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P12 29 company career guide may2012


In May 2012, Forum magazine summari

In May 2012, Forum magazine summari

Published in Economy & Finance , Business
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  • 1. 2012 COMPANY CAREER GUIDE For individuals with an entrepreneurial bent, the financial services industry offers the freedom and flexibility to build your own business and the opportunity to help people reach their financial goals. Our annual Company Career Guide is designed to assist new advisors coming into the business as well as experienced advisors who may be looking for a change COMPILED BY KRISTIN DOUCET 1. PRODUCT LINES AND SERVICES The Co-operators • Wide range of insurance products including home, auto, life, travel, group, commercial and farm, as well as investment products Creative Planning • Customized financial planning for private business owners Financial Group • Range of insurance and investment products Desjardins Financial • Financial security planning, personal and business insurance, group insurance and annuities Security • Life, disability, health, critical illness and long-term care insurance (independent network) • Mutual funds offered through Desjardins Financial Security Investments Inc., annuities, segregated funds, principal protected notes, labour-sponsored funds and RRSP loans FaithLife Financial • Life and critical illness insurance, guaranteed savings annuities, segregated funds and single premium annuities • Long-term care and disability insurance, and RESPs and mutual funds are available through third-party providers Freedom 55 • Proprietary insurance, investment and mortgage products, as well as products from other insurers Financial/London Life • Wide array of product solutions from life, disability and critical illness insurance to segregated funds, RRSPs and guaranteed products • Access to Solution Banking products through National Bank • Through its mutual fund dealer, Quadrus Investment Services Ltd., mutual fund registered advisors have access to mutual funds within Freedom 55 Financial’s exclusive Quadrus group of funds family • Group retirement and savings plans, and group benefit plans for large and small employers12 FORUM MAY 2012
  • 2. Great-West Life • Wide range of investment, retirement savings and income plans (segregated fund policies and mutual funds (through Quadrus Investment Services Ltd.), as well as life, disability, critical illness and health insurance for individuals and families • For large and small businesses and organizations, benefit plan solutions are available featuring options such as life, health care, dental care, wellness and disability, international benefits plans, plus online services • Group retirement and savings plansIndependent Planning • Mutual funds, segregated funds, annuities, GICs, RESPs, RDSPs, TFSAsGroup (IPG) Insurance Life, disability, critical illness and long-term care insuranceInvestors Group • Financial planning, mutual funds and a comprehensive range of other investment products and financial services • Life, disability and critical illness insurance • Securities, mortgage and banking productsManulife Financial • Extensive suite of products and head office and field services organizations to support banking, group(independent advisor channel) benefits, group retirement solutions, insurance, investments and mutual fundsNicola Wealth • Full financial planning services including retirement income, tax efficiency, compensation analysis,Management trust and corporate structuring, and will and estate planning • Investment products including proprietary pooled funds, real estate, private equity, limited partnerships, mutual funds and GICs • Insurance solutions including comprehensive insurance vehicles plus insured annuity strategiesRogers Group Financial • Investment advisors, portfolio managers and insurance agents offer comprehensive investment and insurance solutions and products including stocks and bonds, mutual funds, GICs, life annuities, segregated funds, pooled funds, hedge funds, life insurance, disability insurance, critical illness insurance and long-term care insuranceSun Life Financial • Wide range of life and health insurance, wealth accumulation and savings products • Advisors have access to leading insurance and third-party product manufacturers to facilitate easy access to additional product options such as disability insurance for mortgage and creditor loans, travel insurance, including Super Visa, and more • Service to assist in placing declined life insurance policies with external insurersWorldsource Wealth • Wide range of investment products, cash management solutions, private client program, as well asManagement independent institutional and proprietary research • Full range of products including mutual funds, segregated funds, GICs, insurance products, portfolio solutions, and fee-based accounts and private client service • Full range of account types — RRSP, RDSP, RESP, RRIF and TFSA — as well as nominee accounts 2. NUMBER OF ADVISORS The Co-operators 512 Independent Planning 200 Group (IPG) Insurance Creative Planning 7 partners and 25 associate advisors Investors Group 4,608 Financial Group Desjardins Financial More than 1,500 associate advisors including its Manulife Financial 4,500 Security Quebec counterpart, SFL Partner of Desjardins (independent advisor channel) (independent network) Financial Security Nicola Wealth 19 Management FaithLife Financial 160 full-time and part-time advisors Rogers Group Financial 16 Freedom 55 Over 3,300 “financial security” advisors, including over Financial/ 400 wealth and estate planning group advisors and Sun Life Financial Over 3,000 career advisors London Life associate advisors and 200 associate advisors Great-West Life Over 1,600 independent “Gold Key” advisors and over Worldsource Wealth Over 600 15,000 brokers and inter-corporate representatives Management MAY 2012 FORUM 13
  • 3. 3. TYPES OF ADVISOR AFFILIATIONS The Co-operators Independent contractor advisors Investors Group Independent contractor advisors Creative Planning MGA principals and independent Manulife Financial Individual independent advisors, cor- Financial Group (independent porate independent individual advi- contractor advisors advisor channel) sors and multi-rep corporations Desjardins Financial Contracted associate advisors Security and non-contracted Nicola Wealth Exclusively contracted advisors as (independent network) Management members of the Nicola Wealth independent advisors Management team FaithLife Financial Independent contractor advisors Rogers Group Independent contractor advisors; and brokers Financial advisor ownership of client base is included in contracts Freedom 55 Independent contractor advisors Financial/London Life Sun Life Financial Independent contractor advisors; sales associate advisors are employees of Great-West Life Independent contractor advisors advisors Independent Planning Independent contractor advisors Worldsource Wealth Independent contractor advisors Group (IPG) Insurance Management 4. KEY TRAITS OF NEW RECUITS The Co-operators • Self-managers • Integrity • Ability to access a natural market • Visible