Our Story

Life is about transitions.

When Shirley Sawyer was working as a lab technician in the late 1980s, she certainly wasn’t imagining a career in financial services. But that’s where life took her when a friend mentioned a job opening for an office assistant at a local life insurance firm. With her warm demeanor and compassionate nature, Shirley was identified as someone with a bright future in this line of work, and was awarded the opportunity.

She soon started to study for her life insurance license. Over the next three years, Shirley worked hard to build her client base, primarily by offering informational seminars. In 1991, she transitioned from selling life insurance to working in investments. Her client list continued to grow. Eventually she was approached by local businessman Rayner McCullough to see if she would be interested in taking over his seminar business. Shirley was honoured to be asked to do this for such a respected individual within the industry and she welcomed the opportunity. It so happened that Mr. McCullough was looking for someone to take over his practice as he transitioned to retirement. Shirley possessed the empathetic, “eager-to-help” personality traits he was seeking in a business partner. The rest, as they say, is history.

That was the year 2001. Rayner remains involved in the firm, but Shirley is at the helm. She proudly works alongside her daughter Andrea Reid, son-in-law Barrett Reid, and “almost daughter” Kate Kelly, all of whom share the same family values and personality traits that made Shirley and Rayner so successful in the industry.

One day, Shirley will settle into retirement as Rayner did, knowing the families she’s been helping for generations will continue to receive the same great service by those who will follow in her footsteps.

Life is about transitions. Our family will be here to help you with yours for a very long time.

Planning from one generation to the next.

Our Beliefs.

There’s no better time than today to start planning for your future. No matter what stage of life you’re in, or what your financial situation looks like, we can set a plan in motion that will get you closer to your goals. Throughout the years, we’ve helped countless clients grow their financial portfolios one deposit at a time, positioning themselves comfortably for retirement. If you’re waiting for the perfect time to start, you’ll be waiting forever.

Start today, start small. Your goal is achievable with our guidance and support.

Our Core Values

Our core values have not changed since the day this company began. At McCullough & Sawyer, we believe that family always comes first, that building meaningful relationships is the secret to a life well-lived, and that every person deserves respect.


We consider each of our clients to be an extension of our family. We believe in fostering meaningful relationships with everyone we engage with… including each other. The relationships we have with our clients evolve over time, bringing us a great sense of fulfillment, while giving our work meaning.


We stay connected with the people in our lives, including our clients. In our office, we don’t rush through appointments. Stopping for a conversation is highly valued here. When you call, we answer. And if something is happening with your investments, you’ll hear it from us first.


We value family above all else. The common theme between every single one of our clients is the desire to leave a legacy without financial burden. Nobody likes to think about death, but we also don’t want to leave our families in financial trouble. We’ll help you plan to take care of those you leave behind.


Financial planning is about creating strategies and making decisions that will help achieve a specific goal. The best scenario today is probably not going to be the best scenario 10 years from now. We’re constantly staying current with market trends and promise to draft the best strategy for your unique situation.


We do the right thing for the client at all times. This business has been built entirely upon word-of-mouth referrals. That only happens in companies who value integrity. We will never jeopardize the reputation we’ve been building over the past sixty years. We hold our heads high because ours is a brand people trust.


We love all people. We’ve heard so many stories—happy and sad—that we simply wish to do our best for everyone. We do our best to walk in the shoes of our clients to truly understand what their lives are like. It is from this practice that you learn empathy. We believe life throws curve balls at everyone, and we’re here to help.


A Glimpse Into Our Past

Our story began in 1953 when our founder, Rayner McCullough became a licensed insurance agent. Today, he remains actively involved in the firm, as we carry his legacy forward, offering our clients the same quality service he provided for almost 50 years. We plan to continue this tradition for generations to come.

  • Rayner McCullough obtained his life license and began working for Imperial Life at 2 Owen Street Barrie.

  • For the next 18 years, Rayner worked for Imperial Life in management travelling all over from Toronto, Barrie, Windsor, Hamilton & Brandon Manitoba.

  • Rayner McCullough returned to the local Imperial Life branch and formed McCullough Insurance Services at 110 Dunlop Street.

  • The Imperial Life office moved to Collier Street.

  • The office moved to 231 Bayview Drive.

  • Shirley/Rayner initiated their succession plan.

  • Imperial Life office moved to Victoria Street. Andrea Sawyer, Shirley’s daughter started working with her Mom.

  • Rayner retired but maintained an office where he could visit client and friends.

  • Imperial Life closed their branch offices and McCullough & Sawyer Financial Services opened at its present location, 680 Bayview Drive.

  • McCullough & Sawyer Financial Services Inc. was incorporated.

  • Barrett Reid and Kate Kelly joined the firm

  • Purchase of our new office on Toronto Street, December 1, 2020.