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2020 24 of the next big names in Canada’s wealth management industry INVESTING IN HONG KONG

How will China’s recent crackdown affect markets in the region?

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Go-to strategies for navigating the uncertain terrain of 2020


Where to find the winners of the economic recovery

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Innovation & Health

Dividend Fund

TSX Symbol (Reserved): SIH.UN IF YOU OWN SECURITIES OF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING ISSUERS, YOU ARE INVITED TO EXCHANGE THOSE SECURITIES FOR UNITS OF SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION & HEALTH DIVIDEND FUND - DEADLINE: PRIOR TO 5:00 P.M. (TORONTO TIME) ON JULY 28, 2020 Sustainable Innovation & Health Dividend Fund (the “Fund”), is offering units of the Fund to investors at a price of $10.00 per unit in exchange for the securities of any of the issuers listed here or for cash subscriptions. The Fund’s investment objectives are to provide holders of units with: (i) stable monthly cash distributions, and (ii) enhanced long-term total return through capital appreciation of the Fund’s investment portfolio through a diversified, actively managed portfolio comprised primarily of dividend paying securities of global technology and healthcare companies, including initially those which the Advisor (as defined below) believes are positioned to benefit longterm from the trends and changing consumer behaviours resulting from the COVID-19 global pandemic (collectively, “Innovative Technology & Healthcare Issuers”). The Advisor believes Innovative Technology & Healthcare Issuers will generate attractive risk-adjusted returns for the Fund as the technology and healthcare sectors have a history of developing long-lasting innovative solutions to address major social and economic challenges. In addition, the portfolio will focus on sustainable technology and healthcare companies with assets the Advisor believes have been developed and operated taking into account environmental, social and governance considerations. The initial target distribution yield for the Fund is 4% per annum based on the original subscription price (or $0.03333 per unit per month or $0.40 per unit per annum). Middlefield Capital Corporation (the “Advisor”) will provide investment management advice to the Fund. Mr. Paul Sagawa and Dr. Richard Evans will act as industry consultants to Middlefield and in such capacity will provide ongoing analysis regarding innovative technology & healthcare themes.

E-COMMERCE ISSUERS Inc Apple Inc Cargojet Inc Dream Industrial REIT Duke Realty Corp Granite Real Estate Investment Trust HP Inc Mastercard Inc PayPal Holdings Inc


Pinterest Inc Prologis Inc Shopify Inc Square Inc STAG Industrial Inc Terreno Realty Corp Visa Inc Walmart Inc WPT Industrial REIT


Intel Corp International Business Machines Corp Keysight Technologies Inc Kinaxis Inc Lightspeed POS Inc Lowe’s Cos Inc Microsoft Corp Morneau Shepell Inc Netflix Inc NVIDIA Corp Okta Inc Open Text Corp QTS Realty Trust Inc Quebecor Inc Real Matters Inc Rogers Communications Inc SBA Communications Corp Seagate Technology PLC Shaw Communications Inc TELUS Corp T-Mobile US Inc Verizon Communications Inc


WORK FROM HOME ISSUERS Absolute Software Corp Advanced Micro Devices Inc Alphabet Inc American Tower Corp AT&T Inc BCE Inc BlackBerry Ltd Broadcom Inc Celestica Inc CenturyLink Inc CGI Inc Cisco Systems Inc CoreSite Realty Corp Crown Castle International Corp CyrusOne Inc Descartes Systems Group Inc/The Digital Realty Trust Inc Docebo Inc Equinix Inc Evertz Technologies Ltd Fastly Inc Home Depot Inc/The


DIGITAL HEALTH ISSUERS Abbott Laboratories AmerisourceBergen Corp Cardinal Health Inc Cerner Corp CVS Health Corp


Lululemon Athletica Inc Medtronic PLC Quest Diagnostics Inc Teladoc Health Inc UnitedHealth Group Inc


LIFE SCIENCES ISSUERS AstraZeneca PLC Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc Bausch Health Cos Inc Bristol-Myers Squibb Co CRISPR Therapeutics AG Danaher Corp


Gilead Sciences Inc Jamieson Wellness Inc Johnson & Johnson Knight Therapeutics Inc Merck & Co Inc Pfizer Inc



(L to R) NANCY THAM, Managing Director, Sales and Marketing, DEAN ORRICO, President and Chief Investment Officer, ROB LAUZON, Managing Director and Deputy Chief Investment Officer and SHANE OBATA, Executive Director, Investments and Portfolio Manager

Bank of Montreal Bank of Nova Scotia/The Brookfield Renewable Partners LP Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Chartwell Retirement Residences Emera Inc Extendicare Inc Fortis Inc/Canada


InterRent REIT Manulife Financial Corp NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT Premium Brands Holdings Corp Royal Bank of Canada Sienna Senior Living Inc Sun Life Financial Inc Toronto-Dominion Bank/The


To learn more about Sustainable Innovation & Health Dividend Fund, speak with your financial advisor or contact us at: First Canadian Place Middlefield Limited 58th Floor, P.O. Box 192 812 Memorial Drive NW Toronto, Ontario M5X 1A6 Calgary, Alberta T2N 3C8 1-888-890-1868

This offering is only made by prospectus. The prospectus contains important detailed information about the securities being offered. Copies of the prospectus may be obtained from your IIROC registered financial advisor using the contact information for such advisor. Investors should read the prospectus before making an investment decision.

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ISSUE 8.07


Got a story or suggestion, or just want to find out some more information? @WealthProCA

UPFRONT 02 Editorial

Saskatchewan’s move to regulate titles could mark a turning point for wealth management




SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES FOR THE UNCERTAIN MONTHS AHEAD How to build portfolios that can weather this tumultuous time


From enterprising advisors to innovative digital marketers, these 24 young professionals are taking the wealth management industry by storm




As president and CEO of Invesco Canada, John Zerr approaches asset management from a foundation of education and service


s e

04 Statistics

Key data that should be on your radar

06 News analysis

How will political tensions between Hong Kong and China affect investments in both countries?

08 Intelligence

This month’s big movers, shakers and new products

10 ETF update

The desire for cash during the COVID-19 crisis has put high-interest savings ETFs in the spotlight

12 Alternative investment update






Kelly Roberts’ past as a competitive golfer set the stage for his long career as an advisor

How one asset manager is using artificial intelligence to design uncorrelated strategies

17 Opinion

Holistic wealth management can help clients access the things that really matter in life

FEATURES 34 Winners today, winners tomorrow

Middlefield Group’s new fund capitalizes on the leaders of the COVID-19 recovery

38 Be proactive, not reactive

How to break free from the downward spiral of chasing the competition


PEOPLE 40 Other life

Getting up to speed with advisor and race car driver Stephen Ross



Four ways to shift your thinking to achieve true workplace diversity


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21/08/2020 3:52:02 AM



The need to regulate titles


n early July, the Saskatchewan government took the first step in what might lead to regulation of titles across the Canadian wealth management space. The province’s Financial Planners and Financial Advisors Act places legal restrictions on who can call themselves a financial planner or a financial advisor. It will be enforced by the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan (FCAA), which is in the process of developing definitions of the two titles, as well as setting standards to assess credentialing bodies. While Saskatchewan is a relatively small sample size, its moves are a positive indication of where the wealth management industry is heading. Already, both Advocis and FP Canada have applauded the move. When Wealth Professional spoke with Advocis president and CEO Greg Pollock earlier this year, he outlined a powerful stat: “Of individuals who hold a life and health insurance, MFDA or securities licence – a group of about 100,000 individuals across the country – only about 25,000 have a designation.”

The average client won’t necessarily know what to ask to find out what certifications their advisor or planner has. They might just assume they are dealing with a qualified individual The average client won’t necessarily know what to ask to find out what certifications their advisor or planner has. They might just assume they are dealing with a qualified individual. Regulating the titles of financial planner and financial advisor will give clients certainty about what kind of wealth professional they’re using. It’s fitting that this news comes out around the time of this year’s Rising Stars list. For this feature, WP often asks young industry professionals about their biggest challenge. Over the years, one of the most common responses has been combating the negative preconceived notions about wealth professionals based on what the industry was years ago, when the focus was on selling products or picking stocks. This step by one of Canada’s provinces could eventually lead to more regulation that will allow today’s advisors to easily communicate that they do more than their predecessors. Advisors today provide advice to investors and help them plan for retirement and other life milestones. Regulation of titles will help match investors to the right professional. The team at Wealth Professional ISSUE 8.07 EDITORIAL


Editor Darren Matte

Vice President, Media and Client Strategy Dane Taylor

Writers Leo Almazora James Burton David Kitai Executive Editor Ryan Smith Copy Editor Clare Alexander

CONTRIBUTORS Mark Bertoli Michelle Gibbings Darrell Hardidge

ART & PRODUCTION Designer Marla Morelos Production Manager Alicia Chin Production Coordinator Kim Kandravy Traffic Manager Ella Dayandante

National Account Manager Alan Stewart National Account Manager Blase Wasser Vice President, Sales John Mackenzie Project Coordinator Jessica Duce

CORPORATE President & CEO Tim Duce Office/Traffic Manager Marni Parker Events and Conference Manager Chris Davis Chief Information Officer Colin Chan Human Resources Manager Julia Bookallil Global COO George Walmsley Global CEO Mike Shipley



tel: 416 644 8740 • fax: 416 203 8940


KMI Publishing and Events 20 Duncan Street, Suite 300 Toronto, ON M5H 3G8 tel: +1 416 644 8740 Offices in Toronto, London, Sydney, Denver, Auckland, Manila

Wealth Professional is part of an international family of B2B publications, websites and events for the finance and insurance industries LIFE HEALTH PROFESSIONAL T +1 416 644 874O




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Copyright is reserved throughout. No part of this publication can be reproduced in whole or part without the express permission of the editor. Contributions are invited, but copies of work should be kept, as the magazine can accept no responsibility for loss

21/08/2020 3:39:43 AM

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INVESTED IN YOU. iA Securities is a trademark and business name under which Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. operates.

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21/08/2020 3:39:46 AM



GOOD NEWS FOR CANADIAN PENSION FUNDS For Canadians worried about the impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on their retirement savings, the second quarter brought some welcome news. The latest analysis of funds in the BNY Mellon Canadian Master Trust Universe, which encompasses $255.5 billion worth of investment assets in Canadian pension plans, shows an overall median return of 9.3%. That marks a significant reversal from the first quarter, when the median return of the Master Trust Universe was -7.23%.


Canada’s core inflation rating in June, up from 1.6% in May







Monthly increase in gas prices in June

Canadian Master Trust total fund

Canadian equity




Monthly increase in clothing prices in June

Fixed income was one of the hardest-hit sectors during the COVID-19 crisis as interest rates dropped globally, but fixed income ETFs made a significant rebound in July, bringing in nearly $3.7 billion. Foreign fixed income was especially attractive to investors, given that some economies are further along in their COVID-19 recovery.

JULY FIXED INCOME ETF FLOWS $2bn $1.98 billion $1.5bn




$576 million

Monthly increase in food prices in June

$68 million $0

Sources: Bloomberg, Statistics Canada

Canada aggregate

Canada government

$342 million

$177 million

Canada corporate

US/ North American

$440 million $0 Foreign

Sub-investment grade

$72 million Preferred/ convertible

Cash alternative

Sources: National Bank of Canada, Bloomberg


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US e

anadian equity



One year

Three years

Five years

As the economy begins to rebound, many sectors are still struggling to regain lost ground. However, the latest data from National Bank showed positive equity ETF flows for four sectors that are leading the economic recovery charge.

10 years



$283 million




US equity

International equity

Non-Canadian equity

Fixed income

Real estate

Canadian foundations and endowments

Canadian universities

$125 million


$49 million $0




$29 million Healthcare

Source: National Bank Financial

Source: BNY Mellon; all returns gross of fees, CAD


NASDAQ 100 STILL CLIMBING The Nasdaq 100 Index, which encompasses 100 of the world’s largest non-financial companies and is dominated by the tech sector, has been trending steadily upward after a COVID-19-induced drop in March. By mid-June, the index had already surpassed its previous 2020 high point.