ties to the community • Financial stability • Dedicated to personal and professional • Capacity to build a multi-line business development • Strong relationship and sales management skills Creative Planning • Entrepreneurial • Must fit with Creative Planning values Financial Group • Experienced with good track record (MDRT and culture level or shows promise of reaching MDRT) • Willingness to grow, collaborate and learn • Focused on high-net-worth small business • Integrity owners and professionals Desjardins Financial • Entrepreneurial • Willingness to invest in oneself Security • Self-driven • Integrity and commitment (independent network) • Passion for the client • Ethical • Professional • Natural market to leverage • Ambitious FaithLife Financial • Character and integrity • Believes in the company’s fraternal mission • Achievement-driven • Good natural market • High level of energy • Community/church involvement • Ambitious self-starter • Post-secondary education • Believes in insurance and financial services products Freedom 55 • Business or management experience • Trainable, willing and able to learn about Financial/London Life • Strong work ethic/drive to succeed complex topics • Knowledge of financial services and ownership • Motivated by continuous learning of industry products • Positive impact on one’s community • Strong interpersonal and networking skills • Work/life balance • Entrepreneurial Great-West Life • The ideal advisor has at least five years’ experience in the insurance/investment industry, and $100,000 in insurance sales premiums and $10 million in assets under administration Independent Planning • Entrepreneurial • Honesty and integrity • Willingness to help the public Group (IPG) Insurance14 FORUM MAY 2012
  • 4. Investors Group • Ability to impact and influence people • Self-confidence in a positive way • Analytical thinking • Achievement-oriented • Financial stability • Self-management • Focused on learning and personal growth • Relationship-building skills • Ability to network effectively • Integrity Manulife Financial • Entrepreneurial • Ethical (independent advisor • Independent • Willingness to partner channel) • Professional • Willingness to learn and apply sales • Focused on business development, processes financial planning and sales Nicola Wealth • Entrepreneurial • Belief in teamwork Management • Hardworking • Financial industry qualifications and designations • Motivated • Strong ethical belief in doing right by the client • Service-oriented • Goal-oriented • Strong communication and relationship skills • Belief in continuing education Rogers Group • Professional • Positive • Driven • Strategic Financial • Entrepreneurial • Reputable • Proactive • Passionate • Motivated • Progressive • Experienced • Accessible • Collaborative • Analytical • Well-educated • Client-centred • Ethical • Holistic Sun Life Financial • Entrepreneurial • Ability to simplify complex concepts • Ethical and professional • Passionate about building long-term client • Financial stability relationships • Strong networking and interpersonal skills • Continuous self-development • Goal-oriented with a proven track record • Community involvement of past success Worldsource Wealth • Entrepreneurial Management • Desire to promote and retain their own “brand”5. HOW ADVISORS GET PAID The Co-operators Commission, incentives and bonuses. Benefits are also available to advisors and their staff. Creative Planning Commission Financial Group Desjardins Financial Security Commission, trailer fees and sales overrides (independent network) FaithLife Financial Commission plus override, renewal and service commissions. There are also incentive programs offered throughout the year. Top achievers have an opportunity to earn attendance at the company’s President’s Conference. Group benefits are available to advisors (100 per cent of premiums are passed to advisor). Freedom 55 Commission. Additional compensation can include productivity bonuses, marketing and development Financial/London Life allowance, and other productivity-based credits. The company also offers an advisor-funded flexible benefit plan that includes group life, living benefits, a health and dental plan, and an employee savings and share own- ership plan with matched contributions. Freedom 55 Financial offers support to new advisors in the form of a training allowance paid over during the initial three-month training period, as well as an enhanced production bonus paid over the course of an advisor’s first four years. Great-West Life Commission. Gold Key advisors have access to a compensation program that provides long-term compensation, productivity-based bonuses and a share ownership plan. The Great-West Life share ownership plan is voluntary and gives eligible advisors the opportunity to share in the performance of Great-West Life. Independent Planning Commission with the option to purchase a benefit plan Group (IPG) Insurance MAY 2012 FORUM 15
  • 5. 5. HOW ADVISORS GET PAID continued Investors Group Commission, bonuses, near-cash compensation such as practice credits, education credits, and deferred compensation driven by performance and assets, as well as business support. New advisors receive a $2,000 appointment bonus, and in their first year are eligible to earn additional bonuses of up to $5,500 and a premium commission on insurance and mortgage business. In addition, they can earn a premium commission on all business of up to $75,000 during the first three years. Advisors can also participate in benefit programs, such as those for life insurance, disability insurance, health, dental, vision care insurance, professional liability, maternity leave and home and auto insurance. Mortgage discounts and a matching share ownership plan and investment plan are also available. Manulife Financial Commission plus override (independent advisor channel) Nicola Wealth Nicola Wealth Management offers clients fee-based advisor compensation, but individual advisors are Management compensated by splitting the revenue generated by clients between themselves and any fellow advisors with whom they work closely on the file. Company benefits, which extend to family, include dental, medical, pharmaceutical and insurance coverage. Rogers Group Commission and trailer fees, fee-for-service and investment management fee. Advisors have access to an Financial advisor-paid group benefit plan that includes dental, medical, drug, disability insurance and family coverage. Sun Life Financial Level commission. Advisors can also join the benefit plan, which includes life insurance, extended health, drug and dental, short- and long-term disability, group RRSP and a stock ownership plan. Worldsource Wealth Commission Management 6. TRAINING PROGRAMS The Co-operators The Co-operators provides extensive learning for both new and experienced advisors throughout their career. The Co-operators’ Agency Academy model incorporates programs focused on product knowledge, sales skills, strategic business planning, marketing, client relationship management, resource management, as well as financial literacy and analysis. Management and leadership skill development is the foundation for the curriculum and a key to success