President Kirk McMillan reflects on a year of business expansion
This article was produced in partnership with The Gryphin Advantage.
The Gryphin Advantage is expanding its operation at a steady pace but for President Kirk McMillan, it’s always about quality over quantity. Two years ago, Guillaume Damnon joined The Gryphin Advantage team, and established their Ottawa office. Now they are looking to further expand into Kingston with the addition of Ed Bettencourt as Business Development Manager. The two are excited to work together again and while the majority of the firm’s business flows through its Flamborough Head Office, McMillan believes Bettencourt’s arrival, working in tandem with Damnon, is a tremendous opportunity to grow the company’s footprint in Eastern Ontario.
“Having a physical presence and building a team that can support advisors who have joined Gryphin in this area, is going to be differentiating for us. We have built our foundation on establishing and maintaining strong relationships with advisors. We are confident that Ed and Guillaume will continue to deliver on our value proposition,” McMillan said.
Gryphin has plenty of young succession plans under way but they continue to attract successful established advisor practices that will help accelerate its growth. For McMillan, a year into his role after leaving Sun Life, he’s delighted with the progress made, while quick to stress that he was coming into an already successful business established by CEO Rod Millard.
But the industry is changing rapidly and tweaks to the structure have yielded the desired change. Staying on top of compliance changes, digitizing and enhancing the likes of contracting and advisor onboarding was paramount. The firm also shifted to close to 100% APEXA and invested in its tech offering by partnering with CapIntel, Life Design Analysis and, recently added CRM solution, Equisoft.
McMillan said: “We need to continue to invest in our tech stack and provide advisors with the opportunity to choose the platforms and tools they are most comfortable with. We want to make sure that we're on the leading edge of what’s happening.”
As an organization, the investment side of the business has grown in 2022 despite significant external headwinds; while they are on track to have their best year ever in the life insurance space. This can be attributed to the resilience and production of their longstanding advisor relationships, accompanied by the additions of new advisors to the Gryphin community. McMillan recognizes, however, that this has been a challenging time for advisors and that the right support and service is vital in helping advisors continue to meet their clients’ needs. The ability to provide that, and have the right people join, means the firm’s foundation is solid, which should stand in good stead for when markets come back. “You’ll see that strength come through in the next few years, for sure.” McMillan said.