Portrait of Cindy Boury
Phillip Chin

This article appears in the December 2022 issue of Investment Executive. Subscribe to the print edition, read the digital edition or read the articles online.

A couple of demeaning comments from her financial advisor led Cindy Boury to eventually join the financial advisory business herself.

“In my mid-30s, I was very frustrated with one of my advisors. I sat in front of him and he suggested I bring my husband in to have a discussion — which wasn’t well received,” Boury said. “And then I tried to talk with him about alternatives, and his comments were, ‘Unless you’re educated, you probably won’t understand.’” Boury left the meeting frustrated, and vented to her husband about the experience. “He suggested I take [the Canadian Securities Course (CSC)] and then he went to bed,” she said. “A lot of us don’t recognize our natural talent and often it’s the spouse or a loved one who really sees it.”

That was 25 years ago. Today, Boury is branch manager and portfolio manager with Cindy Boury Private Wealth Management, a unit of Raymond James Ltd. in Abbotsford, B.C. Her designations include fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute, chartered investment manager and financial management advisor. And she recently won the 2022 Raymond James Woman of Distinction Award.

Cindy Boury Private Wealth Management is a nine-women operation led by Boury. Employees are cross-trained, so if a team member needs time for family responsibilities, they can be accommodated by their colleagues. Boury’s daughters, Susan Bonner and Sheryl Boury, joined the team after gaining their own career experience. They hold roles as portfolio manager assistant and business development specialist, respectively.

Before taking the CSC, Cindy Boury was focused on raising her children and handling the taxes for her husband’s small business. Previously, she had worked at a bank as a teller and member services representative. After Boury earned the CSC and her life insurance licence, she contacted an advisor she had seen on a local television show about personal finance. She was invited for an interview and was hired before the interview was over. She joined the advisor’s team at Great Pacific Management Co. as an independent advisor. (The firm later merged with Cartier Partners Financial Group Inc. before being acquired by Dundee Wealth Management Inc.)

“I had zero clients and zero assets. I’m in my 30s and I’ve been at home with my children. So, I took a month off and gave a lot of thought to what I was going to do,” Boury said.

She immediately joined 13 clubs in Abbotsford, including the Rotary club, the Chamber of Commerce and several non-profits and women’s groups.

Still, in that first year, Boury said she would have made more money working at McDonald’s. Another one of her business-building strategies was to operate a booth at women’s trade fairs and other events at a local exhibition centre in Abbotsford, as well as in the mall where her office was located. While this strategy didn’t provide immediate financial benefits, she kept it up over several years.

“The best practice was meeting so many people with so many different questions,” she said. “It helped me grow my knowledge as well as meet new clients. The true takeaway was all the unusual questions and the communication tools you build in this type of space.” Boury gradually built her own client base and was able to dedicate more time to her clients. She wanted to become a portfolio manager and, in 2009, moved to Raymond James to do so.

Boury said her current business takes a “family model” approach: her business serves parents, children and grandparents. Most of her clients have assets of $750,000 or more. “If we can help one couple, there’s a good chance we can help their adult children or aging parents,” she said.

Each of her clients has their own “profile,” and the team will find an advisor who matches that profile — often in terms of life experience. For example, a young client saving for a down payment would be paired with a young advisor who already has a mortgage. An older client looking to manage their estate would likely be paired with Boury, who has experience in wealth management and estate planning.

For complex cases, Boury works with other professionals, such as accountants and lawyers.

Boury has been recognized not only for helping clients, but also for helping her colleagues advance their careers. The Raymond James Woman of Distinction Award, which Boury won in September, is given to women advisors who “demonstrate exceptional leadership in serving their clients and the community, as well as supporting the professional growth of women in the financial service industry,” the firm stated.

Boury learned the benefits of mentorship first-hand after joining a year-long training program with four other women. When the program ended 10 years ago, the women created a private group in which they discussed challenges, emotions, home life and business development. “That’s when I realized the empowerment of people with like minds getting together on a regular basis.”

Boury also sits as an executive on the Women Canadian Advisors Network, an organization that seeks to help female financial advisors have successful, fulfilling careers.

An important part of mentoring junior advisors is building their self-esteem, Boury said. If new advisors are shy or are intimidated by some clients, they can face challenges throughout their careers.

As a mentor, Boury takes a pragmatic approach to self-improvement: “If you can’t stand equally, then you need to find out why. If you don’t have the knowledge or the education, you need to upgrade it. If you don’t have the etiquette, take some courses. If you don’t have basic boardroom rules, go learn them. And when you sit at the table, you sit in a competent manner.”

Boury, 62, and her husband, Doug, will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary next year. While Doug is retired, Boury has no plans for an early retirement. “I enjoy what I do and I get to see my children every day. And my husband also pops by regularly.”

Boury is passionate about philanthropy and donates to several causes, such as the Abbotsford Cyrus Centre, the World Wildlife Fund and Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue.