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JOHN REYES & GILLIAN SEGUIN, Wealth Advisor and Associate Wealth Advisor, Reyes Group, iA Private Wealth, Calgary, Alberta


"An unconventional approach to success"

When meeting John Reyes, Wealth Advisor, and Gillian Seguin CIM®, Associate Wealth Advisor, for the first time, you’ll notice a few things right off the bat. First, and perhaps most strikingly, is that they speak plainly. They don’t use the industry buzzwords and gobbledegook you might see in an obscure financial blog – they talk about money in a way everyone can understand. They have a deep command of numbers and markets, but they can communicate it simply; almost effortlessly. There’s an adage about genius, that somewhat paraphrased is “genius isn’t being able to understand the intricacies of particle physics; it’s being able to communicate the intricacies of particle physics so anyone can understand them.”

That’s what John and Gillian do – and it's a gift.

Second, theirs is proudly run by two close families. Yes, it’s true; a lot of financial firms might describe themselves similarly; it’s a great line for a marketing brochure, or an introductory client meeting, but in this case it’s true. John and Gillian have been colleagues and friends for years; their families spend time together; both are smart and driven, so their partnership was a natural evolution of their personal and professional relationship. John’s wife, Meghan Reyes, Administrative Assistant, runs the office (in addition to managing a family of three, plus John) and Gillian’s husband Jamie Seguin, Business Operations Manager, is the glue that holds it all together. Charm Boulter, Business Development Manager, Gillian’s best friend, and godmother to Gillian’s children, was brought on to help grow the Reyes Group brand.

Third, John and Gillian talk a lot about making an impact; about working to positively influence the world around them. Their motto, “enriching the lives around us,” is a constant reminder of their desire to improve people’s situations and support their dreams.

For them, there is no higher purpose; there is no other goal.

Service, Strategy, Success

If the overriding “why” of John and Gillian’s professional purpose is enriching the lives around us, their “how” is service, strategy, success.

John talks about this a lot, cognizant of their importance to his practice. “Each of these is a pillar of our process. When a client hears it, they understand it. It’s also allowed us to create a laser-like focus on what matters: if it doesn’t fit on top of one of those pillars, it isn’t for us. It might be a clever idea, but we can’t be everything to everyone.”

It isn’t just the words that are important, either, but the order. Each pillar supports the next: 360 degrees that leads to a desired outcome.

Good service starts with a strong relationship. “When it comes to clients, we aren’t counting dollars and cents, at least not at first,” Gillian said. “We aren’t stock pickers – we’re here to be a resource, to provide options and either help them determine, or guide them toward their ultimate financial goals. We really want to understand what a client wants and needs. That’s one of our most important jobs.”

Some people think that investment planning is all about choosing different stocks; solutions are a part of it, sure, but that’s the last step in John and Gillian’s process.

They want to understand what motivates a client, what their financial goals are, and what a client needs. John and Gillian are with the client through the entire process, and in good times and bad – it’s why so many clients have remained with them for the long haul.

Once John and Gillian understand those goals, that’s where the magic of strategy comes into play.

What are the most effective, tax-efficient means of arriving at a client’s goal destination? What mix of solutions and risk are right for their needs? What macro-economic opportunities exist and how, if at all, can they be leveraged for a client’s benefit? These thoughts and more are what guide the strategic discussions John and Gillian have about every client. They are trying to create a roadmap that gets a client to their goals in the appropriate time horizon. It’s a delicate balancing act, but John and Gillian wouldn’t have it any other way. They thrive on complex challenges.

Success leads directly from effectively executing the first two. With good service, including consistent and proactive communication and a positive relationship, a client gains confidence in John and Gillian’s work. With a powerful strategy that is custom-tailored to a client’s specific needs, they ensure they’re giving each and every client the best chance at success.

With success, comes enrichment, and allows clients the opportunity to live their best lives, and give back in whatever way feels most appropriate, whether its to their community, their family, or even to themselves.

While it all sounds simple, it’s really not.

Each layer requires experience, and infinitely hard work. Sometimes it means late night phone calls or early morning meetings, but John knows what success means. “Good things don’t come to those who wait – they come to people who work their asses off.”

Defying expectations

When meeting with an Advisor for the first time, most people have a particular image in mind: a stuffy old office, with deep wood accents, Advisors dressed in expensive suits and ties, sitting around an expensive table, using language that may not be immediately familiar to most people, making suggestions that feel more like commands than options.

That’s not John and Gillian. At all.

“When I was a newcomer, I did the introductory seminar with 70 or 80 other Advisors across Canada. I was an unassuming fellow, maybe I didn’t exactly look the part. The seminar leader started asking questions like, ‘Who has more than one degree’ and ‘Who has their CFA or PhD?’ My hand hasn’t gone up for any question, and I’m starting to sweat. Then he asks, ‘Who’s looking forward to building relationships?’ Only three hands went up, mine included. Nobody clapped, everyone looked around the room. You could hear a pin drop. Then the seminar leader said, ‘These folks are going to be successful. You should learn from them’ and then he literally walked out. I was stunned…but he was right. Most of those Advisors didn’t make it. What I was good at as a person, building honest and meaningful relationships, was the thing that would make me successful.”

Gillian added, “John is a huge nerd about numbers too. He may not look the part, but he’s one of the sharpest Advisors I’ve ever worked with; he sees things other people just don’t. I think that’s part of why we work together so well. I never judge a book by its cover; I see value everywhere. Every relationship in my life is meaningful, whether it’s my family, my business, or the guy who remembers my coffee order in the morning. If you treat people like people instead of transactions…you’ll find the success you’re looking for.

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.”

John Reyes

Wealth Advisor iA Private Wealth

Gillian Seguin, CIM®

Associate Wealth Advisor iA Private Wealth

1201 - 5th Street SW, Suite 300

Calgary, Alberta, T2R 0Y6

587 - 329 - 1338

This article was prepared by My Business Magazine and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of iA Private Wealth Inc. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation and do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. The information contained herein may not apply to all types of investors.


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