Breaking the mould

Ghinel Bozek discusses the importance of understanding what makes your clients tick

Breaking the mould

Mining is big business in Canada: In 2016, the industry recorded $40.8 billion in production and employed 403,000 people. Although mining is noted for its high levels of volatility, the sector remains a considerable wealth generator in this country.

Ghinel Bozek specializes in managing some of that wealth. Part of Alexandra Horwood & Partners at Richardson GMP and a 2016 WPC Young Gun, Bozek counts among her clients some of Canada’s top mining executives and entrepreneurs. Since it was founded in 2014, Alexandra Horwood & Partners has made the extraction sector a priority, and that focus has served it well. An important part of being a successful financial advisor is understanding your client’s circumstances, Bozek explains, so the firm has put a priority on developing its knowledge of this industry.

“We have a booth at PDAC [the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada] every year,” she says. “This business is all about understanding the needs of your client, and it is at PDAC where we developed an incredible niche. By asking the right questions, we learned that the needs of successful mining executives and business owners were aligned and in need of a higher level of planning.”

Mining – whether it’s for gold, potash or uranium – is volatile by nature, so it’s essential for those who make their living that way to have the right counsel. A sudden drop in the price of gold shouldn’t massively impact a financial plan designed for the long term, Bozek explains.

“Every financial plan we create is catered to the individual needs of our clients and designed specifically to mitigate the fluctuations in the market,” she says. “Our clients are resilient in their chosen careers, and we demand the same resilience from our investment portfolios.”

The equity markets have struggled at different points so far this year, but that doesn’t overly concern Bozek. While some investors might have forgotten what volatility looks like, she says the markets are simply reverting to historical norms.

“Market volatility is the new norm, and you shouldn’t be afraid of it,” she says. “History shows us that difficult markets laid the ground for new highs and growth in the market – you just need to work with the right professional to navigate through these changing times while minimizing risk.”

Currently in the process of earning her CIM designation to become a portfolio manager, Bozek came to wealth management after first working in broadcast journalism. She was drawn to Richardson GMP, thinking the inner workings of the company would make an interesting story, but after closer inspection, decided to join the firm herself. Working under the tutelage of John and Rebecca Horwood, Bozek was able to learn the mechanics of wealth management from two of Richardson GMP’s most esteemed financial planners.

“My insatiable hunger for uncovering stories in journalism translated well to becoming a wealth manager,” Bozek says. “The same due diligence is required when vetting investments as vetting stories and sources. I still find myself digging for the truth to find the best strategies for my clients daily. I was fortunate to find mentors who recognized that skill set and taught me the very important foundations of becoming a great financial advisor. For that, I am truly grateful.”

This is a business that can be unforgiving of new advisors, but that isn’t the case on The Horwood Team, which emphasizes mentorship. Those early days provided plenty of lessons for Bozek, but one in particular has stayed with her throughout her career.

“You can’t succeed in this industry if you don’t love what you do,” she says. “You have to have the passion and hunger to really change people’s lives. That’s what real wealth management is – it’s not just about investments; it’s about making a positive impact that will last generations for your clients and their families.”