“Connecting Opportunities with Qualified Financial Services Professionals.”
As Principal Regional Director for Ontario, Perry Badham may be new to his role at La Capitale, but he has worked as a recruitment professional for decades. Recruiting over 400 advisors to Sun Life during his tenure with the financial services giant; in the 38 years since he first got his start, Perry has established a very successful career helping others.
“I am excited for my newest venture with La Capitale Insurance and Financial Services,” says Perry. “It’s a big role, I’m running the entire province of Ontario, bringing in new hires to the industry as well as experienced licensed advisors. I am responsible for bringing new leaders into the system so that we can grow the number of our offices in Ontario as soon as possible. We currently have 5 locations and would like to grow to 8-10 offices.”
Perry made the move to Financial Horizons in 2019 to a role that was created with his recruitment expertise in mind. Prior to Financial Horizons he spent nearly four decades honing his skills at Sun Life Financial by managing Mississauga, Oakville and Milton financial centres. Perry enjoyed his time with Sun Life and Financial Horizons. While he admits it is never easy to say goodbye, it is important to make the right career moves at the right times in life and he left both organizations on very good terms.
“I would say that my new role is probably the only type of role that could have pulled me away this time,” explains Perry. “I decided that if I was going to take the plunge and dive into a new career the time to do it is now. I’m very excited about the new challenges I’m facing at La Capitale.”
The Sun Life Rises
When Perry was employed with Sun Life, he formed many great friendships and met many people along the way. Over the years he had the privilege of connecting with a countless number of people at conventions and industry events.
“My journey with Sun Life actually began with Met Life, and then Met Life was sold to Mutual Life in 1998,” explains Perry. “Next, the name was changed to Clarica and finally, to Sun Life Financial in the year 2002. During these mergers and acquisitions (or marriages and divorces as some say) I never changed my career or carrier. I went with the flow for 37 years until I retired from Sun Life in 2019. From 2000 to 2010 my team and I built the largest Sun Life office in Canada. We grew from 38 advisors to 138 in just five years. We were called the “Dream Team.” We received a lot of recognition and set a record for recruiting the most Advisors in a single year. We led Canada in production and all of the managers on that team moved into leadership roles, managing their own branches.”
Perry experienced great success working with Sun Life but after almost 40 years with the organization he decided it was time to retire. However, it would not be long before he would be back in the recruitment game with Financial Horizons.
“When I was retiring from Sun Life, I had a conversation with the worldwide CEO Dean Connor,” says Perry. “He said, “Perry, you’ve had a great career here – what would you say that you are most proud of?” My answer was that I had recruited many Advisors, watch them develop, and eventually promoted some of them into management and other leadership positions. Promoting Advisors and seeing others excel is a great feeling. I’m proud to say that I’ve developed many leaders during my career. I think I’ve reached more people developing leaders than I would have just recruiting Advisors. Every leader I’ve promoted has recruited Advisors themselves and become a mentor and manager to others.”
At the time of Perry’s retirement from Sun Life he was directly or indirectly responsible for the recruitment of approximately 1600 Advisors and Managers.
Family, Football, and Fitness
Perry attended McMaster University in the early 1980s where he played varsity football. Today, while he no longer plays, he follows the sport as a spectator. Fitness and physical activity remain very important to his work-life balance.
“I was born in Regina, Saskatchewan,” says Perry. “My family moved to Toronto in 1970. My father got a job offer to be “the voice” of the Toronto Argonauts – he was the play-by-play announcer for the CFL Football club. I became very interested in football and played during my high school years and while attending McMaster University to study Urban Planning. After playing varsity football I signed a professional contract with the Toronto Argonauts. It was only due to a sports injury that I was forced to consider other career options. In August of 1982 I retired from football and entered the financial services industry.”
Today, Perry is a husband and father of three sons who have all chosen to follow in his footsteps and work in the Insurance Industry. His sons are also natural athletes who played high-level hockey and other sports during their school years.
“I brought my children into the industry and it will be interesting to see where their careers lead them,” says Perry. “Will they stay in the industry or take their experience elsewhere some day? I don’t know what the future holds for them but I’m excited to see where they end up.”
Pandemic aside, Perry spends time with his sons on a regular basis to partake in the fledgling sport of Pickleball. The sport is played with a ball that is a little bigger than a tennis ball, paddles are used instead of rackets, and it is played on a court that is approximately three quarters the size of a tennis court.
“The four of us try to play a few days a week,” Perry explains. “It's always nice to play with my sons. Not everybody is able to do that, so I absolutely cherish the time we get to spend together. And I think I’ve also become addicted to the game. I was a Squash player for about 25 years – while it was a great workout that I enjoyed, I definitely feel it more when I don’t get to play Pickleball for a few days,” he jokes.
Perry says that the sport is exploding across North America and championship matches are exciting to watch. During the winter months, in addition to Pickleball, Perry has played hockey every Friday morning for the past 27 years.