in this role. The company’s experienced management team supports the transfer of learning to the workplace by providing new advisors with the coaching, tools and support needed to implement strategies necessary to build the business. Creative Planning Creative Planning’s boutique-style operation lends itself more to mentorship than training. The firm’s Financial Group advisors are experienced and have generally been “trained” prior to joining the company. Creative Planning does, however, welcome discussions with junior advisors whom the company believes have the potential to take their business to the next level. In addition to previous experience, new advisors are encouraged to form mentor relationships with experienced advisors. Desjardins Financial Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network provides an extensive new associates training program that Security focuses on practice management, sales techniques, time management, business building and referrals approach, (independent network) and more. FaithLife Financial FaithLife provides extensive training for career advisors including classroom training in the areas of sales, marketing and business development skills. It also offers weekly coaching, joint field work and training at quarterly regional meetings. Supplemental training through online training programs is also provided. Freedom 55 New advisors participate in a five-week, full-time licensing training program (covering LLQP and IFIC). These Financial/London Life programs are run by experienced licensing training managers and can be completed in a classroom environment or through e-learning. There is a two-week introduction to sales processes and tools training at the advisor’s financial centre by experienced new advisor training managers. Freedom 55 Financial also offers ongoing sales process, tools, products and technology training within the advisor’s financial centre. Business development directors provide training and development by accompanying new advisors on client visits (joint field work) and modeling and observing the sales process. Directors provide case consultation and help create, implement and maintain business plans. Freedom 55 Financial also has a product support structure that provides support through product specialists in each line of business.16 FORUM MAY 2012
  • 6. 6. TRAINING PROGRAMS continued Great-West Life Great-West Life offers industry-leading development and recognition programs, such as the Associate Advisor National Forum, to help build the career of newer advisors with an understanding of their unique needs. The organization also facilitates peer networking, study groups and provides opportunities for advisors who are building their practice to learn from leading Gold Key advisors from across the county. Product training, sales strategies and marketing support are also provided through sales and marketing centres across Canada. Associate advisors benefit from the firm’s affiliation with one of nine regional directors and four associate regional directors, Gold Key Advisor Practices, across Canada. The company offers a number of development opportunities where advisors can network with like-minded entrepreneurs and exchange success strategies. These programs are designed to expose advisors to industry experts and business leaders to help them grow in industry and business knowledge and capability. Independent Planning See #7. Group (IPG) Insurance Investors Group Training and professional development is available exclusively through the Investors Group Institute. All new advisors are provided with the education necessary to become established in the industry. In addition, the company strongly encourages and helps advisors begin the education necessary to become full-fledged financial planners. Through the Investors Group Business Development Program new advisors are immersed in a mentoring and coaching program whereby experienced advisors assist them during their first appointments. The company also offers additional educational conferences, web-based training, pod casts and access to subject matter experts. Manulife Financial Manulife Financial offers a comprehensive orientation process, product and concept training, ongoing sales (independent advisor skills coaching and development, mentoring and marketing assistant training and development. channel) Nicola Wealth Nicola Wealth Management believes in a mentorship training program. New associates work on client files Management alongside senior advisors in the firm in a mentorship capacity, gradually taking on a lead role to work with clients whose financial needs are more complex. Rogers Group Rogers Group Financial provides an intensive, structured training program for all of its new advisors. Financial The firm takes a multi-faceted approach to training, including orientation, systems, process and licensing. Systems and process training includes detailed instruction of the company’s CRM system, account management system, compliance and operations procedures. The process is facilitated by mentorship and corporate help with paperwork and licensing. Sun Life Financial Sun Life’s Career Academy approach combines self-study with one-on-one coaching sessions, joint field work with financial centre managers, online training, webinars, classroom training, on-the-job training, workshops and ongoing training in the financial centre. Training is focused on sales skills, prospecting skills, product knowledge, business management, relationship management, needs analysis, sales concepts and technology training. Advisors also attend a series of schools and workshops tailored to the stages of an advisor’s business development cycle. Worldsource Wealth Worldsource offers operational training for new advisors called Orientation and Business Integration, which is Management provided online and in person. 7. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT The Co-operators All courses offered through the Agency Academy are certified if eligible. The company encourages advisors to join Advocis and obtain the CLU and CFP designations. There is ongoing training to support advisors as they progress through their careers, such as the course “Planning for Growth,” which helps experienced advisors with their business plans. Creative Planning Professional development and education is provided through collaboration and regular meetings in which Financial Group experiences and lessons learned are shared including: weekly sales meetings; weekly product and concept edu- cational sessions for insurance and mutual funds; and weekly technical seminars presented by accountants, lawyers, other professionals and inside technical support staff. Desjardins Financial Advisors have access to accredited training programs necessary for the renewal of their licence(s) Security and professional designations. (independent network)18 FORUM MAY 2012