The price of gold continues to soar amid the uncertainty caused by COVID-19. The precious metal shot past its previous high of US$1,900 per ounce in late July and broke the US$2,000 mark in early August. $2,500











$1,582.40 $1,594.80



$1,779.80 $1,700.90 $1,750.30



4,000 $500

2,000 0




























Source:; all figures in US$

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No damper on investment Hong Kong has been mired in turmoil since China began making moves to impose a new security law – but investment in both markets has so far been relatively unaffected

AFTER MONTHS of protest in Hong Kong, the Chinese government’s new National Security Law went into effect in the former British colony on June 30. The law, which looks to stamp out opposition to the Chinese Communist Party, has been heavily criticized worldwide as anti-human rights. It comes just as the stock markets in both Mainland China and Hong Kong have become some of the world’s top performers. As investors worldwide have sought to diversify their portfolios with Chinese exposure, many are now wondering how this domestic turmoil will impact those investments.

declare more control over political expression in Hong Kong, but at the same time, it wants to preserve the territory’s economic and commercial function. China’s president, Xi Jinping, will need to make sure that with application of the law, Hong Kong is successful economically, or else he and the Chinese Communist Party’s reputation will take a hit.” Francis Sabourin, director of wealth management at Richardson GMP, adds that it’s important for Canadian advisors looking at exposure in the region to have a full understanding of the situation.

“The Hang Seng is retesting the highs it failed to break in early 2019, and the Mainland Chinese stock market is the best-performing this year” Tyler Mordy, Forstrong Global “On the surface, Hong Kong’s judicial independence is worrying, but we don’t know if breach of National Security Law will be adjudicated by Hong Kong courts or Mainland China’s criminal justice system,” says Tyler Mordy, CEO and CIO of Forstrong Global. “It seems clear that Beijing wants to


“The National Security Law will have an impact on Hong Kong’s financial markets,” he says. “Hong Kong is in a new chapter. From an investment point of view, we have to understand this new law and embed it into our investment evaluation process.” Mordy urges investors to look beyond the

headlines and examine what’s going on, especially when it comes to the economic piece of the puzzle. “The Hang Seng is retesting the highs it failed to break in early 2019, and the Mainland Chinese stock market is the best-performing this year,” he says. “The Hang Seng is looking to be more correlated to it. If you say something doesn’t make sense, you might not be looking hard enough.” Mordy reiterates that it’s in China’s interest to keep Hong Kong strong. He highlights two ways the country is seeking to do this: first, by having more IPOs listed in Hong Kong, and second, with a rapid acceleration of Chinese financial deregulation, which includes further opening the Chinese bond market, an important step in establishing the renminbi as a serious currency. “There will be more Hong Kong financial institutions on the Mainland, and the economic system will get tighter,” Mordy says. “It should also mean more large-cap

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HANG SENG ON THE RISE Since a COVID-19-fuelled drop in mid-March, Hong Kong’s main index has been climbing steadily throughout the summer. HANG SENG COMPOSITE INDEX YTD PERFORMANCE 4,000





1/1 1/15 2/2 2/16 3/1 3/15 4/1 4/15 5/3 5/18 6/1 6/15 7/1 7/15 8/3 Source: Hang Seng Indexes

companies currently listed in the US returning and listing in Hong Kong.” Sabourin says that as long as there are no restrictions on trading, clearing, currency

of being classified as a developed market instead of an emerging market. China is also quickly transitioning from an industrial to a service economy. The service sector will grow

“Hong Kong is in a new chapter. From an investment point of view, we have to understand this new law and embed it into our investment evaluation process” Francis Sabourin, Richardson GMP conversions, money transfers, financial disclosure and reporting, he will view the Chinese market attractively. “China [and] Hong Kong are regions that are growing quickly post-COVID,” he says. “On a global investing basis, China is to be considered because it is in the process

for years to come, while the North American and European markets are more mature. So, China is to be considered in a global mandate.” Still, there’s no getting around the oppressive National Security Law and the political situation that has resulted from it. Mordy says that while Hong Kong might benefit from

Mainland Chinese investment and the return of large-cap listings, he doesn’t foresee foreign institutions ramping up their exposure. “I think you have to separate the domestic investors [in] Mainland China, who now will feel like Hong Kong is part of their orb, and the investors who can’t live with that political situation, or foreign investors,” Mordy says. “I think the latter group starts to leave Hong Kong. The beneficiaries will be places like Canada, Australia and the UK – countries that are part of the Commonwealth, that have clean air, good political systems and are places where Hong Kongers feel safe and can park their money.” For Canadian investors looking to diversify their portfolios with exposure to China, both Sabourin and Mordy emphasize the need for advisors to develop a solid understanding of the current situation so they can best decide how to approach investing in the region with their clients.

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CI Financial

Balasa Dinverno Foltz

CI has acquired full ownership of the Chicago-based private wealth management firm, which has US$4.5 billion in AUM

HIG Capital and RCM Capital Management

PI Financial Corp.

The 38-year-old Vancouver firm has been sold for second time in less than two years



Morningstar has purchased the ESG research firm in a bid to bolster its ESG ratings and research

Sun Life Financial

InfraRed Capital Partners

Sun Life has acquired a majority stake in London-based InfraRed, which advises institutional and pooled fund clients and has approximately $17 billion in AUM




Agora Dealer Services

Pascal Financial

Agora is collaborating with the software provider to create a stronger and more robust wealthtech solution for MFDA dealers and advisors

Pier 21 Asset Management

CIBC Mellon

Pier 21 has extended its use of CIBC Mellon’s custody, fund accounting, record-keeping, foreign exchange processing and settlement services, and investment information data access

Worldsource Securities

Fidelity Clearing Canada

The full-service investment dealer has chosen Fidelity to provide clearing and custody services

Vancouver investment dealer sold again

Less than two years after being purchased for more than $100 million by Canadian entrepreneur Gary Ng, PI Financial Corp. is being sold again. The firm, which is one of Vancouver’s oldest independent investment dealers, is being acquired by a joint venture between two investment firms, HIG Capital and RCM Capital Management. HIG manages more than $32 billion in assets, while RCM makes direct debt and equity investments in North American companies. “As a Canadian financial firm ourselves, our team has long admired PI, and we respect the drive that has made it into one of Canada’s leading investment dealers and a top investment bank,” said Christopher Morris, managing partner of RCM Capital Management. “We are proud to be participating in the continued growth of a remarkable Canadian success story.”


CI Investments launches longevity-focused strategy

CI Investments has launched the CI Global Longevity Economy Fund, the industry’s first strategy to focus on companies benefiting from changes in consumer behaviour, technology and healthcare resulting from the trend toward longer, healthier lifespans. The mandate is available in both mutual fund series and an ETF series, which closed its initial offering and began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol LONG in mid-June. CI actively manages the fund using insights and research from Dr. Joseph Coughlin, a global expert on demographic change.

Bridgehouse rolls out fund focused on ‘compounders’

Bridgehouse Asset Managers has launched a new fund focused on investments in high-quality companies. The Lazard International Compounders Fund targets strong relative returns over a full market cycle by investing solely in what Bridgehouse calls ‘compounders’: leading global companies that can generate and sustain financial productivity measures such as return on equity, return on capital and cash flow return on investment at the highest levels. The fund’s subadvisor, Lazard, aims to identify high-quality companies outside the US that can reinvest significant proportions of their cash flow back into their business at similarly attractive rates of return.

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PEOPLE OSC lowers barriers to startup crowdfunding

In light of the challenges COVID-19 poses to small businesses, the Ontario Securities Commission has issued an interim local order allowing Ontario to adopt a similar startup crowdfunding regime to other provinces in Canada. The order, which went into force on July 30, offers registration and prospectus exemptions for startup crowdfunding as long as the issuer meets a long list of conditions and fulfills various reporting, disclosure, oversight, gatekeeping and other obligations. The interim order was instituted a few weeks after the CSA concluded the comment period on its proposal to harmonize provincial startup crowdfunding exemptions.





Sara Gelgor




Jessica Ground


Capital Group

Global head of ESG

John Hamilton




Bradley Hicks

MFS Investment Management

CI Investments

Senior vice-president and head of institutional

William Knight

Credit Union Central of Canada

Vancity Community Investment Bank


Craig MacLennan

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation

FP Canada

Director, policy and government affairs

Kristen McElhone

Worldsource Financial Management and Worldsource Securities

FP Canada

Director, industry relations

Sun Life Global Investments makes multiple fee changes

Capital Group appoints global ESG head

iA Clarington shores up fixed income shelf

Advocis adds to board of directors

Sun Life Global Investments has reduced the management fees on a majority of its fund series by five basis points. The fee reductions, which affect 44 funds, will go into effect on November 1, 2020. Additional fee changes at Sun Life took effect on August 1, including management fee reductions on the Sun Life Money Market Fund and Sun Life Money Market Class, as well as caps on the deferred sales charge and low load purchase options for the Sun Life Money Market Fund and the Sun Life Money Market Class, which are now only available to accounts that already hold these purchase options.

IA Clarington Investments has added two new products to its range of fixed income offerings. The IA Clarington Loomis Global Multisector Bond Fund, subadvised Loomis Sayles, is modelled after a US$27 billion strategy that invests in investmentgrade corporate bonds and government debt to opportunistically gain exposure to non-traditional fixed income areas such as emerging markets and high yield. The IA Wealth Enhanced Bond Pool builds on the success of the firm’s IA Wealth Core Bond Pool, offering the same competitively priced core fixed income exposure with an added opportunity for more compelling risk-adjusted returns.

Global investment firm Capital Group has named Jessica Ground as global head of ESG. Ground’s 20-year career in the financial industry has been spent entirely at Schroders, where she was most recently the global head of stewardship, leading a team of ESG analysts and corporate governance specialists in integrating ESG across geographies and asset classes. In her new role, Ground will oversee the incorporation of Capital Group’s ESG approach in its investment process globally. “Investors increasingly place ESG considerations as a top priority to inform their investment decisions,” Ground said. “I look forward to working alongside the experienced Capital Group team to further integrate ESG factors into the firm’s investment process and deliver services that align with clients’ growing expectations.”

Advocis has added two new directors, Sara Gelgor (pictured) and John Hamilton, to its board. Gelgor leads regulatory compliance oversight for the wealth planning and retail banking operations at HSBC Bank Canada. She is also a member of Governance Professionals Canada and a faculty member of the GPC.D program, which she helped design and launch. Hamilton is president of RBC Wealth Management Financial Services, where he manages the agency business, including the insurance support distribution team of estate planning specialists. He is also chair of the board of trustees for the Institute for Advanced Financial Education (IAFE), where he has been a member since 2011.

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ETF UPDATE NEWS BRIEFS Hamilton ETFs merges funds, launches four new ETFs

Hamilton ETFs has launched four new ETFs following the successful completion of previously announced mergers. The new ETFs, which began trading on the TSX in late June, include the Hamilton Global Financials ETF (HFG), the Hamilton US Mid/Small-Cap Financials ETF (HUM), the Hamilton Canadian Bank Mean Reversion Index ETF (HCA) and the Hamilton Australian Bank Equal-Weight Index ETF (HBA). “Our renewed lineup will have lower fees, greater diversification and investment flexibility for our actively managed ETFs,” said Rob Wessel, managing partner at Hamilton ETFs.

ESG-focused ETF assets hit US$80 billion milestone

Globally listed ESG ETFs and exchangetraded products broke AUM and net inflow records in May, according to independent ETF research firm ETFGI. Total assets invested in ESG ETFs and exchange-traded products rose 10.4%, from US$74 billion at the end of April to US$82 billion by the end of May. Globally, ESG ETFs and ETPs saw reported net inflows of US$4.33 billion in May, resulting in year-to-date net inflows of US$28.53 billion, far outpacing the US$7.19 billion gathered during the same period in 2019.

