Shaun Hauser, Colin Ryan and Kelly Demo
Wellington-Altus partners Colin Ryan, Shaun Hauser and Kelly Demo describe how the firm’s commitment to optimize technology supports thriving advisory practices.


Colin Ryan was getting increasingly uncomfortable watching his previous firm’s wealth management culture shift from “How can we do better for clients?” to “How can we cross-sell more banking products to our clients?” It wasn’t a direction he wanted to go, so the established investment advisor started exploring his options and decided to make the move to Wellington-Altus Private Wealth (Wellington-Altus) in 2019.

“We have one goal [at Wellington-Altus], which is to provide the best wealth management advice to our clients,” says Ryan, now Executive Vice-President and Senior Portfolio Manager, Wellington-Altus. “Clients have responded by rewarding us with increased business and referrals, which is wonderful . . . plus, we have a lot more fun.”

A team of specialists stepped up to smooth out the onboarding process for Ryan, providing all the training his team needed on their new firm’s systems and procedures.

For Ryan, the biggest endorsement of his onboarding experience came from one of his assistants. She’s been working with him for 25 years and, after her first day with Wellington-Altus’ onboarding team, she told him she wished the team had made the move years earlier.

At Wellington-Altus, Ryan emphasizes, “They genuinely care about the clients. There are no competing silos or internal conflicts of interest. They genuinely care about the support they give you. You don’t have to send a ticket into a black box in a larger call centre somewhere to get an answer on something. You can talk to real people in real time. It’s quite refreshing.”

Technology supports the onboarding process and also facilitates ongoing client management for the advisors at the firm. Shaun Hauser, Founder and President, Wellington-Altus, says a team of dedicated data architects, known as Wellington-Altus Labs, focus all their time on bringing advisors’ best ideas to life.

“[Those ideas] have come alive through our intranet. They’ve come alive through building add-ons to existing portfolio management software. They’ve come alive through cutting two days to open accounts down to two hours,” says Hauser. “It really starts with a thought process: we want to hit an easy button everywhere we can for our advisors, and if we take care of our advisors, we know the end client can be taken care of.”

As Kelly Demo, Executive Vice-President, Senior Wealth Advisor and Portfolio Manager, Wellington-Altus, puts it, “We don’t just want to be the fastest-growing firm out there, we also want to be the best firm for clients and advisors, with the best technology.”

Technology, says Demo, is integrated into everything we do from onboarding and bespoke reporting for clients, to training and education for advisors at Wellington-Altus. She describes the firm as having a “culture of immediacy” that quickly allocates resources and time to any initiative deemed important. As a result, the firm can move rapidly to implement innovative ideas to the benefit of advisors and their clients.

“It allows us to transact faster, and when clients ask for something, we can produce it in less time with the same accuracy,” Demo says. “Innovation ultimately also allows us to be ahead of the curve in the marketplace of Family Offices, investment management and wealth planning.”

The culture of immediacy extends into other areas as well. Demo sits on a Wellington-Altus committee tasked with bringing more women into the industry and helping create an environment where more women can be successful as advisors. She has watched similar initiatives at other organizations come and go, and now, with her years of experience and the full support from the leadership team, Demo is already helping Wellington-Altus create a workable strategy to mentor and educate female investment advisors across the country.

“At the peak of our careers, my partner Andrew McQuiston, myself, and our entire team chose to leave a large bank-owned firm for Wellington-Altus, and we all wish we had done it sooner,” Demo says. “Our independence from a bank allows us to be truly objective for our clients, sit on the same side of the table as them and add a lot more value to their families. As a shareholder in a private business, we can control our destiny much more now because our opinions on how to make this firm better, are listened to and acted upon.

We truly do have a culture of excellence, education and collaboration at Wellington-Altus that makes the experience for our team and clients the best it can be.”

Wellington-Altus is a wealth management firm built by advisors for advisors and we’re attracting Canada’s top Investment Advisors and Portfolio Managers from coast to coast. If independence is your future, visit to connect with our Corporate Development team.