Some people are born entrepreneurs. Executive Financial Consultant, Brian Wanner, is one of them. At the tender age of 10, Brian sold greeting cards and gift wrap door-to-door. When he was 12, he had his own Dickie Dee ice cream bike and also delivered Regina Leader Post newspapers. While going to high school, he worked full-time to pay for a new car that he purchased when he was 16.
The day after he wrote his last exam in Grade 12, in Swift Current, SK, Brian started his apprenticeship as a chef - in Lethbridge, AB. After receiving journeyman and inter-provincial status, he practiced as a chef for 22 years. During this period he earned his Adult Education certificate from Red River College, showed inmates at Lethbridge Correctional Institute how to cook, and taught the Apprenticeship Cooking Program at Keyano College in Fort McMurray. He was also Keyano’s Food Services Manager during ten of these years.
Brian has always enjoyed making money and watching it grow. He decided to make his hobby (investing) a full-time career in 1998. It was the right decision - August 2019 marks his 21st work anniversary with IG Wealth Management. He served as a Division Director from 2004 – 2014. During this period he recruited and trained new Consultants, while also working with clients.
In 2014, Brian left management and continued to build his financial advisory practice with Pre-Retirees, Retirees, Professionals, Executives, and Business Owners. In 2019, Brian and his team were thrilled to qualify as part of IG Private Wealth Management, the top tier of IG’s Consultants across Canada.
Brian is supported by Associate Consultants, Arun Nair, Stephanie Brown, and Melissa Granger. Arun brings clients the benefit of over 11 years’ financial planning experience, and an MBA from the B.K. School of Business Management in India. He is currently working on his CFP designation.
Stephanie previously worked as an Income Tax Auditor for the Canada Revenue Agency, where she was responsible for evaluating financial records, offering advice on tax issues, and verifying compliance and tax regulations.
Melissa focuses on insurance and tax planning, and brings clients the benefit of four years of Chartered Life Underwriter experience to clients. She is focused on maximizing risk management strategies including Life, Disability, Critical Illness, Long-Term Care Insurance, Buy and Sell Insurance for business owners, Business overhead coverage and Group Health, and Dental Benefits.
“Between Arun, 11 years, Stephanie, 10 years , Melissa 4 years, and myself, 21 years, we have 46 years of local financial planning experience in one practice” Brian explains. And, it doesn’t end there. The team’s collective expertise positions them to help corporate professionals. This unique client group relies on specialized advice on complex tax and income protection as well as estate and succession planning matters. To supplement the Wanner team’s approach, Brian often consults with the client’s personal, legal, and accounting advisors.
This is not empty talk. Client Diane S., from Lethbridge, Alberta says, “I have had the privilege and good fortune to have Brian as my financial planner for the last several years. Brian has always provided me with a clear, well thought out and sustainable plan for my future and he has gone to great lengths including conference calls with my attorney and chartered accountant to provide the best custom plan for my needs. His knowledge, availability and keen financial sense has truly made the transition into my retirement years seamless…”
Philosophy & Approach
People are living longer #1 – we don’t want our clients to outlive their money. To create peace of mind, we guide them through critical financial events, deliver tax-efficient strategies across all aspects that improve their financial positions, and pro-actively adjust clients’ plans to address life changes and opportunities,” Brian explains.
The team’s IG Living Plan™ address six major areas
Every decision made in one of these areas may open up opportunities or present challenges in another. “Only when all of your financial needs are truly interconnected and synchronized, can you be sure you are maximizing your financial potential. And, the team eats our own cooking. By this I mean, we follow the same wealth creation, preservation, and growth strategies that we recommend to clients and their families,” Brian says.
Kevin Nabholz, retired Executive Vice President Major Projects, Suncor Energy, agrees. “I have had the pleasure of working with Brian for the past 20 years…His service is not about investing, but rather around ensuring that we are doing everything to preserve and grow wealth. What impresses me the most, is the depth of skill and experience of the team. They are…constantly flagging potential issues from legislation changes, or changes in our family situation that may impact our strategy…”
Up Close & Personal
Brian believes in continuous learning and received his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP) designation in 2001. This was followed by his Certified Professional Consultant (CPCA), and Registered Retirement Consultant (RRC) designations, in 2011 and 2015 respectively. “I am always reading financial articles in my down time.”
Because he believes in the value of education, “Ask Brian” Facebook and LinkedIn pages discuss timely and relevant information. The team is also planning a number of seminars in the fall to educate members of the community about their financial health. If you are interested in finding out about an upcoming event, simply email him at Brian.Wanner@igprivatewealth.com.
Brian also believes in giving back to the community that has been so good to him and has served as the Vice-Chairman of the Abrams Land Development since 2011,and as the Finance Chair of St Paul’s Catholic Church since 2008. Over the years, he has served as President of the Fort McMurray Synchronized Swimming team. He has also served on the MacDonald Island board of directors for four years and has coached Fort McMurray Minor Hockey for over 10 years. As well, he has been a member of the Knights of Columbus since 1985 and has participated in the Fort McMurray IG Walk for Alzheimer’s Walk since 2008.
Brian has been married to his wonderful wife, Debbie, for 38 years. The couple has 3 married children, Darren, Robert, and Ashleigh, and two grandchildren, Tegan, and Ronin. “We all enjoy our time at the cabin, participating in our annual fishing derby, we created in memory of my father, Lawrence, and that has been going strong for five years now.” In fact, every April to October you will find the Wanner’s fishing, tubing, wakeboarding, walking, reading, and enjoying bonfires, cooking hot dogs and roasting marshmallows at their lakefront property at Lac La Biche Lake.
As a last word, “Our financial planning business is about our clients, and their hopes, dreams and their priorities. It is our job is to find out what’s important to them as people and to figure out the best way to help them implement strategies that enhance their financial and emotional well-being.”
#1 Source: IPQ /FPSC Projection Assumption Guidelines 2016 and 2014 Institute of Actuaries Canada Pensioners Mortality Table
Suzen Fromstein is the author of Suits and Ladders, Ten Proven Ways to Keep Your Job Safe - with a few jokes thrown in. Suits and Ladders was an Amazon Best Selling Book in the Career Guides Category.
BRIAN WANNER, CFP, CPCA Executive Financial Consultant
#308 - 108 Riverstone Ridge
Fort McMurray, AB T9K 1S6