BMO GAM updates currency options for high-quality ETF

In a bid to provide investors with more currency choices, BMO Global Asset Management has launched two new versions of its BMO MSCI USA High Quality Index ETF. As of late July, the fund is available in hedged units (ZUQ.F) and USD units (ZUQ.U). The


BMO MSCI USA High Quality Index ETF is designed to deliver exposure to US high-quality stocks based on three main fundamental variables: high return on equity, stable year-over-year earnings growth and low financial leverage.

Fidelity expands its factor and global fixed income lineups

Fidelity Investments Canada has expanded its ETF menu with new valueand momentum-based strategies, along with a global fixed income fund. The asset manager’s four new value-based ETFs allow investors to systematically target large- and mid-cap company stocks that are priced cheaply relative to their fundamentals. The asset manager has also introduced four momentumbased ETFs that promise to capitalize on large- and mid-cap companies with positive returns and investor sentiment. Fidelity has also launched the Fidelity Global Investment Grade Bond ETF (FCIG), which follows a geographically unrestrained tactical approach that combines investment-grade and highyield debt in an active ETF vehicle.

CIBC unveils two new ETFs focused on global equities CIBC Asset Management has launched two active ETFs designed to provide diversification via global equity securities. The CIBC Global Growth ETF (CGLO) invests globally in equity securities of companies with high valuations and growth prospects, primarily through investments in Renaissance Global Growth Fund. The CIBC International Equity ETF (CINT) seeks to provide access to international securities not readily available in Canada or the US by investing in equity securities from companies in Europe, the Far East and the Pacific Rim, primarily through investments in the Renaissance International Equity Fund.

The new alternative to cash As investors search for places to park their cash, high-interest savings ETFs are raking in billions in assets When COVID-19 hit, many investors withdrew from the markets and have been sitting on large cash allocations in their portfolios. Many are still unsure about what to do with this cash, but one solution has been gaining popularity throughout 2020: high-interest savings ETFs. “This year, we have seen over $1.6 billion go into the four different high-interest savings ETFs,” says Steve Hawkins, president and CEO of Horizons ETFs. “Yields are low right now – you have to risk capital to earn yield, and people don’t want to risk capital because there is too much uncertainty in the marketplace. With money on the sidelines, I don’t think there is any better place to put it.” Hawkins explains that high-interest savings ETFs can generate returns that bank accounts can’t. They also allow investors to trade in and out, are low-commission to trade, have no execution from a bid-ask spread, and the NAV can be determined each day (gross yield minus fees). Because they require a simple physical deposit, there is also no derivatives risk. “There are only a few people who qualify for a bank’s high-interest savings account,” Hawkins explains. “There are huge minimum deposit amounts and certain parameters to qualify for a certain level of high-interest savings. Through our relationships with the banks, we have been able to

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negotiate an even higher rate of interest. All we do is take your cash and put it in a bank deposit account on your behalf, and we are able to generate a higher yield and, even after our fee, generate a higher gross yield for you.” Horizons has expanded in the space with its latest offering, the Horizons USD Cash Maximizer ETF (HSUV.U), which invests

“With money on the sidelines, I don’t think there is any better place to put it” in US dollar deposit accounts at Canadian banks. Given that Canadians are some of the largest investors in US-based ETFs and holders of US currency, Hawkins says, it was important to Horizons to have a US dollar option that makes things easier for investors. “It allows you to leave your money in USD and earn a higher interest rate than leaving it in a USD bank account,” he says. In light of the strong inflows into highinterest savings ETFs this year, Hawkins believes the space will see more products as investors recognize their benefits. “I don’t see how, if you want to compete from an ETF market share perspective, you cannot offer this product.”


John Beck SVP and director of fixed income, London FRANKLIN TEMPLETON INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

Years in the industry 34 Fast fact Franklin Templeton’s Franklin Liberty Global Aggregate Bond ETF (FLGA) is one of its most popular and successful products, with more than $653 million in AUM as of July 31

Can fixed income recover its momentum? There’s been a huge selloff in bonds globally due to COVID-19. Is that likely to change anytime soon? The simple answer is yes. There are things economies and central banks did – like shutting down, buying bonds, cutting rates – that were necessary, but at that stage, I think we possibly underestimated the economic impact. The question now is, how much of the recovery is going to be V-shaped, or how much will it actually change the way we think? The support we have seen from central banks shows they know this isn’t normal, but they will do what they can to afford decent businesses the opportunity to reopen. I think, given where we are in the capital structure and central bank response, a degree of comfort can be taken from the fact that the down drop was sharper than we expected. The recovery realistically won’t be V-shaped, but while we, with FLGA, are a little behind the benchmark for six months, over the past year, we are still up 5.06% as of July 31, which I think is a more than satisfactory result.

How have fixed income ETFs fared? Have they been hit the same as the overall bond market? Many people who criticize the ETF market say that there is false liquidity and you can’t get out when you want. I think the ETF market actually stood the test of the crisis well because you had the flex in pricing. We never really found ourselves in a liquidity shortfall, so I think it worked quite well. Flexing of the NAV really helped because if people wanted to sell, they saw the price and realized it was the wrong price, so they didn’t sell. You knew what the right price was. If you were strictly on a NAV evaluation and sold on the worst day, you validate that price. Initially people were skeptical, thinking ETFs were broken; then the research came out, and the intraday pricing really showed us the actual price.

Last year, fixed income ETFs recorded strong inflows. Will they ever reach those levels again? I think some elements of risk-free pricing are extreme and will remain extreme. I think it is wrong to suggest we will go back to the status quo with bond yields at 2%. Even if we see inflation, the central bank response won’t be to raise rates to meet it. I think the low-risk assets will have low yields for some time. That is a headwind – the old days of buying a 10-year, forgetting about it and earning your yield are gone. I think there are still some opportunities. When I think of how we set up FLGA, the idea was to offer investors exposure in global fixed income without currency risk. The intention of the underlying investment is to say there are different bits of the global economy, and you want to have that cross-section of interest rate exposure so your economic cycle isn’t exposed to just one area.

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21/08/2020 3:41:38 AM



Diversification through artificial intelligence Castle Ridge’s self-evolving AI adapts to ever-changing market conditions to create uncorrelated strategies

slight mutations, to see if it is better suited in the environment. If it is, it increases the probability that it breeds and does that for tens of thousands of generations every night, in a span of two to three hours.” While AI has been around for a while, de Valois-Franklin says computing power has now caught up, allowing for it to be effective in financial markets, particularly in overcoming bias.

“It might make a decision today, and if new information comes out, it is not embarrassed to change the position”

Finding diversification through strategies that are uncorrelated to the markets has become increasingly important. It’s something Castle Ridge Asset Management has been working on for years in developing W.A.L.L.A.C.E., an artificial intelligence platform that adapts and evolves to market conditions while avoiding the pitfalls caused by human bias. “As we have seen recently with the quant crash, systematic strategies were out of favour with a lot of institutional investors,” says Castle Ridge CEO Adrian de ValoisFranklin. “We have seen a surge in interest


for our proprietary AI-powered marketneutral strategy, which breezed through a lot of that volatility.” What makes W.A.L.L.A.C.E. different than other AI platforms, de Valois-Franklin says, is that it can adapt and change, allowing it to anticipate market events such as acquisitions or companies meeting or beating earnings projections. “We built an approach called genosynthetic algorithms, which models survival of the fittest,” he explains. “Each day, W.A.L.L.A.C.E. creates versions of itself,

Cameron Stephens launches private placement offering

Non-bank commercial mortgage lender Cameron Stephens has launched the Cameron Stephens High Yield Mortgage Trust (CSMT), a $100 million private placement offering, on DealSquare. CSMT invests in a diverse range of asset classes, with a focus on the residential land, development and construction sectors. Developed in response to growing demand for private capital in the commercial mortgage space, CSMT currently invests in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia but is eyeing expansion into the US.


“We, as fundamental managers, can juggle maybe seven variables in our mind at a time, whereas W.A.L.L.A.C.E. is looking at thousands of securities every day, from 42 dimensions, simultaneously, today and over history. It also doesn’t suffer from major human bias like confirmation. It might make a decision today, and if new information comes out, it is not embarrassed to change the position.” While it’s not able to predict the future, W.A.L.L.A.C.E. has held up during the COVID-19 crisis, de Valois-Franklin points out. “The fact that the system was fully market neutral and zero to negatively correlated to the S&P allowed it outperform when markets were crashing.”

Picton Mahoney unveils long-short liquid alt fund

Picton Mahoney Asset Management has launched the Picton Mahoney Fortified Long Short Alternative Fund, available as both a mutual fund and an ETF (trading on the TSX as PFLS). Investing primarily in Canadian equities, the fund uses Picton Mahoney’s proprietary Fortified Investing approach to reduce volatility and minimize downside risk relative to long-only portfolios. According to president and CEO David Picton, the addition of this fund gives Picton Mahoney “Canada’s largest selection of liquid alternative funds.”

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Years in the industry 13 Fast fact The Accelerate Arbitrage Fund (ARB) is the only Canadian fund to offer diversified exposure to a basket of SPACs

The SPAC arbitrage market heats up What is SPAC arbitrage? These vehicles are basically a new asset class: special purpose acquisition companies [SPACs] or blank cheque companies. They are publicly traded, cash-rich shells that are founded by enterprising entrepreneurs, and their goal is to utilize that cash to merge with a private company. It’s effectively an alternative to an IPO. They are gaining prevalence in the market. In 2020, they are a large contingent of all IPOs, and many growth entities are starting to look at SPACs as a better way of IPO-ing. The stocks have performed well, and we now have record SPAC issuances. The market value of all SPACs has nearly doubled in the last four months to about $44 billion. There is a lot of interest in the space, and we are seeing more reputable investors getting involved. The arbitrage element is an investment strategy we use in our arbitrage fund.

How does one invest in a SPAC? They are easy to buy and sell – just regular stocks on an exchange. However, if you are looking for a diverse portfolio of SPACs, our Accelerate Arbitrage ETF is the only way to get easy access to a diversified basket of SPACs. We are not exclusively focused on SPACs, but they are a portion of the portfolio.

How does it mitigate risk? It comes down to the SPAC structure. The way it works is, for example, with an IPO at $10, the sponsor will subscribe to private placement warrants that are struck at $11.50 for 2% to 4% of the IPO. That is the risk capital. If there is $100 million raised from investors, the

Wealthsimple tests cryptocurrency trading app

Wealthsimple is launching a new mobile app offering commission-free trading of the two largest cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum. Currently in private beta testing, the Wealthsimple Crypto app aims to make a largely complex and inaccessible asset class inclusive and easy to use, the robo-advisor said. Wealthsimple Crypto lets users tap into a global liquidity pool to gain access to low Bitcoin and Ethereum prices, and it has no minimum account size, no charges for deposits or withdrawals and no hidden costs.

founders will providers $3 million to subscribe to the private placement warrants, and that $3 million is used for fees and working capital over the SPAC’s lifetime. That $100 million from investors goes, untouched, into a treasury and invests in short-term government bonds and earns interest until the close of a deal, or – and this is the key downside protection – if there is no deal done by the deadline, then investors get their money back plus accrued interest. It’s basically a return of treasuries, in the worst case, assuming you buy at the initial price or NAV. If they announce a deal, investors can redeem their shares for the NAV – IPO plus accrued interest – before the vote, so it gives investors a free look at the deal, and if they don’t like it, they can get their money back plus interest. After the deal, the downside protection goes away.

What do advisors need to know about a strategy like this? If you are investing in a manager running the strategy, it helps if they are transparent. Know what they are doing and what they own, because it is a segment of the market with potential risk if not done properly. Our approach is pretty low-risk because we buy pre-deal and rely on the redemption. However, there are high-risk SPAC strategies that are not in arbitrage, but could be more speculative with higher volatility and higher risk. While the market is heating up, you need to be careful because there is risk in the space, especially with more investors and speculators coming in. It requires specialization and experience to run the strategy.

