Large companies rely on the attraction of consultants

Should financial firms also prepare for a possible brain drain among business advisers?

According to Steve Galimi, Vice President of Strategy and Performance at National Bank Financial – Wealth Management, consultants haven’t changed much in the past two years. But that could change as the pandemic recedes in the rearview mirror.

COVID-19 has delayed the transfer of directors and limited their mobility, according to Steve Galimi, who notes that the company had “a lot of quality prospects in sight” at that time. Now seasoned consultants are starting to consider their options a little more again, he adds.

But attracting consultants remains a constant concern.

“The consultants share commissions with the company, so they want to get value for their money,” explains Steve Galimi. They need technology support, they want better wealth management support. »

Ryan McNally, senior vice president of wealth advisory distribution at TD Wealth, says most advisors are looking to grow their business and want support for clients and the flexibility to run their practices as they see fit. “It’s about creating an environment for growth and a model to support growth that is better than anywhere else,” he says.

Geoff Newton, the new co-director of BMO Private Wealth, says he respects the decision of a consultant who chose to change companies or become independent during the pandemic. Although this came at a particularly difficult time as the company integrated its private management and private banking businesses. At the same time, the company wants to ensure that consultants understand its value proposition.

“BMO Private Wealth’s onboarding phase is now behind us [et] the execution phase is ahead of us, assures Geoff Newton. We can see the momentum building.”

Can I get some support?

Comprehensive advice is the name of the game in wealth management, so providing planning support is a priority for companies.

“We worked a lot on this point, reports Steve Galimi, referring specifically to financial planning. We hire many financial planners across the country to better support our consultants. »

Likewise, TD is “absolutely focused” on growing its roster of schedulers across the country, says Ryan McNally. “We are actively recruiting and are very excited about […] What can we offer these people? »

It starts with the culture, he says. While top finance professionals are motivated by pay, products and tools, “they are fundamentally looking for a culture in which they can thrive. »

Ryan McNally’s daily mantra reflects, at least in part, the company’s culture: If you’re in front of our customers, you know best. “We promote this principle to our recruits,” he explains. At TD, “you will be able to grow faster than anywhere else because you will have a say in the direction of this business. »

Ryan McNally also highlights the company’s offerings in the form of quality integration, training and practice management support.

Some independent firms have trumpeted their success in chasing big players, but in banks, advisers are backed, of course, by banking power.

Advisors “will have the support and involvement of investment banks, retail banks and our capital markets colleagues,” says Ryan McNally – access that allows them to “discuss all topics” that interest clients, not just investments. This means ensuring that your client who owns an occupied business benefits from tax and estate planning and risk planning, for example.

Referring to the integration of BMO’s private equity and private banking services, Geoff Newton said clients are “looking for the family office approach”. Demand from wealthy families has accelerated “probably in a decade or more with COVID-19,” he said, as clients centralized their assets. “Consolidation, simplification was an important theme”.

The company plans to differentiate itself in team structure, with a “much deeper investment in funding the company’s new functions,” says Geoff Newton – professionals in finance, tax and estate planning. Additionally, a private banker will be added to each team, so customers have full access to the services.

Record technology spending is also planned for a systems overhaul in 2023.

“We feel that our business has been deprived of technology spending to some extent,” concludes Geoff Newton. With expense allocation, “large companies have made a significant commitment.”

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