“Golf is my passion,” Glen proudly claims, “and I still try to play once a week when weather permits.” In fact, he started playing golf at age 12 and wound up on the professional tour for a couple of years as a young man. “I managed to get in a couple of good challenges with pros (and fellow countrymen) Retief Goosen and Ernie Els. “Excelling in golf takes a lot of effort and practice, and you need to be consumed—like any other job,” says Glen. “However, it was a tough time in South Africa to be a pro golfer,” he recalls, “and I think I became professional way too young. Still, it was a great experience and I got to mix with a great bunch of people.”
From South African to Canada
Glen—a Registered Financial Planner and a Managing Director of Farber’s wealth management practice—moved his family from South Africa to Saskatoon in 2017. While navigating a different culture, climate, and landscape was a challenge, the Nortjes knew what to expect. “We had a good feeling about it, and we knew if we could manage the winters, it could work,” Glen reasoned. His kids were teens and tweens at the time, and everyone seems to have adjusted well. “We were fortunate to get here and start our journey,” Glen concludes.
Community and connection
Glen sees family and community as the springboard to making a positive difference in the world, with church playing an important role. “I like to stay connected and feel that I am doing the sorts of the things that are important to others.” He sees the “curse of COVID” as being a blessing in some respects, as it’s fostered more family time together and provided opportunities to help out others in need. It’s a glass half-full look on life, and Glen tries to bring that attitude to all aspects of his life.
The value of mentors
Glen is a big proponent of self development, and that extends to reading, listening and seeking the counsel of others. For books, he prefers non-fiction with content that brings improvement to his life. His current read is Winning the War in the Mind, by Craig Groeschel. He’s also a fan of podcasts that feature knowledgeable leaders.
Glen has taken his self development one step further by personally engaging a few mentors whose leadership style he admires—both from a business and spiritual perspective. “There will always be somebody who knows something more,” he advises.
Flicks and food
On the lighter side, Glen loves a good action movie. Taken, with Liam Neeson, comes to mind, as do the Equalizer films with Denzel Washington. “It has to be fast-paced and hectic—don’t give me the deep dramas or cartoons.” On the food front, Glen looks to his wife for her “mind-blowing” Irish lamb stew, oxtail and crumbed schnitzel or steak. “I’m a great taste tester and I can burn meat on the BBQ,” he claims, “but for the finer stuff, she’s in charge.” He’s also a big fan of risotto and Indian food, especially curries.
Farber’s caring culture
What attracted Glen to Farber was the effort he saw being put into culture and values around the human being. He sees it as a caring culture where there is a genuine interest in the employees. “The world has become super transactional, and here at Farber we’ve done an amazing job of being empathetic and reaching out to clients and colleagues on a human level before anything else.”
Although he hasn’t had the chance to hit the links with his new Farber colleagues, or meet most of them in person for that matter, Glen has been enjoying his time at the firm and credits the people and culture to his warm welcome.
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