Downing Street brings mortgage fund to DealSquare

Toronto-based real estate investment firm Downing Street Group has brought its Downing Street Premium Yield Mortgage Fund LP (DSPYM) to DealSquare. A $100 million private placement offering, DSPYM invests in a diversified mix of first mortgages on commercial, office, and industrial properties and development land in urban Ontario. In an effort to provide consistent monthly distributions, Downing Street targets mortgages with a loan-tovalue of no more than 75% and a maturity term of less than two years.

Hedge fund performance takes off in Q2

Hedge fund performance bounced back in the second quarter of 2020, according to alternative asset research firm Preqin. Following losses of 10.63% in Q1, the hedge fund industry posted its highest gains since 2009 in Q2, returning 11.48% on average. The comeback allowed hedge funds to break even in the first half of the year; YTD returns had hit -0.37% as of the end of June. However, launch activity has declined – only 59 new funds were launched in Q2, compared to 182 in Q1.

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21/08/2020 3:42:42 AM



TO EDUCATE AND SERVE John Zerr, president and CEO of Invesco Canada, has built his career on a foundation of education and service. Now he’s looking to highlight those qualities at Invesco as he continues to grow its Canadian business

WHEN JOHN ZERR became the president and CEO of Invesco Canada in March 2019, it was the latest step in his 14-year tenure at the company. A year and a half after taking charge of Invesco’s Canadian division, Zerr is looking to spread awareness about the work the company is doing to become known as the industry’s most client-centric asset manager. Raised in Philadelphia, Zerr absorbed the value of both education and service to the community from his parents. “My mom immigrated to the US from Lithuania after the Second World War,” he says. “She was involved in a lot of community activism and services her entire life. My dad was the first in his family to attend college, so education and service together are important to me.” After earning a bachelor’s degree in economics, Zerr graduated from Temple University’s law school and began his career in the investment management practice group at a law firm. He moved into the financial industry when he joined Delaware Investments in 1994, and he later spent a decade as chief operating officer at Pilgrim Baxter & Associates. In 2006, his belief in prioritizing education and service led him to Invesco. “What attracted me was Invesco’s culture,” Zerr says. “We’re focused on our clients here at


Invesco. The other part is that Invesco offers a global platform. It provides our clients a full range of capabilities beyond just compelling investment strategies and products. That is a unique value proposition. I wanted to be part of that and help grow it.” Zerr originally joined Invesco as general counsel for its US retail business. In 2018, he

more fully to achieving Invesco’s purpose on the business side than the legal. I think my legal training and focusing on doing what is right for clients helped me understand how we can be successful. The creativity I sought, combined with the parameters of working in a regulated environment, helped me pick the business side.”

“Culture absolutely matters, and focusing on the needs of clients during [an acquisition] and through integration also really matters and helps you make the right decision. If you have the right culture and the right guiding star, you get to a good place” was asked to move to the business side and became COO of the Americas before adding the role of president and CEO of Invesco Canada last year. “We operate in a highly regulated environment, and importantly, we are fiduciaries,” Zerr says. “I think my legal background has helped me understand that working environment. I found I was able to contribute

Despite this change of focus, Zerr says his choice of industry was never in doubt. “I have been in financial services my entire life. My dad worked for a bank that developed some of the first and largest money market funds, so I was exposed to investment management at a really young age. I particularly liked providing benefits to individual investors and helping people achieve their goals.”

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PROFILE Name: John Zerr Title: President and CEO, Invesco Canada; COO, Americas Company: Invesco Years in the industry: 32 Career highlight: Coordinating the US government’s legal assistance to the newly independent government of Lithuania in the early ’90s

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High points On both the legal and business sides of the industry, Zerr has achieved impressive success. One of his career highlights occurred in 1992–93, when he had the opportunity to go to his mother’s native country to coordinate the US government’s legal assistance to the newly independent government of Lithuania. “It was a truly incredible experience – an opportunity to do something that helped an emerging democracy and citizenship,” he says. “The role focused on commercial law, the role of law and coordinating with the government. The service aspect – doing something that mattered and helping others – made it a great opportunity.”

advisors with all the tools necessary to do their very best job for their clients,” he says. “Those things are somewhat unique at Invesco – we bring thought leadership, portfolio consulting services and practice management services to advisors to make them better. They are able to service clients in a more meaningful way. Our view is, if we can develop that focus on the needs of advisors and be one of their partners that helps them grow their business and do well by their clients, we will be successful.”



Canadian expansion Currently, Invesco is the fourth largest ETF provider in the world and the eighth largest in Canada. “Drawing on our capabil-

“If we can develop that focus on the needs of advisors and be one of their partners that helps them grow their business and do well by their clients, we will be successful” Zerr points to his work on Invesco’s acquisition of OppenheimerFunds as a more recent highlight. Tasked with coordinating the integration of the two companies, he describes the process as a wonderful experience. “We were able to integrate two businesses and made sure we maintained culture,” he says. “One of the things I learned was that culture absolutely matters, and focusing on the needs of clients during a transaction and through integration also really matters and helps you make the right decision. If you have the right culture and the right guiding star, you get to a good place.” Zerr says a strong culture runs through Invesco, including the Canadian division, which makes it easier for the company to accomplish its goal of helping advisors help clients. “We focus our business on meeting our clients’ needs and providing our financial


ities and bringing them into the Canadian marketplace is what we are focused on,” Zerr says. “We have decades of experience in delivering capabilities, from active and passive to alternatives, around the globe. Doing it through an ETF envelope is in our wheelhouse. We are building a range that will help meet the goals of our clients and their clients.” Moving forward, Zerr hopes to grow Invesco’s Canadian presence and spread the word that advisors who partner with the company will benefit not only from investment strategies, but a service value proposition as well. “We want to be that go-to partner for financial advisors because we are helping them be as effective as possible with their clients,” Zerr says. “We have a tremendous number of capabilities to help advisors meet the needs of clients.”


NUMBER OF FUNDS 121 (including 31 ETFs, 70 mutual funds and 20 fund to funds)

AUM $30.3 billion (including $5.7 billion in ETFs and $24.2 billion in mutual funds) Source: Invesco Canada, as of March 31, 2020

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The value of the holistic approach By focusing on a variety of services for clients, advisors can truly provide peace of mind, writes Mark Bertoli “LIVE, LOVE, laugh, leave a legacy.” This quote from Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, is beautiful, simple and well stated. It’s sometimes hard to believe, but when you look at life through this lens, it really is that simple. This speaks to the heart of our mission statement at Abbott Wealth Management: “We improve lives.” But how do you improve the lives of a diverse mix of clients, from those just getting started in their careers to those newly retired? Holistic wealth management is the key. Holistic wealth management, in our definition, means looking at the complete wealth management picture for our clients. It is our belief that wealth, and the accumulation of it, is nothing more than the storehouse of energy. This energy can be used later in life for enjoyment, retirement or to provide security now and for future generations. We’ve found that conversations focused on material wealth accumulation are often the extent of a wealth management plan. Our industry tends to think of wealth as the accumulation of assets. By definition, though, wealth has a much broader meaning than “an abundance of valuable possessions” or “a plentiful supply of a particular desirable thing.” The key words here are ‘valuable’ and ‘plentiful supply.’ As advisors, if our goal is to improve lives, it makes sense to expand our scope of offerings so we can ensure that

things of value are truly in plentiful supply. When we were trying to figure out what holistic wealth management would look like for our clients, we had a blank slate with a focus on the end in mind, thinking of the outcomes that would be of most value to our clients. We asked ourselves if we could

their families and the possibility of unforeseen health issues. They contemplate what the future holds for the next generation and what their own futures will look like if financial markets decline after they have retired and have lost the ability to earn an income. By taking a holistic approach to wealth management, we have created a systematic program to address all those questions, thoughts and concerns. Our clients appreciate a scheduled, multi-step, multi-meeting approach to provide them with solutions. We also have an annual review audit to reinforce the security of their plan. Recently, I was asked by a group of people what I did for work. I responded with a question and a statement: “Do you know those thoughts and questions that keep you awake at 3 a.m.?” I asked. Everyone nodded – they knew exactly what I was talking about. Then I said, “I work with families to address those concerns and answer those questions, giving them a game plan for their peace of mind.” As financial advisors, we have an incredible responsibility and a unique opportunity

“As advisors, if our goal is to improve lives, it makes sense to expand our scope of offerings so we can ensure things of value are truly in plentiful supply” improve lives if we provided the following: peace of mind in all financial matters, health planning advice to aid in longevity, security no matter what the circumstance, philanthropic advice to help others and leave a legacy, lifestyle and coaching advice to improve quality of life, and estate planning to ensure security for future generations. By engaging in conversations with clients, we have learned that people tend to worry about the grey areas or the unknown. Those 3 a.m. thoughts clients have when they can’t sleep usually centre around a few basic questions: Will I have enough? Will it last? And what happens if it doesn’t? Clients tell us they think about security for

to make a difference in our clients’ lives. Few occupations allow for the development of the relationships we have with our clients. With discipline and commitment, advisors can collectively improve lives by incorporating holistic wealth and truly providing value. Let us all strive to help our clients and their families rest easy and focus on that simple goal: to live, laugh, love and leave a legacy. Mark Bertoli is an IIROC advisor and a partner at Abbott Wealth Management with a background in operations and commercial real estate development. He is also a volunteer with Rotary International and the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce.

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2020 Wealth Professional spotlights 24 of the most promising up-and-comers in Canada’s wealth management industry IT’S NO easy feat to make a name for yourself in the wealth management industry – and yet the 24 men and women featured on Wealth Professional’s 2020 Rising Stars list have done just that. For this year’s list, WP sought to highlight the spectrum of the great talent across the industry and find out how these young professionals – all under the age of 35 – have managed to rocket to success in an increasingly competitive landscape. After reviewing numerous nominations from advisors,


clients and industry players, along with nominations provided by our own research team, WP narrowed the list to 24 people, from advisors and business development managers to compliance and research professionals – all of whom are making their debut on the list this year. While their roles in the industry vary widely, the experience and achievements they’ve amassed so far make it clear that the future of Canadian wealth management is in good hands.

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Kalee Boisvert

Kalee Boisvert Financial Services/ Raymond James


Blake Corey

Venn Wealth Partners


Susan Daley

PWL Capital – Waterloo Team


Maria Jose Flores

Carte Wealth Management


Steven Furtado

Zagari, Simpson Wealth Management/ Mandeville Private Client


Dustin Hladkyj

CIBC Imperial Service


John Iaconetti

The McClelland Financial Group/ Assante Capital Management


Michael Katugampola Sun Life Global Investments


SUSAN DALEY Portfolio manager PWL Capital – Waterloo Team Age: 30 Years in the industry: 7

In 2019, Susan Daley won the Young Gun Award at WP’s Women in Wealth Management Summit. It was the latest addition to a list of accomplishments that also includes obtaining both her CFA and CFP by the age of 28 and a maintaining 9,000-plus-subscriber YouTube channel to provide financial advice to younger Canadians. Her YouTube channel has allowed Daley to get her name out to potential clients, something she admits can be a challenge for younger advisors. “Many entry-level positions are focused on sales,” she says. “There are so many different things to learn in this industry, but many of the entry-level roles force you to go out and find clients right away, so younger professionals are forced to think about making a living first and everything else second.” Daley says she was fortunate to find a team that helped her learn the ropes while continuing her education. “Furthering my knowledge within the industry is always a goal of mine, as it will ultimately lead me to better serve clients,” she says. “There is so much to learn within the realm of wealth management that I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning.”

Jess Keus

Bonten Wealth Management/ Wellington-Altus Private Wealth


Gloria Malek

The Malek Group/ TD Wealth Private Investment Advice


Jean Moquin

Tétrault Wealth Advisory Group/ Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management


Karl Nour

Nour Private Wealth


Chris Poole

CWP Financial Services/Sun Life Financial



Adam Pukalo

PI Financial Corp.


