Ian Cummings, an advisor with Investment Planning Counsel, has built a business model in which he outsources everything but his advice.

“An advisor has the choice to either build an office or buy that expertise,” he says. Cummings chose the latter option.

But, in order to make an outsourcing model work, technology is a must, he says: “I am always connected. With my Palm, my laptop and a secure connection, I am accessible whether I’m on the farm, in Toronto or in Europe.”

His model allows Cummings to focus on what’s important to him — strengthening relationships with clients and family. “Dealing with clients, you have to listen,” he says. “You need to find out the stuff they don’t know. It’s going to be about life and what the client wants to get out of it.” — KATE BETTS-WILMOTT