Financial Planning

Canadians are looking for a greater range of services to manage their growing wealth

By IE Staff |

Canada’s high net worth families are looking for integrated wealth management, but only 1 out of 10 respondents feels they are receiving the services they need, according to a survey released by financial education firm CSI.

“They want more than investment advice. They are looking for someone to develop a strategic wealth plan that looks at all of their assets and is designed to grow and preserve net worth through all their life stages,” says Dr. Roberta Wilton, president and CEO of CSI. “With this population segment set to grow dramatically in the next decade, there is a real need for financial professionals to add to their tool box, developing the skills they need to fill this service gap.”

According to the survey, 80% of affluent Canadians who use multiple advisors could not identify a single one among them who could provide comprehensive strategic wealth management. Strategic wealth management services include tax consultation, family trust and holding company advice, succession planning, post retirement income plans, and other wealth management solutions.

“The survey shows that affluent Canadians have become more sophisticated and their needs tend to be broader and more complex than the level of services that are available. There is a clear opportunity for financial advisors who are willing to fill this service gap and make inroads into this market,” says Wilton.

The survey, which polled 400 affluent households across Canada, took place in early 2008, with the objective to gauge the need for comprehensive wealth management among this population segment.

“Affluent Canadians told us they want a go-to person to have the holistic financial depth to make sense of their success, and to get there takes specialized knowledge and practice management skills,” Wilton says.

Last year CSI introduced a wealth management program leading to the Chartered Professional (Ch.P.) Strategic Wealth designation.

“This program is specifically designed to prepare advisors for the role of 'financial quarterback', which involves overseeing and managing a strategic wealth plan with the support from other professionals such as lawyers, accountants, trust specialists and estate planners,” she says.

Currently more than 250 advisors have the Ch.P. Strategic Wealth designation.

CSI offers more than 120 courses ranging from the well-known Canadian Securities Course to sophisticated accreditation programs such as the Ch.P designation.