Senior financial advisor and retirement specialist

Lubaba Rukhsana

T.E. Wealth/CWB Private Investment Counsel


CIBC Imperial Service

Jennifer Schmid

Doherty & Bryant Financial Strategists/CWB Private Investment Counsel


Cooper Schnurr

Unity Group Financial


Ladan Shokrgozar

Popescu Ashton Group/ Harbourfront Wealth Management


Jason Simpson

Simpson Morden Financial Solutions/ IPC Securities


David Spencer

First Avenue Investment Counsel


Amy Tang

Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network


Sean Wheeler

The Wheeler Team/IG Wealth Management


Brandon Yanchus

IG Wealth Management


Oliver Yoon

Purpose Advisor Solutions


Age: 33 Years in the industry: 13

Dustin Hladkyj looks back with pride on the path he has taken to get where he is today, joining CIBC as a young advisor and taking advantage of all of the opportunities that were presented to him. “I realized how important experience was going to be and was willing to work hard and accept any opportunity to gain experience and grow my knowledge base,” he says. “It has taken me to many rural Manitoba communities, where I was able to grow as an advisor. There are going to be situations where you can’t pull on real-life experience to relate with clients, so it’s imperative to find situations where you can grow your own experience and knowledge base.” Hladkyj also stresses the importance of mentorship – something he’s eager to offer after more than a decade in the industry. “I have worked alongside some wonderful mentors,” he says. “I look forward to providing that kind of mentorship and direction to new wealth industry professionals.”

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RISING STARS GLORIA MALEK Investment advisor The Malek Group/TD Wealth Private Investment Advice Age: 34 Years in the industry: 9

Gloria Malek began her career as a software engineer and code developer, working on banking software. However, the lack of interaction with others left her wanting more. She decided to return to school and earned a commerce degree, after which she set out on a path in wealth management. “I realized that the world of investments is not that different from the world of engineering,” she says. “You design an algorithm, follow the methods, and find and execute a process that works while making changes as you go and adapting to different market conditions.” Nine years in, Malek attributes her success to understanding her clients’ needs and priorities and creating a path for them to get from point A to point B. “It is very common for investors to focus on creating and growing wealth, while tax efficiency and lifestyle protection usually fall through the cracks,” she says. “Our responsibility is to not only ensure that the investment portfolio is successful and efficient, but to wrap our arms around them and safeguard what truly matters to them, which is usually beyond money.” Providing her clients with peace of mind has been her greatest success so far, Malek says. “It all starts with listening and understanding what matters to them the most and then creating a comprehensive plan. When we couple this plan with sound investments, we ensure everything will go just as intended.”

DAVID SPENCER Director/portfolio manager, private client group First Avenue Investment Counsel Age: 33 Years in the industry: 11

David Spencer is a firm believer that to be a successful portfolio manager, you need to go beyond traditional investment management. For him, holistic services are fundamental to success. “Advisors/PMs must marry a sound investment and asset allocation strategy with comprehensive financial planning, which encompasses a client’s personal and financial goals and objectives,” he says. “The successful advisor of tomorrow must be able to seamlessly incorporate in-depth retirement planning, tax planning and will/estate planning into all of their work with clients.” Spencer traces his interest in wealth management to his parents. His father was an accountant, and his mother taught English as a second language. “The dual importance of financial literacy and effective communication was instilled in me at a very young age,” Spencer says. “I have always been passionate about finance, but I also love interacting with and helping people, so private client wealth management was a natural fit.” Since he joined First Avenue Investment Counsel in 2016, Spencer has seen it grow from approximately $300 million in AUM to close to $1 billion. “The opportunity to work with and learn from the incredible people at our firm is something I am incredibly grateful for, and that has undoubtedly fast-tracked my personal and professional development,” he says. “I strongly believe that First Avenue can become one of the premier wealth management and family office firms in Canada. I am excited to be an integral part of that growth.”


LUBABA RUKHSANA Head of research and portfolio manager T.E. Wealth/CWB Private Investment Counsel Age: 30 Years in the industry: 8

Lubaba Rukhsana’s longstanding interest in capital markets drove her to obtain a business degree with a focus in finance, along with a CFA designation in 2016, which facilitated her transition into a portfolio manager role. Yet Rukhsana says her true motivation for entering wealth management goes beyond the numbers. “Although I am fascinated by how the markets work and market influences, I also care deeply about people, and helping others is really important to me,” she says. “Now that I am in the role of portfolio manager, I have come to realize that being able to use my knowledge while helping my clients is the perfect career choice for me.” There are several qualities Rukhsana believes advisors must have to find success. “To be a successful wealth industry professional, one needs to be intrinsically motivated, able to genuinely empathize with clients and care deeply about their financial success,” she says. Moving forward, Rukhsana says she’ll continue to follow that model as she takes on more clients. “Having transitioned to the portfolio manager role, I would like to continue to build my client base, develop even stronger relationships with my clients and continue striving to service them to the best of my abilities,” she says.

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ADAM PUKALO Portfolio manager, equities and commodity futures advisor PI Financial Corp. Age: 29 Years in the industry: 9

A finalist for the Young Achievers Award at the 2020 Wealth Professional Awards, Adam Pukalo traces his interest in wealth management back to grade school, when he first learned about his own RESP. “My fascination came with the precious metals mutual fund in my RESP,” he recalls. “I have always wanted to educate investors on how best to position their portfolio.” After starting out as part of a team of advisors, Pukalo branched off on his own; today, he specializes in helping farmers. He says one of his greatest successes has been “completing, over the last two years, the purchase of a practice with a 98% retention rate of clients.” He was also recently named to his firm’s Gold Club. Pukalo believes one key to being a successful advisor is knowing you can’t have all the answers. “A successful wealth industry professional is someone who knows their strengths and weaknesses when helping clients,” he says. “No one can be an expert in everything, and advisors need to know when to say, ‘I don’t know the answer to your question; let me find out for you.’” Looking ahead, Pukalo’s goal is simply to keep helping his target clientele as best he can. “I picture myself, and a future team, being able to help farmers in all financial aspects,” he says. “Many need help with retirement planning, managing their commodity risk, tax strategies and legal advice.”

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RISING STARS JOHN IACONETTI Financial advisor The McClelland Financial Group/Assante Wealth Management Age: 27 Years in the industry: 4

MARIA JOSE FLORES Chief compliance officer Carte Wealth Management Age: 35 Years in the industry: 12

Professionals on the compliance side of the industry rarely receive recognition – yet in a constantly shifting environment, their role is vital to advisors’ and investors’ success. Maria Jose Flores began her career in accounting in her home country of Ecuador and transitioned to the financial services industry when she moved to Canada in 2005. After completing a co-op placement at Carte Wealth Management, she became an advisor and then the company’s chief compliance officer. Flores sees one of the major challenges for wealth professionals as outdated policies that were written years ago and don’t apply in the same manner now. “Things have evolved, but these regulations haven’t – i.e. there are no current regulations with something like electronic signatures,” she says. “Policies are currently not adaptable for the younger generation.” Flores is doing her part to help her firm and says one of her biggest highlights is being able to help advisors improve. “I love seeing advisors who are ethical and thrive in their client-advisor relationships,” she says. “I feel most fulfilled when I train advisors, gain feedback on advice, and the lessons I’ve shared resonate with them. My greatest success is when I influence someone – then I feel like I have accomplished a lot.”


A finalist for the Young Achievers Award at the 2020 Wealth Professional Awards, John Iaconetti was inspired to become a financial advisor by a desire to help people. “I believe a career is more than just a pay cheque,” he says. “It is how can you use your skills to give back to your community. I became a financial advisor because it allows me to use my strengths to help those who need it most.” A lack of financial literacy, he says, is one of the biggest obstacles for people looking to manage their money, as well as an industry in need of young talent. “I think the biggest challenge is how little financial literacy is covered in the education system,” he says. “If there were a greater focus to teach children and teenagers at a grassroots level, more of them would develop an interest at an early age and pursue it in post-secondary school. I take responsibility as an advisor to ensure that I can educate my clients on all financial matters. Our jobs should not only be providing advice, but educating our clients to ensure that they understand why we are making our recommendations.” For Iaconetti, helping clients achieve their financial goals is paramount – “whether that be buying a home, retiring or paying for their child’s education,” he says. “There is no greater feeling than playing a role in helping someone achieve their dream.”

CHRIS POOLE President and corporate financial planner CWP Financial Services/Sun Life Financial Age: 35 Years in the industry: 8

Chris Poole has been an entrepreneur since he was 15, having run and sold two corporations. That experience allows him to “appreciate the vision, the cash flow and ‘day in the life’ of business owners,” he says. “I started in this industry so that I could help business owners grow their companies and protect their families by better understanding the moving parts within their own unique structures.” Poole believes there is a major money crisis in Canada and that successful advisors must help people better understand their own situations. “Canadians are so focused on their work, on their families and on enjoying their lives that they often don’t have the time or energy to actively understand their own financial situations,” he says. “This means that many Canadians simply wing it when it comes to their money.” Poole and his team at CWP Financial have put a priority on helping clients understand their financial situations, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I am truly grateful for the industry success we’ve experienced to date,” Poole says, “but I’m outstandingly proud of the transition our CWP team has undergone since COVID caught the world by surprise earlier this year. With a quick pivot, we’ve now ultimately opened our ‘third office location’ by launching an end-to-end digital service client experience.” That digital service has led to more recognition for Poole, helping to place him among Sun Life’s top-performing national holistic and national wealth advisors in 2020. In addition, CWP Financial is on track to qualify for Million Dollar Round Table’s Top of the Table in 2020.

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LADAN SHOKRGOZAR Portfolio manager Popescu Ashton Group/Harbourfront Wealth Management Age: 31 Years in the industry: 12

Priding herself on “providing true independent, unbiased advice, with an unwavering commitment to serving clients’ holistic wealth management needs,” Ladan Shokrgozar is no stranger to recognition. While this is her first appearance on WP’s Rising Stars list, she has qualified for her firm’s Chairman’s Club for three consecutive years. Her team, Popescu Ashton Group, was also nominated for the second year in a row as Advisory Team of the Year (Fewer Than 10 Staff) at the 2020 Wealth Professional Awards, where Shokrgozar herself is a finalist for the Young Achievers Award. It was a combination of passions that steered Shokrgozar toward wealth management. “I have an economics background and have always been passionate about the field,” she says. “I hold a high regard for developing and fostering relationships with people of all walks of life; therefore, this industry was a natural fit for me.” However, it’s not an easy industry to break into; Shokrgozar says finding strong mentors is important for young advisors. “Outside of distinguishing an atmosphere and role within the various channels of the industry which is best suited to their character, it’s important to consider an environment that supports the growth of the individual,” she says. “Large institutions prefer established advisors, and companies have been consolidating smaller practices to streamline the expenses. Finding like-minded mentors to help guide them towards their aspirations is crucial.”

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RISING STARS JEAN MOQUIN Business development associate Tétrault Wealth Advisory Group/Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management Age: 32 Years in the industry: 3

When Tétrault Wealth Advisory Group took home Digital Innovator of the Year at the 2019 Wealth Professional Awards, it was, for Jean Moquin, a validation of a chance he’d taken years earlier. “I approached my friend Rob Tétrault in April 2017 through a cold call,” he says. “I asked him if he needed assistance with online marketing and business development for his practice. I had always wanted to get into the wealth industry and knew there was a need for digital innovation. As a passionate online marketer and always intrigued by the stock market, I relished the opportunity to grow both the Tétrault Wealth Advisory Group and the Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management brands online.” Moquin has implemented and beta tested a new email marketing service provider for Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, along with creating a semi-automated digital marketing system that has generated more than $110 million in AUM in just under two years. He’s also helped Tétrault grow an unrivalled social media presence. Now Moquin has his sights set on helping the Tétrault Wealth Advisory Group keep increasing its AUM. “I would also love to do some public speaking to share my knowledge and experience with digital marketing in the wealth industry,” he says. “And I want to keep providing value on online marketing and wealth management to those who need it and to those who want to make a positive difference in people’s lives.”

