In 2021, many indicators were green: the profit margin improved, the number of clients increased by 5% and the market share of NBFWM, which stands at 29.7% of the assets managed in Quebec by companies of investment brokerage, has been stable since 2020, according to to data from the Data Bank of Official Statistics on Quebec.
“He masterfully manages a large network of advisers. He has managed to maintain his market share in Quebec despite fierce competition. The profitability of his network is remarkable and the growth of assets is very good,” indicates the jury of the Top of the heads of the financial industry.
The FBNGP also reversed the trend regarding the number of PCs with representative codes. This had fallen from 465 at the end of 2014 to 402 at the end of 2018. It has since risen to 411 in 2019, to 422 at the end of 2020, and to 433 at 31 August 2021 .
“We are seen as a destination of choice,” says Denis Gauthier, also proud of the advisors’ loyalty.
This attraction arises from various factors, including the adaptation of the FBNGP to the pandemic, the respect of the opinion of the CPs in their orientations and the resources employed for them. These ingredients seem to have spiced up various initiatives over the years.
Denis Gauthier gives the example of the vision of his team which, before the confinement of March 2020, was already considering an increase in the use of automation of the collaborative office (Teams, SharePoint) and had provided advisors and assistants with laptops. “We were kind of lucky to have implemented this before COVID-19,” he says.
During the first confinement of the population, the systems of the CPs and their assistants were quickly operational. With the support of the company, the advisers were able to reassure their clients, support them, and then reinvent them.
For example, the DocuSign electronic signature tool made transactions and onboarding new customers easier. “For certain types of accounts and companies, not everything can be done digitally. You have to have a wet signature. We are still working on it,” Denis Gauthier admits.
FBNGP also helped CPs to develop their business, for example by organizing events for virtual customers. However, the creation of advisor microsites, a type of company-owned website, has been slower than expected. “It took more time, but we gave birth to beautiful microsites”, the manager points out.
Denis Gauthier is credited with reforming the traditional role of branch manager in 2011, among other things by transferring his regulatory duties to a compliance supervisor overseeing a few branches.
One of his latest administrative innovations? Hiring regional associate directors and pairing them with business best practice management teams, wealth management and portfolio managers. “Instead of being silos, we have created global teams, in the field, at the service of our advisers to have a 360 degree vision of their needs”, notes Denis Gauthier.
Initiatives that began before the pandemic, but that were developed during the pandemic include the adoption of the goal-based financial planning tool Advice for life. “The tool enabled deep conversations about what really matters to our customers,” he says.
In the coming months, the FBN aims to modernize its tool so that the client and the adviser can refine their plan, for example allowing the former to update the parameters according to the whims of their lives.
In addition, the pandemic has shed light on the importance of estate planning and, at the beginning of 2021, NBFWM found itself a “victim of the success” of its service through which PA connects its clients with experts in matter. . “Demand has exploded for the right reasons and we have had capacity challenges. We have hired people to compensate. Deadlines are back to normal,” explains Denis Gauthier, who points out that experts make detailed plans that require 40 hours of preparation each one.
He also highlighted the success of the implementation of bankers dedicated to NBFWM clients in its branches, which gave the broker the opportunity to recommend them for 1.1 billion dollars in loan volumes in 2021. It serves the customer better on both sides of the balance sheet,” he says.
In addition, adopting Salesforce’s customer relationship management software not only made advisors’ jobs easier, he says, but also made them compliant with new product knowledge requirements. “Our tool connects to Salesforce seamlessly and populates. As much process as archiving and continuous note taking [sont simplifiés] “, he explains.
The FBNGP remains future-oriented, and seeks to be more inclusive. For example, in 2020, the broker aims to increase the number of female advisors from 163 (19.8% of CP) in 2021 to 200 (23%) in 2024. “We have taken many concrete actions,” he says. We reached 171 advisors [20 %] in an industry where it is around 18%. »
Eventually, the National Bank’s acquisition of the financial data aggregation company Flinks should also benefit FBNGP’s customers. “I see financial technologies that give a lot of leverage to human relationships,” says Denis Gauthier.