Why independent model is the perfect fit for advisor

Michael Zagari, Associate Portfolio Manager at Mandeville Private Client Inc, explains the ‘Mandeville Difference’ at the firm’s 2022 advisor conference in Banff, Alberta.

This video was produced in partnership with Mandeville Private Client Inc.

To view full transcript, please click here

James: [00:00:19] Michael, welcome to WP TV. Thanks for joining us.

Michael: [00:00:21] Great to be here. 

James: [00:00:23] To kick things off, you could tell our audience what are the main differentiators in your opinion of your practice? 

Michael: [00:00:28] Yes. So I run a concentrated practice. My research is focused on disruptive technologies, blockchain, decentralized finance, artificial intelligence. Not to say that traditional business models is not what we what I look at. I look at those models as well. But in terms of research, we're spending a little bit more time on the future as opposed to the present and the past. So that's in terms of differentiating ourselves, we feel that disruptive technology is intimidating to some advisors and advisory teams, especially the aging advisors that are near retirement or close to a succession plan. So they may not be more they may not be as comfortable with disruptive technology, whereas my team and I feel that we are comfortable in that space and we continue to spend resources to expand on that research.

James: [00:01:17] Excellent. Let's narrow that down a bit then. What's your attitude to cryptocurrency and what would you tell other advisors about crypto? 

Michael: [00:01:23] Yeah, that's a great question. I would say for advisors, the best advice I can possibly give them is you have to stay open minded to the technology. You cannot make assumptions with little information or little data or little research. You really have to dig deep and say, okay, if you have an opinion about the technology, back that opinion up with research for two reasons. One is that if you're telling your clients one thing and the technology is saying another thing, that's not good for your credibility and it's not good for the industry. The second part is that from an investment opportunity perspective, what does it mean to get involved in an investment opportunity or a technology that potentially could thrive? All that missed opportunity and that wealth that's not being created, that's the responsibility on the advisor. The client is not that's not the client's responsibility, that's the advisor's responsibility. So in terms of cryptocurrencies, my advice would be is stay open minded and focus on learning and creating some sort of habit that you're learning something new every day. And that could be crypto, that could be blockchain, that could be artificial intelligence, that could be anything really private equity, real estate. Just make sure that if you have an opinion, really have something to back that up. Yeah. 

James: [00:02:35] Switching gears slightly, independent versus big banks is something that's kind of rumbled on from your perspective. What's the advantages of being an independent? 

Michael: [00:02:46] Well, the advantage is that you're not I'm probably not telling the network anything that they don't know already, which is you have the ability to make decisions on your own. You're not, there's no captive market. You're not forced to be able to put a product in a client's portfolio. You're not forced to have some sort of sales program that you're running. You you can run a fiduciary practice and look at your client's best interest. I find more clearly with an independent model and just the the ability to have access to all these products available and new products that come to market. I find the the due diligence process to get new products qualified or approved is faster on the independent channel. So I find that the benefits of being an independent is is reduced conflicts of interest and aligned interests and also new product offerings that that clients could potentially have access to quicker than traditional models. 

James: [00:03:45] And again, the follow up question to that, within that independent space, the advantage of being a Mandeville, what makes Mandeville different to some of his competitors? 

Michael: [00:03:55] Well, for one thing, investment. Mandeville has an investment framework that that we follow. When we look at investment decisions. We're following values and principles. The second is the private equity aspect. Mandeville is aligning themselves with some interesting private equity deals. That's direct ownership in these companies. You don't see that often on the dealership level. And right now dealerships are fighting to stay relevant because as portfolio managers, there's an interest to consider going direct or becoming, you know, running your own fund and leaving the IROC world and or leaving the dealership world. Whereas Mandeville is saying, no, we're not only are we relevant, but we're going to be able to create wealth for investors and we're going to do it in either a framework method or we're going to end or through private equity with direct ownership. And Michael Lee-Chin is just well, first of all, he's a billionaire, he's a role model, he's a mentor. He makes time for us. Where else can you find that in any other dealership? 

James: [00:04:55] So, yeah, So we're speaking at the 2022 Mandeville Advisor Conference here in beautiful Banff after the pandemic. How nice is it to get together with colleagues? 

Michael: [00:05:05] It's very nice. I'm taking advantage of it both during lunch and in the evenings. And I can I plan on continuing to do that for the next couple of days. 

James: [00:05:14] And the theme is level up. 

Michael: [00:05:16] Yes. 

James: [00:05:16] What does that mean to you? Particularly. 

Michael: [00:05:19] To me, leveling up means removing barriers that may be in your life. Nothing's impossible, clearly. I mean, we've seen some great speakers this conference and truly nothing is impossible. I would also say that leveling up for myself is staying open minded. Just because you don't know something doesn't mean you're not going to know it forever. If something interests you and you're passionate about a subject, you should spend the time and resources to learn about that subject. 

James: [00:05:45] Fantastic. Michael, thanks for joining us on WP TV.

Michael: [00:05:47] Thank you very much.