GIANNI DE PASTENA
“Success is a team effort”
From humble beginnings, Gianni De Pastena has worked his way up to becoming a successful Financial Security Advisor at Assante Financial Management Ltd in Laval. Striving towards excellence in teamwork, collaboration, and quality client relationships, Gianni grew an impressive career for himself over the years.
Trusted by a sizable client base spanning numerous generations, Gianni has built his reputation on helping every individual who walks through his doors make more informed decisions about investment opportunities, how to minimize taxes, and ensuring their assets are protected and preserved for future generations to come.
Gianni's Career Path: From Data Entry Clerk to Successful Financial Advisor
Gianni began his career in an insurance advisor practice in 1997 while completing his third year of a business program. “The program required working experience, so I applied for a summer job with an insurance broker as a data entry clerk,” he said. “I worked with the CRM at the time for client follow-ups, organizing client appointments, and preparing client statements. When the fall rolled around, I completed my third year of the program before attending university. The employer wanted me to stay on board, so I worked part-time while completing my bachelor’s degree in finance with a minor in economics.”
After achieving his degree in 2001, Gianni was licensed as an Advisor and took over a small block of business. “I turned a $2 million book into a $15 million book within a couple of years. At the time, I thought it was a great accomplishment in such a short period of time,” he explained. Fast forward to 2009, Gianni was offered a partnership agreement that took two years to finalize. This all took place while completing his master’s degree in portfolio management.
“From here, I became a partner and by 2013 we added another partner named Julie-Anne Belanger along with a senior partner who eventually retired in 2017. We bought out the rest of his book and continue to grow in our business,” Gianni says. “Since then, the business itself had evolved quite substantially over the years. We have clients dating back to the 1950s, with a few families that we have serviced for five generations,” he says.
The value of teamwork in the financial industry
Gianni’s experience playing team sports throughout his youth has influenced how he operates his business today. “I played high-level basketball and soccer, and always enjoyed being part of a team environment,” he says. “This approach has been invaluable in how we provide services to our clients and COI’s. Everything we do in our practice is team-oriented, even the relationships we build with our clients. By working closely with each client and building rapport, we are more capable of understanding their financial goals to provide them with the guidance and support needed to achieve them.”
At Assante, their success is built upon teamwork, communication, and ongoing collaboration. Working together with two full-time employees plus his partner and associate advisor Leo Kevin lacono, Gianni compares the structure of his team to a well-oiled machine. “Each team member has a designated role to go along with their strengths, whether it be planning, providing concierge services, or managing the client relationship.”
“Our attention to detail and personalized approach sets us apart from other Financial Advisors”
Gianni’s role is specialized in servicing business owners and incorporated individuals, as well as a sizable client base of regular T-4 clients. That being said, he also offers services related to estate planning and other niche markets.
No matter the client, one of Gianni’s top values is built upon nurturing client relationships and providing tailored advice, focusing on educating clients on wealth planning. “It’s important to help leaders of families or the primary breadwinner of a family, who have made a financial difference in their generation,” he says. “Given the proper guidance and education, we can make a difference in helping clients secure the next couple of generations by applying certain strategies and advice that we believe will help them achieve their goals.”
“Our extensive experience spanning five generations allows us to provide quality support to our clients,” he explains. “We focus on understanding the client’s needs, what they want to do to help their children, family members, or anyone close and important to them, and the tax consequences of their decisions.” In some cases when clients have no children to pass their wealth off to, Gianni suggests charitable donations as a way to leave a lasting legacy.
How to stay ahead of the curve in the financial advising industry
“Continuous learning and ongoing professional development is essential in this field,” Gianni says. “I am required to complete at least 50 professional development hours every two years.”
Alongside continued learning is mentorship. Gianni mentions that he values mentorship as an important part of his career and how it has helped develop him as a successful Financial Advisor. “I was mentored by a Senior Advisor in my firm who took me under his wing,” he recalls. “He was a certified financial planner and insurance broker, and we went through plenty of planning exercises together. Now, 10 to 20 years later, I get to see the fruit of the plan and watch it unfold right before my eyes.”
Advice for future Financial Advisors
“Starting on your own as the captain of your own ship is incredibly challenging. While it can be rewarding to be independent, the obstacles you will face, especially with challenging compensation structures, can be daunting, to say the least. For a junior Advisor with no savings or clients, it can be nearly impossible to survive for the first three years without earning any income,” he explains. For all the junior financial advisors looking to start a career, Gianni suggests working under the guidance of a senior advisor.
“For someone just starting out, my advice would be to join a mature practice. There are many established practices out there, and numerous advisors are actively seeking talented newcomers to mentor; either to take over or assist with their existing clients. Starting with a smaller block and building from there is an effective strategy – it’s the pathway I took when I began my own career.”
Even today, Gianni continues to work with some of these clients from his early days. “I am honoured to be with a fifth-generation family who I’ve known for 25 years,” he says. “They are practically family now.” Much of the success he experiences with these long-term clients is less about the finances, and more to do with human relationships.
Gianni takes pride in seeing clients succeed by putting their plans into place and following them. “Having my clients' trust in my commitment to them and their future generations is a privilege for me.”
At the end of a long day, Gianni attributes his success to the balance he creates between home and work. “It’s a team effort,” he explains. “I wouldn’t be where I am without having the balance at home.”
Upwards and onwards
Looking forward to the future, Gianni plans to expand his practice by targeting a niche market. “Along with building out his team and adding a junior Advisor to the team, we think we can help a little more than others based on our knowledge and expertise in the field,” he says. “That being said, we will not forget about the smaller clients, as we continue to be committed to ensuring we are on top of everything despite any challenges in compliance and other unforeseen industry disruptions.”
Overall, Gianni De Pastena’s story is a testament to the power of hard work, perseverance, and teamwork. Even in his early years, his commitment to providing quality support and personalized advice to clients has earned him the trust of numerous generations. As Sir Winston Churchill famously stated, “Difficulties mastered are opportunities won,” highlighting the importance of overcoming challenges in order to achieve great success.
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Gianni De Pastena, Financial Security Advisor
Assante Financial Management Ltd
4175 St Martin Ouest Boul
Laval, Quebec H7T 1B7
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are those of Gianni De Pastena only and do not necessarily reflect those of Assante Financial Management Ltd.