Q&A with Shane McMahon: Leveraging Independence and Innovative Technology to Drive Client Success
Nestled in the heart of Vancouver, OceanFront Wealth Inc. is a trailblazing wealth management firm that caters to a select group of high-net-worth individuals, families, and incorporated professionals. With their top-notch attention to detail and collaborative approach, they offer comprehensive advisory services tailored to your unique financial needs. Whether it’s intricate financial planning or personalized portfolio strategies, OceanFront Wealth Inc.’s service offering through its subsidiaries has you covered to help you achieve your financial goals.
In November 2021, OceanFront Wealth Inc’s subsidiary, OceanFront Investment Counsel Inc. took a leap forward by joining forces with Advisor Solutions by Purpose. By leveraging the cutting-edge wealth platform, they're now able to take their business to the next level while providing clients with an unparalleled digital experience. This exciting partnership has enabled OceanFront Investment Counsel Inc. to keep scaling their business with ease, all while maintaining a laser focus on delivering the highest quality services to their valued clients. With the innovative tools and technologies offered by our platform, they can now streamline their operations and offer an enhanced approach to wealth management.
We recently had the privilege of chatting with Shane McMahon, OceanFront Wealth Inc.'s Senior Wealth Partner and OceanFront Investment Counsel Inc.’s Portfolio Manager, to get an inside look at what drives him and his team to excel. During our conversation, we dove deep into the motivations behind their decision to take their business independent, their partnership with Advisor Solutions by Purpose, and Shane's top tips for those looking to follow in their footsteps.
What was your motivation to go independent?
The decision to become independent was motivated by our aspiration for autonomy and the goal of creating an exceptional client experience.
Our due diligence to go independent was extensive, almost to a fault at times,
We knew that we needed a firm that shared our vision of building the best ensemble firm in Canada that could help families achieve their life goals. Additionally, we sought a platform that would enable seamless integration of our technology, considering that the wealth management sector in Canada lags behind the United States by approximately 10 to 12 years.
Thus, we required a comprehensive platform capable of assisting us in catching up, encompassing the full integration of our CRM, portfolio management system, financial planning tools, and various other components. In essence, our vision was to create a platform that would embrace technology and help us deliver a more robust client experience.
When we first met with Jeff Gans, he was the only one who really understood our vision and was able to give us an illustration of how it could actually come to fruition. While it's still a work in progress, and we know that nothing is ever truly finished, it gave us the confidence that PAS is committed to our vision and to helping us scale through technology. We needed a platform that would allow us to serve our clients better and grow our business, and PAS was the one that met those needs.
Can you elaborate on the independent advisory aspect of your business and how that supports the way in which you service your clients?
When we first meet with a client, we have what's called an introduction call. During this call, it's really important for us to highlight why independence is so crucial. We believe that being independent allows us to make unbiased decisions when it comes to recommending products or investments. We have a fiduciary duty as portfolio managers, which means we always act in the best interest of our clients. Being independent gives us even more freedom to do that.
Our clients know that when they work with us, they're getting a level of independence that they might not find elsewhere. But that's just one aspect of it. Another benefit of being independent is that we can make changes more quickly. If we think something is important to our clients, we can put our heads together and figure out a way to make it happen.
We don't have to wait for approval from a larger organization that has to satisfy hundreds of advisors. We just have to make sure it satisfies our clients and our firm’s requirements. If it's important to our clients, we'll do everything we can to make it happen.
One great example of the benefits of our independence is the app that we created for our clients. Prior to going independent, we would not have been able to make that decision on our own – we had to get approval from a larger organization.
With Purpose’s commitment to advancing our technology, we were able to create an app that clients can access right from their phones. This was a big deal for our clients.
And we're not stopping there – we're already working on integrating our planning software to continue providing the best possible experience for our clients. Being independent means that we can make decisions quickly and easily, as long as it's something that our top clients are looking for. We always investigate to see if we can make it happen. And we can convey to our clients just how important our independence is because it allows us to be more responsive and agile in meeting their needs.
How has your partnership with Advisor Solutions by Purpose benefited your practice?
In essence, there are three key aspects that make our partnership with PAS stand out.
First, technology is of the utmost importance to us. We believe that innovation should be a constant pursuit. This aligns well with PAS commitment to continuously advancing their technology offerings. Second, PAS has been very responsive to our specific business needs, and we appreciate that we can work directly with them rather than having to go through a dealer. Third, we value the partnership with PAS because they don't have hundreds of advisory teams like some other firms.
This allows us to have a more personal and meaningful partnership, especially as we continue growing. Additionally, we have been able to tap into Jeff's extensive knowledge and experience, which has been incredibly helpful for us in shaping our business vision. Overall, these three aspects – technology, responsiveness, and partnership – make our collaboration with PAS very valuable to us.
What advice would you give to other advisors looking to go independent?
The biggest thing I can offer is to ensure you have a strong support system before you start. Building something like this is a huge undertaking, even more than we thought it would be. Our project was a success, but that's because we were lucky to have the right people around us. Our President, Aman Lidder has a lot of experience and understood our vision from the beginning. Without people like that, it won't work. You might make progress, but it'll be all over the place. So, it's really important to have experienced and motivated people who share your vision and are willing to put in the work. Trust me; it's a lot more work than you can imagine.
One important thing to keep in mind when building a company is to have the right kind of experience around you. And if you're transitioning from being an investment advisor to building a company, it's a completely different ballgame. You're not just running a practice anymore - you're creating something bigger. And if you want to build something successful, you have to take care of your team. This applies to any industry – whether it's wealth management, coal mining, or tech.
You need to understand what your team wants. And the truth is, most people want four things: to feel appreciated, to be paid fairly, to have opportunities for career growth, and to enjoy their working environment. When you go independent, you're probably doing it to build something bigger and better, but you can't do that without a good team. So, it's important to focus on those four elements and make sure your team is happy.
We're not perfect, but we always keep those things in mind because, without our team, we wouldn't be where we are today. If you can address three of those four things, you're doing well. But if you can get all four right, you're golden!