Selling is a difficult business.
In large institutions there are layers of management each with revenue targets and inevitably it falls down to the "front-line" folks who are given their "quota's" and the "good" salespeople survive and the others have to go find something else to do.
I know this, I am not a "good" sales person.
Let me define good: In the financial services industry it is all about "gathering assets" (getting new clients and their savings in the door) and generating revenue from those assets.
When I started out in Wealth Management in 1999, I did it with the desire to help people who wanted my experience in managing risk in an investing world that was, at the time, becoming increasingly more difficult with a whole new level of greed driving the "dot-com" bubble.
My advisor "training" program, interestingly with a bank who has just popped up in the news, was more or less a course in selling. Selling bank manufactured mutual funds with big MER's and for me commissions in the form of "trailer" fees (the portion of the MER paid to the advisor as long as the client stays in the fund).
I had 3 years to "gather" $15,000,000 in assets. However, gathering was one thing (I was able to build AUA, assets under administration, to about $60,000,000 before I left in 2003), but the real pressure came from generating commissions. The "grid" was skewed to pay those who were able to generate the most revenue. The more revenue generated the greater the % of that revenue I would receive. That meant selling, not helping people manage risk.
Anyway, that is the nature of the financial services business and for the banks in Canada, this is the growth area and these large financial institutions with excellent brands of supposed "safety" and ethics are pressured to grow to satisfy their shareholders. The nature of the selling practices of these institutions is inevitably going to breed "bad practices" (front line staff who need to hold on to their jobs). In the US it was Wells Fargo. There is never just one cockroach.
Fast forward to 2015.
We started High Rock Private Client to truly help our clients plan and grow their wealth away from the pressure of banks and advisor selling tactics.
We will always put our clients interests ahead of our own. This is part of our "voluntary code of conduct" but is also part of the duty imposed on us by the Ontario (BC, Alberta and Saskathewan) Securities Commission(s).
Banks do not have that.
We are employee owned. We have no shareholders to report to and revenue targets to meet (or grids to compete on), so that we can focus on what is the most important aspect of our business. You. The client.
There is an alternative and we are it.
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Scott Tomenson,CIM Managing Partner, Chief Investment Strategist