In January, IG Wealth Management named Christine Van Cauwenberghe as head of financial planning. Also that month, the firm hired Annamaria Testani (who previously worked for National Bank Investments) to be its head of client experience. In July, Alana Riley will officially commence her new position as the firm’s head of insurance, mortgage and banking. Riley was formerly IG Wealth’s senior vice president of financial services for Western Canada.
“The industry is changing. Regulation is changing. And, most importantly, the needs and wants of Canadians are changing. Covid has [expedited] that [and] Canadians are really starting to ask themselves the tough questions that they need to be answered as it relates to their financial future,” said Damon Murchison, president and CEO of IG Wealth Management.
“[When] the baby boomers were growing up, it was all just about investing. But now, it’s truly about being holistic and looking at financial planning.”
IG Wealth Management will look to take a holistic approach to tax planning and optimization, retirement readiness and peace of mind, intergenerational wealth transfer, social responsibility and charitable giving, and financial literacy.
As it relates to tax planning, Murchison said the federal government has “overextended itself” due to Covid, adding that Canadians have high corporate and personal tax rates.
“The future of those rates are only going to be higher, not lower. Working with our clients to make sure they optimize their tax situation not only for today, but how the decisions they make today could affect their tax situation tomorrow is extremely important,” he said.
When it comes to retirement readiness and peace of mind, Murchison said IG will continue work with older clients to understand their wants and needs, their sources of income, and explain to them how market shocks and volatility impact their circumstances.
Intergenerational wealth transfer is “top of mind” for a lot of IG clients because of the aging population. “We’re having more and more conversations every day with our clients on how to pass on wealth to [their] heirs, in one fashion or form,” Murchison said.
Social responsibility and charitable giving are also on Canadians’ radar, he added, as they want to make sure they’re invested in an organization that shares their values.
IG Wealth is also focused on financial literacy – for example telling clients how to fill out their taxes. With high net-worth families, IG Wealth is focused on advising them when to bring their children into the financial planning discussion, and explain to them why it’s important to pass on the wealth in a particular way.
According to Murchison, the recent leadership changes address the wealth drivers IG is seeing.
Van Cauwenberghe will be tasked with strategizing the direction of the firm’s financial planning and establishing a consistent planning experience with clients that covers all the wealth drivers.
Testani will examine and analyze the experience IG clients have when they discuss these wealth drivers with the firm’s advisors, as well as how clients interact with the firm’s website and customer service department.
Allen will observe the wealth drivers of today, how they can change over time, and what firms outside of Canada are doing.
Riley will talk to clients about risk management and insurance, explaining what they can do within the context of these wealth drivers.
“Having a leadership of this quality, leaders that have businesses that are focused and vertically-integrated, will allow us to drive our strategy – getting out there talking to clients, making sure we [do] holistic financial planning for those clients, and we work with them to execute the plan,” said Murchison.