OB Report
July 2022
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A Message from Our President and CEO: We Are Listening

Debra Hewson By Debra Doucette President and Chief Executive Officer

I’m sure you’ve heard me say it before, and I’ll say it again: at Odlum Brown, building portfolios is our business, but building relationships is our strength. Nothing is more important to us than providing our clients with the best possible experience, and ensuring our relationships with them are strong and lasting.

As we all know, a lot has happened over the past few years – in fact, that may be an understatement! As we all emerge from the pandemic and as Odlum Brown approaches our 100th anniversary as a firm, we felt this was the perfect time to gather input from our clients in a thorough and deliberate way.

In April, we launched the Odlum Brown Client Insights program to do just that. In partnership with an independent consultant, we surveyed a sample of over 12,000 clients to hear what was on their minds, learn about their experiences with our firm and their advisor, and discover what more we could do to meet their needs.

We are very proud of the results we received.


Indeed, many of the themes within the results confirm that what we are doing is working.

Common words our clients used to describe us were reliable, trustworthy, friendly, knowledgeable and professional – all things we aspire to be. We were also not surprised to learn that, when it came to why newer clients chose to work with Odlum Brown, the personal connection with the advisor and the strength of our firm’s brand and reputation rose to the top.

We learned that the most important impact we have on clients and their families is that they now have a clear and meaningful vision for life in retirement. This is wonderful to hear, as guiding clients through significant life transitions is a critical piece of what we do. At the same time, financial success means different things to different people, and we help clients define and achieve a broad range of individual objectives. Survey results indicated that one of the dimensions with the highest importance rating was having an advisor who fully understands the client’s financial goals, and we were pleased to also meet or exceed expectations in this area.

Most gratifyingly, we learned that a significant proportion of our clients provided referrals over the last few years – which, as we all know, has been a trying time. We always knew that our business was built on relationships, but for our clients to look to us as a trusted resource when it mattered most truly means the world to us.

These results give us much to celebrate and reinforce the value we offer, yet just as important are the opportunities for improvement. We are committed to not only hearing from our clients, but taking action on what they tell us.

We learned that there is strong value for clients in the current communications and meeting opportunities we offer, and those will continue. At the same time, client needs are evolving with respect to how the client experience is delivered. Virtual is here to stay, and based on these results we will explore ways to offer the most effective, flexible solutions going forward.

We also gained some useful insights into demographic differences in the way clients want to connect and receive information, as well as the impacts that are most important to them. For a firm that prides ourselves on investing for generations, we are excited to delve further into this data.

The meaningful feedback gathered from the Odlum Brown Client Insights program will lay the foundation for our firm’s strategic initiatives over the next several years, as we strive to meet our clients’ needs.

If you are a client who received and participated in the survey – my sincerest thanks. Your input is so valuable, and as a token of appreciation we have made a special donation to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation on behalf of everyone who responded.

If you didn’t get the chance to participate – we still want to hear from you. Your Odlum Brown Investment Advisor or Portfolio Manager is always a phone call or email away, and would love to learn more about your experience as a client.

At Odlum Brown, clients come first – always. For nearly 100 years, that commitment has not wavered, and as we envision the future of our great firm, we know it never will. Thank you for partnering with us on your journey to achieve your financial goals.