GLENN GAUDET, BA, CFP®, EPC, CPCA, RRC, Gaudet Group Private Wealth, Brantford Ontario
Glenn Gaudet, BA, CFP®, EPC, CPCA, RRC, and executive financial consultant with Gaudet Group Private Wealth, has always understood the incredible value in creating a strong, well-rounded team. Since entering the world of wealth management in 1993 with Investors Group (IG) straight upon earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business, he’s built up an expert wealth advisory team that delivers over 60 years’ combined experience to their high-net worth family and business owning clients.
Identifying each team member’s strengths and talents that each could share and amplify the team as a whole, Gaudet Group has become a well-oiled machine. “Over the 28 years of my practice, I have worked hard to add people to my team specifically because they are not me,” says Glenn. “They’re each strong in other areas. We have a really incredible and supportive team. When we onboard clients, they’re not just taking on me as their sole financial advisor, they’re taking on a whole team.”
For the last six years, the team has met every Tuesday morning. “We review every client meeting we’ve had in the past week, what’s ahead, we brainstorm and discuss strategies for individual clients, and encourage input from all team members on how best to serve our clients’ needs,” says Glenn.
Glenn’s practice is extremely family focused. It’s not just his own family’s involvement, but also his team and his clients who have become like family to him.
“Everybody is supportive of each other’s family in and out of the workplace environment. On the team along with myself there are two other advisors, Julia Wheeler and Susan Lock. Tracey Vanderheyden is our executive assistant who works hard to keep everyone on track,” says Glenn. “My wife, Shelley Gaudet, is our marketing manager, running our client events and social media.”
The next generation is about to enter Gaudet Group as Glenn and Shelley’s son Jacob joins the team. “He’s just finished his four-year Business Commerce degree in three years. He is starting on the team as an assistant in special projects,” says Glenn. “Once he’s got his license and a few years’ experience, we’ll move him into an associate role and one day, main advisor. The plan is to have him take over a leading role in my practice one day.
Also a high achiever, their daughter, Elizabeth just completed her undergraduate degree and has entered into law school.
The Gaudet family is definitely a family who likes to enjoy life and have fun. “We love to run appreciation events for our clients, and we typically run at least 12 events per year,” says Glenn. And even though they may look a little different in light of the pandemic, they remain entertaining and interactive. “They’re either purely virtual, or we organize virtual events with a porch drop off. We’re doing a beer tasting event this week actually. We will be sampling some great beers from a local brewery with glasses and some appetizers their chef is putting together to complement the brews. We’ll be dropping these amazing packages off at our clients’ homes for this event.”
At the national level, IG will host a Grill Master in early June. “We’ve got Celebrity Chef Myron Mixon grilling up some great food and introducing participants to a special tequila cocktail called ‘The Cowboy’,” says Glenn. “We will be purchasing the ingredients for the cocktail, boxing them up for client drop offs and they will be able to sip and savour the cocktail while watching the virtual event. We’ve really worked even during the pandemic to engage our clients.”
Gaudet Group’s client – also part of the family
Despite being in the business nearly three decades, Gaudet Group continues to grow. “We take on about 12 to 15 new clients each year, largely through referrals,” says Glenn. “In today’s environment, they’re clients we’ve never met in person, yet we establish a good connection with them and they feel comfortable having us manage their investment portfolios. It may be more difficult when you have not met in person to establish trust, but we go the extra distance to ensure each new client is still receiving the same service and attention they would normally receive in person.”
The practice is especially suited to self-employed business owners and professionals. “They tend to be people who have been really strong savers with a desire to have an advisory team support them to make smart decisions,” says Glenn. “Many have over a million dollars in savings and they’ve taught themselves not to overspend. We’re here to help them develop good strategies. They’ve already done the work of earning a good income and watching their spending habits, so the next level is how can we build their wealth?”
The team also takes a multi-generational wealth transfer focus. It’s about ensuring the client can achieve all of their goals, while also creating a generous amount of wealth for the next generation. “How do we get it there most efficiently; ensure they’re paying the least amount of tax; and, take the least amount of risk?” says Glenn. “We take in all these considerations so their wealth grows over time, and then transition it the most efficient way possible.”