COOPER SCHNURR General manager Unity Group Financial Age: 27 Years in the industry: 6

Cooper Schnurr has long been a proponent of continuing education. At 27, he’s already racked up CHS, CFP and CLU designations, while simultaneously trying to complete his CFA and a master’s degree in taxation. That education has helped him navigate the ups and downs of an industry that’s often challenging for young advisors. “This industry can be overwhelming and full of great information along with misinformation,” he says. “Being confident and knowledgeable is a huge advantage that only comes with years in the industry. Entering this business at a young age can be a real chicken-and-egg scenario. Needing the experience while having just started out can be daunting, especially if you have dependants or school debt.” During his six years in the industry, Schnurr has found that the best qualities an advisor can have are honesty and transparency. “The information out there can be daunting for clients, and it’s important for advisors to educate clients in a clear and honest way about what is available and what might be the best solution for their individual situations,” he says. In addition to completing his current programs of study, Schnurr’s ultimate goal is to “develop a pipeline where clients are contacting me to help structure their corporate and personal assets in the most tax-efficient way for them to use during their lives and to help them maximize a lasting legacy through their estates.”


BLAKE COREY CEO Venn Wealth Partners Age: 35 Years in the industry: 11

Blake Corey’s decision to enter wealth management was cemented when he met the partners of the firm where he began his career. “I knew I could learn a lot from them and that they would support me in what I was trying to accomplish,” Corey says. “Because of them, I have built relationships with people in the industry, garnered awards and recognition, and [was] pushed to ask questions around what I want from this career to grow as a professional.” Now, as the CEO of Venn Wealth Partners, Corey is taking what he’s learned and putting it into practice. “I think what makes a successful wealth professional is the ability to communicate the abstract in a clear and concise manner to clients,” he says. “Technical knowledge, education and industry understanding are prerequisites. The ability to apply those things to what matters most to your clients’ outcomes is what truly sets a person apart.” Corey recognizes that the wealth management industry has reached a point where many clients are looking for integrated services, which is why his goal is to create a model that resembles a multifamily office. “As people have increasing options for managing these things, the onus will be on us as professionals to deliver outcomes and experiences beyond what we thought possible in the past,” he says.

JASON SIMPSON Wealth advisor Simpson Morden Financial Solutions/IPC Securities Age: 33 Years in the industry: 13

AMY TANG Financial advisor Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network Age: 34 Years in the industry: 7

After spending time in the service industry, Amy Tang realized she had a passion for delivering exceptional customer service. Looking for a way to challenge herself while following that passion, she landed in wealth management seven years ago. “There is nothing more satisfying than being able to see the smile on the client’s face when they meet their milestones, no matter how big or small, and the feeling that you played a role in guiding them there,” she says. For Tang, success as an advisor is all about relationships. “We are in a rare profession that allows us to be involved with very personal moments, while at the same time delivering key planning essentials,” she says. “ We laugh together, we cry together, we celebrate together, and we work hard together to build a plan to help achieve the client’s goals.” Tang attributes her success to the powerful team around her. “I am blessed to work with a team where we all play an integral role in achieving the same goal: helping our clients,” she says. “The success and the recognition naturally just falls into place. I came from working as an independent advisor to joining my mentor’s practice and building our team. I found myself suddenly in the position where my mentor once was, and I am now the one with the vision and offering words of encouragement for more.”

A second-generation advisor, Jason Simpson was indoctrinated into the world of financial planning from an early age. “One of my first jobs as a teenager was delivering pizzas,” he says. “My dad would sit me down on a Monday and ask, ‘What are you going to do with the $180 you made this weekend?’ We would make a plan together. I started at age 20 doing administrative work and preparing income tax returns for my dad’s clients. I also sat in on hundreds of client meetings, investment and insurance conferences, and other industry events, just taking in whatever I could.” After more than a decade in the industry, Simpson attributes his success to his commitment to professionalism, education and interacting with clients. It’s helped him build a career full of highlights, including “when I brought the IIROC platform to our branch six years ago – previously, all of our advisors were MFDA-only,” he says. “Completing my CFP was another. On a more personal level, after a client meeting just two weeks ago, this client told me that she appreciates us looking after her more than we could possibly know. That was the only time I can remember almost choking up as an advisor.” Given that he’s only 33, Simpson has many years ahead to expand his presence in the industry. “My goal is continuing my own learning and education, continuing to find my voice in this industry, and hopefully bringing some new and exciting ideas to the table,” he says.

OLIVER YOON Vice-president, advisor strategy and business management Purpose Advisor Solutions Age: 29 Years in the industry: 10

It’s been a big year for Purpose Advisor Solutions (PAS), which acquired Wealthsimple for Advisors in January. Oliver Yoon is in charge of driving the practice management platform’s business strategy, but his experience in the industry sprang from an unlikely place: selling mutual funds in grocery stores through CIBC’s PC Financial branch network. Yoon also spent time at TD, and those early experiences helped pave the way for his current role with PAS. “Within a large bank environment, most of your deliverables have been worked on by a predecessor, and you can always reach out to others within the organization that have done some variation of your job before,” he says. “To the contrary, PAS is a company that is driving an entirely new business model. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the focus of my job continues to shift every three months, and driving solutions to address these evolving organizational needs is something I am proud of.” For Yoon, success in this industry comes down to building trust. “You must establish yourself as someone others can trust to find success in this industry,” he says. “This is important not only for the client-advisor relationship, but extends across the entire wealth management value chain, including relationships with direct members of your team, centres of influence, compliance and risk partners, custodial partners, asset managers, and technology partners.”

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RISING STARS SEAN WHEELER Senior financial consultant/division director The Wheeler Team/IG Wealth Management Age: 34 Years in the industry: 10

JENNIFER SCHMID Vice-president and financial consultant Doherty & Bryant Financial Strategists/ CWB Private Investment Counsel Age: 35 Years in the industry: 6

Jennifer Schmid began her career in accounting, but she soon realized that path lacked the opportunity to interact with different people and industries. “When I discovered financial planning, I instantly knew it was for me,” she says. “I had always been interested in strategies to make finances and money work for me, so it made absolute sense to do exactly that for other people, too.” While making a smooth transition from accounting to financial planning could have been a struggle, it’s a point of pride for Schmid that she was able to shift so easily between the two roles. “I was very pleased to obtain two significant planning designations – CFP and RFP – in just two years and to have built solid, long-lasting relationships with about 60 families in my client base in just over six years.” Those relationships, along with her passion for the industry, have brought Schmid considerable success. Now she’s looking to leverage her experiences to help clients who are small business owners and entrepreneurs. “The complications of adding a family business or corporation to a family’s net worth are enormous and difficult to navigate,” she says. “I’d like to free up those people from having to worry about financial issues so they can follow their passion for their business while I am following mine.”


In just a decade in the wealth management industry, Sean Wheeler has risen to impressive heights. He has been a top performer in his region, province and across the country in multiple financial planning categories, while also being one of the most successful directors at IG Wealth Management. At the beginning of his career, Wheeler found it challenging to overcome his age and showcase his knowledge. “I was 24 when I started in the industry and looked much younger than that,” he says. “I am acutely aware of the perception that some clients can have when it comes to age. Along with the perception of a lack of experience and knowledge, I would say it is potentially getting harder with the compression of fees. It is more difficult to get to a point of establishment in order to continue to be competitive.” Wheeler has no problem standing out today, though, and his goal is to be the go-to financial planner in his area. “I plan on being the name of financial planning in my city, as well as the place people come to find financial peace of mind for the whole of Southern Alberta,” he says. “I plan to continue to be a driving force to expand the influence of our office to many other communities surrounding Medicine Hat.”

KALEE BOISVERT Financial advisor Kalee Boisvert Financial Services/Raymond James Age: 35 Years in the industry: 12

A finalist for the Young Achievers Award at the 2020 Wealth Professional Awards, Kalee Boisvert attributes her success to the trust she’s built with her clients. “It’s all about the relationship and how we show up to serve our clients,” she says. “It’s about building a long-term, lasting partnership. We must take the time to really listen and set the course together, and deeply understand their goals and dreams and their concerns. Being a partner means keeping our clients constantly in the loop and performing our tasks with complete transparency and open communication.” Boisvert was drawn to wealth management by her love of numbers and a Grade 7 stock market assignment, but what cemented her path was a more personal experience. “What solidified my desire to pursue a career in this industry was witnessing the financial struggles my single mom endured when I was growing up,” she says. “I knew I wanted to do my part to put an end to money-related stress.” Today, Boisvert has been able to build her business and complete her MBA while being a single mom herself, something she takes great pride in. She’s also passionate about supporting female investors and improving the financial literacy of children. “I am working on getting my children’s picture book series published, which is about a young girl learning about money,” she says. “As well, I plan to build a team of like-minded women advisors to create a go-to place for women to get investing support and gain confidence about their money.”

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MICHAEL KATUGAMPOLA Director, wealth sales Sun Life Global Investments Age: 31 Years in the industry: 6

Michael Katugampola has always been intrigued by the idea of taking a complex subject, fully understanding it, and then simplifying and contextualizing it for others. Today, as director of wealth sales for Sun Life Global Investments, that’s a key part of Katugampola’s job. While Katugampola has achieved immense success on the sales side of the industry, he says his greatest career highlight was being willing to take a big risk. “Taking a leap of faith to move across the country and follow my dream job in our industry is my greatest success,” he says. “It’s amazing what you can achieve by pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.” Katugampola urges other young people entering the industry to take some time to find their calling. “The biggest challenge is finding a role within this space which is the right fit for you,” he says. “It wasn’t easy, but I had a very honest conversation with myself about my strengths and weaknesses. Under that mindset, I strived to explore opportunities in which I believed I could make the most impact.” Now he hopes to keep making an impact as his career progresses. “My primary goal is to continue to support and partner with other like-minded financial professionals across the country who are ultimately looking to leave a positive and lasting impact on the financial well-being of Canadians,” he says.

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RISING STARS BRANDON YANCHUS Financial planner IG Wealth Management Age: 30 Years in the industry: 8

After graduating from university, Brandon Yanchus followed his entrepreneurial spirit into the wealth management industry. “I saw the value of the work and the impact I could have on clients’ lives as a financial planner,” he says. “I want to make a lasting impact within my community, and I believe that multi-generational wealth planning does exactly that.” Yanchus is a firm believer that being successful in this industry means going above and beyond for clients. “It’s not just a business – it’s about investing in the client experience and valuing relationships,” he says. “Nobody wants to be a number at an institution – clients want tailored, timely and professional service through their various life stages. I believe the value we add as wealth professionals should significantly enhance our clients’ lives in countless ways.” By building his business with a focus on relationships, Yanchus believes he can combat the pervasive lack of public awareness around the role of a financial advisor. “Young people and seasoned professionals entering the industry face a very similar problem; no one knows who they are or what they do for clients,” he says. “New advisors need to be constantly marketing themselves in order to attract and grow their practice – and that marketing effort mustn’t ever stop, but simply adapt to changing landscapes.”

KARL NOUR Investment advisor and insurance advisor Nour Private Wealth Age: 31 Years in the industry: 7

Karl Nour began his career in wealth management after following his older brother, Elie, into the business in 2013 and moved with him when Nour Private Wealth was relaunched as a fully independent firm in 2018. “I joined the industry under the guidance and mentorship of my older brother, who is an extremely successful advisor,” Nour says. “I was inspired by his dedication to his clients’ overall happiness and experience.” At just 31, Nour has already been recognized multiple times for his performance in the industry. In 2019, he cracked the Wealth Professional Top 50 Advisors list, coming in at number 46. Later that year, he was a finalist for Young Gun of the Year at the Wealth Professional Awards. Yet Nour says his biggest highlight has been his ability to polish his skills during a period of transition. “One thing that I am proud of was the ability to grow my skill set and practice while overcoming all the obstacles of moving from Montreal to Oakville,” he says. “We operated from four different offices in a year and a half until finally settling in our current office. The greatest success so far is attributed to launching our independent dealership in September 2018.” For Nour, hard work, determination, persistence, humbleness, and the ability to accept constructive criticism and learn from mistakes are all vital qualities for success in this industry. He also puts a high priority on continuing education – he’s currently working on completing his CIM and has his sights set on earning his CFP in 2021.


