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Jeff Christian, CPA®, CA®, CIM® and Corey Philp, CPA®, CA®,CBV ®, Senior Wealth Advisors, Scotia McLeod, Halifax, NS


"Putting money where it matters"

Jeff Christian and Corey Philp are two Chartered Professional Accountants and Senior Wealth Advisors at Scotia McLeod that run a practice that caters to the complex needs of a diverse clientele. What sets them apart though, is their expertise in a number of areas that others can’t match – such as supporting the sale of a business and ensuring its owner is effectively positioned for retirement; leveraging customized credit solutions to enhance and diversity family wealth; and helping clients through their most difficult times, like the death of a spouse or partner.

The list of their expertise is extensive, and they pride themselves on providing that next level of support to business owners, high-net-worth individuals, and families looking to facilitate a smooth transfer of wealth between generations.

It’s a simple but effective strategy: provide the tools a client needs to achieve success and offer unparalleled customer service along the way.

Despite all their success, Jeff and Corey prefer a more understated approach to their business. They aren’t ostentatious. While some Advisors prefer flash and showy displays of wealth, Jeff and Corey prefer substance. All they care about are a client’s results. They carefully evaluate every situation, then pick the right tool to meet that client’s needs. That’s where Jeff and Corey put their time and energy – and nothing will change that approach.

A different and rare kind of practice

When it comes to wealth management businesses, oftentimes, the practices will be similar. Jeff and Corey’s practice, however, is quite different. In essence, it is a rare and valuable combination of expertise. They offer wealth services other advisors can’t and won’t.

“As I said before, we are focused on the best result for a client, we aren’t flashy or pretentious,” Jeff said. “We just get the job done, and client returns show that. But one of the primary ways we differ is how we’ve organized our business. It’s very rare that a shop like ours has an internal chartered accountant, most use external consultants, and even then only when absolutely necessary. We know their value, so we have not one, but two on our staff. One is specialized in taxation and one in business valuation. It allows for incomparable service. It also allows for effective succession planning for business owners well in advance of their transition date and gives us the tools we need to do our jobs well. It also means stability because we know who’s doing the work. It isn’t a faceless team. It gives us, and the clients we serve, immense peace of mind.”

Providing that value is part of Jeff and Corey’s core philosophy: offering the expertise and results that clients need.

Sometimes, a client who is a business owner, or professional, may come into a particularly complex situation that’s uncommon. Jeff and Corey can help there too. Both men spent years in public practice before moving to Scotia McLeod, so they’ve seen a lot.

It also allows them a unique perspective on some of the challenges these organizations may face.

“Of course, we can provide all of the tools that other Wealth Advisors can, and some of the ones Jeff just mentioned,” Corey said. “But we also add some strategic value, outside of wealth management that separates us. We don’t charge additionally for this, but if a client comes to us in a jam and is looking for our expertise, we’ll always do what we can to help. We also have a massive amount of organizational support behind us like Scotia Trust, Commercial and Private Banking, Insurance Consultants, Lawyers – and that’s before we’ve even spent one second on a client’s portfolio. We usually have the answers clients need, but if we don’t, we’re backed by the best minds and contacts in the business, who surely will.”

They’ve helped U.S. citizens on their journey toward coming to Canada, navigated the complexities of will and estate planning for blended families, and supported the construction of effective corporate structures and family trusts; they’ve truly seen it all.

What their experience has taught them is that even if two clients are similar “they’re never the same,” Corey said. “We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all or cookie-cutter solutions. Jeff and I get to know the client and their situation, and then…we get to work.”

Connecting the dots

When it comes to finance, particularly for business owners, professionals, trusts, or clients of high-networth, there’s a lot going on, and often more than a few people involved in the process.

Jeff and Corey need to work with lawyers, accountants, bookkeepers, business managers, and family members – there are a lot of balls in the air at one time. It’s why Jeff and Corey see themselves as the quarterbacks (or coach) of a client’s team. They support the plan, execute the plays, and make changes (with a client’s approval) as the situation demands.

Before they can execute the plan though, they need to develop one, which involves a lot of meetings, and even more questions. The questions, it turns out, are the most important part.

“To ensure the plan is comprehensive, we need to understand not just where a client wants to go, but where they are today,” Jeff said. “What keeps a client up at night? Is there a holding company? Do you have employees or family members that you need to take care of? If they have a business, what does its future look like? Do they want to sell and retire, or manage a succession plan that would keep it running and pass ownership to the next generation? These are the things we need to know to ensure we’re charting their best course.”

Success is a team sport

Jeff and Corey make a good team, for a lot of reasons. Their philosophies align well; they come from different backgrounds, but their commitment to hard work is the same; and they communicate effectively.

Another part of the reason they get along so well is their commitment to community, to giving back.

Jeff’s been an active coach of minor sports for a number of years and served on multiple local boards. Corey’s kids have been involved in hockey, ringette, lacrosse, soccer, basketball, and more – and he’s been heavily involved in each. They believe their success in business means they need to contribute to their community, in whatever way they can. Jeff and Corey know that part of building a successful business is supporting a successful community. They want other families to know the opportunity they had, and they take every chance they can to make a difference. It’s just who they are.

Gary Milakovic is a veteran writer with more than a decade in the public sector and corporate communications. He has covered a wide spectrum of topics and his work has been featured by large and small organizations across Canada. Gary is passionate about communication, his writing often focuses on uncovering the “story behind the story.”

Christian Philp Advisory Group

ScotiaMcLeod®, a division of Scotia Capital Inc.

Jeff Christian, CPA, CA, CIM

Senior Wealth Advisor, Portfolio Manager

902 - 420 - 7785

Corey Philp, CPA, CA, CBV

Wealth Advisor, Associate Portfolio Manager

902 - 420 - 7785

1959 Upper Water St. Floor 3

Halifax, NS, B3J 3N2


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