MATT BOUDREAU, Business Development Partner, Sun Life Financial, Calgary, Alberta
"Success is no accident"
Matt Boudreau, Business Development Partner, Sun Life Financial, is someone who’s spent his whole life working at better understanding who he is, and how to contribute to our world. He’s worked hard, travelled far, and helped those who’ve needed it.
Matt has always pushed himself to do more, taking stock of how things are, and how they could improve. Better is always his goal.
And his focus on determining how to get to better is what separates Matt from his contemporaries.
Like many in the industry, Matt attended university, studying finance. He delved deeply into the intricacies of investments, financial planning, and wealth management, voraciously absorbing all the information he could. As the first in his family to go to university, Matt felt an obligation to do well.
But school is about more than just education, it’s about life. It’s about learning who you want to be.
Matt’s combination of ability and drive pushed him to excel. He studied hard and achieved top marks – but academic excellence wasn’t enough. Matt saw school as an opportunity to grow.
He sought new experiences, such as trying out for the football program; a sport he had never even played before. He put in the work and was successful, one of the few ‘walk-ons’ to practice with the team that year. It’s because Matt doesn’t stop. He doesn’t quit. He’s always been relentless in the pursuit of new experiences to enhance his understanding of things.
As he approached graduation, Matt’s academic accomplishments put him on track for immediate career success, but he realized how little he understood the world beyond. He felt the need to explore and better understand where he fit, and how he could make a difference. Instead of taking the safe path, with immediate dividends, Matt chose to travel and experience our planet. He wanted to become a better citizen. He wanted to become a better him.
He traveled throughout Europe, crisscrossing the continent. Eventually, Matt found himself in Korea, where he stayed for almost two years, teaching English. “It gave me real perspective. When you’re teaching, you’re in a room of kids, all of them are at a different level, and learning in different ways. Every one of them is unique. You needed to understand them, to see where they wanted to go so you could help guide them there. I realized just how much I could help them if I better understood their needs. It’s something that’s stayed with me since that time.”
Matt continued teaching upon his return to Canada, but a quiet voice in the back of his head was a constant companion, reminding him of his passion for finance. He loved it too much to let it go again, so when the opportunity presented itself, he leapt at it.
He started in retail banking, but given his aptitude, and drive, Matt advanced quickly. Within just a few years he was a Financial Advisor, before transitioning into management and senior training roles. That experience is what made the prospect of moving to Business Development Partner at Sun Life Financial so appealing to Matt. It combined his passion for helping others excel and his love of working with clients into one. It was perfect.
“I’ve seen Sun Life Financial as an industry leader for some time, which caught my attention. I looked more carefully at the company and saw them undertaking a move towards holistic financial planning. I started having conversations with people I respect, and the opinions were unanimous: the corporate culture aligned with my values, and most importantly, their leadership shared a vision like my own. After that, all it took were a few official conversations and I came on board.”
Matt’s excited to have the opportunity to work with advisors, supporting their hopes and dreams. In fact, hopes and dreams are where Matt starts the planning process. He wants to understand client aspirations, goals, and what they want to achieve through their financial plan. With the right understanding of where a client wants to go, Matt can develop a plan to get them there and help advisors build long-term relationships. By better understanding their needs, he becomes a more effective part of their financial team.
For example, some clients may think they want an aggressive rate of return, but after the exploration process, Matt might learn that they don’t need to accept that level of risk to get the results they want. Doing too much can sometimes be detrimental. What Matt has learned throughout his career is how to ask the right questions and cut to the heart of the issue; to ensure he has a comprehensive understanding of what the clients really want, and then helping them plan to get there."
Coaching an excellent team of Advisors has always been one of the most enjoyable aspects of Matt’s career. His teams are energetic, adaptable, and insightful. One of Matt’s core goals is to strengthen process, an oft-overlooked element of their business.
Too many people focus on the result, and not the steps that led to that result. It’s a mistake to ignore the journey.
“I’m really focused on ensuring solid processes. It’s a vital part of what we do. You can’t focus on the result, on what happened, because people can get lucky. Others work extremely hard and get a similar result. The overriding question is ‘can we improve this process?’ Work through the steps, describe the process that led to the result, and hopefully make it better. Understanding why something worked is important. Luck isn’t something we rely on to help clients.”
Matt also stresses that it’s important to focus on the now and the things you can control. It’s too easy to think ahead and let things get away from you. Focus on what you can control and react as new information arises.
Much like clients, Advisors are unique. Each has a distinct set of needs and goals. Matt works hard to ensure he’s providing an environment where they can grow. He wants his team to succeed as much as they do.
When speaking to Matt, it’s easy to understand why he’s risen through the ranks everywhere he’s worked. He’s articulate, intelligent, and thoughtful. Matt’s made bold choices that have clearly set him up for success. He’s also put in the work to better understand himself, and the world around him. His success is no accident.
Matt is an active reader. He devours books on all manner of subjects, from leadership to personal growth, seeking to improve his ability to think critically. He jokes that he “has a tough time taking a day off. I just can’t sit at home and put my feet up. It drives my wife crazy,” but he’s focused on making a difference. On leaving something behind.
What drives Matt is accomplishing more in life and making a difference in the lives of others. He thrives on it.
He plans to leave the world a better place than he found it. It’s a journey he’s been taking for most of his adult life, and he has no plans to stop anytime soon.
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.”
Business Development Partner, Sun Life Financial
#300 - 600 Crowfoot Crescent NW,
Calgary AB, T3G 0B4
Tel: 403-231-8600 Ext. 2225