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TD streamlines services for high-net-worth investors

The goal is for TD Wealth Private Wealth Management to bring in 30,000 client households by 2020.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Toronto-Dominion Bank joins other Canadian banks in streamlining its wealth management offering as affluent investors look for more than just investment advice.

Starting next week, TD Bank will be rebranding its wealth businesses to TD Wealth Private Wealth Management and adding more than 130 investment advisers by 2020. In addition, the bank will also add 275 financial planners over the next two years to its branch network.

The entity will now be home to TD Private Investment Advice (PIA), the bank's full-service investment brokerage; TD Private Investment Counsel; TD Private Banking; and TD Private Trust. The new brand will focus on high-net-worth Canadians with assets of at least $750,000.

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For investors, this means no longer having to navigate a network of services that can leave many feeling frustrated, says Dave Kelly, president of TD PIA, which currently houses more than 1,100 securities-licensed advisers.

"Rather, a single relationship manager will be able to co-ordinate all of an investor's needs and set them up directly with the specialist they require," Mr. Kelly says.

"We need to be having more of a goal-based conversation as opposed to just a pure investment conversation. It is no longer just about a 4-per-cent or 6-per-cent return."

The move is being implemented ahead of regulatory changes, known as the second phase of the client relationship model, that will highlight how much a client is paying for financial advice as well as the cost of their investments.

"Right now, advisers do a good job of understanding what clients owe and own, as well as a good job with a [general] conversation about risk," Mr. Kelly says. "But we want to be able to shift that conversation to be more about who an investor is as an individual and how do they think of wealth. This will give us a better lens into an enhanced risk conversation."

The goal is for TD Private Wealth to bring in 30,000 client households by 2020. Further growth will come from the bank's financial planning group, which serves clients with at least $100,000 in investable assets, generally known in the industry as "mass affluent" investors.

During that time, the bank plans to grow its high-net-worth book from $50-billion in assets under administration to $130-billion.

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Currently, TD Bank has 9.5 per cent of the overall HNW market share and 12 per cent of the mass affluent market. By 2020, it hopes to increase its footprint to 12 and 15 per cent, respectively.

In order to facilitate the growth, the bank has hired 42 "wealth advisers" – a new role that was developed last fall in order to meet prospective customers, assess their financial needs and co-ordinate which adviser will best suit the client. An additional 20 wealth advisers will be added in 2016.

"It's almost like an investment banking model," Mr. Kelly says. "[The wealth adviser] will explain to clients all of what TD Bank can do, not just in TD Private Wealth, but also … the business banking division and retail banking."

Last December, Bank of Nova Scotia launched a similar process that combined services such as financial planning, investment management, private banking, insurance, business transition planning, and estate and trust services – all under one roof – and re-branded the services as Scotia Wealth Management.

"It's been really easy to get advice on one aspect of your financial needs, but really difficult if you want a holistic view on the bigger picture," Glen Gowland, senior vice-president of Canadian wealth management at Scotiabank, said during an interview last month. "We want to make sure the client knows that we know their entire financial picture and that they don't feel like a stranger when they begin to deal with other professionals across our organization."

Scotiabank clients are able to consult with a team that consists of an investment adviser, a private investment counsellor, a trust and estate specialist, a private banker and insurance consultants. (Private bankers will also assist clients with mortgage needs.)

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Also in December, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce tweaked its mass affluent business – CIBC Imperial Service – to pull in more than 800,000 clients who qualified for a more centralized "one-stop-shop" service.

With the launch of a new digital offering, CIBC Imperial Direct, the bank hopes to increase its market share of clients who have at least $100,000 in investable assets.

Imperial Service – both direct and in-branch – provides clients with a securities-licensed financial adviser who becomes a single point of contact for all banking and financial planning needs. In addition to taking care of clients' investment portfolios, advisers are responsible for looking at clients' full financial picture – including their mortgage and tax and estate planning.

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About the Author
Globe Investor Reporter

Clare O’Hara is a reporter at The Globe and Mail. Prior to that, Clare spent eight years as a staff writer at Investment Executive, a national newspaper for financial service industry professionals. More


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