John Nicola is inducted into the Wealth Professional Hall of Fame


 

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John Nicola, CFP, CLU, CHFC

Chairman and CEO
Nicola Wealth Management
Years as an advisor: 44

Aside from being a highly accomplished financial advisor with more than four decades of experience, John Nicola has developed quite the reputation as a businessman. Named Business in Vancouver’s BC CEO of the Year in 2015 in the small to medium private company category, he was also honoured as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in financial and professional services in the Pacific region in 2011. Those accolades recognize his stewardship of Nicola Wealth Management into one of Canada’s top advisory firms, with $5 billion in assets under management. Nicola has come a long way from his early days selling insurance for Metropolitan Life – as has the business itself.

“The changes have been legion,” he says. “Changes in technology, products, distribution, compensation and the business model are all huge developments. It is a completely different industry today.”

In addition to building Nicola Wealth into an advisory powerhouse, Nicola is a founding member of the Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting [CALU], where he is also a past chair. He holds CLU, ChFC and CLP designations, believing education is hugely important for advisors. “It helps when many more advisors have CFP, CIM or CFA designations,” he says. “I also find that, based on my own experience, younger advisors are more knowledgeable than my peer group was when we were the same age.”

While younger advisors might have more training, Nicola is concerned that there simply aren’t enough of them, which he says will have dire consequences in the long run. “Overall, I think the industry has done a poor job of showing younger people what a great career being an advisor can be,” he says. “The average age of advisors is far too old, and we need to get serious about recruiting and training up-and-comers.”

In that regard, Nicola Wealth Management is leading by example, focusing on a longer development cycle for young advisors and reducing the pressure for them to find new clients. “We want advisors to develop a great combination of technical competency and high EQ,” Nicola says. “If we are successful in that, then our advisors will not only perform well but will be referable and won’t need to prospect in a traditional way.”