Perry and his family also have a home in Florida where he loves to golf. When he visits the sunshine state, he and his wife team up with friends to hit the golf course regularly.
Recruiting During a Pandemic
Perry has always been a supporter of “active” recruiting, which means getting out there to find candidates with referrals from Advisors and through personal observation. However, he admits that social media has surprised him in the way that it has proven to be more than just a “passive” recruitment tool like a newspaper or magazine ad would be.
“Recruiting is usually done face to face but can be easily adapted for physical distancing,” says Perry. “I think everyone involved in the process would love to be face to face but I’ve had great success recruiting virtually and conducting business without the need for in-person meetings. I’ve embraced social media as an active source for recruiting.”
With the use of LinkedIn Perry can review potential candidates and get a better sense of how they might fit into the roles he’s looking to fill.
“I’ve been very successful, and I continue to go online every day to search for potential candidates,” explains Perry. “Really there’s no magic to recruiting and whether you’re doing it virtually or not, you still have to make phone calls and have conversations with people to gauge their level of interest and determine if they’ll be a good fit.”
Perry explains that often his role in the hiring process is to have conversations with people who may be ready to make a career change. His approach is solutions-based, and he can help a candidate determine if they are a good fit as an Advisor or if a leadership role may be in their future.
“People don’t always know they’re ready for a change until an appealing one is presented to them,” says Perry. “A significant percentage of workers have some form of discontent with their job. It could be that they don’t like their salary, the hours or shift they’re working, or maybe they just don’t feel challenged anymore and have lost interest – my conversation as a recruiter usually begins there.”
Finding the Right People – Culture is Everything
Perry says that a good cultural fit is a great way to avoid discontent in the future. Many candidates who are recruited to work as Advisors and managers have little to no industry experience but have a keen interest and make a great cultural fit.
“In order to find out if a candidate is a good fit, we use selection tools to gauge their aptitude,” says Perry. “I also make sure candidates know that they can do a lot of good for others while enjoying a great lifestyle in this business – you meet new people and make a lot of connections. At the end of the day, I’m looking for people who want an opportunity that they can take as far as they’d like.”
The breadth and depth of Perry’s experience makes him the perfect recruiter to have a career defining conversation with people working in (or interested in) the insurance industry.
“I've been in the business for a long time,” adds Perry. “I’ve learned that while it’s important to find out if someone has an aptitude for the industry, a good cultural fit is also very important. I’m not just recruiting to the company, I’m recruiting to a team, to join a manager and an office – on a journey to success.”
Perry has a tip for career seekers; when looking for a new career, it’s really that important to find a culture you fit into.
“During my 37 years at Sun Life I was always trying to build a great culture,” says Perry. “In fact, we used the word “culture” a lot. In order to build a great team, you always need a good culture. And you want it to be so good that others will notice and say “hey, I want to be a part of that” because it makes your job that much easier as a recruiter. You can love what you do, but it’s even more important to love who you’re doing it with – it’s the most important ingredient in the recipe for success.”
La Capitale – Forming Packs with Lone Wolves
Perry’s own recipe for success at La Capitale depends greatly on connecting the right people with the right opportunities. Once again, he is building teams and creating environments that Advisors will want to be a part of. He says that a shift in the industry to provide holistic planning has today’s Advisors working together to cover multiple areas of service under one roof.
“I think there will be fewer lone wolves in the business in the future,” says Perry. “My role is to put some of those lone wolves into strong packs. The insurance industry will run differently in the future. Multi-Advisor corporations with Advisors who specialize in specific areas will work together to provide holistic insurance planning, this change is already happening.”
La Capitale is no exception to this shift, though they do have a reputation for niche products geared towards health and wellness.
“La Capitale’s niche market is working with self-employed blue and grey collar markets, selling products such as accident, illness and disability insurance,” explains Perry. “The company has a lot of good things to offer in terms of product. And for job seekers there is also the benefit of competitive compensation – which isn’t always the case for leaders and managers in the industry today. Part of my business plan is to figure out where our growth needs to be. We are looking at communities where there are a lot of self-employed workers. We plan to build teams in these markets – Sudbury, Niagara, Windsor, East GTA and further East along the 401 to Ottawa. We need people who are motivated and excited to join these teams.”
While Perry is working under an aggressive three-to-five-year business plan to double the number of offices and Advisors La Capitale currently has, he says “As long as we connect the right people with the right opportunities, it will be done.”
April Potter is a veteran writer with expertise in financial services including nearly 15 years in debt restructuring. April has written for multiple online publications on a variety of subjects and offers a range of social media. Also a painter, her background in finance is balanced by her artistic endeavors.
Perry Badham, CLU, CHS, RPR
Licensed Insurance Advisor
Principal Regional Director
403-7045 Edwards Blvd.
Mississauga, On. L5S 1X2
Cell: 905-609-1979 Office: 905-565-9996