National Bank Financial – Wealth Management (NBFWM) continues to gain traction among advisors and clients alike. And there are quite a few reasons for this, including support from all levels of leadership and seamless technology. Both make for a better client and advisor experience.
Senior Wealth Advisors and Portfolio Managers Sean Durkin and Amy Dietz-Graham of The Durkin Dietz Group at NBFWM explain why they made the transition two years ago.
Q: What makes NBFWM different from other brokerages?
Sean Durkin: We try to keep our eyes open in terms of what our competitors are doing.
We didn’t have a lot of familiarity with NBFWM, so we went through a due diligence process. As we progressed, we came to appreciate the intersection they had between a special client experience and a special advisor experience. Often, you’re focused on only one, and it comes at the expense of the other. But we found NBFWM actually did both very well.
Amy Dietz-Graham: We also found the culture to be collaborative and supportive from all levels. Leadership is very accessible. That’s why there’s that balance between client and advisor experience. They understand what clients are feeling, how they’re using systems, how they’re interacting, and what services they’re looking for, while also
following up with advisors to make sure our lives aren’t more complicated. It’s about making things more simplified so we can spend more time working with clients.
SD: The communication is quite frequent as well. It’s not something that happens once a year. The dialogue is ongoing, and it’s a refreshing approach in how to manage a business.
Q: What was the onboarding process like?
ADG: The onboarding team was alongside us every step of the way as we learned new systems or had any questions. We had a dedicated transfer team making sure things were moving at a good pace. We had another team focused on documentation once we submitted information. And we had another team focused on training our associates on the different systems. We were able to lean on the teams to get us through that busy period. Everything was seamless for both the advisory team and our clients.
SD: Often, a transition like this can take the better part of a year. But we were able to do the bulk of it within the span of a few weeks because the technology is leading edge.
Q: Can you further detail the technology?
ADG: It’s easy for the advisor to use, and the output for the client is well put together. The financial planning system was built in-house with the client mindset. Clients can easily view and understand reports.
It’s about how they approach the solutions versus just throwing more spreadsheets at us. For example, when KYP evolved, they had a system in place that was user-friendly so we could get that task done in an organized fashion.
And the technology has been a massive time savings for us. For example, at tax time, it would take me evenings and weekends and months to go through tax and organizing things. But I’m now able to do that within a week during regular business hours. And it was user-friendly for our clients to log in and navigate. It reduced the number of times they had to call us because they couldn’t find something or needed to reset passwords.
Q: How has your business changed since joining NBFWM?
ADG: It has allowed us to reengage with our clients in a more meaningful way. Instead of fussing through administrative tasks, we’re spending more time talking to clients — we’re doing Microsoft Team live events; we’ve put podcasts together — especially high-net-worth individuals, they’re busy in their day-to-day lives, so we want to be available in whatever way it makes sense for them to communicate with us.
SD: Over the years we have been able to expand our practice in a predictable and consistent manner. Working here, leveraging the technology and support we now have available, we feel our ability to grow can be achieved more effectively and efficiently than ever.
Q: What would you say to other advisors looking for a change?
ADG: Do your due diligence and find the right fit for you. Keep an open mind. We were pleasantly surprised to see the client and advisor experience woven through everything we touch day to day.
SD: It’s rare to find an organization that embraces the entrepreneurial spirit of the advisor and supports you with the strength and ability of a large, Big Six bank. But NBFWM has done exactly that.
Looking for a change? Make the move: nbfwm.ca/career