Louis H. DeConinck - The Entrepreneur
“I was privileged to join iA Financial Group. That an entrepreneur like me can be an intrapreneur – I still pinch myself almost every day. I’m very lucky.” This is how Louis H. DeConinck describes his work since 2001 at Investia, iA Financial Group’s group insurance brokerage firm. And for good reason: Mr. DeConinck has seen its inner workings since day 1.
“I had been working for a brokerage firm for four years when iA Financial Group acquired it and turned it into Investia. At that time, it was a small brokerage firm with $200 million in assets and about a hundred advisors, mostly in Quebec.” Named national director for development, Mr. DeConinck set forth on a path to develop the company.
A communicator and entrepreneur at heart, he was surrounded by mentors. “Phenomenal people, leaders who believed in me and gave me the tools I needed and said: ‘Go ahead! Develop it!’” In 2008, he was appointed as president of the company, which is now the second-largest mutual fund brokerage firm in Canada and the largest in terms of independent advisors.
Louis H. DeConinck is "very, very proud" to be part of the company's development and growth. Now at the head of a network of 1,500 independent financial advisors across Canada and a portfolio of nearly $60 billion in assets, he salutes his team, without whom he could not have achieved this meteoric growth. “They are incredible women and men, with unique skill sets,” he says. He also emphasized that the company’s philosophy is based on respect and dedication. “Often when I meet representatives from Alberta or British Columbia, I ask them why they do business with our company. They tell me: ‘Louis, this is your passion and it shows. We want to work with people who are passionate, like you.’”
Passionate. It’s a word that describes Mr. DeConinck very well. With his passion for technological development and digital applications, he is committed to Investia’s digital shift. An avid downhill skier, golfer and hip-hop musician, he also volunteers to lead activities at the seniors' residence his wife runs. “It’s my way of giving back to the community.”
To hear him talk, there is no doubt that Mr. DeConinck is passionate about his work. An adherent of the Lean management strategy – which improves the performance of an organization by improving its business processes – Mr. DeConinck confirms that he switched up his management style to “put himself in the client’s shoes” and connect with the everyday realities advisors face. “I want to help others grow within the company. The people around me, that’s what I’m really proud of – our succession and our retention,” he says.
His plan for Investia is to grow to $100 billion in assets. “For me, this is my Olympics. I have the opportunity to build something that can last. I want the company to have continuity, bright young people and growth. That will be my greatest achievement.”