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Michaël Fortin thinks it’s time to shake up the way financial advisors are compensated and give them a greater stake in their organizations. As Chief Executive Officer at FORTÜNA Wealth Management, a Greater Toronto Area-based Mutual Fund Dealer, Fortin is launching a model he calls the Shared Dealer Structure. The goal is to financially empower advisors.

Michael Forbin

FORTÜNA Wealth Management offers a wide range of mutual funds from leading financial institutions, offering diverse investment strategies. While that’s typical, the earning model is far from it.

Before founding FORTÜNA Wealth Management in 2022, Fortin worked as a tax specialist and a financial advisor. He looked at the prevailing landscape for advisors and envisioned something quite different. 

Across the industry, fees and commissions generated by a book of business go to the dealer or financial institution, which, in turn, pays a percentage to the advisors. Some dealers/institutions pay more than others; some less. Fortin began to wonder why, in all cases, such a significant portion of what advisors generate funnels up to the top levels. 

So, he decided to turn the model on its head. “We view the dealer as a flow-through structure, where funds are transferred to the advisors without any third party taking a percentage,” says Fortin.

At FORTÜNA, advisors gain the exclusive opportunity to acquire a share. Under the Shared Dealer Structure, the cost of maintaining the dealer is distributed among all advisors. Those expenses are modest, and as the community of advisors grows, the costs per individual advisor decrease. 

That means FORTÜNA advisors will receive 100% of the well-earned commissions generated by their business in exchange for sharing the costs of the dealer. 

“Our primary objective in establishing this firm is to instigate a profound transformation within the industry.”

“By introducing this structure, wealth will be redistributed among advisors,” says Fortin. “Advisors can unlock their potential to earn substantially more, feel part of something larger, and have a voice within the firm.”

Advisors will be free to make objective choices from among any fund company they prefer and, as independents, are also free to be based anywhere they want. They can select their office location or use one of the FORTÜNA real estate partner locations all across Canada. 

But compensation isn’t all that matters to advisors. For the back office, FORTÜNA is leveraging cutting-edge technology to uphold the highest standards of quality. “With our platform, we ensure advisors will reduce their administrative work by at least 50%,” says Fortin.

He adds that advisor preferences will shape the back office. In fact, the shared dealer structure promises to give advisors a say on any major discussions that affect their businesses, from back-office staff to partnering with other entities.

Offering 100% commission to advisors is unheard of in the industry. So how is FORTÜNA able to do it? 

“This isn’t a sustainable business model for a profit-seeking entity. We pride ourselves in being a dealer that will generate zero profits so we can use the structure to empower advisors,” Fortin says. “Our primary objective in establishing this firm isn’t profit-seeking. It’s to instigate a profound transformation within the industry and be a leader and innovator.”

The firm is looking for advisors who share its focus on independence, community, and cooperation. 

FORTÜNA also wants to do its part to make a positive impact and help create a better world. Fortin says that when people are fortunate to have financial blessings, it’s important to elevate standards of giving not just standards of living. 

“We’re seeking advisors who are driven to create positive ripples within the industry,” says Fortin. “We welcome those who aspire to be part of a greater mission and take pride in their association with a firm that champions such values.”