CORY BODDY, CFA®, CFP® Senior Portfolio Manager, Wellington-Altus Private Counsel Inc. Edmonton, AB
“Let’s keep everything we do pointed towards the best interests of our clients
and change our industry from the inside out.”
For over 20 years of his career, Cory Boddy, CFA, CFP and Senior Portfolio Manager with Wellington-Altus Private Counsel Inc. (Wellington-Altus), has carried a quote by John D. Rockefeller Jr. with him. It reads: " I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty."
It’s Cory’s daily reminder in an industry where people can be swept up to stay grounded and recognize that he plays a critical role in his clients’ lives. “I understand that I can have profound impact on a client’s well-being and I approach everything I do with this in mind,” says Cory.
Given his sense of responsibility to his clients, Cory recently made a significant career change. After 16 successful and rewarding years with his previous firm, he decided he needed to step out on his own and became a partner at Wellington-Altus. “I've made my living putting the best interests of my clients first and my move to Wellington-Altus is a reflection of this,” says Cory.
“The strong sense of independence and autonomy is what drew me to Wellington-Altus. I believe the industry is at a turning point where too much money is managed and controlled by the big banks and that isn’t good for the industry and more importantly, for investors. Some banks have used this dominance to move away from personalized advice and choose to sell their own mutual funds wherever possible. I want to be on the right side of history and work for a firm that does things independently with a focus on what is best for the clients.”
For Cory, it all starts and ends with the client. “When I was considering changing firms, it had to be in a way that benefited the client,” he says. “I needed to ensure I had the autonomy to build portfolios in the way I believe is best for clients. I also wanted to ensure my clients would continue to receive maximum value. This meant ensuring my fees stay low.”
In Wellington-Altus, Cory found a company meeting all his must-haves. For one, their platform is built by Advisors, for Advisors, providing the autonomous portfolio construction capability he wanted on his clients’ behalf. He describes their philosophy of managing to ‘yes.’ “They believe that Advisors have clearest idea of how to accomplish the clients’ and the firms’ goals,” says Cory. “Any idea that comes from Advisors is treated with validity. We’re empowered to find better solutions and the firm sees its role as supporting us in this pursuit. The rate of growth and the speed at which we innovate and improve is something I’ve never seen anywhere else.”
Since launching his own practice under the Wellington-Altus umbrella earlier this year, Cory is poised to grow a practice that aligns with his beliefs and ideas. But to envision where he’s going, it’s important to know where he’s been.
There’s a constant theme running through Cory’s career journey of always doing what’s right. It’s been ingrained in him ever since he can remember. “I was raised with very good values,” says Cory. “My dad was a teacher and my mom a nurse. They worked hard and showed me the importance of honesty and integrity.” These values were solidified throughout his career. “I learned that by consistently doing the right thing and putting in more than I took out, I could achieve a great level of success.”
At his previous firm Cory managed an incredibly large portfolio worth over $1.3 billion. “I never in a million years would’ve guessed I’d ever build a portfolio of that size,” says Cory. “Even in the high-net-worth client space, it’s not typical.”
And he was good at it. Clients surveyed on a quarterly basis consistently ranked Cory as the Investment Counselor with the highest customer satisfaction in his division. “Even though it was a large book of business, I worked really hard at maintaining my relationships,” says Cory. “I’m proud of the work I did for my clients but I’m also proud of the work I did for the firm’s clients and for the industry as a whole.”
An example of this was one of Cory’s favourite projects, inspired by his youth as a Boy Scout. “I created ‘The Pledge,’ a promise to clients to uphold certain standards such as communicating in a way that all clients can understand and being transparent about fees” he says. “It became part of our identity and all advisors eventually incorporated it into their practice.”
From there, a number of other ideas were generated, including the Voice of Good. “Our leaders used their voice to call out bad practices in our industry, purposely doing better in hopes they would push other firms to likewise raise their accountability to clients,” says Cory. “I’m really proud of all these things that set the tone for my clients, for my fellow advisors, and ambitiously, for the industry.”
Driving all these initiatives was an overarching framework that Cory describes as ‘go deep (with clients) and go wide (within the firm.) “I felt fortunate to be given the voice and influence I had through my position and stature in my firm and in turn, felt responsible to use this voice to encourage change on a broader scale,” says Cory.
As has always been the case, everything Cory does starts with the client. In a business that is often characterized by complexity his approach is to simplify. He shares his mantra, “There is a beautiful paradox in the complexity of the markets and the simplicity of effective investment solutions,” adding, “My goal is not to overwhelm my clients. It’s to take weight off their shoulders, give them a good working knowledge of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, but never to the point where it feels heavy.”
Changing firms after 16 years is a bold leap yet Cory maintains a sense of gratitude at every step. He appreciates the clients who supported him in this change, allowing him to quickly reestablish himself at his new firm. With his feet firmly rooted once again he continues to welcome further conversations with investors looking for forward-thinking solutions that are tailored for each person’s unique situation. “Through the transition, everything I learned over the last 20 years rose to the surface. I was clearly able to articulate my distinct investment and customer care philosophy and how I want to create value for my clients. Things became abundantly clear,” he says. “Over the next 15 years I plan to use all that clarity and creativity to develop a practice I feel reflects who I am and what clients deserve from me as their trusted advisor. As wonderful as the last 15 years have been I can’t help but think that the next 15 are going to be even better.”
Natalie Noble’s love of writing stems from her passion for hearing and sharing people’s stories. Over the years she has written for various business, real estate, and agriculture publications. At the heart of her work is a desire to continuously learn and connect.
Cory Boddy, Senior Portfolio Manager
Wellington-Altus Private Counsel Inc.
11150 Jasper Avenue, Suite 250
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 0C7
825 - 901 - 5819