August 15, 2018 07:00
Alain Descheneaux and Jean-Sébastien Renaud | Photo : Réjean Meloche
Recognized for its offer to wealthy clients, the financial Center SFL Westmount will offer its wealth management services to all Montrealers who believe in the service-council and not just the wealthy.
Alain Descheneaux, senior associate and director of SFL Westmount, says the combination of the centres of SFL across the province and the country to allow him to adopt this tactic, that he already had in mind before the announcement. He even goes so far as to say that he was ready to take on the challenge of the management of heritage, as required by SFL, partner of Desjardins financial Security.
“We have always preached the overall approach, said Mr. Descheneaux, in interview to the Newspaper of insurance. When a counsellor meets a client, he should always approach as much insurance as investments. “
SFL Westmount takes under his guidance the activities of the oldest centers of Montreal-Metro and Old Montreal. It now gathers 110 members on the island of Montréal, who can count on a team of ten specialists among the managers and administrators of the centre.
SFL Westmount account managers in several disciplines, including insurance, savings and taxation. This centre was known to produce more business investment. Over the years, producers to success in the insurance industry have been recruited, allowing SFL Westmount to present a more balanced portfolio, ” said Mr. Descheneaux. The groupings of centres have also contributed to strengthen this balance, he adds.
Never without counsel
For Alain Descheneaux, its main challenge at the head of SFL Westmount is to provide the best safety tools possible for advisers. “The large centres were able to offer access to expertise their advisors. The smaller ones were unable to. There was too much difference between the two. With the size we have, we can accentuate it, ” he says.
Jean-Sébastien Renaud, director compliance and best business practices, also present at the interview, added that the groupings of centres SFL enable them to make more for the advisors. “The mergers have helped the advisors of the centres merged to take advantage of this structure and make it optimal, by the managers that joined in,” he says.
Although it bears the name of a suburb amongst the most affluent in the region of Montreal, the centre Alain Descheneaux wants to speak to all the potential customers of the island of Montreal. “We support all the customers. Without dropping any existing customer, the future development must be done with clients who are looking for advice, whether they are multimillionaires or the beginning of the accumulation of savings, ” he says.
SFL Westmount intends to search for the profile of customer exclusively. “The future tells us that the board’s role will become increasingly important. The adviser will sit with customers who need advice, support Mr. Descheneaux. The client who just needs a price will take out insurance through the Internet or through a digital platform. “
Advisers need to revisit their business model
SFL Westmount does not lead to the sale by the Internet because of this perspective, says Mr. Descheneaux. “This is a market that falls in the court of manufacturers. The advisor must be distinguished by the shutter-board, as the Internet dictates an approach based on the product and on the price. “
If he knows that the Internet will be able to rob him of a few clients, Alain Descheneaux said not to worry about it. He believes, however, that advisers need to rethink their business model in light of new consumption patterns.
“The milléniaux want to discover for themselves the product that suits them, and to decide for themselves what to buy. If the person has done his homework and knows what she wants, then, it will be the advisor of the confirmed in his choice or suggest a better solution. “
Mr. Descheneaux has reminded that the giants of the Web are pointing in the insurance industry. Last January, Amazon announced a partnership with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan to create a business of health care for its u.s. employees.
What will be the next step ? How to fight against Amazon ? “It is necessary to say that there is a part of the market that we can’t go look. We need to target areas where we have an important role. We need to take care of the generation to generation transfers of assets. Among the milléniaux, there are those who will inherit from a parent, ” he recalls.
Of milléniaux start up businesses, start-ups, has added Jean-Sébastien Renaud. “This customer has specific needs that must be served. “
Ask the real questions
According to the owner of SFL Westmount, there is no true act of council, without several questions have been posed to the client and that a good relationship has been established with him. “This is not a website that” will do “, he believes.
Jean-Sébastien Renaud adds. “The algorithm which will make a recommendation online will beat the council in person. I believe very much in the artificial intelligence. However, there are limits. The most important questions to ask a client will always remain non-financial. “
Mr. Renaud added that the robot-board ” is not a priority for us “. The director of compliance does not foresee the combinations of SFL as a shift to exclusively serve the wealthy clientele, while the other less affluent would be retrieved by the robot council. “To serve one is not going against the other, he argues. We can serve wealthy clients while valuing equally the family clientele. “
The advisor will win for him to use the Internet to advocate for its image and its service offer, suggests Mr. Renaud. “We are in an era where branding is very important, adds the one who is also responsible for the training and coaching of the advisers. There are more than 30 000 consultants in Quebec. It is the brand image that will enable the advisor to stand out a priori. “
Internet to grow the brand
SFL enables advisors to have a custom site, provided that it passes the test of compliance. To those who do not have the resources to do so, the banner offers a platform less expensive than the services of a professional developer. “It is a turnkey service that will allow the advisor to have a presence on the Web, without necessarily having a large transactional site,” says Mr. Renaud.