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Recruiting new people to enter the wealth-management industry often means starting young, notably by engaging post-secondary students majoring in business and finance.

Tina Boenders, manager of human resources at Wellington-Altus Private Wealth in Winnipeg, spoke with Globe Advisor recently about launching the investment firm’s first career booth.

For the first time, you decided to launch a career booth at Concordia University. Why did you go this route?

The main goal of our talent acquisition strategy is to hire the best people, and now more than ever that means we need to go directly to the people looking for careers.

Our company has increased to 670 staff today from just over 200 people in early 2020, so that’s triple the growth in two-and-a-half years. Our recent expansion into the Quebec market means we’re always looking to meet people in the province. We met with close to 150 students at the Concordia booth [in Montreal].

How did things go at the booth?

We had high engagement. I think the students really value that face-to-face connection. We want to make sure that the students know we’re happy to be there to introduce ourselves and get to know them.

Were the students familiar with Wellington-Altus?

Absolutely. We had a variety of questions centered around who we are, why we’ve been successful as a firm, and our opportunities. We’ve been looking for both full-time and co-op students, and the students we met with are looking for positions in operations or administration. It all depends on their qualifications and goals as to where they would fit in the firm.

How do you attract interest from business students?

We found most of the conversations to be around starting their career, gaining experience and exposure. So not only focusing on direct compensation, but the work culture, training opportunities – just the total rewards package. We believe in supporting them and encouraging them in their development. On top of compensation, we have employee benefits right from day one.

We offer all our successful candidates the necessary tools to do their job. We have training that we’ve developed and it keeps growing. We encourage students to get their licenses, designations, and the company covers those costs.

Our talent acquisition team is fantastic at examining a person’s skillsets, giving them a call, and placing them within areas of the organization that they hadn’t considered before.

There are tons of opportunities for growth in the wealth-management industry. So many of the students we connected with expressed interest in roles that support clients directly. The upcoming generation is interested in positions that help and assist people.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

- Deanne Gage, Globe Advisor reporter

Must-reads from Globe Advisor this week

What to look out for in home insurance when it comes to natural disasters

In the wake of hurricanes, tornados, and other natural disasters such as forest fires and floods, advisors increasingly need to explore disaster recovery strategies with their clients, starting with their homes. An under-insured property affected by a disaster could wreak havoc on a client’s savings and plans for retirement. While advisors cannot assess home insurance policies – strictly the domain of property and casualty insurance brokers – they can still ask their clients one basic question: have you reviewed your policy? Deanne Gage reports on what needs to be considered by advisors and clients.

Tail-risk ETFs protect against market meltdowns but are they worth the cost?

Soaring inflation, fast-rising interest rates and a looming recession have many investors looking more closely at the downside protection offered by tail-risk exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Typically defined as a movement of three or more standard deviations from the mean return, tail risk is not as unusual as once assumed. These funds typically buy out-of-the-money put options to offset losses in the equity market exceeding 10 per cent, but their overall strategy can differ. Joel Schlesinger looks at the protection these products offer from black swan events and whether they are gaining traction with investors.

What to consider in financial and estate plans for people without children

A growing number of single people and couples are choosing not to have children for myriad reasons – a decision advisors say has implications for their long-term financial and estate plans. Children often play the role of caretaker, power of attorney, executor and beneficiary, which means more planning in these areas may be required for child-free clients. While caring for an aging parent represents the most common form of caregiving in Canada, child-free individuals and couples can’t rely on this support. Kelsey Rolfe reports on what needs to be considered for people without children in the long term.

Are ‘steady’ laddered-bond ETFs a good bet as interest rates rise?

Soaring interest rates amid spiraling bond prices is creating an opportune time for investors to rebalance their portfolios with effective fixed-income strategies in volatile times. As a result, laddered-bond ETFs have seen a jump in fund flows recently as the Bank of Canada and other central banks stretch benchmark rates to multi-decade highs. They are typically set to mature or be redeemed at the end of any given year and owning a series of them over a short- or longer-term payout period allows for the remainder of a client’s portfolio to stay invested for the long term. Jamie Sturgeon looks at the strategies of using these products and why ETFs simplify the process at a lower cost.

Also see:

Hedge funds bet on further gains for the dollar

Canada’s disclosure rules for ESG investing critiqued for not going far enough

KYC and ESG: Zeroing in on client values can pay off for advisors

New climate for risk disclosures supports better investment decisions

‘Crash-protection mode’ helps managed futures ETFs crush rivals

What you and your clients need to know

Why Brookfield’s private equity arm is struggling despite Westinghouse sale

Persistent inflation and slowing global economic growth are hitting Brookfield’s private equity business, and investor sentiment is deteriorating so rapidly that it will take much more than the division’s stellar return on its Westinghouse sale to eliminate its massive market discount. On Tuesday, Brookfield Business announced the sale of nuclear power company Westinghouse, another of its investments, to a joint venture group that includes a different Brookfield division, as well as Canadian uranium producer Cameco Corp., for US$4.5-billion plus more than US$3-billion worth of debt. Tim Kiladze reports on why this isn’t enough to fully restore investor confidence as its stock is still down 33 per cent this year.

Multiple-property owners are facing rising interest rates, especially in Toronto

Since 2017, multiple-property owners have been the largest group of buyers of Ontario real estate, but a new report analyzing the holdings of this cohort suggests they may become far less active as interest rates continue to rise. Experts foresee trouble among the buy, rent, renovate and refinance (BRRR) investors who were over-reliant on cheap debt. Rising mortgage costs are one thing, but many also have unsecured lines of credit, private loans or promissory notes that add to their risk if carrying costs eat away at revenues they earn from renting. Shane Dingman reports on the outlook for real estate investors.

Competition Bureau launches inquiry into RBC’s green advertising

Canada’s Competition Bureau has opened an inquiry into whether the Royal Bank of Canada made misleading statements about its actions to fight climate change after the watchdog received an application from a group of concerned citizens backed by environmental groups. The probe stems from a complaint first lodged in April by six individual applicants that targets RBC’s claims that it supports the principles of the Paris Agreement to hold global warming below two degrees Celsius from preindustrial temperatures, and is committed to achieving net-zero emissions in its annual operations and in its lending by 2050. The application alleges RBC is currently working against these goals by providing billions of dollars in financing to the oil and gas industry. James Bradshaw reports on RBC’s response to the investigation.

– Globe Advisor Staff