Raintree Financial Solutions has recently appointed two new senior executives with extensive experience in the financial services industry, Bob Roy, FCSI, Executive VP and Tim Kocsar, VP Business Development. Bob and Tim agreed to do a Q&A about their history and their views on the industry.
What attracted you to the Exempt Market?
Bob: My first involvement in the Exempt Market came as a result of my position as CEO of Partners in Planning. This organization was both MFDA and EMD registered and I realized that this combination enabled the advisor to create significantly more meaningful portfolios for clients. Clearly the large pension plans in Canada have long realized that private equities do have a role to play in a well-constructed portfolio. Most Canadians have not availed themselves to this reality, however this is something we are trying to change at Raintree.
Tim: Having worked in the IIROC and MGA channels for 20 years, I looked in on the Exempt Market from the outside and saw how alternative investments were playing an increasing role in the financial services industry. As I enjoy being on the leading edge of the industry, I decided to join an issuer in the exempt space several years ago. The sharing of new ideas and exploring new avenues for clients to grow their wealth was a strong motivator for me to join this space.
What’s your role with Raintree?
Bob: My role is to focus on building out the company. I work with management to uncover ways to become more productive, strengthen service offerings and provide guidance for growth. I jumped at the opportunity to work for Raintree because I wanted to join an organization that’s on a positive track, even at a time when there’s turmoil in the financial services industry. Raintree has found an opportunity to grow and I want to be part of its success.
Tim: I’m responsible for bringing new advisors into the company and helping them build their practises. I believe Raintree is the premier dealer and we have excelled in our core competencies due in large part to being guided by our values of always putting the clients interests first. Whether in our product selection or the development of systems, these core values are always apparent in the choices we make. Articulating our approach and values is one of the most exciting things I do when introducing new advisors to our firm. I also assist our existing Private Wealth Advisors in achieving their business objectives. At Raintree, we have a significant amount of resources at our disposal including Raintree University, structured client events and a fully integrated software system built for Exempt Market professionals. I strive to add value by understanding where our agents are coming from and tailoring solutions to their individual needs. I respect the challenges that advisors face and the enthusiasm that good advisors display. I’ve seen what does and doesn’t work and it comes down to a company’s values, hiring the best quality people and making tough decisions like investing back into the company. Raintree checks these boxes and that gives me confidence when I articulate the firm’s values.
What is important to you in an Exempt Market Dealer (EMD)?
Bob: Looking after the clients’ best interest. All too often, dealerships put the financial gain of the firm over what’s best for its clients. Not in a fraudulent way - it simply puts into question the values of the firm. In a recent survey conducted with Raintree’s Private Wealth Advisors, I was amazed at the volume of advisors who said they felt Raintree would do the right thing even if it cost the company money, and that advisors felt the partners would do what’s right in order to create a long-term standard for the firm. The consistency in this message was surprising to me, because that’s what I see as lacking in larger firms.
What are the trends in the financial services industry?
Tim: I see history repeating itself with dealership consolidation –we’re seeing a lot of this with IIROC and MFDA firms. I perceive opportunities for organizations that take on holistic financial planning and provide access to products that aren’t available on bank shelves. I see a division between dealers that embrace this change and those that are resistant. Lastly, technology is going to play a massive role in service delivery. Raintree is positioned to take advantage of these opportunities.
What makes a successful financial advisor?
Bob: I think the best advisors understand what they do and don’t do well so they can affiliate themselves with an organization that can help. It’s important that advisors stay well educated and informed on products – but what clients really need is help making better-informed decisions within their investment plan.
Tim: The best financial advisors look at themselves as financial planners rather than sales people. It’s also important that they know how to run a successful business. The best advisors set goals, have a plan and follow-through.
What advice would you give someone starting a career in the financial services business?
Tim: It depends where you want to land. The banks tend to pigeonhole you to one area. If you want to be in an open system where you can work directly with clients who are in alignment with you, the exempt market is great.
Bob: Find a mentor who is doing it well and understand what makes them successful. The industry is harsh for someone just stepping in. Ensure you have a financial strategy to support yourself through a lean period of time. Lastly, make sure you’re with a dealer who has a great reputation that ensures its product offerings are well vetted and selected, and that educates its advisors.
To contact Bob or Tim at Raintree Financial Solutions, or to learn more about joining our team, visit www.raintreeEMD.com/careers.