2016 was quite the year for Rob Tétrault. Adding 77 new clients and boosting assets under management by $95 million (a 75% increase) would’ve led some advisors to take their foot off of the gas, but not for Tétrault: 2017 is proving to be another blockbuster year.
Tétrault has added another $50 million in AUM year-to-date and is consistently signing new clients. On top of all of that, Tétrault and his wife recently celebrated the arrival of their fourth child (which meant he had to miss the WP Awards in Toronto last month).
“I have a very strong team and I’m lucky enough to have found really good people who work well together and care about the clients as much as I do,” says Tétrault, who is head of the Tétrault Wealth Advisory Group at National Bank Financial. “Everyone embraces our model and the commitment to clients we have here. As a result, most of our clients come in as a referral.”
Tétrault leads a team of eight and has carefully handpicked each person. Instead of hiring people based on their education or experience, Tétrault brought people on who he trusted; people he knew were hardworking and reliable. “I grew up in a small town about an hour south east of Winnipeg, called Marchand, and ended up hiring people I knew growing up,” he says. “My head of operations and I grew up together. I knew he had a strong work ethic and was loyal. I knew he cared about people.”
Tétrault is committed to marketing and has worked hard to establish a brand in the local Franco-Manitoban community. He believes that offering specialized services to this group has been a key driver to his growth.
Achieving good investment returns has also played an integral role in enabling Tétrault to grow his client base. Tétrault doesn’t believe in “reinventing the wheel” or taking on unnecessary risk in order to find returns. He likes blue chip equities and has been overweight U.S. and global stocks recently, which has helped his portfolios. Tétrault has also made changes on the fixed income side – in his defensive, balanced and conservative portfolios.
“We use alternatives to fixed income such as Principal Protected Notes, equity linked GICs and mortgage investment corps, and that greatly helps reduce risk and volatility and increase risk adjusted returns,” Tétrault, who worked as a litigation lawyer before completing a finance MBA, says. “We also have a portion of our portfolio in real assets, like REITs and infrastructure, because long-term there is less volatility and they generally create consistent, stable income streams that prevent the portfolios from suffering as much in a downturn.”
Although he missed the recent WP awards gala, Tétrault was awarded the prize for Philanthropy and Community Service of the Year in his absence. Giving back to the community is clearly a top priority. Tétrault is the longest-serving president of the St. Boniface Chamber of Commerce and is also the co-founder of Le Classique, an outdoor winter hockey festival. Five years ago, Tétrault founded a national charity – the Canadian CMV foundation – which has raised over $250,000 and is in talks with the government to change legislation.
“Both of my sets of grandparents were charitable people, they didn’t have much but would always give whatever they could,” Tétrault says. “It’s important to give back to those less fortunate. If you don’t have money, you can give your time.”