Director, Strategic Business Development
Sun Life Financial
Years in industry: 12
At 34 years of age, and with 12 years of experience, Jillian Farrow, Sun Life Financial’s director, strategic business development, is a well-deserved member of the 2019 Young Guns list. Farrow provides thought leadership and business development training for investment and insurance advisors across Canada.
Originally, Farrow planned to be a teacher, however after a placement at a major bank, she was hooked on the financial industry. Still, she never fully abandoned her teaching background. “Through the placement and subsequent roles, I was able to find a way to use my education and training (bachelor of education and adult education certificate), and passion for helping people grow, within the wealth management industry. I’ve spent 12 years working with advisors of all levels, from chairman’s club to new investment advisors, helping them grow their businesses, and attract and service different target markets.”
When looking at the advisor industry, Farrow feels that the best advisors are able to operate as a business. “They partner with their clients to help them achieve their goals, they establish trusted relationships with not only the client, but their family members as well, they invest in their practice, their team and their own professional growth,” said Farrow. “These advisors put their clients first and have mapped a client journey and process that firmly plants the client at the centre of it.”
Farrow has also taken a leadership role when it comes to getting more women into the industry, something she feels is happening. “It’s no secret that this is male-dominated industry. It’s still the norm to be one of a handful of women at advisor events, and even more common to be the only female speaking at conferences,” added Farrow. “That being said, I am pleased to say that I have seen progress since when I first started in the industry. I think that more work can be done to evolve the way that women view the financial services industry and finances in general. That should start at the earliest ages and be supported at home, school, and culturally.”