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Christine Van Cauwenberghe has been named head of financial planning with IG Wealth Management, and began leading the newly created division on Jan. 1.

Van Cauwenberghe, who had served as IG’s vice-president of tax and estate planning since 2016, reports to Damon Murchison, president and CEO.

“I’m effectively going to be the chief advice officer,” said Van Cauwenberghe in an email to Investment Executive.

In the role, Van Cauwenberghe oversees the division’s three teams: the advanced financial planning group, comprising the firm’s 40 tax and estate professionals; IG University, the firm’s advisor training group; and the financial specialist network, a new team that will coach advisors of high-net-worth (HNW) clients.

“As an organization we have made significant strides in the HNW market, and we want to help our advisors so that they can better service that market,” Van Cauwenberghe said.

The organization rebranded from Investors Group in 2018 and refocused its marketing toward HNW clients.

Van Cauwenberghe said the firm plans to hire legal and accounting experts over the next few years to strengthen its integrated advice platform offered to clients with at least $1 million to invest, which launched three years ago.

Advisors contact a centralized office, which assigns experts to a client’s issue based on need or complexity, rather than based on where the advisor or expert is located.

Van Cauwenberghe said IG also wants to more closely integrate its advisor training team with its financial planning experts.

“We have a significant focus on supporting advisors in attaining their certified financial planner designation (or Pl. Fin. in Quebec),” she said.

Reporting to Van Cauwenberghe is Jack Courtney, vice-president of Advanced Financial Planning in Winnipeg; Charlene Snell, vice-president of training and talent development in Winnipeg; and Nicholas Shields, vice-president of financial planning specialists in Montreal, a role he began Jan. 1. Previously, Shields was vice-president of private wealth management in Quebec.

Van Cauwenberghe joined IG Wealth in 2001 as director of tax and estate planning, before being promoted to assistant vice-president of tax and estate planning in 2012.

Van Cauwenberghe is a member of the Canadian Tax Foundation, has her CFP designation, is a registered retirement consultant, and is certified by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. She is also the author of Wealth Planning Strategies for Canadians, an annual publication currently in its 13th edition.