Its new president joined only five months ago, but is already seeing results
Kirk McMillan has only been President of Gryphin Advantage, one of Canada’s larger MGAs, since September 1, but is already seeing the impact of rolling out phase one of its new growth plans.
“Me joining Gryphin was a clear sign to the industry that Gryphin wanted to prepare our company for its next phase of growth, which we’ve been doing for the last five months,” he told Wealth Professional.
The company was already successful, but now aims to grow its revenue – on both the wealth management and insurance sides – by an aggressive 20%. The wealth side is already $6 billion, aiming for $7 billion. He declined to share the premium volume on the insurance side.
But, McMillan wants the world to know that he’s putting Gryphin on the radar.
“Rod, who is our founder, and his team have been around since 1998, but they really stayed under the radar,” he said. “We’re starting to change that with things like our interactions with the media, but even online with LinkedIn and Twitter, so people are starting to get to know us a little better.
“I think they'll start to see even more of us as we're going to be taking a more active role out there in the industry in a number of different ways. But social is just an easy one for us to get out there and start to get known, and it's already starting to pay off as people are noticing who we are, what we stand for, and the changes happening in the industry and with other dealers and MGAs, and we're benefiting from that.”
McMillan sees Gryphin’s growth coming from two places: one, helping its advisors become more successful in their practices, client acquisition, and meeting client needs; and, two, attracting new advisors.
Gryphin has already started actively looking for, and acquiring, the right companies for its mix, though McMillan isn’t ready to share the details yet. It’s also attracting top-tier advisors who fit, primarily from referrals from its own advisors. Gryphin now has 2,000 advisors – up from 1,600 in September – but it’s important to him that it maintains the relationships that it already has with them as well as new additions.
“Relationship is where we get our key separation from other MGAs, from other distributors, and it's that focus on relationships that's going to allow us to continue our growth. So, it's measured growth with the right people,” he said. “We've got the right game plan in place, but our focus has to be on continuing to build relationships with the people that we've already got here while attracting more people that look like people we have here.”
McMillan, who came to Gryphin from Sun Life Financial five months ago, has been getting to know its advisors and their strengths and needs, particularly for digital capabilities and interactions with clients, to plot a path forward with them. It is now piloting several different technology solutions for them, which began before he started. It has simplified its advisor contracting and onboarding. It's now piloting software to help advisors grow their practice while managing their investment platforms and work in the retirement income space.
Given that he hasn’t been there even half a year yet, McMillan is still determining its longer-term goals.
“I'm expanding us to be more national. So, we're cleaning up the contracting into all provinces. There were a couple we didn’t have, but I’ve started that process,” he said, adding it will include expanding into Quebec.
Gryphin has also developed a new MGA business, Gryphin Group Services, which offers group benefits and group pensions. It exceeded the company’s expectations in 2021 and continues to show strong growth.
He is also supporting the Gryphin Tumblers, a group of its female advisors who regularly meet to network but is also helping the company attract others. So, he thinks that also helps to differentiate the company.
As for himself, McMillan likes where he’s ended up – and where Gryphin can go.
“Our management team has been going over its targets,” he said, “and I really think we can exceed them.”