Charlie Spiring, Wellington West, wins top category spot in Ernst & Young
2009 Entrepreneur of the Year(R) Awards Prairies region

Spiring named one of Canada's outstanding entrepreneurs

WINNIPEG, Oct. 19 /CNW/ - Founder and CEO of Wellington West, a Winnipeg-based, independent full-service wealth management firm, Charlie Spiring, won the top honour in the professional/financial services category of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 Awards for the Prairies region.

"I am ecstatic," says Spiring, "I'm honoured to receive this award. I also share this with all of the amazing people who have worked with me over the past 16 years to build Wellington West. Almost all of our 600 employees are owners, and this creates an inspiring spirit of entrepreneurship and innovative thinking."

Charlie was announced as a finalist for the award in a press release issued by Ernst & Young in July 2009. http://www.ey.com/CA/en/Newsroom/News-releases/2009-EOY-finalists-Prairies. According to the release, this year's awards focused on those entrepreneurs who were able to continue to grow their businesses, create jobs and bolster their communities despite a turbulent economy. Entrepreneurship is often the spark that builds opportunities which can help to move the economy forward.

The award winners were announced at a gala dinner in Calgary, Alberta on October 15, 2009. The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards recognize the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world. The Canadian program is in its 16th year of honouring the country's most impressive entrepreneurs from all areas of business.

"We are absolutely thrilled that Charlie has been honoured. He is so deserving of this recognition and I know all of us at Wellington West are so proud to work alongside him," says Kish Kapoor, President, Wellington West Holdings Inc. "He truly embodies the spirit of ownership and entrepreneurship, and has built these principles into the company. Everyone who works with us is empowered to contribute to their own success, as well as to the firm."

Charlie Spiring founded Wellington West in 1993, and since then has built one of the leading independent wealth management firms in the country. Today, the firm has expanded to include financial planning, asset management and capital markets divisions, in addition to full-service brokerage.

About Wellington West

The Wellington West group of companies provides full-service brokerage, financial planning, asset management and capital markets services. In the 16 years since its inception, Wellington West has become one of the fastest-growing independent full-service wealth management firms in Canada with approximately $8 billion in assets under administration. The majority of the shares are owned by employees. In 2008, National Bank Financial Group acquired a minority interest in the company.

Among its many corporate achievements, Wellington West has ranked among the Top 10 of the 50 Best Employers in Canada for the past four years and has re-qualified as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies for the past three years. In addition, for six consecutive years Wellington West has ranked in the Top 3 firms in the country in the Investment Executive Brokerage Report Card survey. For further information visit www.wellingtonwest.com.

About the awards program

The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards honour the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world. This year, the Canadian program is proudly celebrating 16 years of honouring Canada's outstanding entrepreneurs from all areas of business. For more information on the program, please visit ey.com/ca/eoy.

Nominees are reviewed by an independent judging panel, which is composed of several distinguished business leaders and previous award recipients. The members of the Prairies region panel for 2009 were Susan Gallacher, President and CEO, DirectCash Bank and 2005 Entrepreneur Of The Year winner; Barb Gamey, President and CEO, Payworks Inc. and 2007 finalist; Elson McDougald, Chairman and CEO, CanElson Drilling Inc. and 2005 winner; John Ferguson, Chairman of the Board, Princeton Ventures Ltd.; and Jack Donald, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Parkland Properties Ltd.

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year is sponsored nationally by Global Television Network, National Post, La Presse and RDI. Prairies region program sponsors are the Calgary Herald and Business in Calgary.

SOURCE WELLINGTON WEST HOLDINGS INC.

For further information: For further information: Media Enquiries: Lindsey Rusche, Manager, Corporate Communications, Wellington West Holdings Inc., T: (416) 313-3094, lrusche@wellwest.ca

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WELLINGTON WEST HOLDINGS INC.

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