  • 7. FaithLife Financial Most training sessions offered by FaithLife Financial qualify for continuing education credits. Delivery methods include online training programs, recorded and live webinars, and face-to-face regional and national training sessions. Freedom 55 Freedom 55 Financial recognizes the value of lifelong learning and encourages — and financially supports — Financial/London Life advisors who are working towards industry designations. Great-West Life Advisors associated with Great-West Life’s Gold Key channel have access to a wide range of programs, tools, systems and processes to help them take their businesses to the next level. Top Gold Key advisors enjoy addi- tional support to help grow their practice. Independent Planning All new advisors, associate advisors, assistants and established advisors who want a refresher course attend the Group (IPG) Insurance company’s Institute for Professional Growth Training School for new advisors. New advisors join Advocis in their first month and are also placed in a mentoring program for the first two years. IPG holds monthly profes- sional development days with training on investments and insurance, and offers regular monthly webinars on specific products, technology and systems. Investors Group Investors Group encourages and helps advisors obtain the education necessary to become full-fledged financial planners (CFP or F.Pl.) The company offers additional educational conferences, web-based training, podcasts and access to subject matter experts. Advisors can qualify for credits that can be used to pay for internal or external courses and professional development. Manulife Financial Manulife Financial offers an online Continuing Education Centre (CE Centre), with access to over 220 training (independent advisor programs offering more than 100 CE credits available from the various governing bodies across Canada. channel) Manulifes online education and training tool offers 24/7 access to online training on the company’s most popular products, sales concepts and business development strategies, and programs and services for advisors and sales professionals. It also offers a variety of regional training events focused on sales, product, business development and regional advanced marketing seminars. Nicola Wealth Nicola Wealth Management encourages its advisors to enrol in any designation continuing education courses. Management Any post-secondary education courses that an advisor feels builds their skillset is financially supported by the company. Rogers Group Rogers Group Financial provides corporate assistance with managing CE requirements as well as Financial researching and promoting professional development opportunities. The firm also offers in-house CE credit opportunities for advisors and staff. Sun Life Financial Sun Life Financial encourages advisors to continue their professional development by earning professional, industry-recognized designations. Advisors are recognized with professional development achievement awards and are strongly encouraged to join and support professional organizations such as Advocis and the Canadian Institute of Financial Planners. Worldsource Wealth N/A Management8. OTHER SPECIAL PROGRAMS / SERVICES The Co-operators • National and regional business builder incentive • Mentoring opportunities programs. Previous locations have included • Client relationship management Switzerland, Greece and Argentina. (CRM) software • Educational awards for obtaining designations • Financial modeling software (e.g., CFP and CLU) • Extensive marketing tools and support • Associate agent financial assistance package to • Contact centre to support advisors encourage new agent development Creative Planning • Annual “warm” conference for qualifying top advisors Financial Group • Annual ski day Desjardins Financial • In-field training consultant who helps advisors and managers with Security the application of training theories to real-life client meetings (independent network) MAY 2012 FORUM 19
  • 8. 8. OTHER SPECIAL PROGRAMS / SERVICES continued FaithLife Financial • Reward/recognition programs • Sales and client/member care support • Regional and national sales incentive programs • Annual symposium that provides education, • Business development training and coaching networking and training opportunities • Marketing support program • Annual conference for qualifying top advisors Freedom 55 • A number of professional development opportunities where advisors can network with like-minded Financial/London Life advisors and exchange success strategies. Many events feature industry-leading speakers and best practice sharing among participants • For established advisors, a business-consulting program helps them grow their business by focusing on systems and processes that can improve their businesss effectiveness • A mentoring program provides advisors with a viable option to enhance business growth through a partnership with a new advisor • Advisors can invest in a marketing associate program to help support their business • Tax and estate planning group consultants provide assistance in areas such as estate planning and wealth transfer, buy-sell structuring, executive compensation and key person protection, business loan protection and charitable giving • Private wealth counselors deliver in-depth knowledge and case support for the affluent investment and retirement market • Mortgage specialists support advisors with training and education on London Life mortgage products Great-West Life • Through 29 sales and marketing centres across the country, Great-West Life provides advisors with product and marketing support, including specialized support through tax and estate planning group consultants and private wealth counsellors who assist advisors who work in the affluent client and business owner market • Advisors associated with Great-West Life’s Gold Key channel have access to a wide range of programs, tools, systems and processes to help them take their businesses to the next level. Top Gold Key advisors enjoy additional support to help grow their practices. This includes: a unique relationship with a regional director, Gold Key Advisor Practices, who provides one-on-one business coaching, succession planning and access to development opportunities at exclusive conferences and other forums; Business Solutions Consulting, an intensive service to help achieve business effectiveness and results by focusing on strategy, marketing, service models, practice profitability, human capital and operations; marketing communications and brand consultation to help build a brand and market the business; access to the resources and expertise of the Predictive Index system, a tool to help principals attract and bring the right people into their firm; and development opportunities for associate advisors and operations team members • An association with National Bank that helps to streamline the financial process for an advisor acquiring a block of business. Access is also provided to various external suppliers who provide support for website development, client surveys and behavioural assessments, for example Independent Planning • Annual four-day professional development conference that focuses on education and keeping up to date Group (IPG) Insurance with industry developments Investors Group • Wide range of programs to recognize and reward exceptional performance, business building, mentoring and community involvement • Top advisors are rewarded with travel to world-class