STEVEN FURTADO Investment advisor Zagari, Simpson Wealth Management/ Mandeville Private Client Age: 33 Years in the industry: 5

Being nominated for the Young Achievers Award at the 2020 Wealth Professional Awards isn’t the only recognition Steven Furtado has received. In 2019, he was also a finalist for the Rising Star Award at the WP Awards and was named the Knowledge Bureau’s Distinguished Advisor of the Year. Yet for Furtado, success is measured in his interactions with clients. “I think every advisor would agree with me when I say my greatest success has been every client who has thanked me for playing a key role in helping them achieve their own personal, professional and financial goals,” he says. Furtado traces his interest in the industry to his childhood. “Investing and money management was a priority ingrained in me at a young age thanks to my parents, who came to Canada in the 1970s with very little,” he says. “My passion for entrepreneurship and investing continued to grow as I spent nearly 15 years working and operating our family business.” Today, nurturing his entrepreneurial spirit is one of Furtado’s primary motivators. “I am an entrepreneur at heart, and I am exactly where I want to be,” he says. “This career has given me the opportunity to co-invest alongside my clients in their goals, allowing me to invest my time and my ideas into their plans, their goals and their success. I want to continue having the privilege to build a business based on helping clients build theirs.”

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JESSICA KEUS Investment advisor Bonten Wealth Management/Wellington-Altus Private Wealth Age: 35 Years in the industry: 3

Jessica Keus has always had a passion for financial education, creating relationships and providing advice. When she met her mentor, Laurie Bonten, Keus bid her career in retail banking goodbye and signed on to help Bonten further her mission to create the best female-led practice in Canada. Keus sees the relationships she’s built with clients as her biggest success. “Recently, I was stunned by someone sharing through their social media the emotional impact I had on her family,” she says. “Taking the time to build on financial literacy with her children brought up all kinds of emotions when it came to her family’s financial goals. This initial step of including the entire family made a large impact. Starting early and instilling your financial values with young children and preparing them for financial independence facilitates the important conversations around money.” Keus plans to use social media to continue nurturing those relationships. “This is where people will hear and review us, which is why I strive to develop an approachable and relatable platform that helps educate and motivate others,” she says. “It’s time to pay attention to the voices coming to us. No one wants to be told what to do – people want their voices to be heard and to be involved in their decisions.”

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Successful strategies for the uncertain months ahead Leaders from Dynamic Funds offer insights and key strategies advisors should use to protect and grow portfolios after the tumult of the last two quarters

MUCH AS it might feel like a whole year – or century – has passed since the start of 2020, we’re only around the halfway point. Taking stock as we enter Q3 of this truly tumultuous year, the leaders of Dynamic Funds shared their insights on the quarters past and the successful strategies for advisors in the months to come.

They say that active management and experience, too, are proving to be strong differentiators. Going forward, they see increasing importance for alternatives in portfolios as investors seek even greater diversification, protection and growth. “The performance story for financial markets during the first half 2020 is a tale of

“Advisors should choose legitimately active managers. During times of uncertainty, the dispersion between winners and losers can be significant, and it’s challenging to pick the securities that can thrive in a post-COVID-19 world” David De Pastena, Dynamic Funds Myles Zyblock, Chief Investment Strategist at Dynamic Funds, and David De Pastena, VP of Portfolio Solutions, say that after a “tale of two quarters,” the merits of broad diversification and a focus on strategy over tactics have shown themselves to be winning approaches.


two very different-looking quarters,” Zyblock says. “During the first quarter, worries about rapidly expanding viral contagion hit markets hard, with some of the biggest losers being crude oil, equities and high-yield credit. As policymakers flooded the system

with stimulus, and as viral caseloads began to moderate, the first quarter’s hardest-hit assets were among the leaders through the sharp recovery which took hold during Q2.” Zyblock says there was a wide spread between winners and losers through Q2 as certain sectors crumbled while others rebounded with real strength. In such an environment, he says, it’s tempting to try to time big asset price swings. Zyblock and De Pastena both say, though, that most investors should avoid this temptation. They say that getting the timing right is incredibly difficult, and any shifts can introduce unwanted volatility. “The other, often overlooked, reason is that timing is not a single asset decision,” De Pastena says. “In order to add to one holding, you must take away from another. This implies that there are actually two bets going on. This can become dangerous if one increases the bet size to the point where an asset far exceeds its intended strategic target weight.” Rather than timing the market, Dynamic advocates for a strategic diversification approach to portfolio construction. While they’ve long pushed for diversification, Zyblock and De Pastena say that in the uncer-

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“We believe it is better to be prepared by being positioned ahead of time. This is the point of strategic diversification” Myles Zyblock, Dynamic Funds tain months ahead, broad diversification can protect against asset price crashes with unforeseeable rebounds. While the last crash saw bonds outpace equities, they say this may not be the case in the next downturn. Now they see a new pillar that can help meet an investor’s risk and return goals: alternatives. Zyblock and De Pastena say the COVID19-driven crash has shown the value of alternatives’ performance in a stressed situation. While they see the asset class as useful across a longer time horizon, they see the recent crisis as a strong test case for alternatives. To make this case, they mapped the year-to-date performance of a 40% equity, 30% bond and 30% alternative asset allocation, an approach used by a growing number of global pension funds. They saw that alternatives performed differently from

both equities and bonds, offering a whole ‘third pillar’ of support. Within a balanced portfolio, too, alternatives delivered a slightly better return, a shallower draw-down and a smoother ride through the crisis. Zyblock and De Pastena note, too, that timing wasn’t necessary to achieve this performance. It was driven by a strategic outlook that they say could have been improved by perfectly timed decisions but was not subjected to the large risks of an ill-timed move. “We believe it is better to be prepared by being positioned ahead of time,” Zyblock says. “This is the point of strategic diversification.” Along with the addition of alternatives and choosing strategic allocations with regular rebalancing instead of a market timing strategy, De Pastena laid out three additional

moves advisors can make to protect their clients in uncertain market times. “Advisors should choose legitimately active managers,” De Pastena says. “During times of uncertainty, the dispersion between winners and losers can be significant, and it’s challenging to pick the securities that can thrive in a post-COVID-19 world. Now more than ever, it’s important to consider managers who are legitimately active in their security selection. “Experience is key in finding those managers – less than 53% of portfolio managers have under nine years of experience. Most have never dealt with a recessionary market. Advisors should partner with managers who have a real track record of success protecting assets in difficult markets. “Finally, advisors need to measure and manage liquidity. Certain asset classes, such as private equity, credit, options or smallcaps, carry significant liquidity risk, and this is particularly so in turbulent times. By knowing what markets carry significant liquidity risks, you can better manage the risk of ‘mark to market’ pricing and avoid future potential loss.”

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Master of adaptation Advisor and former professional golfer Kelly Roberts attributes his longevity in wealth management to his ability to constantly evolve

MUCH LIKE a golfer, a financial advisor must always adapt to the conditions. It’s a lesson Kelly Roberts has taken to heart, both in his former life as a competitive golfer and in his four-decade career as an advisor. After studying finance at Indiana University, Roberts pursued his passion as a professional golfer for two years but eventually found his way to wealth management. “I was always interested in numbers and financial aspects,” he recalls. “My ex-father-in-law worked at Midland Doherty and encouraged me to move in that direction.” Roberts entered the industry in 1979 at Midland Doherty in Guelph, Ontario, then moved to London in 1981. In 1987, he became branch manager, a role he held for seven years before moving back to client services. He built a team and witnessed his firm transition to Midland Walwyn, then to Merrill Lynch and later to Wood Gundy. In 2005, he moved his team to Wellington West, which was bought by National Bank in 2011. Roberts has remained with National Bank ever since, today overseeing the Roberts Advisory Group. “I always thought I would get into a business where people use my product every day, something like soap or coffee cups,” he says. “After a while, I realized people use money every day, and our job is to help them with their money. This is the perfect business because people need advice, and it’s an opportunity to help them reach goals.”


As his business card has changed over the years, so has Roberts’ approach. “When I first started, it was more of a ‘stock of the day’ approach, looking for opportunities to recommend,” he says. “Now it is full wealth management, looking at the long-term goals and plans and trying to make sure that clients’ portfolios fit. As we have evolved, there were many transitions I needed to go through to make sure I was part of today’s society. It’s a business of evolution, and there’s lots of noise out there. We need to cut down the noise and make it as simple as possible for our clients to meet their goals.” One of Roberts’ keys to success has been copying the blueprint of other successful people, something he jokes would have given him a longer professional golf career if he’d adopted the same approach with the sport. “When I first got into the industry, I had never bought a stock,” he says. “As I went, I learned from others. I became a real student of the market. I read a lot of market history

and examined different cycles.” He also attributes his success to the mindset he developed as a competitive golfer. “I think there’s a certain amount of trust with competitive golfers because we are conditioned to follow rules – it’s in our DNA,” he says. “There’s a certain credibility I think golfers get. You still must do a good job to last in the business, but golf has given me the habits of discipline, organization and time scheduling, which have been beneficial for me to do a good job.” Roberts’ latest evolution has been to follow the business as it moves more toward relationship management rather than just portfolio management – a trend he believes will only accelerate in the wake of COVID19. Roberts has taken advantage of options like external portfolio management expertise to allow him to focus on relationships. “Sometimes people who have been in the industry as long as I have have a hard time admitting the things we do have become

HITTING THE LINKS While Roberts’ career as a professional golfer ended decades ago, the sport has remained an integral part of his life. In addition to regularly using the skills he picked up during his time as a competitive golfer, he has served in various volunteer capacities with Golf Canada, Golf Ontario and now as president of the Canadian Senior Golf Association. He’s also the co-chair of a local charity called Golfers Care. The group hosts an annual fundraiser in support of the London Food Bank, which has raised more than $500,000 to date.

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PRACTICE Roberts Advisory Group

FIRM National Bank Financial



“It’s a business of evolution, and there’s lots of noise out there. We need to cut down the noise and make it as simple as possible for our clients to meet their goals” commoditized and are available from bright people at a reasonable fee,” he says. Going forward, Roberts is focused on continuing to build those relationships and has no plans to step away anytime soon. “As long as I am healthy and can think well, I want to keep doing what I am doing,” he says.

“I have fabulous clients and great opportunities to help people. I have a young partner, Alex Prudhomme, who I expect is going to be a superstar in this business. As we move forward, he will take over more of the day-to-day, but I intend to continue focusing on keeping and building relationships.”


