First-of-its-kind financial summit aims to provide forum for new advisors

Inaugural event will shine a light on challenges and opportunities for new Canadians in the industry, says CETFA executive director

Next week, new Canadian advisors will have an opportunity to share their experiences, discuss important issues, and develop strategies to navigate the path to employment in the financial services sector at a first-of-its-kind forum.

“Building the Canadian Dream: Financial Summit for Newcomer Advisors” is happening on July 27 at RBC Waterpark Place. The Canadian ETF Association is holding the event in partnership with 369 Global, and RBC.

“Last year, we did a series of financial webinars for the students and graduates of Computek College, a leading regulated career college,” explains Pat Dunwoody, executive director at the Canadian ETF Association. A division of 369 Global, Computek works mainly with new Canadians to equip them for different occupations, including work in the financial services industry.

Over the course of those webinars, Dunwoody says it became clear that many newcomer Canadians were coming into the country with money, but didn’t know how the financial services industry worked. From there, Computek started asking how it could better reach the communities and create a pipeline of financial services professionals to support new Canadians.

“Eventually, we realized there’s a real need to have a dialogue for new Canadians who are already in the industry to talk about the roadblocks they’re facing, share lessons they’ve learned, and raise issues that they think are worth considering,” Dunwoody says.

“We believe in the incredible power and potential that newcomer skilled workers bring to Canada, and internationally trained finance professionals are no different,” Muraly Srinarayanathas, the Executive Chairman of 369 Global, said in a statement.

RBC is throwing its support behind the event as a presenting partner and primary sponsor. Aside from already having a presence in India, the Big Six bank sees new Canadians as an important emerging client segment, as well as a strategically important group for its recruitment efforts.

According to Dunwoody, most companies today already have D&I programs, and it’s no wonder. Over the next three years, Canada is expected to welcome 1.45 million immigrants. With more new Canadians being woven into the country’s social fabric every day, especially in larger cultural centres like Toronto, the case for introducing more diversity of thought and culture into every workplace – including the financial advice industry – is crystal clear.

“Looking at the current workforce, the average securities or mutual fund advisor is comfortably in their mid-50s,” Dunwoody adds. “We’re expecting a huge retirement drop-off in the number of advisors over the next five to 10 years, so how do we fill that gap? The natural growth in our population isn’t going to be enough.”

To successfully attract and recruit new Canadians, Dunwoody says companies must consider and understand the challenges and realities they face. For example, because of certain legal requirements, it’s hard for many newcomer advisors to qualify for permanent residency if they’re paid on commission, which means firms looking to retain newcomer talent should compensate them at least in part with a fixed salary.

To garner as much interest and traction for the event as possible, CETFA is partnering with any and all organizations with a desire to support the cause.

Aside from RBC and 369 Global, the inaugural Financial Summit for Ne/wcomer Advisors has industry support from the Financial Advisors Association of Canada (Advocis); Independent Financial Brokers of Canada (IFB); TMX Group; BlackRock; IFSE Institute; and the Federation of Mutual Fund Dealers (FMFD). Wealth Professional is also proudly supporting the event as an official media partner.

“As we look at the increasingly porous global financial system, we have a unique opportunity to tap into the rich knowledge, strong experience, and deep networks that global finance professionals can bring to Toronto and other financial hubs across Canada,” said Srinarayanathas from 369 Global. “However, this can only happen if we empower them through innovative work-integrated training programs, coaching and mentorship, and workplace cultural sensitivity support that sets them up for success, which is why we are excited about this summit.”

“There was so much interest from the companies that we spoke to. ‘Can I send somebody to listen?’ I expect attendance will be split almost equally between advisors and company representatives,” Dunwoody says. “With this first annual summit, we’re looking to get the conversation started … I’m sure it’ll gain a life of its own very quickly.”

The event has been approved for 3.0 CE credits by the Institute for Advanced Financial Education (IAFE); the organizers will also be offering FP Canada continuing education credits for the summit. To register and view the full event agenda, please click here.


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