Wealth Professional 4.02

Page 46



Game, set, match After injuries forced her to retire from a tennis career, Jennifer Black reinvented herself as an advisor

MORE THAN a decade ago, Jennifer Black faced a serious dilemma: She could continue to chase her dream of becoming a professional tennis player, or accept that her body was starting to betray her (with stress fractures in both shins), and it was time to give up the sport. “I could try to recover and go back and play again, but I was advised by doctors that [the fractures were] never going to be fully healed,” she says. “I will always have problems if I try to put that much pressure and pounding on my legs, so it was a decision that was somewhat handed to me.” After accepting that her tennis career was over, Black found herself crossroads, unsure of what was next for her. “It was definitely difficult in the beginning,” she says. “[Tennis] was pretty much what I’d known for most of my life at that point. I didn’t really know exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to do something where I was helping people.” So she decided to become an advisor and started her own practice. “I’ve always enjoyed providing guidance and helping people solve different situations and problems, so this really seemed like a good fit,” Black says. “We’re able to work with people all the time, but we’re also able to be strategic, and there’s some creativity that goes into finding the right solution for somebody.”

A dedicated approach About five years ago, Black teamed up with her mother, an accountant, to form Dedicated Financial Solutions [DFS]. DFS focuses on high-net-worth individuals and business owners, but they’ve also developed a niche among engineers, teachers and widowers. The company offers full wealth management solutions that integrate financial planning ser vices, estate planning, insurance, tax planning, personal pension plans and employee benefits. The model is clearly a success: The firm has been recognized as the top financial planner in Mississauga for the last three years. In 2014, they also won the Mississauga Board of Trade’s Small Business of the Year Excellence Award. Black and her mother have developed a process of really looking at the big picture and helping clients find and assess opportunities to create wealth through various strategies such as investments, insurance and pensions. “We’re able to help them in that area and tie that back to their personal goals,” Black says. “One of the things that sets us apart in the industry is that we actually write a vision document and provide that back to the client, just making sure we heard correctly what’s important to them and their family.” By not taking the typical tack of only discussing figures, Black has made a point of including both

“We actually write a vision document and provide that back to the client, just making sure we heard correctly what’s important to them and their family”



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