Sherry Watty is a “Lifer” and has spent her entire career in the same industry! She started on the ground floor, as a secretary, and then worked as an insurance sales person. She then became a Financial Advisor/Owner at The Co-operators.
Like many of us, Sherry’s career journey began by accident, when she was seventeen. She had just purchased her first car and needed insurance. She went to one of the local insurance offices to obtain coverage. “The clerk didn’t explain why the premium was so high - $3600/year seemed like a very large premium in 1994. When we questioned the rate, we were told that was just the way it is. Six months later, it was just by chance that I joined that same insurance company as a secretary and that started my life-long love affair with the financial services industry. I earned my general insurance license. Through my studies I realized that we had been overpaying our premiums for a couple of years. My policy was subsequently fixed and the overpayments quickly refunded.
After moving from Ontario to Alberta, she took a short break from the industry. Two years later she decided to restart her career and accepted a job with a local agency. Then, she received a telephone call that was to change her life. “ A Co -operators District Manager called me and strongly urged me to come in for an interview with The Co-operators, not as an employee but to run my own agency. That was 2009.” Following training for over1.5 years at Slave Lake, Alberta Sherry officially became a Financial Advisor/Owner in 2011.
“Just as I was looking forward to having a long and happy career at The Cooperators, a large fire ravaged Slave Lake, Alberta. The fire displaced 7,000 residents, including our family. Although we lost our home in the fire, our agency was still standing. I moved my family to a nearby hotel where we lived for two months. It was the most traumatic and difficult time of our lives. I had to focus on keeping a roof over our kids’ heads while being there for clients. I knew what they were going through after the fire because our family was going through the exact same things ourselves.”
Philosophy & Approach
Teenaged entrepreneur, Chris Grosser, whose photographs have been enjoyed by fans in over 85 countries, once said, “Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” Sherry has made a concerted effort to create holistic educational and investment opportunities for clients. The Co-operators does everything - financial planning, estate planning, budgeting, tax minimization, and the development of investment portfolios. The company is also recognized as farm and commercial specialty insurers. “It’s often not how much money you make, but how much you keep. By taking responsibility and doing what is right for customers, we position them to successfully achieve their personal and business financial and lifestyle goals,” the Financial Advisor says.
She subscribes to management guru, Tom Peters, strategy of, “Management by Walking Around.” When Peters studied successful companies and their practices, he noticed that good managers were good communicators and regularly interacted with the people whose lives they impacted. Sherry conducts holistic reviews with three different clients/day, three days/week and describes this as the favourite part of her job. She spends the other two days/week doing administrative work and mentoring her team.
Listening is key. “I’ve seen firsthand what happens to families that don’t have the proper risk management, estate, financial and investment planning strategies in place. I ask 1001 questions, and get as much information about the client as possible. When I have that information, I put together educational points, address any concerns, show different ideas, products and coverages, and provide a number of different scenarios. My goal is always the same - to find something that works for the client in a process that is as painless and seamless as possible,” Sherry adds.
Sherry is passionate about the industry and the clients. “I feel very grateful that I’m able to do what I love and to help as many people as possible at the same time. I treat people the way I want to be treated and respect their money as if it was my own. I am constantly upgrading my technical skills – besides my insurance license I have a Professional Financial Advisor (PFA™) designation and am currently working on obtaining my Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) credentials,” she adds. This personal commitment has translated into many referrals - Sherry doubled her business in the first five years.
A Family-Run Business
Watty Insurance Services Ltd. is family-run. Sherry and her husband, Russell, their daughter, Brittany, and son, Russell Jr., all actively work the business.
Husband, Russell Watty, is an Associate Financial Advisor. He reviews all life insurance policies, to identify better ways to protect clients’ financial interests, and works with new clients that want a life insurance plan and investment products.
Son, Russell Jr., is the team’s investment guy. He holds his Life, General and A&S and mutual fund licenses and is responsible for human resources and management of the agency. He works with the team, and he has also started taking Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) courses.
Daughter, Brittany, whom Sherry describes as “mini me” works closely with Sherry. She is responsible for all commercial quotes, reviews existing portfolios, and does most of the paperwork.
In addition to the family, six other team members work in the agency.
Up Close & Personal
Sherry has won many awards for product growth, and was advisor of the year twice. She sits on a number of Boards including The Co-operators Advisor Committee Board, the board of Grow Your Business Network, an organization of business women helping business women and on the board of the Thunderbird Friendship Centre – the centre organizes Christmas presents for underprivileged children. “I grew up poor and remember what it is like not to have presents at Christmas. My grandmother used to run the Friendship Centre and I’m honoured to be in a position to carry on this important work.”
Sherry loves decorating/crafting and even refinishes furniture in her spare time. The Watty’s are a big dog family. Not only do they rescue dogs, they donate to the Edmonton Humane Society. Sherry and Russell Sr. are the human parents to three dogs, Summer, a Chihuahua, Chloe, a basset hound, and Charlie, a golden lab. Both Watty kids also have their own dogs. Russell Jr. has a Golden Lab, Carter, and a rescued Golden retriever, Ranger. Brittany has a Chihuahua named Poppy.
As a last word, Sherry says, “Many people don’t know where to go or what to do about their financial futures. I believe one of the reasons we are successful is that we bring our hearts as well as our heads to the job each day. As Canadians have seen from the devastation caused by the Slave Lake fires, the Kelowna and Ft. McMurray fires, and the Calgary flooding, having the right financial and insurance plan in place is critically important. As part of the team’s commitment to take responsibility and to do what is right for customers, we will continue to educate ourselves so that we are in position to provide the most up-to-date financial and insurance advice clients rely upon.”
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 Career Guides Category
Sherry Watty PFA
Professional Financial Advisor/Owner
Watty Insurance Services Ltd./ The Co-operators
32904 Ventura Avenue, Suite 1,
Abbotsford BC V2S 6J3 604-859-6757 firstname.lastname@example.org
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