WPTV Special: 'We've been blessed to be dealing with some great, successful clients'

5-Star Advisor Thane Stenner discusses his passion for client service, the strategic value of a 'less is more' ethos, and why mentorship matters

To view full transcript, please click here

Noelle: [00:00:19] Hello everyone. Welcome to this WP TV special. My name is Noelle Boughton and I'm a health professional, Canada's news editor. Today, I'm delighted to welcome Thane Stenner, who is a senior wealth manager and a senior portfolio manager for Stenner Wealth Partners Plus at Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management. Thane, welcome.

Thane: [00:00:41] Thank you. Pleasure to be with you, Noelle.

Noelle: [00:00:43] Thane is one of wealth professional's five star advisors for Quebec and Western Canada again this year. His practice is also one of wealth professionals. Five star advisory teams for 2022 things had a long, successful history in the industry, so I wanted to get his thoughts on what he's seen, what he's doing, and how he's passing on some wisdom to the next generation of advisors. Thane, you grew up with your dad in the financial services industry. In fact, you started working for him but decided to strike out on your own. And now you've been at it for more than 30 years. What are you still passionate about today?

Thane: [00:01:21] Well, first of all, I would say that just I'm passionate about serving clients, because at the end of the day, if don't do well by then, then we all are not going to do as well for our teams and for our own families. So I think at the end of the day, being passionate about the types of clients that we get to have the privilege of serving is something that I'm super passionate about today.

Noelle: [00:01:48] You have an award winning team that focuses on investors with at least $25 Million net worth and $10 Million of Investment Capital. What has been the secret of your professional success in dealing with them?

Thane: [00:02:01] Well, over time, I think less is more. So one of the things I've learned in my career is I've taken the opportunity to downsize the number of relationships over time that we've dealt with and therefore been able to have more time to build to proactively service them. So early on in my career, I think the first 15 years that I grew the practice to about 660 households and we had a big team of 22 people and we would normally do a couple of reviews per year. But the honest truth of the matter is we're doing great on revenues and assets and whatnot, but didn't have the as deep of relationship, client relationship as I really strive for or wanted. So I methodically over the following decade, transitioned from 660 families dealing with down to nine, and then from there slowly built up to about 45 clients today from across Canada, some multi generational families across Canada and a few in the US. So 45 clients. Our team today is approaching 15 members of the team and so we can be extremely proactive in our service model with them and in fact connect proactively with our clients at least 50 times a year. So aside from them reaching out to us, we're very proactive in reaching out to them and I think that's been a big part of our success. So part of my learnings is that over time you have to constantly try to tweak and improve your business model, and secondly, you have to try to figure out what are the types of clients you really want to be servicing over time. So in our case, our clients have ranges of net worths between $25 Million, typically, as is a low point to upwards of two and one half billion. So they're very sophisticated for the most part, and they require us to be always alert as a group and trying to anticipate the types of things that they're looking for over time. So it's seems to be working well. We have an extremely high retention rate, which we're very proud of, and I think we're being hopefully recognized for that over time.

Noelle: [00:04:29] Philanthropy has also been a key focus for your work and your high net worth clients. What's important for you to achieve with that?

Thane: [00:04:37] We utilize a number of different strategies around philanthropy insurance, but also donor advised structure. So we work with a group called Charitable Impact Foundation, which is an online charitable investment bank account for our clients. But doing that for over ten years now and last year we worked with our clients on giving away approximately $80 million actually of capital of their capital to various charities of their choice. So what we found is that our clients are very successful people. They've done some amazing things in their career and entrepreneurial lives and family lives. And they tend to really care about a number of causes, whether their local community, their family causes national or international causes. So we've learned to actually make sure that we're having conversations with them about what they're doing, not just with their investment portfolios, not just with their businesses, but also what is their family wanting to achieve from the point of view of giving back to the community. So we've been really blessed with some great, successful clients, but also clients that really want to make an impact in this world. So again, having some very interesting high level conversations about maximizing their philanthropic interests. I'll give you one quick example. A lot of people just think that philanthropy is about writing a check when in fact, there's a lot of strategies in which you can try to optimize your charitable impact. So things like coming up with strategies around matching of gifts. So we've had certain clients that have agreed to for hospitals or foundations or other things in Canada, the United States that they're passionate about. The city want to give away a million or 3 million or $5 million towards something. What they'll do is they'll at times they'll agree to do a matching program, 1 to 1 or 5 to 1. So the underlying foundation they're giving to through their own foundation kind of crises, performance targets, to try to help amplify their giving overall. So things like that tend to really energize our conversations with them. And we're we're pretty excited about what they've been able to accomplish.

Noelle: [00:07:02] This is a constantly changing business. And I was hearing about the changes you've made in your business as well. What excites or challenges you about what you're seeing on the horizon now?

Thane: [00:07:13] Well, I'd say we are in the wealth management business and investment business markets are always changing. And as we sit here today, I think it's July 18, 2022. So markets have been very volatile. So managing investments, managing the markets is always an intellectual pursuit that I find fascinating. So each market cycle is different, the conditions are different. I've been doing this for a long period of time, and one of the things I learned from my father is you have to try to anticipate as much as you can, but still deal with the unknown as it comes. So fortunately, this year we've been managing that those challenges extremely well for our clients and we're very, very pleased with that. But so markets my guess would be bear markets. Bull markets are always within the cycle. The other thing I'd say is mentoring. Mentoring my team and growing my team and developing a culture that is high performance for clients is constant. So that's that's the area that I would say is our focus right now. We we've engaged with two top performance coaches from the US in the last few months, for example, to help everybody kind of take their performance to another level on behalf of clients. And that's actually already bearing some, some really good fruit early on and that people are even within our groupers seem to be energized by learning best practices of what's going on on a global basis. So yeah, that's what I would kind of how I'd answer that one.

Noelle: [00:08:51] And finally, you were mentioning mentoring, and I gather you love to mentor. So what secrets are you passing on to the next generation to help them prepare for the future?

Thane: [00:09:02] Great question. Well, I would say that historically, to be honest, I haven't actually really enjoyed mentoring. I found that I've gotten so busy, focused on clients at times that I've actually neglected some of the mentoring. But over the last decade, I've learned that it's not only something that needs to be done, it's something that if you really want to accomplish a lot as a team, you have to actually mentor your team. So I've kind of learned to do that. I'm enjoying it far more now at the stage of my career. I have to admit that. And I think actually bringing on some really seasoned performance coaches is actually helping me do that. So I'm learning ideas from them as we go through this as well. So. Yeah.  It's something that I think I've finally over my career, the last few years have come to the realization as to how important that is because you're only as strong as your weakest link on your team. So. Having the team energized by getting various mentors actually speaking into their lives, I think is kind of the winning formula from my point of view.

Noelle: [00:10:27] That wraps up another WP TV special, so thank you, Thane, for sharing some of your observations and wisdom. For more information on Stenner Wealth Partners plus you can visit stennerwealthpartners.com. And don't forget to check wealthprofessional.ca for the latest industry news. You can also sign up for our daily newsletter there if you haven't done that already. I'm Noelle Boughton. Until next time.