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“From Combat Soldier to Financial Advisor – The Karine Orser Story”

Before entering civilian life, Karine (Tourigny) Orser served in the military (she was deployed in Bosnia). After completing her military basic engagement contract Karine entered the financial services industry. She has served as an Advisor and in a leadership role for the last 16+ years.

The benefits of her military training are evident in how Karine approaches her role as an Estate Planning/Insurance Advisor at Raymond James:

1. Develop a high level of competency in your specialty - after 16 years in the business there isn’t much Karine hasn’t experienced.

2. Know your clients and look out for their welfare. In other words, know what your clients are trying to accomplish and why.

3. Lead by example. When your personal standards and ethics are high, you inspire trust in others. Trust is very important in financial services because clients share so much personal and financial information.

4. Communicate clearly and concisely. Informed clients always understand what is proposed and why.

5. Take responsibility for your actions. If you make a mistake, correct it immediately. This is an important part of a “client-first” mindset.

When she retired from military service, Karine took a job as an assistant to three Financial Advisors. “I quickly learned that I was really bad at filing, but exceptionally good with people. One of my Advisor bosses suggested I get licensed. I took his advice and the following year, I was the Recruit of the Year!”

“It’s all about expectations,” Karine says. “Being employed full-time in this industry I have run into just about every kind of insurance problem. I wouldn’t be as effective without my assistant, Patrick Nurse, my ‘paperwork whisperer.’ Patrick stays on top of the myriad of details and manages the office. The result – applications get approved by underwriting quickly and the office runs smoothly. Patrick manages all the information, underwriting, and every detail of the office,” Karine adds.

“For example, It only takes five minutes to make an address or beneficiary changes for a client. Imagine the situation where the ex-wife rather than the current wife will receive the death benefit. Because we stay on top of these types of details, this scenario would likely not happen to us, because every client receives some form of communication every year and we would recognize any problems or roadblocks quickly,” Karine says.

Philosophy & Approach

“I love being in a trusted Advisor role. A lot of what we do is have personal conversations with people at their kitchen tables.” Karine works with both hard and soft facts. A client’s age, income and marital status are examples of the hard facts. The soft facts are finding out what the client wants to do with their life, identifying what he or she wants to protect, and assessing if the client can afford to buy something, like that beautiful sports car they’ve had their eye on.”

“Our biggest asset is our ability to earn income. If we can’t work and make the payments, the sports car goes back to the dealer. I’ve found there is usually something going on that is making the client think about insurance. A big part of my job is helping them understand their financial needs and available options; and then, helping them make informed decisions and plans for their financial success.”

People are usually gathering assets in the last 10-15 years of their work life. “Most practitioners focus on selling life insurance. We’re no longer dying prematurely. In fact, it is much more likely that we will get sick or become disabled. We talk about disability and critical illness insurance at every one of our meetings. If you can’t work because you are sick or disabled, do you still expect your paycheck to come in?”

“I see insurance as an important part of the client’s overall investment portfolio. Yes, protect the risk, but don’t spend all your money doing so. Figure out how to affordably protect the risk and use the overage to keep investing,” she adds.

“I want to know that everything that has my name attached to it, will be solid 25+ years from now. I’m in my early 40’s, love what I do, and plan to be in the insurance business for at least the next 20+ years. It is important to both Patrick and I that our work stands the test of time.”

Client Feedback

One Advisor says, “Your smartness and creative solutions help put people's minds at ease. You explain things in such an interesting way, and when you tell a story (that) creates a picture, and the clients can see how they fit in that picture.”

Another satisfied client described working with Karine like, “Talking to someone at the ‘Mayo Clinic of Insurance’ where there is a proper diagnosis before taking the scalpel out.” This explains why Karine’s colleagues, many of whom hold the same designations, often refer clients to her.

Up Close & Personal

Karine left home at 18 and purchased her first house when she was 22. She believes in saving, investing, and financial literacy. “I used to have investment and insurance licenses but always got a lot of referrals for insurance. In an office of 18 investment specialists, there is only one insurance specialist and that’s me,” she says with a smile.

Karine often hosts public seminars on the ins and outs of bank insurance, disability insurance, and the only critical illness product in Canada designed by a doctor. If you are interested in attending an upcoming seminar, please email her directly at

Karine is a do-er. When she was on maternity leave, she started a mom’s group on Facebook - by the end of year there were 300 moms in the group. While she was in the military, her section helped rebuild a school in Bosnia. “It is gratifying to know students didn’t need to wear jackets in class anymore, and kids can go to the bathroom in a warm place.”

She is married to Jeremy, a Financial Advisor. The couple has two healthy, active, nature-loving, and sports-oriented sons - Basil (6) and Hugo (4). “I don’t know how to parent indoors. Our 73-lb. black dog, Dani, also loves to join the whole family on walks in the off-leash ravine near our house.”

As a last word Karine says, “General Rick Hillier once said,’ Remember it’s about people, and you can’t go wrong." People are at the heart of everything I do. My three biggest competitors are illness, injury and death. It is my job to get to my clients before my competitors do.”

Karine Orser is an Estate Planning Advisor with Raymond James Ltd. The views of the author do not necessarily reflect those of Raymond James. This article is for information only. Raymond James Ltd. member of Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Insurance offered through Raymond James Financial Planning Ltd., not a member-Canadian Investor Protection Fund.

Suzen Fromstein is the author of Suits and Ladders, Ten Proven Ways to Keep Your Job Safe - with a few jokes thrown in. Suits and Ladders was an Amazon Best Selling Book in the Career Guides Category

Karine Orser, CHS

Estate Planning Advisor

Raymond James Financial Planning Ltd.

10060 Jasper Avenue

Suite 2300 – Scotia Place Tower 1,

Edmonton, AB T5J 3R8

780 414-2512

Mobile: 780 224-6827


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