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KELLI COSTIGAN, CIM, CSP, MD Private Investment Counsel Portfolio Manager, MD Financial Management


"Building relationships with a genuine curiosity"

Few things motivate Kelli Costigan, CIM®, CSP®, MD Private Investment Counsel Portfolio Manager, MD Financial Management (MD), more than her passion for serving others; that and her irrepressible curiosity, of course. Kelli grew up in a single-parent family in the 60’s and 70’s, where she learned not to be shy. She’ll talk to anyone, about anything. For Kelli, it’s about building true, meaningful connections with people.

It’s something she learned from her dad, who was her idol.

“I remember we were outside a KFC, in Sydney Nova Scotia, it was the only one nearby and a young man was asking for change as we walked in. Most people passed by without looking his way, but not my dad. He squatted down and looked this young man in the eye and asked him if he was hungry. The young man nodded, and my dad went in to get him some food. We didn’t have a lot of money then, but that interaction stuck with me for a long time. He made that guy’s day just by talking to him. You never know what positive influence a simple conversation may have, or what someone’s going through. Building those meaningful connections is key to building relationships.”

Kelli doesn’t necessarily subscribe to the belief that her industry is numbers-driven – she thinks it’s people-driven, and the best way to succeed is to really get to know the individuals sitting in front of you.

Service, not sales

For Kelli, meeting a prospective client is primarily an exercise in listening, and being open. When Kelli is open, it puts other people at ease – and if they don’t let down their guard, they may not succeed. The individuals who come to see her need to understand that there are people who can offer guidance and support and can help them achieve their goals.

It isn’t always easy to communicate about money. It’s a taboo topic for many, but Kelli has the perfect analogy, given MD has been supporting Canada’s physicians and their families for more than 50 years.

“I see doctors and their families every single day. Physicians are truly heroes – they spend an immense amount of time building their skills. Sometimes, given their extreme level of competence in their profession, they are reluctant to share what’s important to them. They feel they should already have the answers. My response is simple: ‘if you’re having an issue with your heart, you’d go see a cardiologist; if you need a knee replacement, you’ll go see an orthopedic surgeon; and if you need financial advice, you come and see me.’ Nobody is good at everything. Sometimes, you need a specialist to advise you.”

Once she’s built that level of trust, Kelli can push the conversation toward their story: who they are and where they come from, what their goals and dreams are; what motivates them, and what is their ultimate financial destination? At first blush they may not all seem like important questions for a financial professional to ask, but they’re vital to building an effective financial plan.

After all, no two people are alike, and therefore no two financial plans are alike, so the deeper her understanding of the person, the more effectively Kelli can be at addressing their needs. Clients know Kelli is invested in their success; and they also know if they call, she’ll get back to them quickly.

It’s sometimes difficult to remember that doctors are people too. They have the same stresses and fears as everyone else, but given their profession, don’t always have the same opportunity to express them as others do. It’s why MD is so special.

“Everyone expects doctors to take care of others, but at MD, it’s the other way around. We focus on them exclusively and give them the attention and support they need. From Medical School to retirement, to estate planning and beyond, we’re always with them, we don’t go away. Our firm only works with physicians and their families and that makes us unique.”

Kelli knows that top-notch service is the only sales pitch she needs, so she gives every client 110%.

Family first

Kelli is immensely proud of her track record at MD, but she recognizes that there’s more to life than just work. She is overjoyed that her two children are healthy, and have grown to become kind, respectful, and intelligent. Kelli has instilled in them her love of knowledge as well as her curiosity, which they both took very much to heart: her daughter has become a teacher, who instills a love of adventure and learning into her students, and her son graduated from Journalism School and has become a writer in the federal government.

They are both exceptional communicators and care deeply about others, but perhaps what thrills Kelli the most is that they understand the value of money. It’s something Kelli instilled in them from a young age – she learned it from her beloved father, and she’s passed it down to her kids.

“My dad told me not to sweat the small stuff, because not everything is within your control. Learn every lesson and apply it, then do the best you can. Above all, work hard. It’s one of the first lessons I took to heart: if you want something, nobody’s going to hand it to you. You must work for it.”

Yes, Kelli has been named to high-profile councils and groups throughout her career, including the inaugural Women in Leadership program at MD, but what she truly cares about, what drives her, is ensuring that physicians and their families receive the same support that her own family has received – because in the end, many clients have worked with Kelli for years…and they’ve become a part of her family, too.

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.”

Kelli Costigan, CIM, CSP

Portfolio Manager

MD Private Investment Counsel

613 - 290 - 3450


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