- KATE BAGGOTT
ASIF A. KASIM, CEO & PRINCIPAL BROKER, INTEGRITY TREE SOLUTIONS, "Growth Starts With the Ri
ASIF A. KASIM, CEO & PRINCIPAL BROKER
Asif Kasim has been extremely busy! The founder and Principal Broker of Integrity Mortgage Solutions has recently branched out to become the CEO of Integrity Tree Solutions, a newly launched organization with multiple divisions that provide financial and advisory services to consumers and business owners. To truly succeed, you need to grow beyond the “one size fits all” mentality and learn to understand and respond appropriately to the preferences of your customer. Each client is a unique individual with varying needs and expectations, so much so, there is no such thing as a “typical” customer.
“Is the particular client in a better situation now than they were when they walked in the door? That’s the question my team and I are constantly asking ourselves,” says Asif. “Being able to answer yes is the only indicator of success that’s truly important.”
The Integrity Tree team is 22 members-strong and rapidly growing, with each striving to achieve the same goal: doing what is best for their clients and preparing them for a better financial future. The parent company was launched in September this year, with the focus on: mortgages, accounting and business services, and private lending. Eventually the goal is to add on insurance and legal services as well. It was a move made in response to the needs expressed by existing customers and business partners.
“Clients requested this,” Asif explains. “They were looking for more services and more options beyond just mortgages. Accounting in particular, has always been a need that clients have brought to my attention. Many of them are at a point in their own business creation or growth where they don’t have an accountant on staff, but need help on a regular basis. Other clients needed more advice about business processes and formation because they have entrepreneurial goals, but just did not know how to start a business, or how to bring in clientele. Creating an accounting and advisory division to offer them the same level of service that we did when they came to us for a mortgage just made sense.”
To go from heading up one company with a single core service, to overseeing multiple divisions is a career evolution that would give some entrepreneurs reason to pause. Asif took this change in stride.
“Integrity Tree Solutions is not an individual accomplishment. Its success is a result of everyone’s efforts on the team.” He says. “Our achievements are a culmination of providing an environment that nurtures development and encourages growth. We work together on a long-term vision of where they want to go and come up with a plan of how to get there. Like all families, we are not perfect, but at the end of the day, we are still a family and we root for each other and celebrate each other’s successes.”
The catalyst to create that culture and environment came out of Asif’s own experience working in the banking industry for 15 years.
“When I worked at the bank, we were most successful when we had a close-knit culture where everyone worked together,” Asif remembers. “Everyone did well because we understood we were all in it together and we relied on each other for support and advice. That was the number one factor that influenced me prior to becoming a manager and has always been a major part of my philosophy.”
Within the bank though, there are limitations. Clients do not always fit banking guidelines and banks cannot always offer all of the services that clients require.
“As a banker, in both sales and management, we frequently came across clients who had different lending needs which banks couldn’t provide. In addition, there were services such as accounting that clients had requested that banks do not offer. Just prior to leaving the bank, the writing was on the wall. There was going to be an increased need for alternative lending solutions.”
This knowledge was the seed that would eventually grow into Integrity Tree Solutions with its multiple service divisions.
Creating a role for himself that enabled him to use all of his skills allowed Asif to connect with everyone from every background. That quality sustains all of his business practices and their growth, regardless of the services required.
“Integrity is about honest communication. You have to be able to evaluate and educate for long term success,” Asif says. “Doing business is not about completing a transaction just for the sake of getting it done, it’s about the relationship you have with people that are based in honesty and real care. That is often easier said than done. There are times when I have had to have difficult conversations with clients who have to make serious lifestyle changes in order to reach their financial goals.”
If there is one thing the multiple divisions that make up Integrity Tree Solutions have in common, it is the dedication to provide a high-level of service to each client over the long term. Asif and his Integrity “Family” are dedicated to doing what’s right for their clients and doing it with excellence.
Kate Baggott's technology and business journalism has appeared in the Technology Review at MIT, the Globe and Mail, Canada Computes, the Vancouver Sun, and on the Business to Business News Network.
Integrity Tree Solutions Inc. 7787 Yonge St Suite 201,
Thornhill, ON. L3T 7L2
ASIF A. KASIM