"Experience is a good teacher"
Nancy Ottawa, CFP, Senior Financial Consultant with IG Wealth Management is an avid sports fan. In fact, as a season ticket holder for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, one might say she’s a huge fan. That love of sports informs her approach to working with clients: she sees herself as a coach, first and foremost. She’s coached football, volleyball, basketball…and financial clients.
As a coach, she understands the power of preparation.
When developing materials for a client, she leaves nothing on the field. She works to evaluate the options, review documentation, offerings, and research in advance; she synthesizes it into a cohesive plan; then, she presents the plan in a way that’s easy to understand for the client’s consideration.
It’s something Nancy’s been doing for most of her life.
Nancy’s father, Ken, was a huge influence on her approach to money. He was a prolific budgeter. He stretched every dollar as far as could and was fastidious about where that money was going. He had to be. Ken was the father of three children, and during their youth, many families throughout the country faced uncertain financial futures.
He needed to insulate them as much as possible; to make sure the money was there when they needed it.
Nancy, though young, pitched in to help where she could.
“I’m a middle child. I have brothers on either side of me, one older, and one younger. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my younger brother, helping him plan out his allowance. There would always be money set aside for candy, maybe a new toy, and of course, some was always set aside for long-term savings. We didn’t focus too heavily on investing back then, but planning? That’s where I got my start.”
Nancy’s primary objective when working with clients is to build a relationship that is rooted in trust. She recognizes that sometimes the industry is maligned for being too sales-focused, so Nancy works to take a service-first approach when dealing with clients.
Financial matters can be scary. For most people, just discussing money is a huge source of anxiety. It’s why developing that trust is so important. One of the ways Nancy establishes that trust is by being herself. “Be yourself. It’s one of the best pieces of career advice I was ever given. Trying to fit into a mold that doesn’t match you won’t benefit anyone. I’m a bit of a jokester at heart. I like to keep things light and keep clients comfortable – because money matters can be scary. The advice I got was ‘you aren’t going to attract every single person, but the ones you do will be people you’ll enjoy working with.’ He was so right.”
Every client is different. Another way Nancy builds a rapport is by thoroughly understanding a client’s needs and goals. Nancy will meet with a client as often as it takes to make sure they are both on the same page. Both need to be transparent.
What keeps a client up at night? What stresses them out and what stands in their way?
It’s an uncomfortable thing, talking about money, so she works together with the client to ensure a full understanding of their goals and the recognition that there are options that can make the topic of finances as being less painful.
Her goal is to provide a comprehensive plan to a client, but just as importantly, she wants a client to walk away with a feeling of confidence in their financial security.
“When a client walks out of my office feeling energized and excited about their financial future? There’s no better feeling.”
The IG Wealth Management difference
Nancy has been with IG Wealth Management for her entire career; in an industry that can sometimes see a high rate of movement, she’s been with the same company for 24 years.
But so is Nancy; and so is IG Wealth Management.
As Nancy has grown as an Advisor, she’s always felt aligned with the company’s core values. It’s inarguably evolved into one of the biggest firms in Canada, but it hasn’t ever lost its client-first approach. That’s why Nancy has stayed.
“I don’t know if people find it strange that I’ve worked at IG Wealth Management my whole career. I know that isn’t the norm. But it’s always felt like home. Despite its size, it feels like a small local business, where you get to know clients and build a relationship with them. It also has an incredible array of tools that help me do my job better; it’s a full-service operation.”
Nancy’s business is about more than just investments. Of course, investments are a big part of it, but service offerings include risk management, estate planning, even mortgage planning; it’s a one-stop shop for a client’s financial needs. It gives Nancy the freedom to provide comprehensive planning services to clients and it’s one of the things that sets Nancy’s business apart.
Nancy is also quite proud of the Private Wealth Planning Experience for high-net-worth clients that is unique to IG Wealth Management. It includes a comprehensive review of all existing elements of their financial life, an in-depth conversation about their goals and what they hope to achieve, and the support of a host of professionals including lawyers, planners, accountants, and more. It brings together a dedicated team that will work collectively to address the unique nature of an individual’s finances, building a level of comfort for a client, and showing them how their needs will be fully supported.
“Sitting in a room full of professionals solely dedicated to the complex needs of a specific client is always a fun experience. We provide tax advice, business planning, and estate planning – it’s completely comprehensive, and the clients love it. No one else can offer such a comprehensive, personal, and deeply customized experience as we do at IG Wealth Management.”
Nancy has no qualms about competing with other financial institutions for business. Both she, and IG Wealth Management, have the experience to make a real difference in a client’s financial future, and the company gives her the tools she needs to provide an incomparable experience.
Growing the brand
Nancy isn’t just a Wealth Advisor. She, and her partner Kevin McIntyre, are Division Managers for IG Wealth Management as well; it’s their job to recruit other Advisors to the company.
Given the company’s trajectory, particularly its recent rebrand, people are more interested than ever in working under the IG Wealth Management banner.
They work to show them what the client-first culture of IG Wealth Management is really like.
“It’s never been a better time to join IG Wealth Management as an Advisor or a client. We’re a team-based organization with so many tools at our disposal; we’re so competitive with our products; and our technology is leading edge. But it comes down to having the best and most professional team. We know that. Since 2020, more than two hundred financial professionals have joined the IG Wealth Management team. They are invested in joining us and our emphasis on a client-centric approach.”
It's something that resonates with new Advisors, and Advisors looking to make a change. Organizations aren’t always so client-centric in their approach.
It’s a noticeable difference.
Nancy loves working with new Advisors, mentoring them, coaching them, and giving them the tools, they need to succeed. She takes almost as much pride in her recruits’ success as her own. And Nancy’s had a lot of success.
In 2019 she, and her business partner Kevin, qualified for the President’s Council, which recognizes the top 120 IG Wealth Management Advisors from across Canada. It’s a considerable honour, given there are thousands of wealth advisors working with the company.
Nancy loves her job. The only thing she might love more is her son and the Blue Bombers.
She looks forward to starting her day, working with clients, and developing solutions for complex problems. In her nearly two and a half decades in the industry, Nancy has seen almost everything.
But she won’t stop doing her best for clients until she’s seen it all.
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.”
NANCY OTTAWA, CFP®, Senior Financial Consultant
IG Wealth Management
461 Sterling Lyon Parkway
Winnipeg, MB R3P 2S8
204 - 489 - 4640 ext 2313