After 14 years of working in various management roles in financial services, Sterling Rempel felt it was time for change. It was 1999 and he felt overworked and thoroughly stressed out. Rempel took the plunge and opened his own practice specializing in estate and financial planning. He called it Future Values, and since then there has been no looking back.
“I come from an entrepreneurial family and felt I needed to prove something to myself and direct my own destiny,” Rempel says. “Ultimately, I wanted to work more closely with my clients and focus on the things that were important to them. I wanted to bring forward the philosophies I had to bear.”
Rempel guides each client through a values-based decision-making process and has a special interest in responsible investments and charitable planned giving. He has served on the boards of numerous not-for-profit organizations and was recently invited to join the board of the Alberta Council for Environmental Education.
“My priority is to make sure the client and their family is okay, but once that is in place I like to deal with the more profound question of how a client will use their money to impact the world,” Rempel says. “That, over the years, has taken me into responsible investing and charitable giving and ultimately helping people align purpose with their finances.”
Embracing education and continuous development has been a cornerstone of Rempel’s philosophy and success. As well as earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree and passing the Canadian Securities Course with honours, Rempel also holds the CFP, EPC (Elder Planning Counselor), CH.F.C. (Chartered Financial Consultant), CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter) and TEP (Trust and Estate Practitioner) designations. In 2012, Rempel was named as a “Fellow of FPSC” for his service to the financial planning profession.
“I love to learn and I always enjoy taking exams because of the mental challenge,” Rempel says. “I’m currently looking at another possible designation online! I’m a student of the industry and of anything that can help me better serve my clients. First, by understanding the issues, and, secondly, by bringing all of my knowledge and expertise to bear on my clients’ situation.”
When Rempel graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1985, he initially worked with two national insurance firms in various roles. Insurance and risk management remain core aspects of his practice today. But, as the advisory business has shifted towards a more comprehensive financial planning model, Rempel has seen many advisors leave the risk and insurance functions behind.
“Those areas have, historically, been both the most challenging and rewarding parts,” he says. “It’s easier to orient your practice towards investments and there is a whole generation of people who have grown up in this industry without really dealing with the insurance side. That’s problematic for our clients, but also an opportunity for newer advisors.”
How advisors can start to reshape their industry
CSA urged to act against use of internal ombudsmen