- NATALIE NOBLE
STEVEN BARTEAUX, CFP, CIM, PFP, Division Director, IG Wealth Management, Halifax, Nova Scotia
"Have a great career, build a successful practice, and feel great about helping people"
There’s a well-known saying that you become who you surround yourself with. For
Steven Barteaux, CFP, CIM, PFP, and Division Director with IG Wealth Management in Halifax, that means welcoming people into his life who enrich and elevate his game every day. And while Steven is nearly 18 years into a robust and successful wealth management career with much to look forward to, he humbly shares credit for his milestones with the incredible people who have come into his life along the way.
It’s an appreciation that goes back 44 years to Steven’s parents, Peter and Kathleen Barteaux, married and still residing in Dartmouth. “They’re the ones who really gave me my work ethic,” he says. “My Mom worked hard as a nurse and my Dad served as a Director of Social Services for the Province of NS.” This family environment along with a deep commitment to various martial arts that began in his teen years gave Steven the focus, manners and discipline to compliment his work ethic. Holding three different black belts and teaching licenses earned from various Masters across North America required deep dedication.
The journey of Steven’s career officially kicks off in 2003 at London Life Insurance Co. “This was an incredible first experience and awaking into the financial services field,” he recalls. “It was appealing to me for its underlying principles around helping people. That’s how my entry into this world was positioned to me – you can have a great career, build a successful practice, and meanwhile feel great about helping people.”
With every major step on that journey, Steven associates each career transition with an important mentor-like relationship. At this time, Jonathan Lewis, now president of Eastport Financial Group, filled that role. “He helped recruit me into the firm and to this very day he remains an inspiration,” says Steven. “He initially sparked that fire I still have for this industry.”
At this point, Steven was a young 26 and found himself lacking a warm market to draw upon. “I started from scratch,” he says. “During that year, we were expecting our first baby daughter, so I left a year later in 2004 to look at a more predictable salary type role with Scotia Bank. The stability the banks offered was calling to a younger man at that time. It was a great learning platform with the multitude of services Scotia Bank provided.”
By 2007, Steven was ready to take on more. “I joined the Royal Bank as an account manager looking after mortgages, investments, financial planning, working as kind of a jack of all trades,” he says. “I stayed there for five wonderful years and saw most everything under the sun.” That includes the worst market crash the world had seen since 1929. “In 2008, I was a younger man, trying to rebalance and save people’s retirement savings from falling off a ledge in investment speak,” he remembers. “I met with hundreds of people in panic mode that year. We were on overdrive in terms of appointments to keep people from cashing right out of the market. And that’s why we do this. We’re here to provide people reassurance that these events never last and we could see them through with a plan.”
When the market came roaring back in 2009, many of Steven’s clients expressed gratitude for his guidance as their investments recovered quickly. With his natural affinity for both banking and people, Steven was promoted to Senior Account Manager within six months. “This where I really felt another big draw into the financial services industry as a career,” he says. “People and relationships are at the core of everything I do. I was entrusted to train some younger staff coming in and I also took over some volatile and escalating scenarios on behalf of other managers. More times than not, I could solve the issue and keep the clients on.”
As the five years came to a close, Steven had just finished his Certified Financial Planner Certification (CFP)® designation. “I had a vision of being of being a proper, full service financial planner and growing a book. During that year the Royal Bank was still reeling from 2008 so they put a temporary freeze on resources and positions, including financial planning,” says Steven. “So, it looked like what I wanted to do may not happen there, even though I learned so much and really loved my time there.”
The craft, art and science in financial planning
In the early Fall of 2012 Steven moved on to Belmont Health & Wealth. “If there is such a thing as fate, this move was meant to be,” says Steven. “That’s where I met a great mentor Michael Moores who brought me into the firm. He was brilliant with a knack for Finance, a good friend and wonderful man who took me under his wing.”
Steven worked at Belmont for five years as a CFP, building his practice to align with his career trajectory. “This is where I learned the craft, art and science of financial planning,” says Steven. “You have to blend all the numbers to make them work, almost like baking. Each component intermingles with the others,” he explains. “If I only know one piece of someone’s financial situation, I really can’t give great advice on how it all ties together.” Together Mike and Steve took Belmont Group’s Individual Pension and Savings departments to the next level with record years of company growth.
