WESLEY DUECK, BA, BTh, CFP®, Executive Financial Consultant, IG Wealth Management, Winnipeg, MB
"A personal approach to building long-lasting relationships"
Music has always been a part of Wes Dueck’s life. As a young adult, Wes was involved in the choir during his days at Winnipeg’s Canadian Mennonite University. He served on the board of directors with the Winnipeg Youth Orchestra. Today, he is married with three children, music still fills his house; his wife is a music teacher with a home studio, his daughter plays the violin, and his youngest son plays the cello.
It should be no surprise, then, that Wes, an Executive Financial Planner with IG Wealth Management in Winnipeg, sings from his own song sheet when it comes to taking care of his clients. Nineteen years in the industry, Wes has fine-tuned a personal and almost old-fashioned approach to service that strengthens his connection to clients and keeps his practice on a steady trajectory of success.
A slightly winding path to finance
Finance, however, wasn’t always in his sights. “I actually didn’t have my eyes on this at all,” says Wes. “When you’re really young, just coming out of high school, you don’t really know what you want. At least, I didn’t.” His path took some twists and turns.
After graduating high school, Wes enrolled in what is now the Canadian Mennonite University, a small bible college in Winnipeg, where he studied theology for three years. He went on to study at the University of Manitoba, where he attained a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in geography.
Geography? “I always enjoyed all the aspects of geography,” he says. My dad was an elementary school teacher who taught a variety of subjects. On summer holidays, mom and dad would take us on trips and see things around North America that had a topography or a geographical bent.”
Ultimately, Wes decided he wanted a career where he could help people. He was outgoing. He had a lot of friends, knew a lot of people. He talked to some career colleges, completed some aptitude tests, and soon found himself talking to people in the finance industry. “I took a business administration program and was exposed to the time value of money,” he says. “That’s a hallmark of our business. What is the dollar worth today? What is it worth tomorrow? We got into these calculations and I thought, this can apply to everybody.”
Wes’s first foray into the finance industry was as a volunteer at IG Wealth Management, placed there by CDI College. It was an opportunity to become immersed in the environment and see firsthand if the investment and financial world was for him.
“I applied and started working there in the client services division,” he says. “I was answering calls from Consultants, from Financial Planners, about various financial things.” It didn’t take long to realize that he was already capable of doing much of what the Advisors he took calls from were doing. He began exploring courses, interviewed Advisors to gain an even greater understanding and to ensure the profession was a good fit, and became a Consultant with IG in December 2002. He was a Division Director for 12 years, where he also helped train new Consultants, then focused solely on his own practice in 2018.
Everyone needs financial help – why not from me?
Instead of pursuing a certain client niche, Wes grew his client list organically – at first, primarily, through friends and contacts in his own circle, most around his own age, which was 30 at the time.
“One of my thoughts at the time, and it’s never really gone away, is everybody needs some aspect of what we do,” he says. “Everybody needs to talk about their financial picture. Many don’t want to, but they need to. They have no knowledge or no interest, but at some point they’re going to come across a scenario where they’re either buying a house and they need to talk about a mortgage, and they’ll need to understand things like interest rates, down payments, and the insurance component.”
“If so many people in my age bracket are doing this, why wouldn’t it be with me?”
Wes’s desire to help clients achieve the life goals most people pursue, combined with the fact that he already had a large circle of contacts from which to draw on – from his high school, his hometown of Steinbach, his church, and his hobbies -- led to building a growing list of clients close to his own age, give or take five years either way.
His list is 100 percent private individuals, couples, and families. “My natural market seems to be individuals,” he says. “I have gotten quite good at that side of the business.” Beginning with and sticking to that large natural market has been, for Wes, one of the keys to his success. He is able can help and guide clients so well because he understands them.
Getting the complete picture is essential
That understanding goes a long way when it comes to the actual process of financial planning, where getting all the details of someone’s life is critical to developing a plan that works for them.
“With our planning software, with our computer programs, when we start building retirement plans and things like that, I need to know all the details,” says Wes. “It's pretty hard for people to hide something or tell me something that's not complete or not accurate.” Rest assured, he will get the details, because ensuring he has all the pertinent information to build the best plan possible is another of Wes’s keys to success.
Saying hello goes a long way
Getting the details, just like getting new clients, often comes down to that good, old-fashioned personal touch; being friendly, respectful, and showing clients the attention they deserve. Wes makes it a solid rule to respond to clients who contact him within an hour or two…always. “To me, listening and connecting is important. I like to get back to people either way. I think that's kind of a key thing. If I don't have an answer, I want to send a quick response, say, hey I care about you. I got your question. I'll get back to you when I know the answer. They know they’re heard.”
For Wes, it’s also the “quick check-in” that helps keep him remain connected to clients and set the stage for future conversations about their finances. “I learned that almost anyone is receptive to me dropping by for two minutes or five minutes,” say Wes. “A really quick check-in can go miles. It’s old fashioned in a way, but it's saying you care about them. It gets the message across that you’re alive and well and not avoiding them.”
Wes finds that dropping in for a few minutes to say hi is a better of way of arranging a future meeting than simply scheduling them at regular intervals, like a recurring dentist appointment. “Some people say that you should review with clients just like a dentist reviews your teeth,” he says. “I’ve always found there needs to be a reason for the meeting. You can still review, but it’s important to bring up something maybe they’ve never seen before, show them something. Ask him to consider this, share information they may not have otherwise paid attention to. It creates a reason for the meting. People see that as important and they want to engage.”
Engaging with clients and seeing that client-advisor relationship transform into a friendship, is an aspect of his practice that Wes finds most rewarding. He values being invited into their lives and being a part of their trusted circle. He also enjoys getting to know his clients’ kids, who, increasingly, are referred to Wes by their parents.
“The last two years have been big years for being introduced and invited to meet with the kids of clients,” he says. Meeting the kids, most of whom are in their 20s, says Wes, is also an opportunity for him to meet with people who otherwise might not get any attention from an advisor. “That is a big compliment. It’s certainly a thank you. It’s part of a trust.”
Working with a great team towards a great future
In December 2021, Royle Derbitsky joined the team along with Assistant Belinda McKinson. Royle has extensive experience on the corporate side, and this was something Wes was looking for. “His knowledge was too good to pass on. I needed him,” says Wes.
Royle has 30 years of experience in financial planning, so the fit was perfect. It also makes a good succession plan. “I’m being introduced to clients over time, and we hope to have a seamless experience for everyone.”
With a good team around him, Wes is able to look after all aspects of client's financial needs. He also has access to a variety of IG’s specialists, who can help with securities, mortgages planning, protection plan, and other areas where he requires more technical details.
Nearly two decades into his career, Wes is a well-rounded Consultant who’s developed his own approach to a practice serving clients well as he guides them towards their financial goals. His years of experience and his (sometimes) unlikely path to his profession has given him both a wide and grounded perspective that puts people first. It’s a perspective that has brought him friends and success for 19 years and, will no doubt, reward him with continued happiness in his practice for years to come.
For a music-lover like Wes, that’s something to sing about.
Janice Tuff is a professional writer and communicator who got her start in radio copywriting.
Three decades later, she continues to draw upon the valuable lessons learned in her radio days: grab your audience’s attention quickly and always tell an engaging tale.
Wesley Dueck, BA, BTh, CFP
Executive Financial Consultant
IG Wealth Management Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
200 Regent Avenue West
Lagimodiere Winnipeg, MB, R2C 3B3
t: 204-222-1700 c : 204-781-6850