destinations such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, St. Petersburg and Rome. The Pillar Award recognizes and rewards advisors in their first four years for early growth and productivity in their new business, while the Executive and Senior Consultant Group recognizes the consistently strong performance of its most successful advisors. Other programs include the Excellence in Mentoring Award, which recognizes personal contributions to mentoring new advisors, and the Herbert H. Carnegie Community Service Award for exceptional long-term community service • Investors Group has a social media presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter to support its brand and assist advisors in building their practice. This presence is also used to highlight the community work and charitable involvement that its advisors engage in. It also provides a forum for clients to provide testimonials, positive feedback and comment on their overall experience with Investors Group and financial services in general Manulife Financial • Recognition program that includes a variety of offerings including educational seminars and conferences (independent advisor across all product lines, and study group support and co-ordination channel) • “Manu dollars” — internal “currency” awarded to advisors that can be used towards a variety of business- building activities including: registration for educational events; technology hardware, software and consulting support; coaching programs; health club memberships; client events; telemarketing, advertising, client mailings and newsletters; marketing support and personal development • National education conference offered to qualifying advisors at various locations around the world20 FORUM MAY 2012
  • 9. Nicola Wealth • Third-party business coaching, in addition to mentoring by senior advisors Management • The firm’s advisor team meets weekly to discuss technical planning issues and receive economic and market updates from its in-house portfolio management team • Advisors participate in an annual off-site team retreat to discuss the firm’s goals and ways to improve individual advisor business Rogers Group • Mentoring, product support, associate meetings • Technological training opportunities Financial for development and education • Monthly business meetings, firm-wide general • Annual two-day associate retreat meetings, and sales and marketing meetings • Marketing support and co-op program • Financial assistance for new advisors Sun Life Financial • Comprehensive awards program that recognizes excellence in achievement for advisors at every stage of their career • Sales campaigns, learning and development conferences, and conventions that are held in exciting locations • The Elite Partner program offers unique services and benefits to top advisors • Extensive leads generation program that includes a client workplace program and Advisor Match, an online program that matches clients with advisors who meet the client’s profile • Access to estate and financial planning specialists across Canada • Mentoring program for advisors at various stages of their career, including career starters, business builders and succession planning Worldsource Wealth • EWMS Advisor Front Office: a 24/7, real-time online system that enables advisors to manage their Management business, portfolios and clients • PortfolioINSIGHTS: a built-in portfolio analysis tool that features “built-in” compliance to help protect clients’ assets and provides an optional web-based access for investors • Imaging and WorkFlow: document imaging, storage and retrieval • Advisor portal through which advisors have access to tools, services, business and client information, in addition to Worldsource’s customized order management system • Investor portal through which clients can view their individual financial situation at a glance9. COMPLIANCE SUPPORT The Co-operators Compliance training is part of the advisor’s development. Annual compliance audits are performed and compliance expertise is available. Creative Planning Creative Planning has a full compliance regime, which includes forms, documents, and guidance to advisors Financial Group on maintaining proper compliance within their practices. Desjardins Financial Advice, training, supervision and approval by dedicated compliance officers to ensure all practices, Security policies and requirements are in compliance with legislation. (independent network) FaithLife Financial New advisors receive general compliance training, anti-money laundering and privacy training. The company also offers ongoing compliance training and support for new and revised regulations. Freedom 55 Freedom 55 Financial provides support in the form of educational material, initiatives and processes. The com- Financial/London Life pany’s market conduct and Quadrus Investment Services Ltd. mutual fund compliance teams provide extensive support that includes material reviews, training and education. Quadrus’s well-established compliance team helps investment representatives build mutual fund business practices that adhere to MFDA and provincial securities commission regulations. Great-West Life Great-West provides market conduct support and through Quadrus Investment Services Ltd. mutual fund support to ensure business practices are in line with industry laws and requirements. Independent Planning The compliance team at IPG consists of the chief compliance officer, three compliance officers and Group (IPG) Insurance one compliance administrator. Together, the team is responsible for monitoring compliance across the organi- zation and conducting regular branch audits. IPG’s audit program is one of the most important ways that the company educates its mutual fund associates and branches in the area of compliance. In addition, the team also: provides training and orientation to new advisors; reviews and approves new products/funds; implements technology to automate compliance functionality; and helps advisors deal with difficult client circumstances and/or potential client complaints. MAY 2012 FORUM 21
  • 10. 9. COMPLIANCE SUPPORT continued Investors Group Investors Group offers no-cost, full-service compliance support for both MFDA and IIROC advisors. Working with advisors in a consultative and supportive environment, the compliance team ensures advisors meet regula- tory requirements through strong risk-based review programs, branch review programs, and client complaint management. Compliance training options include webinars, corporate training events, and an annual update training program. Investors Group compliance strives to provide user friendly support and identify best prac- tice approaches to managing compliance requirements. Manulife Financial Manulife Financial’s distribution compliance team partners with advisors to ensure they have the proper (independent advisor business processes in place and to ensure that its customers are receiving fair treatment. This is done through channel) a team of regional compliance officers who provide direct support by way of advice, tools, training or presenta- tions to the advisors within their regions. The regional compliance officer group is also responsible