2017 brought about a transformation that holds some of Steven’s proudest work experience thus far in his career as he was hired on to lead the wealth management division at the Credit Union in Truro, NS. The small Credit Union had primarily done banking up until 2015 when they purchased a local book of business from Wayne Gillis, long-respected and well-known financial planner for the region. Wayne was soon to become another key relationship in Steven’s list of mentors he’s gathered along his journey. “I came up as an outsider from town to take over from Wayne as he retired,” says Steven. “The mission was to preserve those assets worth upwards of $50 million, grow them, and lead the division in a new direction.” But being an outsider from the city can draw skepticism from locals who’ve been with the same advisor for decades. Winning them over would not be easy. “I had very big shoes to fill. I had to be extremely genuine, completely myself, and put long days and nights into it,” adds Steven. “We were able to successfully transition Wayne into retirement and retain 97 per cent of the book.”
The growth Steven was able to achieve for his division took the Credit Union to the next level. “I’m really proud of that. There was a lot of speculation or doubt into why they had hired a ‘city boy,’” says Steven. “But the community accepted me very widely and I’ll always be grateful.”
His clients concur. “I have known Steve since the spring of 2017 when he was introduced to me by my long-time financial advisor who was retiring,” says Sharon Prest. “Steve has been great to deal with. He takes the time to answer all of my questions and concerns. I would recommend Steve to anyone who is looking for a financial adviser that understands your needs. He will take the time to make sure you are comfortable with your investments.”
Unfortunately, in late 2020, the Truro Credit Union amalgamated with others around the province with the new company headed up in Vancouver to become part of larger Aviso Wealth. With Truro no longer needing a VP to run their smaller wealth management department, everything Steven cherished about his experience there was dissipating. But Steven’s typical silver lining shone through in another influential mentor, Truro Credit Union CEO at the time Daryl Kuhn who had just retired.
“Daryl and I had massive plans for the Credit Union,” says Steven. “When they went in that different direction, the writing on the wall said, ‘it’s time to come home.’ I knew I could not risk the future and stability for my three children on various ‘what ifs.’ We didn’t know where things were going with this amalgamation. It had already been drawn out over years of uncertainty and my children are everything to me, but I do understand and wish them nothing but the best.”
So, Steven returned to Scotia Bank in Halifax to join a team in a fairly new role created by the Bank. “They wanted to explore and incorporate more holistic financial planning as a craft,” says Steven. “This team’s well respected manager Brian Wood is absolutely wonderful, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for the last chapter in my career.”
Right on time, Steven met Joel Welch, regional director with IG Wealth in the Maritimes. Steven was brought on to coach younger advisors in the industry while managing and growing his existing book. The move brought Steven, always appreciative of the role models in his life, full circle and passing that wealth of knowledge and professionalism on to excited young advisors entering the industry today. “I’m 44 now and plan to spend the remainder of my years at IG Wealth,” says Steven. “IG is a wonderful company that has undergone critical changes in the past 5 years and is now positioned to be at the forefront of the industry. The fact that I’ve got all these years of great experience, along with so many to look forward to ahead of me really hit home and bolstered my conviction when I came back from Truro.”
Today, Steven need look no further than his own home for the people who propel him forward, bringing joy and drive to his life. “Lisa, my incredible wife of 18 years has been an extremely amazing support system throughout my career while she worked as a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at IWK Health Centre,” says Steven. “We have three beautiful girls aged 16, 15, and three-and-a-half years.”
It’s that value Steven places into relationships and families within his work each day that his clients have long appreciated. “Steven has been our financial advisor for a number of years,” share Elizabeth and Ross Norman. “He has helped us through all the financial paths that are encountered when you enter retirement age. He always keeps us informed of any changes to our portfolio and has given us great advice regarding our investments while encouraging us to seek legal advice regarding power of attorney and health care directives for the benefit of our family. We have come to know him and his wonderful family and look forward to many more years of continuing our relationship.”
Natalie Noble’s love of writing stems from her passion for hearing and sharing people’s stories. Over the years she has written for various business, real estate, and agriculture publications. At the heart of her work is a desire to continuously learn and connect.
Steven Barteaux, CFP®, CIM®
104 – 238 Brownlow Avenue,
Dartmouth, NS, B4B 0H7
902 - 210 - 0636