Tom Rice named 2003 Career Achievement Award winner

By Staff | September 19, 2003 | Last updated on September 19, 2003
4 min read

(September 19, 2003) After a 35-year career and numerous successes in the financial services industry, Tom Rice has reached the stage where he doesn’t need to work anymore. And although he stepped down as CEO of Rice Financial, the firm he founded, earlier this year, Rice is staying on as chair of Rice Capital Management, continues to provide advice to clients, and is looking ahead to new projects, such as writing a book. Rice is the recipient of the third annual Career Achievement Award, presented by the ADVISOR Group.

Part of the annual Advisor of the Year Awards, the Career Achievement Award is “designed to acknowledge individuals who, through the course of their career, have helped build the financial services industry in Canada,” says ADVISOR Group editor Darin Diehl. The judging panel was comprised of the editorial teams from Advisor’s Edge, and Objectif Conseiller.

“It’s been an incredible journey and I have no regrets,” says the 63-year-old Rice, who credits his success to a strong work ethic, sound business practices and personal financial discipline.

“If you invest money in your own business, you create opportunities for yourself,” he says. “And it’s certainly paid off. I have choices today as do my clients.”

Rice began his career as a life insurance agent with Crown Life in 1968 in Brandon, Manitoba, later establishing Rice Financial as a one-man storefront operation.

Today, the Winnipeg-based firm has close to 50 branch and associate offices across Canada, serving 175,000 clients, with assets under administration of more than $4 billion.

“If you just work and commit to good, solid principles, it’s amazing what evolves,” Rice says, noting that he never had a specific goal in mind for his firm. “But you have to go the extra mile, beyond what people expect.”

Mentoring was an important part of Rice’s early financial education. “In those days, we were allowed to share with others in the industry. It made me a far better advisor and a far better person as well as challenging me with new opportunities.”

When asked about changes to the industry over the last three decades, Rice says investors are much more sophisticated and knowledgeable, mostly thanks to increased media coverage of financial issues. “It was taboo to talk about finance and investments back then. It’s completely different today. Everybody’s trying to learn more.”

That increased knowledge makes it easier for today’s advisor to get in front of customers, he says. “I used to look at birth and wedding announcements for prospecting and cold-calling tips. Today, people know they need things like RRSPs, which were virtually unknown in 1970.”

Despite the changes, the need for basic life insurance, money management and sound investment advice is still there, Rice adds.

Mal Anderson, president and CEO of Rice Financial, describes Rice as a proactive industry leader and a strong advocate for the rights of consumers. “He has provided exceptional service that reflects the best interests of investors and consumers seeking financial advice,” Anderson wrote in his nomination letter.

“Tom Rice continues to help lead an ever expanding and evolving group of companies, remains active in the industry through various associations and committees, and still serves a sizable book of clients,” adds Diehl.

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Rice is a director of both IFIC and the Independent Financial Brokers of Canada, a member of the Manitoba Securities Commission advisory board, and a founding member of Conference of Advanced Life Underwriting and the Federation of Independent Mutual Fund Dealers.

He’s also a life member of the Million Dollar Round Table and credits his membership in that organization in the early 1970s as a career turning point. Rice is active in Manitoba’s volunteer community — the firm’s annual charity golf tournament has raised nearly half a million dollars since 1985.

Rice is the third individual to be named as a Career Achievement Award winner. Investment consultant Robert Bell, who introduced BellCharts to the industry, was last year’s winner. Jim Rogers, president of Vancouver-based Rogers Group Financial Advisors was the first recipient of the award in 2001.

Tom Rice will receive his award at the Advisor Forum in Toronto, scheduled for November 18 and 19.

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For more information about the Advisor of the Year Awards program and this year’s regional Advisors of the Year, click here.

Filed by Doug Watt,, , with additional reporting by Steven Lamb.

(09/19/03) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.