiscal 2020.

CanGas spent the year going from Forming to Storming. Their growth was phenomenal. Now it’s time to tighten up and streamline our business operations, our processes and our oversight. After establishment the previous year we went crazy in a bunch of directions and it was chaotic and fun, and we served our customers and won the day more often than not. CanGas offers our customers a community-oriented option with service providers at local branches who understand local issues. CanGas plugs into and shares something with every one of its sister companies. Our energetic and dynamic leader – Darren Tocher, along with founder Cliff Hauer and the rest of the Board will help CanGas achieve a ‘Normal’ phase of operation in 2020.

We lost Paceline. Business is hard, like times before where we tried, failed, then tried again and admit we cant make it work. It’s sad, embarrassing and not fun.

We have a lot going on and we will be gathering ourselves to make certain we understand what we are doing while we fully unlock the potential of all the initiatives we have been working on. Now is the time to lean-in and help make everything work. I want us to look smart in ten years from now. Our people take care of our customers and help them find the best right answer. We consider our suppliers as partners and we take care of them.

The PIC office serves to connect the dots and be the anti-Red Tape committee. I want to help people who enjoy autonomy and follow entrepreneurial instincts to grow their business and themselves. That is what makes it fun and thrilling, especially when it’s hard. If you are reading this, it is likely because you were an integral part of the success, we enjoyed this year, and I thank you.