Wellington-Altus Financial Inc. is expanding into the Quebec market and plans to be fully operational by the end of Q1 2022.
Christian Perreault, a former regional director with Russell Investments, has been hired as senior vice-president and regional manager in Quebec to lead the expansion.
Shaun Hauser, co-founder and president of Wellington-Altus, said the company hasn’t set a target for the number of advisors it will bring on as part of the Quebec expansion. It’s about finding “high-quality advisor teams,” he said.
Hauser added there will be no new services or product offerings to accompany the expansion. Instead, Wellington-Altus will focus on making sure its infrastructure can work in both official languages. This includes ensuring its website, marketing materials, applications and wealth strategy and planning materials are all translated into French. The firm also plans to hire bilingual back-office staff.
Wellington-Altus views the province as a new avenue of growth.
“Quebec is an affluent province. It has two affluent cities [Montreal and Quebec City] and a whole bunch of rural areas where people need advice,” Hauser said. “It’s only prudent that you have to explore being in the second-largest market in the country.”
When it comes to the type of investors and clients in Quebec, Hauser said he didn’t see a difference between the province and the rest of Canada when he worked at National Bank Financial from 2012 to 2017, and he doesn’t see one today.
“People are people,” he said. “I don’t think you’re going to find more conservative people [or] aggressive people [in one province versus another]. I think that’s no different in Quebec. We feel fortunate that our platform offering will be able to give advisors who want to join us more than enough options to be able to craft something that would be really special to the clients that happen to live in Quebec.”
Wellington-Altus, founded in 2017, has about $19 billion in assets under administration across 60 advisory teams.