By Miles Clyne
When you’re happy with your work it feels good and it shows. To be ranked the #1 dealer in Canada, ahead of every other independent and bank-owned dealer, tells me I’m part of a great team. It also makes me curious as to why a small firm is ranked #1 against all others?
It is well known that the bank-owned firms are the big players across the country. Independent firms like Leede Jones Gable Inc (LJG) must carve out their niche. It’s a battle to gain market share from these giants because the firms with the most theoretically have the most to offer. That said, the polls have spoken. Big doesn’t mean better to the people who work in these organizations. To be ranked #1 in 11 categories and #2 in four others put LJG as the leader in a very competitive landscape.
There are key areas that all firms should score very high in: ethics, product freedom, stability, delivery of promises and compliance to name several. These areas should be top of mind for firms. Every firm knows clients want to deal with people they can trust and will provide unbiased advice and products that ensure their best interests are looked after.
The Investment Executives’ advisor survey is different because it doesn’t ask the customer, but asks the advisors, about the company they work for. Knowing what the people behind the scenes are saying and rating the institutions they work for can be telling. LJG advisors obviously feel very positive about their firm.
An area where LJG ranked number one in was Total Compensation. This doesn’t mean LJG charges their clients more, it means that the advisors can earn a higher percentage on each dollar of commission than advisors at other firms. LJG’s ability to compensate their staff above the average reflects a well-run company.
Another competitive advantage is that LJG is employee owned. Working in a culture that rewards all employees through profit sharing is a great motivator to encourage everyone to get the job done right the first time and as efficiently as possible.
What many investors may not be familiar with is that there can be various forms of compensation incentives to advisors. Many investment dealers offer both proprietary and nonproprietary investment products. Clients should ask or be made aware of potential conflicts of interest in compensation between products.
Investors need to trust the advice they are getting. Knowing how their advisor is compensated should help with their peace of mind. LJG does not offer any proprietary products, so conversations on fees are simpler and investors can be assured there are no conflict of interests regarding fees or pressure to sell a company’s products.
Working for the right company has a lot to do with choice, I feel very fortunate I made the right choice. LJG has been consistently ranked very high in the survey. When the firm was asked about their success this year they commented; “It feels great to be recognized. That said, plenty of work remains to be done.” This says a lot about our culture. We are in an ever-evolving world, technology is racing ahead, and everyone is at least one step behind somewhere.
Our clients are the only reason we achieved the highest ranking. It would be very unlikely to be both a highly respected company internally and be failing your clients. Ultimately it is our clients’ votes that count the most and I thank them for their continued trust in us and LJG. If you don’t work here or aren’t a client, rest assured, more great people are always welcomed into the family.