Threat to advisors or wakeup call?

Advisors are now weighing in on Desjardins's new one-stop investment shop - set to tap into a growing pool of frustrated Toronto clients.

Threat to advisors or wakeup call?

Investors willing to pay higher fees for a quick fix will be drawn to one-stop-financial-shops, like the one Desjardins Group opened this week in downtown Toronto, one advisor suggests.

“There are a lot of people that don’t like the financial services industry because they’ve been screwed over so much,” says Toronto-based financial planner Mike Bayer. “If they can get it done quickly and that seems less painful, they’d rather do that and they are probably willing to pay higher fees.”

Located in the heart of Toronto’s financial district, at 11 King St. W., Desjardins’s boutique branch opened its doors Wednesday offering an array of personal and commercial services in the areas of wealth management, retirement planning, securities, online brokerage, card service and even, insurance (home and auto). The financial centre will also includes the Desjardins Voyageurs Credit Union equipped to handle teller services, personal loans, mortgages and investments.

"As one of the safest, strongest and most integrated financial services institutions, Desjardins offers an interesting alternative for those in the GTA who are looking for a change,” said Monique Leroux, president and CEO of Desjardins Group in a release. “Not only can they — and our growing employee base here — depend on the convenience of having many of their financial transactions under one roof, they can also expect expert advice and support at every stage of their lives."

Leroux, who was on site for the grand opening, said the move is in line with Desjardins's focus on the co-operative business model. It's a model Bayer doesn’t believe will put any added pressure on private investment firms servicing a niche clientele.

“People will tend to seek advice at the level they are comfortable with,” says Bayer. “It will be a wait-and-see approach to see how they (Desjardins) do. Maybe they will be successful.”