Becoming an advisor, after two decades in wholesaling

New advisor explains why he made a career change and why he chose his current firm

Becoming an advisor, after two decades in wholesaling

Adriano Giordano spent twenty years as a wholesaler. His life changed, he says, when he was given his first cell phone, laptop, and corporate credit card and sent on the road as part of Mackenzie Investments’ wholesaling team. After those 20 years and a career spent serving advisors, Giordano decided to become one. He is now three months into a new career as a financial advisor with Edward Jones.

Motivated by a desire to help individuals and interact with the end client, Giordano has taken a leap. While wholesaling and advice are adjacent roles, there are significant differences between the two that Giordano has had to overcome. He shared some of how he’s surmounted those challenges, his goals for the future, and why he decided to become an advisor with Edward Jones.

“I looked at every dealer on the street, this was an important decision and I wanted to make sure that I gave myself the best opportunity to succeed,” Giordano says. “From the vantage point of a wholesaler, I really got to see firsthand how a lot of dealers operated and the mood of the advisor base at any particular firm. I had great experiences working with Edward Jones in my wholesaling career. I got to know the firm, its culture and its people and I knew that if I joined them as an advisor my new colleagues would support me. When I had to make the decision, Edward Jones was the number one option for me personally.”

Giordano explains that during his first ten years at Mackenzie, Edward Jones was his exclusive client in a territory that stretched from North York, to Ottawa, to Sault Ste. Marie as well as the whole province of Saskatchewan. Across that vast stretch of Canada, Giordano found himself impressed by Edward Jones.

After joining Edward Jones as an advisor in summer of 2023, he went through about three months of training and support. That training included work on prospecting, building centres of influence, marketing, and running the business. He’s been given hands on guidance, too, paired with an advisor who had worked in her role for over 23 years as well as a highly experienced administrative support person.

Even with all the support in the world, making this kind of a career shift can come with challenges. Giordano wants to leave every existing and new client with a strong first impression. He wants to demonstrate his experience and his knowledge and start these relationships off on the right foot. That requires diligence and while Giordano is pleased with the work he’s done so far he knows he has to maintain that level of quality in his first, second, third, and fourth meetings as well as every meeting after.

As a wholesaler, Giordano notes that he lived and breathed macro market narratives and headlines. He would be quick to send out email outlooks to advisors when a CPI print or business outlook survey looked like it might change the course of a central bank decision. His clients now largely don’t work in financial services, and tend to shrug off those marginal stories. Their perspective has forced Giordano to change his own outlook, too. He reacts to the news less and focuses more on his clients’ day to day lives and long-term goals. He says that he finds the change refreshing and appreciates the chance to focus his mental energy more on the tactile work of helping clients manage the day to day with his advice, rather than chase the news.

Having made the change from wholesaler to advisor, Giordano is pleased he took a leap. He feels gratified to work with individual clients every day and knows that the skills and knowledge he built as a wholesaler have set up a strong foundation to serve as an advisor now. He says his own example can prove illustrative to other wholesalers considering a similar move.

“There’s life on the other side of wholesaling,” Giordano says. “I enjoyed my 20 years doing what I did, but the skills transition nicely to this business. If working with the end client is important to you, there’s no better job than being a financial advisor. Just in the past three months the conversations I’ve had, the tears in the office when things get tough, the joy of seeing clients make it to retirement, that’s been really fulfilling for me.”