- DEAN ASKIN
Dave Nuth, Regional Director, IG Wealth Management, Red Deer, Alberta
"Thriving On Seeing Others Grow and Succeed Through Self-Discovery"
Dave Nuth thrives on “being that catalyst” helping others push their own boundaries, gain new insights into themselves and revel in their self-discovery. It’s one of the big things that drives him.
“I’m always encouraging our Consultants to do new things,” says the Regional Director of IG Wealth Management’s Red Deer, AB office.
“I just like seeing people…experiencing things they never thought they could do and the joy of that discovery, and being there with them when that happens.”
“And that can be a business success; it could be taking somebody on a zip line or up a mountain. Because I think we’re all capable of so much and often we let other things get in the way.”
He pushes himself, too. Dave’s had a diverse career and diverse experiences “to constantly pursue improvement, to be the best me that I can be.” That’s how he defines success.
For the last 12 years, he has been with IG Wealth Management. But he has also been an engineer; run his own jewellery business; been an outdoor guide on Vancouver Island; and taught kayaking at the University of Calgary.
Career Moves All Over
He’s also moved around a lot. Born in Ottawa, Dave couldn’t wait to get out of the nation’s capital after earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering, in 1981. He rattles off the names of places where he’s lived and worked over the years. It kind of reminds you of the chorus from Stompin’ Tom Connors’s memorable song, My Stompin’ Grounds.
You know, the one that starts off, “Just take a little bit of PEI and old Saskatchewan…”. Dave’s path has taken him to White Court, AB; St. John’s NL; Calgary; some time in the U.S. just “hanging out;” to the Campbell River, BC, area; then to Grande Prairie, AB; and finally, to Red Deer where he has been for a little over a year now.
Many people he believes, would look at his LinkedIn profile and shake their heads. They’d think he’s never dedicated himself to one thing or place for very long, he muses. But it’s just his nature. He always wants to be experiencing new things. His time with IG Wealth Management is “the longest I’ve ever held any position, in my own business or otherwise.”
Diverse Background Counts For a Lot
That diverse background and life experiences have been serving Dave well with IG Wealth Management. First, as a consultant for two years. Then as a division director for almost two years. And now as a regional director.
But particularly in that last role. Because a lot of the job of a Regional Director, is recruiting new consultants making a career change to self-employment with a wealth management practice.
“With my background, I have an understanding of what it takes to make a change, and the fears people face when they’re doing that,” Dave affirms.
Sharing Knowledge and Experience to Help Consultants Succeed
He adds, “I have varied experience. I’ve been in the corporate world; I’ve been in my own business, so I get the direction the company is going when they make a change and I can put that in terms for the consultant who is a business owner.”
When people don’t understand change, they fear or resist it, he says. “So I try to put it in very simple terms.”
“And the other aspect is, coming from an engineering background, I understand process is key. I try to help consultants incorporate process into their practice so there’s consistency, efficiency and effectiveness.”
He’s very proud of the consultant team he leads. “I think they’re very dedicated to their profession,” Dave says. “All of them are required to have their Certified Financial Planner® designation and many have more than just that. So we’re constantly learning and bettering ourselves both from a technical perspective and personal development.
Standing Apart From the Pack
“Because our job is really to educate our clients and help them with changing behaviour. What I appreciate about this team in particular — and this is one of the top teams in the country — is that they just seem to all be very open to new ideas, to suggestions, to embracing things. They don’t embrace everything; sometimes I have to keep going back to them. But…it’s just a little awesome team. Plus, there’s a sense that it’s almost like family.”
A sense of family. And a culture. That’s what “struck me when I first joined IG,” Dave says.
“There’s almost an expectation that as you succeed, you’ll then help others succeed…it’s not unusual for someone who’s new to our firm to be going to someone who’s senior. It could be in the region or it could be someone across the country…and that person will do everything they can to help the person asking the question learn and understand and be able to, say, execute a strategy. I don’t think I saw that in any other place I ever worked.”
