Canada Wealth Management Expands

Terry Flanagan

Wealth managers in Canada are targeting affluent individuals and families with a potpourri of offerings, such as diversification and tax planning.

Sun Life Global Investments has launched Private Client, designed for those with more investable assets. “We wanted to have an offering to serve the ‘mass affluent’ to affluent investors,” said Cindy Crean, managing director of Sun Life Global Investments Private Client. “These investors typically want to simplify their lives by consolidating their assets, are fee conscious and want a higher level of reporting and service.”

Crean has significant experience in financial planning in the high net worth segment, and has worked with advisors and clients to help them reach their financial goals through all their life stages.

“I’ve been in the financial services industry for 30 years,” she said. “I have extensive experience in dealing with mass affluent, affluent, and ultra high net worth clients. My background is mainly on the banking side. Most of my 30 years has been with the large Canadian banks. I was asked to join Sun Life to set up their Private Client team.”

Stephen Kahn, CEO of Condor Asset Management, which has assets under management of $15 million, said that one of the most important steps in working with clients is determining their long-term investment objectives.

“The first thing you need to do is find out what the interest of the client is,” he said. “Is this money that they are going to need in the next 2 or 3 years? Is this long-term money? You then find out what their risk tolerances are. I have individuals who have a high propensity for risk and want more invested in the stock market, and then I have other individuals who have a lower propensity for risk. You just have to look at where they are in their life cycle.”

Condor’s assets under management are about 60% equities and 40% income-oriented investments. Out of the 60% equities, about 50% to 60% is going to be invested in the U.S., and the rest is going to be invested in Canadian stocks, Kahn said.

“I prefer U.S. stocks for the exposure they provide in healthcare, technology, and industrials,” said Kahn. “In Canada, I like the financials. They are reasonably valued, and dividends are growing. I think the pipelines will continue to do well just because of increasing oil and natural gas production.”

Sun Life Global Investment’s Private Client service features a tiered pricing system, starting at $100,000. For every dollar an investor has over $100,000, he or she gets a 5-basis point management fee reduction. All told, there are seven tiers, capped at $5,000,000, at which point the investor receives a 40-basis point fee reduction.

Another feature of the product is “householding,” whereby if a household has at least one account of $100,000, and total household assets of $250,000, all the accounts can be linked and qualify for management fee reductions.

“If I’m married, and I have a couple of children, I may have a registered retirement savings plan for myself and my husband, and I could have education savings plans for my kids, and it gets very complicated to manage that,” said Crean. “By offering this type of service, it gives me as an investor an opportunity to consolidate all of my assets and get a management fee reduction. In addition, the reporting is consolidated.”

Featured image via Dollar Stock Photo

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