While some of this work might take place when the client passes on, Glenn encourages his clients to transfer some of the wealth prior to this. “We really encourage them to gift their heirs money while they’re still alive if we know they have more than enough savings to live on,” says Glenn. “We feel that a big part of estate planning is not waiting until you’ve passed, but instead giving it to your family while living so you can see them enjoying it.”
That enjoyment is central to the work Gaudet Group does each day. Serving as a reminder is a massive collage behind Glenn’s desk, filled with photos of their clients, and their team, enjoying life. “There are grandparents at family dinners, trips to Disney, hikes around the world, a tour of Italy, people on horseback in Costa Rica,” says Glenn, noting that one photo depicts a couple in their swim outfits who swim in Masters events across Canada. “He’s in his 80s and beats people in their 50s. It’s absolutely amazing!”
“This is why we do what we do,” adds Glenn. “Not so everyone can pass away with unused wealth. It’s so that we can have amazing experiences and spend time with our families and enjoy life to the fullest while living. This is a great reminder to our team about why we do everything we do.”
The tough part of business is when people pass on, as Glenn and his team are more than just advisors to their clients but also consider them as friends. He recalls memorable client, Gerry D., described as a tough Scottish fellow referred to Glenn many years ago. Gerry became like an Uncle to Glenn and they grew very close in his final years as he battled cancer. Even though Gerry has passed, Glenn and his team still have Gerry’s wife, children, grandchildren, friends and relatives as clients. The legacy built just from Gerry within his client base lives on along with their memories of such a great man.
Keeping up with an ever-changing industry
Professional development and continued learning are a must for Glenn and his team. “The financial industry is constantly changing because so much has to do with rules, regulations, different products going out there,” says Glenn. “I’ve always thought it was important to make sure we’re continuously educating ourselves so that we can offer the best and most current advice to our clients at all times.”
Even before launching his career with IG back in the 1990s, Glenn was already working on his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. “I’d done a lot of research during university and talked with a lot of advisors at different companies. They reinforced how important it was to have your designation.”
Completing the CFP so early in his career, similarly to how he selects his team, Glenn worked to identify any areas where he could learn more. So, in his early 30s, he began work on his Elder Planning Counselor (EPC) designation. “I was only in my 30s and started having a number of clients retiring,” says Glenn. “I wanted to make sure I could offer the best possible advice to people in this stage of their life.”
In addition to the EPC, Glenn has earned his Certified Professional Consultant on Aging, and Registered Retirement Counselor designations. “I’ve always worked hard to stay updated and to learn all that I can,” says Glenn. “It’s always been a big priority for me in our practice to make sure that our team is always enrolling in new courses or workshops so we’re constantly learning. There are always new things on the horizon and it is important for us to always take advantage of new learning opportunities to better serve our clients.”
Also a priority for Glenn, his family, and his team, is giving back and staying active in the community. Close to his heart is Brant Food for Thought, where he's served on the board of directors for nearly 20 years, with one term as president. “I worked right from the grassroots when my kids were in preschool, having them help me with volunteering with the school snack programs,” he says.
Amongst a great number of other organizations Gaudet Group has supported are Habitat for Humanity, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Diabetes Canada, and many more. It’s no surprise that with the team focus built into his practice, Glenn has also done his share of coaching sports over the years. He loved not only giving back to the community and spending time with his children, but to help and support children to be the best they can be.
“I find being an advisor and running an advisory team is very much like being a coach,” says Glenn. “You’re helping people make smart decisions, and putting them in a position to be successful. We’ve taken care of their finances and set them up so they can make decisions based on what they want, not just what they can afford. I get to be an integral part of people’s families because I’m a go-to person, supporting them to make smart decisions that follow their values, their needs and wants.”
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.
Glenn Gaudet, CFP, RRC, BA, EPC, CPCA
Executive Financial Consultant
Gaudet Group Private Wealth Management,
Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
260 Lynden Rd Suite 1,
Brantford, ON N3R 0B9