Advisor of the Year winners unveiled

By Kate McCaffery | November 9, 2005 | Last updated on November 9, 2005
3 min read

The cat’s out of the bag, the judges have made their decisions and it’s time to officially announce the winners of the 2005 Advisor of the Year awards.

The winners of our seventh annual competition are Carmela Harnum of Dundee Wealth Management in Toronto, JoAnne Anderson and Stephen Koury of MoneyPOWER and Inter-Equity Asset Management in Mississauga, Ontario, and Tim Carroll of Assante Estate and Insurance Services in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

The judging panel of past winners and industry peers awarded Harnum the prize for best tax solution while Anderson and Koury’s work earned an award for best standard financial plan. Carroll’s submission earned kudos in the category for best insurance solution.

Anderson says she and Koury entered the contest after hearing about it at an Advisor Group sponsored John Bowen presentation earlier this year. “At that time we were looking for some ideas to differentiate ourselves from the pack. It dawned on us that the only way we were going to be recognizes as experts was if our peers and our clients recognized us in that way. We made the decision then that we wanted to put our skills up against other advisors,” she says.

“We’ve always felt that we offer something a little different than what we see among the general advisor population. We thought this was an excellent way to showcase that.”

Carroll says he entered the contest on the advice of his colleagues who’d reviewed the case he was working on. “I have never really entered a contest like this before. I compete in sports a bit, but to enter something of a competitive nature in relation to my profession was a first,” he says. “It’s gratifying and it makes me want to do more of this kind of work. [Winning this] actually motivated me to focus my energies and efforts on doing more high-level work.”

Others who’ve entered the contest say the exercise is gratifying, but it also provides focus, a sense of perspective, and ultimately has helped them articulate the steps they go through on a regular basis to build financial strategies for their clients.

“We could have written another 20 pages, literally, on this client. It just shows the type of work and the amount of work that goes into proper financial planning and putting a plan together,” says Koury. “You’re doing it on a day to day basis, you sometimes don’t realize how much actual work you can do on a plan.”

His partner agrees. In choosing the plan they wanted to submit, Anderson and Koury narrowed the field down to five separate client cases, then chose the client the most enjoyed working with. “We feel that we’ve made a difference with most of our clients, but in this particular case there was a mutual enthusiasm about the process,” she says.

“It was quite eye-opening to us to go back over the time we’ve worked with her. When we went back and put together things like the original plan we’d done and all the emails we’d sent back and forth in the interim and all of the things that were in our files, we realized just how many parts of her life we had touched. We think that’s very representative of how we deal with our clients.”

Summaries of the winning cases will appear in the January issue of Advisor’s Edge magazine. To read summaries from last year’s AOTY award winners, please click here for the Ontario region, Prairie region and B.C. & Territories region.

If you would like more information on how to submit your own financial planning case studies to our awards program, please click here to visit the AOTY awards program website.

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Kate McCaffery