High-net-worth investors a key focus for IPC

Investment Planning Counsel CEO Chris Reynolds discusses how high-net-worth clients are a growing market in Canada

High-net-worth investors a key focus for IPC

Canada’s economy may not be firing on all cylinders currently, but that’s not to suggest there isn’t plenty of wealthy individuals out there seeking investment opportunities.

The Investment Planning Counsel has refocused its business to reflect that, with its high-net-worth branch IPC Private Wealth aiming to increase its AUM from $800 million to $2 billion over the next three years.

Chris Reynolds, IPC’s president and CEO explains the new direction for the firm.   

 “It’s looking very positive in Q2 for us, particularly in our high-net-worth platform where we are seeing a lot of growth,” he says.  “We have went from $700 million to $800 million since January 1. It’s a relatively new strategy for us, it’s really only three years old. Primarily, IPC in the past was more of an acquisition company, but over the past five years we have seen much more of the sudden money crowd.”

Canada’s high-net-worth community is concentrated largely among Baby Boomers, many of whom are now retiring and seeking ways to optimize their wealth in their twilight years.

“In the Boomer community, they have accumulated assets, primarily business ownership and real estate,” says Reynolds.  “Now they are coming to a time when liquidity and estate issues take priority so those businesses are being sold off and they are looking for ways to replace their income and structure their assets so they can pass them on to the next generation.”

Those holding the most assets are likely those who will benefit most from CRM2. Now what they pay in fees to advisors can be easily quantified and used to decide what value they are getting. In Reynolds’ view, any advisor worth their salt has little to worry about with the new regulations.

“I think CRM2 is a step in the right direction,” he says.  “I don’t believe any good financial advisor is against transparency. I don’t think there’s a legitimate argument that consumers shouldn’t know what they’re paying and specifically what they are getting for what they are paying.”

The fact that advisors’ fees have been brought fully into the open also means that other areas of the industry will soon follow, which is only as it should be according to Reynolds.

“The more transparency the consumer has, the better choices they can make,” he says. “I agree with an equal playing field. We should know the investment costs, custodian costs, the costs of advice so the consumer can make an intelligent choice about are they really receiving value.”

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