A Series of Career Adventures
And he’s worked in a lot of places. Dave started his diverse career in 1981 at Schlumberger. It’s a global company providing drilling, production and processing technology for the oil and gas industry. After five years, he tired of process-oriented engineering. For the next six, he let his creative side flourish. Dave ran Nuth Evans Jewellery Designs. It was a retail custom jewellery and unique gemstones shop based in the Performing Arts Centre of Calgary. Then came six years as operations manager for Blu’s Womens Wear. Then it was back to the energy sector for four years as an integrated solutions manager for Weatherford.
But by the early 2000's, he was looking for yet another new experience. That was when he took a year off. It included spending 100 days on Vancouver Island learning how to be an outdoor adventure guide. “It’s a passion of mine, doing the outdoors,” Dave says. After becoming certified, he guided for a while.
Making the Move to IG
And then came the year — 2007 — that changed everything. Dave made his biggest leap into the unknown. He became an IG Wealth Management Consultant. “When I started in Calgary, the economy was just going nuts. I wouldn’t say it was easy for me. The majority of my friends were well established, and I’m a brand-new Consultant? What do I know?,” he recalls.
But, he points out, “I do know that we work as teams here. So behind every new Consultant is a lot of intellectual capital. It’s not like we do this all on our own. The clients don’t often see that.”
“I thought, ‘OK, I’ll have a practice.’ But within a couple of months they were already talking about me being a Division Director, which is the first level of management in this field…I had the grey hair and the experience of lots of other things,” Dave says.
Capitalizing on the Crash
Turns out — on the surface, at least — it really wasn’t the best time to be building a new financial services practice from a cold start with no initial base of warm prospects whatsoever. Just a year in, the 2008 crash hit. But Dave turned the worst of times into the best of times.
“I just went to work,” he recalls. “And what I was doing was going out and meeting people and prospecting and phone calling…I made 2,500 phone calls in six months…I ended up meeting a lot of clients, prospects, who were dealing with someone else, and they weren’t getting talked to at all. Their advisor wasn’t talking to them and they’re freaking out because here’s the markets tanking and the person they’re supposed to rely on for help doesn’t talk to them, doesn’t answer their phone calls.”
He simply let those fear-filled prospects know he was willing to talk with them.
Understanding Equals Success
“I can put fairly technical things into simple terms; it’s part of what I’ve done in my past,” Dave reflects. “I was able to help them understand what’s going on. And on top of that, go through and do effective financial planning, and show them they’d be okay…so I just got out and talked to people, and that was my best year as a Consultant, 2008.”
Empathy. Understanding clients’ fears, plans, life situation and goals. Communicating with them effectively. That’s what it took him to succeed. And those will always be the keys to success for any new financial advisor, Dave says.
Sure, technical knowledge is important. But less essential than compassion, empathy and being able to relate to clients, Dave affirms. That’s stressed “even at our first meetings” with potential Consultants.
“A lot of what they (clients) really appreciate is that they have someone that understands them, that listens to them and helps them in the way they need help,” says Dave.
Thriving on Standing Out
For Dave, the organization he’s part of is the differentiator for both Consultants and clients. “I’ve never seen an organization that’s so organized, so strategic and having a very clear idea of where it’s going,” he affirms.
He adds, “Our guidance is to be proactive, not reactive. To me it’s one of the big differentiators in success within any business.”
Dave thrives on guiding and coaching Consultants — to help them, and in turn help the clients they service, be successful. What’s he trying to achieve? “I hope they all get to lead the kind of life they want to lead,” he says.
“I think I’m pretty transparent,” he adds. “People know why I do what I do and I take the time to help them understand what’s behind that so they ultimately can trust me and they know — I think they know — that I place their interests first, ahead of myself. Which we expect our Consultants to do with clients, as well. It’s all about our clients and making sure we’re doing the best for them…indirectly at least, I have some influence on all of them and the team that I coach.”
Helping Clients Manage Information Overload
He notes, “I have a busy schedule. I try to focus my time on the parts that are going to get the biggest result for our clients, our region and our Consultants.”
The problem for both Consultants and clients, Dave believes, is too much information today. “Clients are constantly bombarded with information on the news and on Bloomberg BNN and all these other places, that focus on the short term…it confuses people,” he says.