for business practice reviews. These are reviews of individual advisor practices that highlight the areas in which further training and/or tools or resource material is required. Nicola Wealth Nicola Wealth Management’s chief compliance officer and compliance staff assist and advise its financial Management advisors on many facets of their business. Rogers Group Financial Rogers Financial Group has a full-time compliance officer and support staff. Sun Life Financial A comprehensive Code of Business Practice guides all Sun Life Financial advisors in the development and maintenance of compliant business practices. Extensive training is provided to all new advisors and regular training is required by all advisors on such topics as privacy, data security, anti-money laundering and anti- terrorism. Advisors have direct access to an extensive source of online reference material and to regional management and compliance teams for questions, concerns and audit support. Worldsource Wealth N/A Management 10. CORPORATE CULTURE / WORK ENVIRONMENT The Co-operators For the eighth consecutive year, The Co-operators has been named one of the “50 Best Employers in Canada” by The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business magazine, and was also named among the top-30 “green” companies in Canada in 2011. The organization’s confidential employee surveys gauge “employee engagement.” Firms with high engagement scores tend to attract and retain employees, and the Co-operator’s employee engagement levels were 80 per cent in 2011. This culture permeates to the company’s advisors, who have the ability to become CEO of a business with their name on it, set their own income goals and enjoy the opportunity to become a professional in the community. Creative Planning Creative Planning’s culture is one of knowledge-sharing, support and mentorship, which leads to more Financial Group creative and effective customized solutions for clients. Desjardins Financial Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network offers a balance between independence and partnership. Security The culture is one that encourages personal accountability and success of its advisors by providing the perfect (independent network) framework for building their businesses. They are in control of their day-to-day schedule and operations, and thus their own success. The company strives to maintain a strong connection and co-operation between the field and head office through the use of technology, visits and open communication. Advisor-elected members meet with senior management regularly through an advisors committee. FaithLife Financial FaithLife’s Christian-based corporate culture is built on the values of supporting and growing the expertise and professionalism of its advisors, learning from experiences to increase excellence, integrity to guide decisions and stewardship to manage the business. Its vision is to grow profits so that the company can increase the good it does by returning its profits to clients and the Christian community in Canada and around the world. FaithLife offers flexible hours and values work-family life balance. Freedom 55 Freedom 55 Financial’s advisors are self-employed entrepreneurs who operate their own business with Financial/London Life support from Freedom 55 Financial; many are incorporated and self-branded. With 61 professional financial centres across Canada, advisors can work in the markets that are right for them with a business model and support structure that allows them to operate their business effectively and efficiently. Great-West Life Great-West Life’s advisors are independent, entrepreneurial and operate their own business. They value a direct relationship with a leading manufacturer. The company focuses on three key values: integrity, knowledge and affinity. Integrity is Great West Life’s way of doing business; it means doing what’s right for advisors and what’s right for their clients. Knowledge is a group effort; advisors share experiences, knowledge and ideas so they have the resources to succeed. Affinity is defined by the people whom the advisor relates to best; those who share one’s desire for success and understand an advisor’s unique challenges and goals.22 FORUM MAY 2012
  • 11. 10. CORPORATE CULTURE / WORK ENVIRONMENT continued Independent Planning IPG has a family atmosphere and although the advisors are independent and building their own business, they Group (IPG) Insurance help and support one another. This is a key factor in the training of new independent financial advisors. The company treats everyone with respect and helps advisors grow their business in a way that works best for them. IPG doesn’t impose quotas or minimum production requirements on advisors; its focus is on educating, not selling. Investors Group Investor Group’s culture is one of support and community. New advisors are mentored and coached by not only their direct management, but also other consultants who have been in their shoes. Advisors have the best of both worlds: the freedom and flexibility to build their own business backed by the company’s 85 years of strength and experience in developing successful financial advisors and helping clients achieve their dreams. Investors Group focuses on building enduring partnerships with clients and the community, and has been recognized as a "Caring Company" by the IMAGINE public awareness program because of their commitment to corporate citizenship. IGM Financial Inc., Investors Group’s parent company, ranked among the Corporate Knights’ “Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada” in 2011 and was the recipient of the Corporate Citizenship Award at the 2009 Canadian Investment Awards. The company was also recognized with a 2011 Humanitarian Corporate Organization of the Year Award from the Canadian Red Cross – Manitoba Region, a 2011 Corporate Community Involvement Award from IMAGINE Canada and received the 2012 Corporate Partnership Award of Excellence from Food Banks Canada. Manulife Financial Manulife Financial’s relationship with its advisors is one of a professional partnership. The organization’s (independent advisor advisors own their businesses and the company strives to work with them to ensure they receive the channel) support and resources required to grow their businesses in a manner that best serves the advisor, their clients and Manulife. Nicola Wealth Nicola Wealth Management’s corporate culture is fast-paced, innovative and built on a team approach. Advisors Management work together to deliver a high standard of service and use the firm’s resources to grow their business and provide clients with a high level of sophisticated financial advice. The ability to telecommute, work part-time or have flex work hours is at each advisor’s discretion. Rogers Group Rogers Financial Group is a family-oriented firm that believes in balancing work and family life. It is advisor- Financial driven and advisor-owned, and offers a positive, collaborative atmosphere with flexible hours. Rogers Financial Group’s goal is to maximize the value of the advisor’s practice within the firm and provides the advanced technological tools and support to do so. Advisors can also select their own staff. Sun Life Financial At Sun Life Financial, each financial centre builds its own unique culture reflective of its advisors, managers, staff, and the clients and communities they represent. As independent contractors, advisors have flexibility in how they build their business and run their day-to-day operations. Worldsource Wealth Worldsource Wealth Management offers an engaged and family-supportive environment for its employees. Management The company’s values are demonstrated through its dedication to support its client base of advisors by allow- ing them to flourish in an environment that is free from the interference of mandated proprietary products. 