INVESTMENT ADVISOR Joseph Bakish and older brother Nick Bakish came together from different educational backgrounds (science and finance) to develop a successful partnership in wealth management over the past 16 years. Having a multi-disciplinary background has proven useful in their work to help a wide range of successful professionals, including academics, lawyers, physicians and medical residents, (among other high net worth clients) to build a secure financial future.
Bakish Wealth provides comprehensive wealth management services including financial planning, investment management and insurance to high net worth Canadian families. As their network and team have grown, they’ve also pursued alternative investment opportunities including private equity and venture capital. The team has come to learn about many of these opportunities through Nick’s membership in Tiger 21, an exclusive peer-to-peer learning network for high net worth investors.
Both graduated from McGill University. Joseph earned a Bachelor of Science and planned to work in pharmaceutical sales – a background that has helped him work with medical residents and physicians in particular. Nick, meanwhile, graduated with honours in economics and finance and aspired to work on Wall Street. Notably, each changed course due to economic changes beyond their control.
“Nick took a position with Investors Group in Quebec with the goal of building a successful wealth management practice,” Joseph recounts. “When I graduated three years later, pharmaceutical companies were leaving Quebec and there was no work in sales. So, I joined Nick at his firm to see what it was like initially, but stayed based on my growing success. I built my own practice and, five years later, we decided to merge our practices.”
The brothers moved their practice from Investors Group to Richardson GMP in September 2015 and fortunately, due to the strength of their relationships, many of their clients chose to make the move with them.
“Our story starts with pretty much zero contacts, connections and capital,” explains Joseph. “We built our individual practices using the old-fashioned cold calling and networking model. We would introduce ourselves to people, develop solid relationships, build trust and strengthen our position to grow and succeed.”
Bakish Wealth believes its key differentiator for clients is access to alternative asset classes in combination with insurance and risk-management strategies. “We provide holistic wealth planning services and unique opportunities for our clients to invest in,” Joseph explains.
Leveraging Richardson GMP’s Platform
The Bakish Wealth team works under the umbrella of national firm Richardson GMP, leveraging the latter’s extensive network and infrastructure. “This partnership best aligns with our key objective: to focus on the well-being of clients,” according to Joseph. Richardson GMP provides the Bakish Wealth team with access to a wider universe of investment options and best-in-class technology, and offers greater transparency and clarity regarding cost and investment performance.
“Richardson GMP allows us to tap a wide array of resources,” explains Joseph. “We use Richardson GMP’s national network to service our clients in the areas that they live. We also fly out to see clients and meet them in person.”
A Family Business, a Team-Based Approach
Joseph was named one of Canada’s “Top 40 under 40” Investment Advisors (2019) by Wealth Professional Magazine and credits support from his family and his team as a major contributor to this success. Sometimes the lines between family and work are blurred; the team includes Joseph’s wife Connie Gallant in a business development role. Bakish Wealth also employs two additional advisors, Max Nykanorov and Gord Kennedy, as well as two assistants, Chrys Stamatakos and Siwei Liu.
“The quality of our team is instrumental to our success as a client-focused firm. We introduce our clients to the whole team so that they know they can rely on more than just one person. They also know exactly who to contact for specific matters.”
Outside of the business, Joseph and Connie are busy raising three children (a five-year-old and set of three-year-old twins). For Joseph, this has meant scaling back some of his philanthropic pursuits as well as his recreational hobbies. Both Joseph and Nick were competitive varsity swimmers at McGill, and both are members of the Montreal Indoor Tennis Club.
When he can spare the time, Joseph plans to continue helping the University this year with the “Made By McGill” project. The organization is seeking to raise $2 billion to fund research and development in the field of antibiotic resistance.
Unique Investment Opportunities
According to Joseph, innovative and unique investment opportunities are the way of the future, particularly given the challenging outlook for returns in 2020. Access to alternative investing has become increasingly important.
“Traditionally, investors seeking yield only had to rely on a traditional stocks and bonds portfolio,” Joseph explains. “Now, this is no longer the case. Investors must rely on innovative investment products to generate the same level of yield. We give them a leg up by linking directly sourced investment opportunities to a group of accredited investors that can then fund deals and create a nice little ecosystem for wealth generation.”
Wealth generation opportunities include impact investments, in line with Bakish Wealth team’s own views on climate action. Impact investments provide capital to address social and/or environmental issues. Joseph cites “i(x) Investments”, an entrepreneurial, multi-strategy impact investing platform that seeks to address key areas of human need. The investing platform was created by Warren Buffet’s grandson, a professor at Columbia University, and allows investors to work with companies in areas such as clean energy and sustainable agriculture.
April Potter is a veteran writer with expertise in financial services including nearly 15 years in debt restructuring.
April has written for multiple online publications on a variety of subjects.
Also a painter, her background in finance is balanced by her artistic endeavors.
1 250 René-Lévesque Blvd. West, Suite 1500
Montréal, Québec H3B 4W
Joseph Bakish, CFA, CLU, CHS, TEP, FCSI, BSc, DIRECTOR, PORTFOLIO MANAGER
BAKISH WEALTH, RICHARDSON GMP