“And that’s a lot of the behavioral coaching we provide to our clients. Ultimately the biggest impact to a client’s outcome is not the investments they hold…It’s the guidance they get to live within their means; that they have the right insurance in case something bad happens; that they save and pay themselves first every month and put it into some kind of investment that aligns with their investment risk and their personality so they’re not taking it out at the wrong time. Which a lot of people did in 2008. They should never have touched it.”
Financial Planning for all Ages and Stages
Dave believes “people should be planning for all stages of their life.” But that’s often not the case. “Probably the one most people think of planning for is that final stage of retirement, which typically coincides with being elderly or getting older,” he says.
This, he notes, puts a particular onus on financial advisors. That onus? Having their Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®) designation.
That’s because it arms Consultants with knowledge in six disciplines needed for developing a full financial plan covering all of clients’ life stages and goals. There’s tax, retirement and estate planning involved. As well, cash, risk and investment management.
Dave has done his own retirement financial planning, of course. He’s getting ever closer to that life stage. But he’s having too much fun to even think about actually retiring yet. He’s thriving in his role.
When that time does come, his next big adventure may be globe-hopping in a Mercedes Sprinter van he has custom-outfitted. It holds four bikes, carries his skis and there’s room for his paddle board. It’s also outfitted with water tanks and solar panels. “I have this idea that I’m going to travel the world with it, so it’s designed so that I could put it on a pallet and ship it overseas,” he muses with a chuckle.
Being Excited About Embracing Change For Success
For now, he’s thriving on embracing change, and helping and seeing Consultants be as successful as they can be.
“I have to be excited. I have to be embracing change for our team to do it,” he says. “And I’m a believer in leadership by example. You have to be out front.”
To that end, when he first moved to Red Deer and into his Regional Director role, Dave was “very present” in the office. First in at 7 a.m., and last out. “To set a bit of a tone” for his work ethic. And he devoted lots of time to getting to know people on a personal level.
Along the way, he discovered the symphony in Red Deer, and got office staff, Consultants and clients discovering it, too.
Discovering Giving Back
“There wasn’t a single person in my office who’d ever been to the symphony. And I thought, ‘Well, that’s interesting.’ So I encouraged people to participate and come out. It was a client event, so we had clients and our Consultants there’ and suddenly all these people who’d never been are enjoying the symphony. I enjoyed that aspect of getting people to do something they’ve never done before.”
Another thing people in the industry must experience — especially if they haven’t yet, he says, is giving back to the community.
“I think that when you’ve got the health, the money or you’ve got the time…we have a responsibility to share that with our communities and help the people around us.”
Putting Things in the Right Perspective
He’s a long-distance cyclist. So in August Dave is riding in the 2019 Ride to Conquer Cancer. He lost friends to cancer, his mother died of it and he has a sister who is a breast cancer survivor. “I look at it as, ‘I have to climb this huge hill on my bike,’ and I think, ‘Yes, but what about the huge hills that these people have to climb every day?’ It puts things into perspective.”
He notes that corporately, IG Wealth Management proactively supports community organizations. Many of the staff and Consultants in his division recently participated in a fundraising IG Walk for Alzheimer’s. “There’s no requirement that you be there…and there were over 40 people from the office there. So that’s pretty cool in my view.”
Dave adds, “We certainly invite our clients, and we did have clients come out…we do try to get clients involved because you’re leveraging those relationships for something good.”
It’s those relationships that are so key to the success of any financial services practice, he says. His philosophy? “Put your clients first, work hard and be the best you can be. And I think it will all come together for you,” he says.
Dean Askin is a B2B and non-profit content writer/consultant with more than three decades of experience in journalism and communications.He’s worked in radio current affairs; written for and edited national trade magazines; and taught journalism.
Dean learned to master the craft of telling powerful stories with words under the guidance of Canada’s master storyteller – the late, great Stuart McLean
Dave Nuth, Regional Director Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
Suite 200 4909 -49th St. Red Deer, AB T4N 1V1 (403) 343 7030