Colin White

Q&A with Colin White: Insights on Unique Client Service Approaches and the Impact of Partnership

Verecan Capital Management Inc. is an independent financial advisory firm specializing in client-centered financial advice and discretionary investment management. Boasting over 30 years of collective industry experience, the team prioritizes ethical practices, avoiding commission-based incentives for advice that’s genuinely in the client’s best interest. Success is measured by client satisfaction and achievement of investment objectives. Verecan is currently a registered portfolio manager in Nova Scotia, Ontario, and British Columbia, with the goal of expanding its registration nationwide.

In July 2023, Verecan Capital Management Inc. selected Advisor Solutions for its technological, operational, and strategic assistance, underscoring their trust in ASP’s capability to enhance Verecan’s commitment to superior client service. This collaboration aims to support an outstanding client experience that aligns with helping clients meet their objectives.

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Colin White, CEO and president at Verecan, to discuss the inspiration behind his founding of Verecan, its unique approach to client service, and the role their partnership with Advisor Solutions by Purpose has played in the process.

1. Can you provide some background on your journey to independence?

In my over 30 years of experience, I’ve witnessed significant changes, particularly with the dominance of major players in the financial industry. So, frustrations mounted over time as the organizational goals often conflicted with client-centered approaches. This led to the formation of Verecan, driven by myself and a group of like-minded advisors seeking to provide better service to our clients independently.

2. What motivated you to pursue independence and launch Verecan?

The motivation stemmed from those years of frustration within the industry’s traditional structures, where organizational goals often conflicted with client needs. After attracting a group of similarly frustrated individuals, we decided to take matters into our own hands and establish Verecan to offer a more client-centric approach.

3. How does Verecan differ from traditional firms in terms of client servicing philosophy?

Verecan operates on a non-traditional structure where our team members aren’t driven by sales quotas or commissions. We embrace a true team approach, making sure clients have seamless access to expertise across our eight offices in Canada. There are no barriers to clients interacting with different team members based on their needs, as everyone is aligned towards providing exceptional service without being hindered by sales targets.

4. Can you share insights into the process of setting up an independent firm and the role of Purpose Advisor Solutions?

Establishing an independent firm was a significant endeavour that required meticulous planning and the assembly of the right team. When we went into the Canadian market looking for a partner, it was very difficult because there are different reasons firms exist, and we found a lot don’t align with what we wanted to do. The technology offered by Purpose is one-of-a-kind in Canada. They were clear about not wanting to own our business, nor did they want us to own theirs. Instead, they aimed to be a vendor. This approach was exactly what we were seeking and felt like a breath of fresh air. Their support during the transition was exceptional, with dedicated assistance and on-the-ground support across our offices, despite the challenges we faced.

5. What advice would you offer to advisory teams considering independence in the Canadian market?

My advice for Canadian advisors looking to start their own firm is to begin with your team. Building a strong team is the most important part. Investing in talent early and aligning values are essential steps in laying a solid foundation for success. Articulating a clear vision to all involved ensures everyone is on the same page, driving progress towards shared goals. Also, thorough planning is crucial, including addressing compliance, legal, and marketing aspects.

6. As a final piece of advice, what would you recommend to Canadian advisors aspiring to start their own firm?

Begin with your team. Investing in talent early and ensuring alignment of values lays the groundwork for success. Prioritize building a strong foundation, addressing compliance, legal, and marketing aspects, and articulate a clear vision to all involved. With a committed team and a shared purpose, you can effectively navigate the challenges of starting your own firm.


Our Thoughts

Colin White’s transition to independence through his founding of Verecan Capital Management marks a shift towards a client-centric approach in the financial advisory industry. His firm’s innovative non-traditional structure, characterized by the absence of sales quotas and an emphasis on team collaboration, sets a new standard for client service across its Canadian offices.

His story underscores the importance of building a strong team, aligning values, and comprehensive planning for advisory teams considering independence. Furthermore, Verecan’s journey illustrates the transformative potential of independence in enhancing client experiences and shaping a more responsive financial advisory landscape.

Our thoughts

Next Story: Purpose and Goals with Roderick Walsh

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