From the source

As the owner of The Waterfront Group, advisor Dan Wynnyk has firsthand experience running a business, which allows him to relate to his clients’ situations on a deeper level

From the source

Like many in wealth management, Dan Wynnyk never thought of becoming a financial advisor when he was growing up. Like many kids, Wynnyk was more preoccupied with how he could make the most money. However, after spending nearly 20 years in the industry, Wynnyk, currently a senior vice-president and senior investment advisor with the Waterfront Group at Wellington- Altus Private Wealth, has learned that the wealth derived from being an advisor goes beyond money – and the more people he helps, the more fulfilled he feels. 

Ever since his first paper route, Wynnyk has had an attachment to the values of saving and investing. Where he excels is communicating with people.

“Communication is one of the most important things in our industry,” he says. “There are many smart people in finance, but if you can’t articulate with a client what you want to do or what makes you unique, you will not survive.”

Wynnyk’s stepfather, a stockbroker who worked at Merrill Lynch, recognized this asset and got Wynnyk started in a career in financial management. Working the phones, Wynnyk built his network and began forming strong relationships. He also earned his designation from the CSI and, in 2003, co-founded the Waterfront Group at CIBC Wood Gundy. (The team moved to Wellington- Altus in 2020.) Wynnyk has molded his practice around three pillars: being conservative, innovation and best-in-class service.

“Just selling stocks, bonds and mutual funds is not enough,” he says. “High-net-worth clients want and deserve more from their advisor. You need to incorporate other things for your clients like alternative investments, tax and will planning, divorce analysis, even helping them buy or sell a business.”

For many years, the Waterfront Group’s access to alternatives has been a differentiator. They have been able to provide exclusive access to private equity, private loans and mortgages, private debt, real estate, hedge funds, and other special opportunities.

As a business owner himself, Wynnyk has also been able to connect on a more personal level with his business owner clients, who make up a significant portion of his practice.

“It has helped me understand what it truly means to be a business owner and all the problems that come along with that,” he says. “I also have the knowledge that I can pass on to clients when they go to buy or sell a business. This is something that makes me unique in this industry and is how we really started dealing with business owners.”

The Waterfront Group offers specialized services for two other select groups – healthcare professionals and Canadian entertainers.

“With healthcare professionals, we had a few clients who were doctors, and if you do a great job, you get referrals,” Wynnyk explains. “Entertainment professionals – basically, we started with one, it led to two, and now it’s a sizeable practice.”

These clients merit an elevated service offering, Wynnyk says. Because many of his entertainment clients live in Vancouver, he makes quarterly trips to meet them in person. As a result of the diversity in his clients’ lifestyles, he also provides them with 24/7 direct access.

“Every one of my clients has my cell number,” he says. “You need to be accessible all the time; I think that’s led us to the level of success we’ve had.”

While that accessibility has become a key element of his service, it has also led Wynnyk to his greatest challenge – building a successful practice while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. He tackled this by narrowing his focus to 150 families, rather than the 500 he started out with. That’s given him more time for face-to-face meetings with his clients, which is a high point for him.

“I work for some of the most interesting, generous, kind people in Ontario and BC,” Wynnyk says. “Every day, I sit across from them and talk about everything in their life. Working for them and learning is truly  my highlight.”