Director of wealth management and portfolio manager
Years in the industry: 12

One of Wealth Professional’s Top 50 Advisors for 2017, Simon Partington is a Young Gun who has clearly hit his stride in the industry. He has amassed assets under management of $163 million and oversees his own team at Richardson GMP – all before his 35th birthday. He chalks his current success up to 12 years of hard work as he progressed through the ranks at Canada’s leading independent wealth manager. His time at Richardson GMP has provided a valuable learning experience – one he believes is increasingly harder for young advisors to find.

“The big banks don’t want small accounts or households, and that’s how most of the large advisors today started  20 years ago,” Partington says. “Rookie programs don’t work out for many young advisors because they tend to burn out after a couple of years of cold-calling and prospecting family and friends. It’s challenging to start from scratch in this industry, and that’s when young advisors either get discouraged or do not meet that company’s expectations and ultimately leave the business.”

High turnover is an issue for the industry today and is likely to become even more of a problem in the years ahead. To address it, Partington says firms should do more to support younger advisors as they learn the ropes. “The industry needs to develop a coaching or partnering strategy to help get young advisors up to speed to a point that they can be independent – not only as a great advisor, but also to help grow their practice,” he says.

In offering this suggestion, he’s speaking from experience; the support he received at Richardson was a major factor in his development. “There was always an open-door policy with most senior advisors, and by the end of my second year working at the firm, I had met most of the senior partners and found out how they managed investments, grew their practices and built a great business model,” he says. “This can be more challenging with other firms, as it seems as though everyone is in competition with each other.”

In Partington’s opinion, the primary duty of a wealth manager today is to preserve assets, rather than load on risk for returns that may never materialize. “Clients remember 2008 all too well, and I have found that clients want their money protected more than they want you swinging for the fences for returns,” he says. “Furthermore, it should be a discussion around goals-based investing versus market returns.”

Company Information

  • Partington Wealth Management
  • 145 King Street West, Suite 500 Toronto, ON M5H 1J8