Matthew Rodier’s commitment to educating himself and improving his skill set has been the key to providing his clients with thoughtful, well-rounded advice.

Rodier, now age 35, became an investment advisor while in his mid-20s. He was able to win over mature, high net-worth clients who were 30 years his senior in part because he was able to trump experience with expertise.

“The formal education that I pursued helped me to overcome the experience factor,” Rodier says. “I developed the capacity to converse at a very high level with clients and prospects.”

Rodier now runs his own practice, Rodier Asset Management in Montreal, which operates under the umbrella of Toronto-based TD Wealth Private Wealth Management. His dedication has earned him praise from not only his clients but from the investment industry as a whole. Rodier was chosen from among 32 nominees to receive the 2017 IIAC Top Under 40 Award.

The award – co-sponsored by the Investment Industry Association of Canada, the Canadian Securities Institute, Echelon Wealth Partners Inc., Smarten Up Institute, Ext. Marketing Inc. and Investment Executive (all based in Toronto) – recognizes the next generation of talented young professionals whose accomplishments have made a meaningful impact on the financial services sector and their local community.

Rodier serves 110 client households and has more than $100 million in assets under management. When advising clients, he says, he’s less concerned with “keeping up with the Joneses” than with reducing volatility and risk wherever possible.

And with TD Wealth’s full suite of services, Rodier says, he’s able to provide his clients with comprehensive support, ranging from cash-flow analysis to business-succession planning.

Nevertheless, Rodier’s priority when meeting new clients is not to begin managing their investments, he says, but to explore any pressing issues they wish to address. Specifically, Rodier tries to identify a hot topic with every new client and will begin introducing them to other specialists within his firm, as needed. For some of these clients, hot topics include how they can draw down their portfolio’s assets, update a will or reduce taxes in the event of death.

In these cases, Rodier is there to support his clients while drawing on the advice of other professionals. “I’m at every single one of those meetings to make sure that clients feel comfortable,” he says. “If there’s a strategy being suggested or recommended, I’m there saying yes or no because I’m the advocate on behalf of my clients.”

Rodier got his first taste of the investment industry as a part-time bank teller at a Toronto-Dominion Bank’s (TD) branch while earning his bachelor of commerce degree at Concordia University in Montreal.

After Rodier completed his degree, he was interviewed for a few pharmaceutical sales representative positions before TD offered him a job as a financial services representative. It was a natural transition, he says, as he continued to service the same clients he had helped as a teller. Ten months later, Rodier was promoted to financial advisor and, in 2008, he moved to TD Wealth as an investment advisor.

To learn the ropes, Rodier took advantage of every investment seminar or conference call available. He has earned his chartered investment manager designation and his life insurance licence, and he has almost completed the derivatives fundamentals and options licensing course.

Rodier began his career just before the height of the global financial crisis of 2008-09, but that situation didn’t hinder his entrance into the investment industry. “Everyone wanted to hear a second opinion,” he says. “Nobody necessarily wanted to sign [on the dotted line] right away. And everyone was willing to hear another advisor’s strategy because what [clients] were doing wasn’t working.”

New advisors like Rodier were even able to offer clients a fresh look at what the future might hold during that difficult time. Although clients wanted to commit a much smaller amount of money than they may have been willing to invest previously, confidence could be built over time.

Rodier also attributes gaining some of his first, most loyal clients to cold calling before the National Do No Call List came into play. “I didn’t rush to get my family or my inner circle in [as clients],” Rodier says. “At the beginning, if you’re going to make a mistake, let it be with somebody you’re not going to see every Saturday for brunch.”

Most prospects didn’t turn into clients, but cold-calling got Rodier into the rhythm of booking meetings, following up and “following up on the followups,” he says.

Rodier also focused on building his reputation by participating in educational seminars for investors and spearheading a business advisory group that included financial services professionals, accountants, lawyers, notaries and real estate agents. Although that group no longer exists, it was incredibly useful to Rodier in developing his centres of influence.

Although Rodier’s practice and young family keep him busy – he and his wife have three children – he still finds opportunities to mentor investment industry rookies and give back to his community.

Last year, Rodier spoke at an orientation session for new TD Wealth employees and has opened his door to those with more questions.

Rodier also is involved with the Just for Kids Foundation and co-chairs that organization’s annual golf and cycling events, which raise money for the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

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