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Wealth Management in Canada

Interview with Yannick Archambault Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, BMO Harris Private Banking

BMO-ArchambaultHi Yannick. Please tell us about BMO Harris Private Banking in Canada.

BMO Harris Private Banking provides integrated wealth management services to Canada’s affluent families, including banking, investment management, estate, trust, wealth planning, business transition, and philanthropic services. BMO Harris Private Banking has 35 offices across Canada and we serve clients in a variety of languages.

Who are Canada’s high-net worth individuals?

Investor Economics states that there are approximately 600,000 households in Canada with $1 million or more in investible assets, plus another 6,000 ultra-high-net worth households with $30 million or more.

We recently conducted a study which revealed that the majority of wealthy Canadians are self-made, and almost half are new Canadians. This speaks to the strong entrepreneurial spirit and environment that exists in Canada, as well as to the opportunities for those who are willing to move here and contribute to the growth of the country. The study also found that women make up one-third of all high-net worth Canadians, up from 21 per cent three years ago.

How have their attitudes towards wealth management changed over the past few years given economic volatility?

As today’s Baby Boomers reach retirement age, they are becoming more conservative in their investing style as they seek to protect their retirement income and move out of the accumulation phase. At the same time, they are focused on estate planning and ensuring that plans are in place for the transfer of wealth and/or the transfer of a business.

In addition, many of our clients are experiencing a rebound from the 2008-2009 financial crisis and have readjusted their risk tolerance/threshold. They are beginning to understand and accept that heightened volatility in the markets is the “new normal” and they are more attuned to risk. Further, those who exited the equity markets after the meltdown are beginning to get back in.

How is BMO Harris Private Banking embracing the high-net worth market in Canada and abroad?

Canada, the United States and China are leaders for the growth of this segment. BMO is very well positioned to capitalize on this growth with a presence in all three markets. Over the last five years we have experienced significant growth in revenue, assets and employee head count. BMO Harris Private Banking has the #2 private banking market share position in Canada among its Big Five banks, and we have experienced the fastest growth among all five banks as well. In Canada in particular, we have seen strong growth among business owners and new Canadians.

BMO Harris Private Banking takes a creative approach to wealth management. Tell us more about that.

BMO Harris Private Banking is a leader in providing integrated services to Canada’s affluent families at all stages of their lives. We incorporate five core business beliefs into every client discussion:

  • Wealth rarely comes without complications and challenges.
  • Families sometimes underestimate the emotional complexity of their wealth issues.
  • People are looking to save time and reduce worry.
  • It is our responsibility to challenge our clients so they are prepared for critical times of transition.
  • The successful management of wealth requires a coordinated approach by a team of professionals.

How else does your team help clients shape a vision for their wealth?

We recognize that wealth provides significant opportunities. Yet it can also result in complications, responsibility, and even conflict. Everything we do at BMO Harris Private Banking is based on this understanding.

That is why we challenge successful Canadian families to think strategically about what is important to drive exceptional outcomes today and through times of transition. They earned their wealth and they know what is important to themselves and their family. They are in charge, and we help them navigate as they plan their future.

Our talented and caring team of professionals is built from the traditionally separate disciplines of banking, investment management, trust and planning whose goals are aligned and focused on clients’ unique needs. With insights into other disciplines, they can envision new ways to create solutions and overcome whatever obstacles their clients are facing. They challenge clients to delve deeper, and to revisit their plan regularly as situations change.

Where do Canada’s wealthy go from here?

Affluent Canadians show no sign of slowing down, with the high-net worth market growing at about eight per cent annually. At BMO Harris Private Banking, we will continue to anticipate the unique needs of high-net worth Canadians by focusing on the things that matter to them most, including inter-generational transfer of wealth and preparing for and thriving in retirement.

For more information about BMO Harris Private Banking, please visit www.bmoharrisprivatebanking.com