11. ASSISTANCE IN BUILDING BOOKS OF BUSINESS The Co-operators A variety of marketing tools and programs are offered to assist advisors in analyzing and growing their book of business. See #6 and #7. Creative Planning Support is provided through mentorship and joint case work, as well as partnering with the firm’s marketing Financial Group director, who helps to increase the depth of planning provided to clients. This helps to build the advisor’s average case size and competencies. Desjardins Financial For its dual-licensed advisors across both Desjardins Financial Security Investments Inc. and Desjardins Security Financial Security Independent Network, the company offers financing programs and administrative assistance (independent network) involved in a transfer of an advisors business. Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network also assists in financing the startup of its new financial centres and sub-offices. FaithLife Financial FaithLife offers advisors support, training and coaching, as well as leads from over 90 events and marketing activities each year. It offers advisors a marketing support program to help them implement specific marketing campaigns within the advisor’s own block.24 FORUM MAY 2012
  • 12. 11. ASSISTANCE IN BUILDING BOOKS OF BUSINESS continued Freedom 55 Freedom 55 Financial offers guidance, professional development programs and business coaching, along with Financial/London Life a broad range of products, tools and processes. It provides advisors with equipment, tools and resources to help them approach the market in a professional and trusted way. New advisor training managers and directors work with advisors on how to identify their target market and focus on areas where they’re likely to experience success. They also help focus on strategies to penetrate and attract that market. Directors act as business coaches to help develop successful practices and recommend business solutions to meet unique client needs. The company also provides advisors with marketing materials and support to help educate and attract prospects. Product specialists are available in each product line to help with client meetings. Advisors may acquire blocks of business from other advisors who are retiring or who are narrowing their target market. Freedom 55 Financial has business consultants who work with advisors on building their brand, marketing strategies and human capital requirements. The company also provides several programs throughout the year to help advisors with their business needs. Great-West Life See #8. Independent Planning IPG designs and offers advisors compliant websites with links to travel and health insurance, which generate Group (IPG) Insurance leads for their business. Through its strategic relationship with PPI Solutions, IPG offers compliant presenta- tion concepts and tools for effective client meetings. The company also provides advisors with Virtual Office, a proprietary internet-based client relationship management system that interfaces with its Winfund database and email system. In addition, it combines the functionality of a host of software programs to deliver back- office, contact management, compliance, and portfolio analysis tools, optimizing an advisor’s productivity and cost-efficiency. Investors Group Investors Group offers education through industry-leading training programs and active mentorship by well- established advisors who share their knowledge and insight with new advisors on an ongoing basis. There is a strong support structure that includes an advanced financial planning support program and banking, mortgage and insurance product specialists. New advisors are also provided access to industry-leading marketing support, as well as lead-generation programs and events specifically designed to help build their practices. To assist new consultants in establishing themselves, Investors Group offers a wide variety of incentives such as a financing program to draw against future earnings, potential to be allocated existing clients, and a rebate program to encourage clients to transfer their accounts to Investors Group. Manulife Financial To help advisors grow their businesses, Manulife Financial provides local support including access to tax and estate (independent advisor planning consultants, actuarial consultants, underwriting consultants, product wholesalers, banking consultants, channel) compliance, sales management support, business development support and technology consulting support. Centralized support is also provided, including sales and marketing support, customized marketing campaign materials and tools, cross-selling tools and relationship management tools. Nicola Wealth Nicola Wealth Management’s team approach enables each advisor to benefit as the firm’s book of business Management grows. The majority of the company’s new business is through referrals and, as such, Nicola Wealth Management provides full marketing support to help advisors bring in new clients and grow those referrals. Rogers Group Rogers Financial Group provides extensive marketing support, including personalized marketing plans Financial and a marketing co-op program. The company also provides resources in business development meetings and offers support for annual advisor business plans. Sun Life Financial Through leads generation programs such as Sun Life Financial’s award-winning Advisor Match program and the Workplace Solutions program, advisors are provided with referrals to grow their business. Sun Life Financial also provides specialized services such as marketing support and direct marketing campaigns. Worldsource Wealth N/A Management 12. ASSISTANCE IN SUCCESSION PLANNING The Co-operators The Co-operators’ district management team continually works with its agency force to ensure succession plans are in place to support and maintain client relationships during times of transition. Creative Planning Due to Creative Planning’s demographics, there are natural succession opportunities. The company believes Financial Group strongly in mentorship and apprenticeship, which leads to advisors working jointly on client cases, and building a transition plan for their advisors and clients.26 FORUM MAY 2012
