DWAYNE RETTINGER, CFP®, Principal at Rettinger & Associates Private Wealth Management Oakville
“The Art of the Possible”
For Dwayne Rettinger, Principal at Rettinger & Associates Private Wealth Management, working for Investors Group Financial Services Inc. was somewhat of a family affair. Not only was Dwayne an IG client, relatives, including his dad and his dad’s uncle, both worked as Financial Advisors. Before joining IG thirteen years ago, Dwayne was Managing Director at BearingPoint, one of the world’s largest providers of management and technology services. The firm originated from the consulting services operations of KPMG where Dwayne was a partner.
“After the BearingPoint buyout, I was at a career crossroads. The local Regional Director at IG invited me to sit down with him for an informal ‘Art of the Possible’ conversation. I was intrigued. But, moving from a great income to no income was more than a little daunting,” Dwayne says.
“Luckily, my wife, Jolanda, is very supportive and encouraged me to follow my dreams. I have never regretted my decision to join IG, even when Executive Search organizations came calling with opportunities that actually paid a salary, bonuses, and offered a generous benefits package,” Dwayne says with a smile.
Dwayne has a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Waterloo. “Engineering applies physics, mathematics and materials science to design, analyze, manufacture, and maintain mechanical systems. Rather than making sure the air-conditioning will turn on in homes and offices, today I apply mathematics, science and emotional intelligence, to “turn on” clients’ wealth,” he explains.
Journey to His Career Passion
Dwayne graduated in 1991, during a recession, which made it difficult to find employment. He decided to go back to school and get his Masters in Business at Wilfred Laurier University. After graduation, Dwayne combined his business and engineering and business skills and established Prism Lighting. The company performed audits of commercial properties to identify where “green initiatives” would make good business as well as social sense. Unfortunately, the government cancelled the program which extended the schedule for ROI.
His next career move was to pharmaceutical giant, Eli Lily, where Dwayne was part of the company’s executive development program. “I got a taste of operations, scheduling, human resources, and marketing, and met a lot of good people. I also had the opportunity to implement PeopleSoft, an ERP software application which positioned me well for my next career move.”
Dwayne then joined Deloitte & Touche as a Senior Consultant, responsible for implementing ERP systems for a variety of large, international, corporate clients. This experience provided what Dwayne describes as, “Paid education and an extension of my learning.”
“I worked with process engineering and technology application challenges. Seven weeks after I was hired, the company sent me to the U.S. - my first large client was Southwestern Bell in Dallas, Texas. Eventually, I was given additional responsibility and accounts, and the opportunity to work with a variety of senior level clients.
“With leadership came a higher level of client interaction, and in my case, a developing understanding of the value of human capital. I now recognize that interacting with, motivating, managing and leading people has always been one of the most consistent themes in my career. These skills have served me especially well in the work I do today because, let’s face it, the financial services business is a people business.”
But, he had not yet arrived at his final career destination. After Deloitte, Dwayne was recruited by KPMG to head up their communications and utilities practice. After Enron, the company separated the auditing and tax functions and sold its management and consulting arm . “I was Vice President of KPMG Consulting Inc., headquartered in McLean, Virginia. Because I was out of the country on a weekly basis, I was away from my family. We all wanted and needed more work/life balance so I decided to kick the tires with an IG Regional Director regarding a career change,” he says.
After that life-changing conversation, Dwayne went about obtaining the right credentials to do the job. He first pursued his Canadian Securities license. A course on Wealth Management Essentials and his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®) designation, followed. But, he didn’t stop there. In 2018 he completed an Executive Wealth Management course at the Wharton School of Business.
The Art of the Possible
“In engineering, planning technical components assumes a level of mathematical certainty. When business and personal financial planning, we focus on taking away the uncertainty and creating alignment between clients’ real lives, their financial and personal goals, and their money. We always encourage clients to give themselves permission to nudge the boundaries of what’s possible,” Dwayne says.
“We do our best work with people who are willing to think outside of the product box – we are just not that interested in pushing products. We want to help clients write the book of their lives, as full partners, because it is only by doing so that we can realize the Art of the Possible.”
A Game Plan is important because it melds hopes and dreams with the Art of the Possible. “If you want to build your dream cottage, start with a plan; you wouldn’t just go to Home Depot and fill your cart with tools. The blueprint identifies the tools you require to complete the job. We first build your blueprint. Only then do we introduce the required tools - investments, mortgages, insurance and the like.”
“We recognize that life can go off the rails including death, sickness or disability. All of these situations have financial consequences. Would you rather expose your family to financial hardship in the future or to have a small drag on your finances now. My job is not to paint a doom and gloom scenario. My job is to help clients use the appropriate tools to protect themselves from life’s what-ifs.”
Dwayne does his best work with professionals and business owners that have complex needs. “Clients have invested their blood, wealth, and tears in their businesses and want a partner to help them align that asset with their life and their families. I want to be a partner in your life as well as your sounding board, your cheerleader, your confidante, your friend, and your coach.”
Clients describe Dwayne as an empathetic listener. “One of my best communication tools is my ears. I want to fully understand clients lives and spend a lot of time and energy trying to extract this information from clients. It’s hard to provide the best possible advice and coaching when this background information is missing.”
At IG, Dwayne has worn many different hats, including Division Director. “Although it is gratifying to see a number of the consultants I brought in and mentored doing well I wanted to focus my energy exclusively on my own practice, resources, and the human capital on my team.”
There are two licensed associates on Dwayne’s team. “Both are CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS, the industry gold standard. This commitment plus the ongoing continuing education requirements, demonstrate their commitment to delivering the most current and accurate technical advice.”
The Art of the Possible extends to team members. “I have no problem with anyone taking time off. We’re all adults. The only thing I ask is that we communicate our intentions. No one takes advantage. In fact, everyone is so dedicated that it is hard to get them to take the time off they should.”
Up Close & Personal
Dwayne is married and has three kids. Son, Josh (20), is studying business aviation at Western. Daughter Hannah (18) is at Western studying kinesiology. The two oldest kids play hockey at the highest competitive level. The youngest, Rachel (16), loves swimming, is a life guard, and goes to high school. Goldendoodle, Sadie, makes the whole family smile.
Dwayne has his pilot’s license and loves looking at life from a pilot’s view. He suggests that new entrants to the industry take the time to contemplate their next steps, get the proper education, and then take action. “Recognize that you are going to make mistakes. Correcting them is just part of the journey. I give the same advice to clients. Procrastination doesn’t bring your goals any closer. And, lastly, remember to use the entire runway before you lift off.”
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
DWAYNE RETTINGER, CFP®
649 Scottsdale Dr Suite 401 Guelph, ON N1G 4T7