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Scott Tannas

Jul 1, 2001

by Jennifer Isaac

Scott Tannas – President and CEO, Hi-Alta Capital Inc.

Scott Tannas is shaking up financial services in rural Alberta. His High River-based insurance brokerage firm, Hi-Alta Capital Inc, has recently reached out to offer financial products and services to clients, recognizing that the withdrawal of banks from smaller centres created a market opportunity.

Tannas’ intuition proved correct, with Hi-Alta placing No. 24 on the PROFIT 100 list of Canada’s fastest growing companies.

Tannas credits his firm’s success to its reputation and long-term relationships. His aggressive expansion strategy has seen Hi-Alta acquire 35 rural companies, giving it a presence in Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan.

Tannas is on the board for Jennings Capital Inc. and Virgin Energy Inc. He is also the founder and chairman of the Western Communities Foundation.

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Yearbook: Latter-day Tom Sawyer. I was the organizer but never the worker. As president of the student’s union, I’d say, “We should do this.” I”d get things moving.

Why do you believe there is an opportunity to serve the financial needs of rural Albertans? The big banks are either closing their branches or they”re turning them into shells. We see an opportunity to be in the small towns, with a relationship style that encourages loyalty and trust. That’s where we are. To live in a small town is not to be anonymous. You choose to live your life with a whole bunch of people. At the end of the day, it’s a choice. I cherish that interaction.

Major influence: In terms of shaping who I am, the people of High River, the gentlemen ranchers. I was born and raised here. Being plugged into the community taught me lessons from an early age. Going to a small-town wedding or a funeral is a huge experience.

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