  • 13. 12. ASSISTANCE IN SUCCESSION PLANNING continued Desjardins Financial This is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Security (independent network) FaithLife Financial FaithLife Financial offers advisors support, training and coaching as well as leads from events and marketing activities. It offers advisors a marketing support program to help them implement specific marketing campaigns within the advisor’s own block. As a not-for-profit organization, the company encourages advisors to work within churches and Christian charities in their communities to help lead them to consistent business growth. Freedom 55 Freedom 55 Financial offers support in the form of coaching, tools and processes, and has a succession-planning Financial/London Life tool for advisors that assists them in sourcing, recruiting and integrating new advisors into their practices. It also has an in-house consulting organization that can help advisors build and implement a tailored succession plan. Freedom 55 Financial has arrangements in place with National Bank and Bank of Montreal to assist advisors in financing transactions of books of business. Great-West Life Regional directors, Gold Key advisor practices, and directors in the sales and marketing centres across the coun- try are trained to deliver Great-West Life’s succession planning program to advisors who are looking to buy or sell a business. The company offers exclusive support to leading Gold Key practices through Business Solutions Consulting. This support includes the engagement of a consultant who is focused on helping advisors develop a succession plan to maximize the value of the business and achieve a smooth transition for the advisors’ clients. Gold Key programs such as Advanced Practices, Advanced Programs offer sessions dedicated to succession experts and understanding business valuations. Independent Planning IPG encourages its advisors to put in place a formal written succession plan that addresses decisions around Group (IPG) Insurance ownership, leadership, business structure, tax strategies, transition and contingency plans. The company also helps identify, select, train and mentor a suitable junior advisor to work with the senior advisor so that the transition is as smooth as possible. Investors Group Investors Group offers a guaranteed buy-out for the advisor’s practice upon retirement. The company has an assured value program whereby a practice is valued based on a predetermined formula. The retiring consultant is paid by the company, so there are never any issues or challenges regarding receiving payments over time. Advisors wishing to transition their practice work closely with branch managers and experts at head office to ensure the practice is transitioned in the most effective and efficient manner while looking out for the clients’ best interests. Manulife Financial Succession planning support is offered exclusively to Manulife’s independent advisor channel as a business (independent advisor development strategy focused on maximizing the current and future value of an advisor’s practice. Specific channel) support includes coaching and consulting services in the areas of contingency planning, succession planning, exit strategies, business transition, and buying and selling of a practice. Manulife also offers a practice exchange registry and business acquisition loans through Manulife Bank. The Associate Advisor Program helps established advisors to identify, select and develop an associate advisor inside their business to increase revenue while ensuring a smooth transition when the senior advisor decides to slow down or retire. Nicola Wealth At Nicola Wealth Management, each client is served by two advisors. This creates built-in succession and Management contingency planning while providing alternate coverage for clients. Rogers Group Rogers Financial Group provides its advisors with a transition/succession plan and arranges for the buyout of an Financial advisor’s practice. It also offers phased transition, buy-sell policies, death and disability insurance for advisors and their family, the option to pick one’s own successor, assistance in creating an exit strategy and transitioning clients to other advisors. The firm provides strong staff and corporate support in succession planning and has successfully completed the process for several advisors who joined the firm within two to three years of their retirement. Sun Life Financial Local management and head office teams work directly with advisors to assist in the identification of suitable successors for their business. Worldsource Wealth Worldsource offers book financing through its succession planning program and partners advisors together Management for potential succession circumstances. Editor’s note: There are other financial services companies outside of those that participated in this year’s career guide that are also looking to expand their advisor networks. Due to space restrictions, we have only highlighted 13 companies. These companies were selected based on variety of size (i.e., boutique firms versus career firms) and programs and services offered. For more information on a specific company, please contact the company directly. If you would like to have your company considered for next year’s guide, or for a PDF of this year’s guide, please contact FORUM editor Kristin Doucet at FORUM MAY 2012
  • 14. 4. Online Best PracticesAdvocis and New Advisors Manual (BPM) dvocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada, understands theA challenges facing advisors who are just starting out. Between its nationaloffice and robust volunteer network, Advocis can help new advisors answer Available exclusively to Advocis members, the online BPM is an indispensable tool for new and experienced advisors alike. Thisquestions about industry regulations, best practices, licensing requirements one-stop resource provides best practices,and continuing education. forms and templates to help financial advi-Here are five ways Advocis supports the next generation of financial advisors: sors build a profitable, compliant practice. The online BPM focuses on marketing, advice delivery, employee benefits, business1. Life License Program essentials, compliance and the codes andThe Advocis/Foran Life Licensing Qualification Program (LLQP) is an standards governing the profession.industry leader in preparing new advisors to successfully obtain a provinciallife insurance licence (outside Quebec). Eligible registrants may also applyfor complimentary membership in Advocis. 5. Professional and Continuing Education2. Affordable Membership Today’s advisors need the support and credi-Advocis membership is complimentary for advisors in their first year. bility that only a professional education canThose in years two to four enjoy a 70 per cent discount. provide. Advocis offers significant registration discounts to members who are working towards the CFP, CLU, or the CHS designation.3. Networking Opportunities In addition, Advocis provides continuingBuilding successful relationships is critical to building a successful practice. education programs in a variety of deliveryAll Advocis members belong to one of the association’s 41 chapters. Each formats to help new advisors meet theirchapter prepares an annual calendar of events, many of which are designed professional development requirements. ấspecifically for new financial advisors. These events provide opportunitiesfor new advisors to rub shoulders with experienced financial advisors.