Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Canada’s Top Wealth Advisors, a new annual listing that will shine a light on the nation’s most effective and successful financial advisors, will be published in the November issue of Report on Business magazine.

GOCMEN/iStockPhoto / Getty Images

What does excellence in financial advice look like? The answer is important for both investors and the investment industry alike.

For investors, how can they determine quality when they’re searching for a trusted advisor to manage their life savings and provide much-needed guidance on matters such as retirement planning, taxes, life and living benefits insurance coverage, or estate planning?

Investors take a leap of faith when they receive referrals from friends or family or go to an institution with which they’ve conducted business over the years. How can they know how the advisor they’ve chosen truly measures up?

Story continues below advertisement

For the industry, a benchmark is necessary for advisors across the board to see what makes for a best-in-class advisor – and what they need to do to live up to that level of service. Advisors need examples to hold themselves against and to drive the profession further.

Yet, there has been no widely available way for investors or the investment industry to see what excellence in financial advice looks like in this country. That’s why the Globe and Mail has launched Canada’s Top Wealth Advisors, a new annual listing that will shine a light on the nation’s most effective and successful financial advisors.

The list will be published in the November issue of Report on Business magazine as well as online in late October. Industry-specific coverage will also be published on Globe Advisor at that time and throughout the following year.

Advisors who make the inaugural listing will be invited to attend Canada’s Top Wealth Advisor Summit, an exclusive event meant to forge connections and celebrate excellence in this space. It is scheduled for Nov. 8 at The Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto.

“Choosing a financial advisor can be difficult for investors who are looking for personalized service combined with industry expertise. This new ranking will help Canadians understand what excellence looks like in this field,” says Garth Thomas, managing director, business and financial products, at The Globe. “Furthermore, following the relaunch of Globe Advisor, our one-stop-shop for financial advisors, two years ago, this new program is another demonstration of our continuing commitment to the investment and financial advice industry – and in helping advisors succeed.”

To produce the list, The Globe has partnered with Shook Research, which runs America’s Top Wealth Advisors for Forbes.

What sets Shook Research’s proprietary methodology apart is that unlike other organizations around the world, which base their listings exclusively on a formula that considers advisors’ client assets under management and annual level of revenue, there is a significant focus on the quality of the advice advisors provide.

Story continues below advertisement

Although advisors do have to meet minimum thresholds of financial metrics, factors such as advisors’ experience, tenure with their current firms and compliance records are also taken into account. Furthermore, there’s a significant level of due diligence that takes place.

Financial services firms must nominate their advisors, and those firms verify that the information advisors provide is accurate throughout the process. Once advisors are nominated, they’ll complete a thorough survey on Shook Research’s website. The organization will then conduct in-depth telephone calls, virtual meetings and in-person meetings (during more normal times) to find out more about how advisors run their practices and provide a high-quality experience for their clients that incorporates a breadth of services.

“We have a process our research analysts follow that we call ‘Shook Impact,’” says R.J. Shook, founder and president of Shook Research. “Advisors have a pretty big responsibility. Clients and their families are entrusting their advisors with their wealth and even their health. So, our research analysts ask themselves, ‘Is this someone I would recommend to a family or a friend?’ every time they speak with an advisor. Ultimately, we believe advisors should be measured on the impact they have on clients’ lives.”

Once the interviews are conducted and scores are assigned to advisors’ answers, Shook Research will run all the data obtained from each advisor through a ranking algorithm that weighs both quantitative and qualitative criteria.

Throughout the past autumn, a team from The Globe and Mail and Shook Research that included Mr. Thomas, Pablo Fuchs, Globe Advisor editor, Mr. Shook and Callie Almes, senior analyst at Shook Research, met with senior wealth management executives at bank-owned and independent investment dealers as well as full-service investment and mutual fund dealers. The support among leadership for this new listing was resounding.

To make the process more collaborative and obtain consistent input from the industry, executives were invited to join an advisory group. Thus far, around 20 have signed up to help with the process.

Story continues below advertisement

Jonathan Durocher, president of National Bank Financial Wealth Management in Montreal, was among the first executives to join the group and lend his support to this initiative, which he believes will have a positive long-term impact among both investors and the investment industry.

“This new listing is a win-win for everyone. It’s good for investors because they get an evidence-based [analysis] of [an advisor’s] practice, which is not easy to do in the wealth management space, and it’s also good for our industry because you’ll have advisors constantly pushing to improve their value proposition,” he says.

The Globe and Shook Research have opened up nominations. An initial deadline to complete the application has been set for Jan. 27. Some later deadlines may be accommodated on a case-by-case basis. Instructions on how to apply are available here.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies