Back in 2001 LCTaylor’s Managing Partner Jillian Taylor-Mancusi interned in the Maritimes with the Licensed Insolvency Trustee firm, Allan Marshall & Associates. In this interview, Allan Marshall’s Managing Partner, Scott Marshall asks Jillian about the time she spent there and how it shaped her career.
Scott: When did you know you would like to pursue a career as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee?
Jillian: After I had worked in the insolvency field for a while, I started to see what a huge difference we were making in people’s lives. I knew then that I wanted to be a Trustee.
Scott: How did your experience at Allan Marshall & Associate’s firm broaden your understanding of the clientele the LITs serve?
Jillian: What I learned is that people with debt are similar everywhere. They are stressed out, feeling hopeless and needing a hand up to get back on track. It doesn’t matter if they are farmers, fishermen, business owners or just consumers who are in over their heads. They all need our help.
Scott: What does your work MEAN to you?
Jillian: I love the fact that people who come into our office feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders, worried about keeping a roof over their family’s heads, can leave knowing that there is a brighter future ahead. We can turn their focus from despair to looking forward with hope and confidence.
Scott: What steps did you have to take to become a Licensed Insolvency Trustee?
Jillian: After getting my university degree, I completed the LIT articling program. I worked in the field gaining experience with a wide range of situations and clients. I had been in the insolvency field for 12 years when I received my license.
Scott: What do you recall from the time you interned with Allan Marshall and Associates?
Jillian: I remember a friendly office, and a busy time looking at their systems, etc. Being in Atlantic Canada again (I’d been in Nova Scotia while I was in the military), was a real treat. It is a unique culture that was fun to visit again.
Scott: How did your internship come about?
Jillian: Our fathers, who were both LIT’s, knew each other. They got chatting about their kids, who were in the articling program, and decided it would be a great idea to do an exchange. We each spent one week in the other’s office. I think it gave both of us a slightly different perspective.
Scott: How has your position changed since that internship?
Jillian: I’m now the Managing Partner of LCTaylor.
Scott: What advice would you share with your younger self just starting out?
Jillian: What I tell anyone in our office who is currently pursuing their licenses, is: Get as much experience as you can in as many different situations as possible, and remember that your integrity is your best and most enduring asset.
Jillian: Provincial legislation varies from province to province, so things like exemptions are different. However, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Canada is the same throughout the country, so the basis on which we operate is the same. Courts will also treat things differently in different jurisdictions.
Scott: Have you been seeing any economic trends in Winnipeg?
Jillian: It’s difficult to say much about economic trends when the entire economy is in complete turmoil. Everyone has been affected by the Covid 19 shutdowns. Nothing about our economy is the same as it was a year ago, or is likely to be, any time soon. I would say that many people who, prior to Covid, were living close to the line, perhaps within $200 of their budget, have now had a real bite taken out of their incomes, with reduced hours or lost employment.
The Covid relief programs have allowed many people to hang on, hoping for a change in the near future. We are now past the “near future” for most of those people. There is now an increasing expectation that people are going to need statutory solutions (like the ones provided by LIT’s) to get back on their feet. How fast that happens will vary, depending on how much of the local economy has been shut down, and what businesses are able to recover.
Scott: How has the pandemic affected insolvencies in Manitoba?
Jillian: At the moment, insolvencies in Manitoba are down. That’s largely due to the assistance that people are receiving and to the fact that many creditors have not been aggressively collecting. We are starting to see a change in that now, though, with banks beginning to lean on small businesses. I expect that trend to continue.
The reality is that small businesses, and their employees, are in for a very tough time financially. Manitoba is now completely shut down again, for the second time. Many small businesses will not survive this, and the jobs their employees had won’t be there when this ends. I’m afraid we will see unemployment levels that we haven’t seen in years. If you are a small business person, with everything you have tied up in that business, the loss of your business is catastrophic.
LCTaylor has been providing debt help to Manitobans for the past 40 years. They are committed to do their best for those who will be facing insolvency. Canadians have the reputation of being resilient and will undoubtedly make it through these difficult economic times.