Jumping outside the box; PWM joins Q Wealth's partnership model

How Q Wealth's strategic alliances with top advisories like PWM Private Wealth Counsel are setting new standards for independent wealth management

Jumping outside the box; PWM joins Q Wealth's partnership model

This article was produced in partnership with Q Wealth.

In a dynamic shift away from traditional independent broker-dealer models, Q Wealth Partners is spearheading innovation in wealth management across Canada. The model was inspired by the US independent RIA support platform – which has been a runaway success south of the border. With the very different Canadian regulatory landscape, Q Wealth is offered by invitation to leading advisors across Canada - in the unexpected format of a professional services Partnership - by and for Portfolio Managers.

Among its most recent strategic alliances, QPAC (the Q Wealth Partner Advisory Counsel) voted to admit PWM Private Wealth Counsel, helmed by the esteemed Kevin Hegedus.

Hegedus, recognized for his unparalleled expertise and a seven-time Wealth Professional honouree on WP's Top 50 Advisors list., brings a distinguished track record to this collaboration, highlighting Q Wealth's ability to attract industry leaders keen on advancing independence of their practice in a genuinely collaborative environment.

“What we’re doing is truly differentiated”, says Executive & Founding Partner Jared Rabinowitz. “All forms of independent firms will make the same claim - but allow me to blow your mind with how different we actually are. Partners don’t get incentives to join. In fact there’s a line in our Partnership agreement that states the COST to join. That may sound insane, but the proof is in the pudding. We’re growing at an exponential rate, because the right advisors recognize the benefit to their clients, their team, and their own quality of life. Our Partners are joining for all the right reasons, and we make no apologies for the advisors that think we’re nuts by passing the benefits to the clients, and Partners, while skipping the seven figure cheques to lure advisors. Our platform is that compelling”.

A union of shared values and vision

Hailing from the Prairies, PWM Private Wealth Counsel’s mission has always been to be at the forefront of the industry, offering increasingly comprehensive wealth management services for clients. As Hegedus says, “This was really just the next stage in the evolution, to try and look at independent portfolio management, trying to find ways that we can broaden the investment and service horizons for our clients.”

“It opens up a whole new world for you when you look outside the box and you're not in that big dealer world anymore. But it can be scary.” 

The challenges faced by PWM prior to the partnership with Q Wealth were multifaceted. Aside from the limitations imposed by the dealer network's product shelf, there was a noticeable decline in client referrals and satisfaction, primarily due to underperforming returns. This feedback loop from clients and the market was instrumental in Hegedus's decision to pivot towards a model that offered greater independence, control, and a broader spectrum of investment solutions.

The pursuit of independent portfolio management also came from a desire to replicate the consistent returns seen in pension plans and endowments, diverging from the conventional dealer model to explore more diversified and effective investment strategies.

This quest, however, was met with the realization of the complexities and costs associated with establishing an independent Portfolio Management firm. It was at this juncture that Q Wealth was introduced to Hegedus, offering a solution that aligned with his vision of broadening investment horizons for clients without the need to reinvent the wheel. Q Wealth’s already established platform presented the tools, scale, and philosophical alignment that PWM was seeking, making the Partnership an obvious choice.

Hegedus praises Q Wealth for its collaborative culture and robust platform, which were decisive factors in his move. “It was like eureka, right? This is what we were hoping to build, but they've already done it,” he remarked, emphasizing the natural fit between PWM's ambitions and Q Wealth's established capabilities.

The important of scale

In their exploration of potential collaborations, the PWM team engaged in discussions with numerous competitors, identifying that Q Wealth distinguished itself through its agile organization, paired with substantial scale. With an already impressive 3.3 billion in AUM, the Q Wealth Partnership continues to attract rapid growth in 2024. This scale presented a compelling argument for joining a firm of Q Wealth's stature and capabilities. The benefits include lower costs for clients, and exclusive access to Q Wealth's innovative investment solutions platform, notably strong in alternative investments. 

Portfolio Manager at Q Wealth, and Wealth Advisor at PWM, Andrew Rodych highlights, “At other firms, not all your “partners” are truly partners. But at Q Wealth it's not just a token word. We're actually engaging with them, collaborating with them. Collaboration has been overused like a buzzword, but legitimately we see it with Q Wealth. It’s showing up in core services like marketing, and we've been seeing it with our onboarding as we've been bringing clients over – it’s the whole process. You really have a team that's working together. The partnership allows us to have scale, support, and resources from day one.”

Rabinowitz says, “They appreciate the opportunity to join Q Wealth but equally we really appreciate such a marquee advisory team joining the Partnership. We figured out how to get them un-stuck, how to remove their roadblocks and amplify their opportunities. This is what our platform was built to do, and it feels great to make it happen for such great people.”

Q Wealth’s partnering strategy

The partnership with PWM is a milestone for Q Wealth, marking its first foray into Saskatchewan. Q Wealth's remarkable growth trajectory with AUM onboarding approaching $4 billion, and targets set for reaching $5 billion by year-end, underscores the effectiveness of its partnership model. 

Q Wealth's model is about more than just business growth; it's about building a community of like-minded professionals who prioritize client welfare and shared success over individual gains. This ethos is captured in Rabinowitz's description of Q Wealth as a “private club” where partners are carefully vetted to ensure alignment with the firm's values and commitment to clients and forward-thinking about how to serve them better.

As Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Partner Stephen Gasparek says, “In our journey to find new partners, we dedicate ourselves to a meticulous process of due diligence. When it came to Kevin's firm, everything aligned perfectly—his reputation, the firm's standing, and a convergence of several favorable factors made the decision clear. Typically, we devote at least eight months to thoroughly vet potential collaborations.”

From providing access to sophisticated client portals and portfolio management systems to facilitating marketing and business development efforts, Q Wealth positions itself as a one-stop solution for advisors seeking to scale their operations, and keep the best parts of independence without the loneliness, prohibitive costs, and complexities associated with operating in totally independent firms.