Wealth management strategy - Interview with René Gaudet and Daniel Bergeron - UNI Blog
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UNI: Industry leader in wealth management

Posted on Tuesday September 15, 2020

UNI: Industry leader in wealth management

UNI’s Wealth Management team is one of the best performing in Canada and leads Aviso Wealth’s 300 business partners in asset growth in 2019. We turn the spotlight on how UNI has achieved this level of excellence.

Community involvement, trust, excellence and growth... We speak with René Gaudet, Financial Planner, and Daniel Bergeron, Director, Wealth Management, about the factors that have made UNI an industry leader.

How to make a difference in wealth management

Rome wasn’t built in a day. UNI’s enviable performance is the result of hard work and well-thought-out strategies.

A larger and highly skilled team through a major acquisition

According to Daniel Bergeron, the Wealth Management team’s expertise is now even more extensive than before thanks to the integration of the firms Haché Dumaresq Gaudet Financial Services and Léger Gaudet Stewart Financial Services, a merger that Mr. Bergeron welcomes enthusiastically. “This acquisition has enhanced the team and grown our internal know-how. This is very important news in the world of personal finance in New Brunswick,” he says.

A personalized approach based on proximity

The deep ties forged between UNI and New Brunswick’s communities are the result of a local approach with a human touch. “We know our regions and what makes them different. We understand the particular issues and obstacles New Brunswickers face,” says René Gaudet. 

With a focus on customized and personalized solutions, the cooperative’s service angle also makes all the difference. For Mr. Bergeron, this vision makes it possible to establish meaningful contact with clients and meet their needs, versus the more generic approach that large institutions tend to take.

Our strength: A team of experts with rich and diversified experience

René Gaudet
Senior Financial Planning Advisor

Steering client members in the right direction requires discipline, consistency and experience. Surrounded by a seasoned team, Mr. Gaudet describes the importance of this expertise: “Our advisors are highly qualified, and this has an impact on the results and the relationships they maintain over the long term. Trust is a very strong indicator. It demonstrates our ability to build solid bridges with clients thanks to the quality of our know-how.”

Because they’re required to pursue ongoing professional training, members of the Wealth Management team attain a very high level of expertise. “We share a lot of information to benefit from each other’s research, findings and strengths. We have very driven advisors and planners who are always ready to listen. Our client members benefit from the skills of an entire team of experts, and not just those of their own advisor or planner,” Mr. Bergeron says.

Relationships based on trust: A focus on client members

According to Mr. Gaudet, feeling comfortable is crucial when it comes to talking about personal finance. “Trust is key,” he says. “It fosters well-being and allows us to work together. The planner’s role often goes beyond personal finance. Planners offer support, stability and organizational advice in addition to financial advice. Listening gives our approach a human touch because finances are intimately linked to many more personal aspects of life.”

Key directions in wealth management at UNI

A solid wealth management strategy is built around a number of priorities, such as performance for clients and quality of service. Our careful financial management choices make the cooperative shine province-wide.

Socially responsible investments: Consistent with UNI’s values

Daniel Bergeron
Wealth Management Director

The entire Wealth Management team at UNI, partnered with Credential Asset Management Inc. and Credential Securities, is trained and accredited by the Responsible Investment Association (RIA) for the sale of responsible investments. According to Mr. Bergeron, this is a clear and sustainable direction that reflects UNI’s values. “It’s a matter of collective and individual responsibility in line with our cooperative values. Far from being the flavour of the month, this totally responsible investment solution is our Wealth Management team’s permanent focus.”

This position debunks the myth that responsible investments deliver lower returns. “It’s not just a trend. These are deep values that client members want to promote by gradually migrating their portfolios. We’re proud to be a catalyst for change, and we’re seeing tangible evidence of that through our returns,” Mr. Bergeron says.

Tax optimization, a crucial role in financial planning

One of the financial planner’s main roles is to maximize the return on investment for client members by reducing their tax burden. Mr. Gaudet emphasizes the importance of this approach in the balance of personal finance: “We plan income in order to stabilize the tax burden, rather than having large, unfavourable fluctuations. This morning, for example, I met with a client member transitioning his file to UNI. Because his income for 2020 was lower than expected, we transferred funds from his RRSP to a TFSA. This will allow the client to optimize his long-term tax situation by taking advantage of an unanticipated drop in income to lower his tax burden in subsequent years.”

“Tax advice is crucial to effective financial planning that reflects your priorities. We work with tax specialists and lawyers, and recommend their services to help our client members make good decisions. We work together to provide them with the best possible scenario,” Mr. Gaudet says.

Peripheral vision: When wealth and real estate strategy go hand in hand

A coherent wealth management strategy must be based on several aspects related to assets, income and expenses, but also on broader financial aspects. For Mr. Gaudet, this global vision involves a number of factors.

“In practice, we listen, give advice and look at the acquisition of durable goods, such as a car or a house. It’s essential to tie real estate strategy to wealth management. If necessary, we don’t hesitate to call on the expertise of other professionals, including tax specialists and lawyers, much like a family doctor consults specialists,” he says.

Remote services: Always there

The Wealth Management team has changed a lot over the last few months, and so has the work environment! Not stopping at anything to offer continuous and efficient support despite the current pandemic, UNI has risen to the challenge by optimizing its virtual solutions. “To meet our clientele’s needs, we now manage assets remotely through virtual meetings including on-screen document sharing and the possibility of signing certain documents electronically, all while maintaining confidentiality,” Mr. Bergeron says. “The accelerated evolution of our mobile technology has been successful, both functionally and from a regulatory standpoint.”

Get the support you need

Our wealth management experts will develop a financial strategy in tune with your life goals. They will simplify the management of your finances and give you peace of mind to plan your retirement, your investment portfolio and much more.

In these uncertain times, one thing is certain: wealth management is in very good shape. The future looks bright at UNI.

Mutual funds and related financial planning services are offered through Credential Asset Management Inc. Mutual funds, other securities and securities-related financial planning services are offered through Credential Securities, a division of Credential Qtrade Securities Inc. Credential Securities is a registered mark owned by Aviso Wealth Inc.



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