EDUCATION Finance degree from Indiana University

GOLF TITLES Canadian Junior Boys golf champion in 1971

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Winners today, winners tomorrow Middlefield Group’s latest fund offers direct exposure to the two sectors that are poised to dominate the post-pandemic recovery SINCE THE COVID-19 pandemic smashed into equities, two sectors have set the tone of the market recovery: technology and healthcare. Companies in both sectors have been the beneficiaries of societal changes, media narratives and government policies. That’s why Middlefield Group has launched a new closed-end fund on the TSX, offering direct exposure to these two sectors. The Sustainable Innovation & Health Dividend Fund (SIH.UN) is designed to capitalize on powerful new trends in how we work, shop, heal and cure. The fund offers access to firms

to using e-commerce have gone, the way we consume media is changing dramatically, and I don’t think the genie goes back in the bottle here, when all is said and done.” At the same time, Sagawa says investors need to navigate the technology and media sectors thoughtfully, as some companies aren’t set up to weather this shift in consumption. For example, he notes that Disney’s profit drivers of theatrical films and theme parks are both going to be hamstrung for the medium to long term. He also points out that the predicted banner year in smartphone

“It’s very clear that there are whole categories of tech that are actually advantaged by the societal changes we’ve seen from the pandemic” Paul Sagawa, SSR Investment benefiting from accelerating growth in e-commerce, remote work, life sciences innovation and digital health. Middlefield’s management team is targeting companies that are set to deliver consistent, sustainable growth beyond the pandemic while avoiding those likely to face their own reckonings. “I think it’s very clear that there are whole categories of tech that are actually advantaged by the societal changes we’ve seen from the pandemic,” says Paul Sagawa, head of TMT research at SSR Investment and the technology advisor for this fund. “People are working and studying from home, we do grocery shopping online, some of the barriers people had


sales might not happen in 2020 if consumers choose to delay upgrading their devices. The healthcare sector also requires a detailed approach. Shane Obata, portfolio manager at Middlefield, explains that many healthcare firms have been made essential and more profitable by the pandemic. However, Dr. Richard Evans of SSR Health, the fund’s healthcare advisor, says that rather than making a moonshot investment in a single firm developing a vaccine for COVID-19, they’re considering the reality that treatments and vaccines will come from the collective work of many firms. In life sciences, Obata and Evans are looking for firms like AstraZeneca that have strong balance

FAST FACTS: MIDDLEFIELD SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION & HEALTH DIVIDEND FUND Ticker symbol: SIH.UN Private/public asset ratio: 20%/80% Target yield: 4% Core subsectors targeted: Work from home, e-commerce, life sciences, digital health Management team: Dean Orrico, president and CIO; Robert Lauzon, deputy CIO; Shane Obata, executive director and portfolio manager Industry consultants: Paul Sagawa, SSR Investment; Dr. Richard Evans, SSR Health sheets and promising pipelines. They’re also investing in telehealth and other companies digitizing the provision of healthcare, from pharmacies to physio­ therapy. The latter, Obata says, has seen significant innovation during the pandemic and has established a level of convenience that consumers will demand in future. The fund’s initial offering ended in mid-August, and it’s now trading on the TSX. Obata explains that it offers exposure not just to the story-driven boom of the post-pandemic recovery, but to the companies that will sustainably define the new economy. “The overarching theme here is that these two sectors are uniquely well positioned to continue performing well,” he says. “We like that resilience, and we like the fact that they’re benefiting from secular growth schemes. They have staying power.”

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21/08/2020 24/06/2020 3:45:24 3:53:23 AM pm



How to build a more diverse team Michelle Gibbings explains how to push past unconscious bias to create a diverse team that can truly tackle complex problems

AS ORGANIZATIONS grapple with more complex decisions and an everincreasing pace of change, building a workforce equipped with the skills and experience to thrive in such an environment is critical. Finding this depth and breadth of talent means building a workforce that covers the full spectrum of diversity, including age, ethnicity, gender, thinking styles, disabilities and sexual orientation. To accomplish this, leaders need to challenge their decisionmaking patterns.

Seek out difference It’s natural to want to work with people you like and find easy to work with, and when you’re building a team or forming work groups, you often seek out such people. This is either done consciously or subconsciously. In the case of recruitment, for example, search criteria often specifically reference the desire to find a cultural fit. Cultural fit can mean different things to different people. Typically, if you ask people how they define whether someone is a cultural fit, they’ll give criteria such as:


lives the organization’s values

is able to work well with the team

will fit in with the rest of the group understands the organization’s objectives and buys into its vision

However, when you strip away the layers and get to the base-level drivers, what the person is looking for is someone they feel comfortable with – that is, someone they connect with because they can see aspects of themselves in that person.

friendly and a nice person. It’s about whether the hiring manager finds similarities with the person they’re interviewing. Research shows that we like people who are similar to us in terms of interests, backgrounds and experiences, and this has consequential impacts on hiring decisions. Researchers from Kellogg University found that getting hired for a job isn’t so much about the “soft or hard dimensions of

The more alike people are, the more likely they are to think along the same lines; therefore, there is less room for debate, discernment and disagreement Avoid likeability bias It’s often suggested that one of the key success criteria for a job interview is to come across as likeable – the premise being that the hiring manager has already positively assessed the candidate’s résumé for the required technical skills. Now all the hiring manager is seeking to test is whether they want to work with the person or not. This likeability isn’t just about being

the role,” but rather how similar the person being interviewed is to the person conducting the interview. It’s very easy for leaders to want to hire people who are like them. Similarity makes a person feel comfortable. However, when you hire people like you, you’re simply filling your team or work group with people who have similar backgrounds, experiences and thought processes.

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Improve decision-making Homogeneity can negatively impact how decisions are made. The more alike people are, the more likely they are to think along the same lines; therefore, there is less room for debate, discernment and disagreement. Separate research from Kellogg University found that diverse teams make better decisions. And that diversity isn’t just about gender or ethnicity – it also includes age, experience and background. The diverse groups outperformed the more homogeneous groups, not because of an influx of new ideas, but because the diversity triggered more careful processing of the information that was discussed. Complex problem-solving and critical thinking are the top two competencies that the World Economic Forum has identified as crucial to surviving in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This involves challenge, exploration, suspending judgment and being equipped with the cognitive capacity to look at problems in a different way – all of which is aided by having a diverse workforce. Successful, sustainable organizations recognize the need to equip their workforce with the capability and capacity to dig deeper into the mental models that drive

their thought processes and be ready to acquire knowledge from multiple sources and environments. Consequently, leaders need to be prepared to challenge their assumptions and expectations when building their teams.

Acknowledge the potential for bias, because we all have it to varying degrees.

Actively seek diversity of experience, background, ethnicity, age and gender (and all forms of diversity) when forming teams and work groups.

Recognize that the person at work who really annoys you is often the person you need to spend more time with. Why? Because the source of tension comes from their seeing the world differently than you, and this challenge to your frame of reference is good for your thought processes.

Invite other people into the decisionmaking process who can shift and provide alternate perspectives.

Build on strengths As part of this approach, leaders need to understand and then leverage the strengths

of their team. Research conducted over the last 30 years shows that taking a strengthsbased approach leads to greater work satisfaction, engagement and productivity. This is evidenced in Tom Rath and Barry Conchie’s book, Strengths Based Leadership, where they detail how working with strengths helps leaders be more effective. Leaders play a crucial role in bringing strengths to life at work – for both themselves and their team members. It starts with the leader understanding their own strengths and how they are best used at work. The next step is to help team members appreciate the strengths they bring to their role, and recognize and value the strengths their colleagues bring to their roles. This is best done through a series of team development activities, which will help team members understand and leverage their individual and collective strengths. Michelle Gibbings is the founder of Change Meridian and works with leaders and teams to help them get fit for the future of work. She is also the author of Step Up: How to Build Your Influence at Work and Career Leap: How to Reinvent and Liberate your Career. For more information, visit

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Be proactive, not reactive Growing your business means evolving beyond merely reacting to what your competition is doing, writes Darrell Hardidge

IF YOU LOOK at high-performing businesses, you’ll notice that they actively plan into the future. They’re always clear on what they want. And their strategic plan is clearly documented. Every successful company is proactive in their thinking, and they don’t leave anything to chance. Most importantly, they don’t assume they know; they seek assurance from their customers to ensure they are on track. They can assess how accurately they are predicting the future, and this is always linked to their current business metrics. However, many businesses fail to develop a strategic plan. They are mostly reactive to what’s happening today, this week, etc., and focus more on their competition. Number-one companies follow the mantra “obsess over your customers, not over your competitors.” They proactively look at how to keep adding value to their customers and how to ensure they give their customers a brilliant service experience. They focus on team training and mentoring to ensure their team always can deliver high standards of customer service. By contrast, most companies in reactive


mode continually focus on what their competitors are doing an end up in a price war, trying to outdo each other to win customers. The problem with this reactive approach is that it’s challenging to stay focused on your own game because you keep getting trapped in someone else’s. The only thing you can control in a competitive market is what you do internally to ensure you deliver service excellence.

strategic on what they’re doing themselves. One key reason is that they don’t have any quality data to know what’s going on. At best, they have a vague opinion. As W. Edwards Deming said, “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion,” and we all know what that’s worth.

Knowledge is power Being strategically proactive ensures that

The only thing you can control in a competitive market is what you do internally to ensure you deliver service excellence Trying to control and outwit your competitors is a risky and expensive game.

Lead your market If you focus on doing everything you can to be proactive in the way you deliver service excellence, you will automatically be ahead of your competition. Most are too busy focusing on what everyone else is doing, rather than being

you have a game plan and measurement to know if you’re on track. With the correct KPIs, you can measure how well you’re fulfilling your prediction. There’s a metric that we call the ‘one number theory.’ It’s at the centre of measuring everything that’s going on in your business. A very accurate customer experience measurement provides a clear reflection from

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an independent market perspective – that is, the true voice of your customer. When you can measure critical areas such as the sales process, the implementation and onboarding process, account management, delivery processes, operations (including things like accounts receivable), companywide communication, and knowledge from the independent perspective of your market, you’ll have a very accurate assessment of how well you’re performing. When you have this information and you keep driving it towards the optimal 10/10 result, you can keep designing in a proactive manner that ensures you’re staying ahead of the game and fulfilling and exceeding customer expectations. If you don’t, then you’ll keep chasing

everybody else. It’s like driving with the rearview mirror. You can only see where you’ve been, and you don’t know where you’re going. It’s extraordinary to think that most companies operate this way. Business growth is directly linked to the customer experience.

Proactivity pays off The proactivity of customer experience ensures there is a plan and a commitment to growing revenue, based on increasing the value you offer to your customers. The more value you provide, the more they’ll spend, and the higher margin you’ll receive because they’re happy to pay for quality – but most importantly, they’ll refer their friends and colleagues.

If you obsess over your customers and not your competitors and put in place very accu­ rate KPIs to understand what your customers value about doing business with you, you’ll be in a powerful position. If you don’t do this, and instead you just wait and see what happens in the challenging economy ahead, it’s potentially a recipe for disaster. Darrell Hardidge is a customer experience strategy expert and the CEO of customer research company Saguity, which specializes in driving revenue growth from customer appreciation. He is also the author of The Client Revolution and The 10 Commandments of Client Appreciation. To find out more, visit

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Since 1998, Ross has raced everything from go-karts to stock cars, seda ns, sports racers a nd Formula cars


Year Ross won the Western Canadian Championship in a Swift DB5 sports racer


Races Ross competes in each year in the Northwest Formula Continental Championship series

265 kph

Approximate top speed Ross has hit in a Formula car (a Ferrari he was driving in Italy)

THE NEED FOR SPEED For Stephen Ross, weekdays are all about advising clients, but weekends are for racing


STEPHEN ROSS has always been into cars, but it wasn’t until he was asked to participate in a charity go-kart race that the Calgary-based advisor’s passion for racing went into overdrive. “It was a six-hour endurance race with a total of six people on our team,” he recalls. “I was hooked from then on.” Today, Ross co-owns a Formula racing team called Hot Potato Racing and competes on the Northwest Formula Continental Championship

circuit, which holds races in BC, Alberta, Washington and Oregon. He’s also an avid car collector and participates in vintage rallies and tours around the world. For Ross, racing is all about changing up his routine. “There are a lot of parallels between being an advisor and racing, but there are lots of differences as well,” he says. “Speed, competition, hanging out at the track – quite different than the Monday-to-Friday stuff.”

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September 30, 2020

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2020 FINALISTS The array of talented individuals, teams and organizations across 23 categories is a true representation of excellence in the wealth management and financial planning industry. All are acknowledged for their outstanding achievements, innovation and leadership over the past year .

BE PART OF THE CELEBRATION Join hundreds of your industry peers as we celebrate success and reveal the big winners at the Wealth Professional Awards on September 30.

For the full list of finalists or more information,

visit #WPAwardsCA





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18/06/2020 21/08/2020 3:51:29 12:53:21 AMAM

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