Redefining Leadership in Wealth Management


By Max Lane Team Lead, Wealth Planning Associates | Client Relationship Manager

When I first started at Nicola Wealth, I was impressed by the volume and quality of work being done at the firm while maintaining an incredible culture and employee satisfaction. The entire Nicola Wealth team is fiercely entrepreneurial and relentlessly resourceful while having extremely high standards for excellence. This sounds like it would be a grind, but it turns out that this dedication leads to a very flexible, highly motivated and engaged group of people who leverage their diversity to bring out the best in each other.

My journey with the firm started after six years at an independent wealth management firm in Ottawa, Ontario. The lessons learned there were invaluable but even that experience couldn’t have prepared me for what was to come at Nicola Wealth.  Once I got started,  I naturally caught up. The ability came in part from my capabilities but was mostly due to the supportive environment that was conducive for collaboration with my new colleagues. The other associates were happy to have their shoulders tapped for questions or subject matter guidance, and the best part was that there was never any judgement during the learning process.  I discovered this was because of a long tradition of paying it forward and supporting those below you as you were supported before. This was a far cry from the stereotypical cutthroat environment you think of when you consider high-level finance. There is something different here, and it comes down to one thing: culture.

Early in my career, I challenged myself to elevate my professional skills by volunteering with the Junior Achievement program. Over the past eight years (five in Ottawa and three in Vancouver), I spent 21 weeks of the year mentoring high school-aged students. I taught them financial literacy and entrepreneurship by creating a product and running their own company. Through this program, I gained confidence in my public speaking and leadership abilities, but the real benefit came from learning what it is to create arenas for success.

I found out that the role of the mentor is not just being an instructor, but instead to be a resource and help catalyze collaboration. When you create a space for productive failures and groupwork synergy, incredible things result. By using this approach, I have been able to participate in and support some incredibly successful groups.

This is a style of mentorship and leadership that I recognize in the culture at Nicola Wealth and that I am proud to be a part of. We listen, grow, learn, and continually evolve together through group contributions and striving for the next level of excellence.

The Nicola Wealth culture has endured for many years within the associate group and has entrenched itself as a source of great strength. Despite over half of the associate group onboarding virtually during the pandemic, the supportive culture prevails and is stronger than ever. This speaks to the quality of the people and their passion for fostering the culture. Nicola Wealth is where I want to build my career and I feel fortunate enough to have found the opportunity to contribute as a team lead for the associate group.