Stephan Bourbonnais - The Team Captain
The idea of teamwork stands out when you talk to Stephan Bourbonnais. Not only did the new executive vice-president of iA Wealth play varsity hockey at Plattsburgh, he has also, over the course of his career, accumulated experience in many roles centred around collaboration, training, advisor management and planning strategies. For him, teamwork is a key part of his mission, which is “helping Canadians make the right financial decisions for their personal goals”.
He is motivated by the exciting opportunities in this competitive industry and sees his strength at iA Wealth as being his new energy and new vision. The growth objectives are already in place. Now he wants to attract talent.
A broader vision
Though one of his strengths may be rallying people together, Mr. Bourbonnais also has an athlete’s stamina. When you look back at his 25 years of experience in the world of securities and banking institutions, you can see that he has climbed every rung of the ladder and learned about various sectors in the industry before becoming a CEO. His vision started to broaden when he completed his Bachelor's degree in International Studies, after which he decided to "stand on his own two feet". Despite a possible position in his father's consulting business, he was eager to explore his entrepreneurial side.
From door-to-door insurance sales to an MBA at HEC Montreal, he discovered the ups and downs of sales and acquired the tools he needed to become a manager. His humility and his determination to improve teamwork allowed him to quickly provide sales training and then expand his interests to supervising wealth planning teams for high net worth families in Quebec and the Atlantic region.
“When the tech bubble burst in the early 2000s, investment advisors needed guidance,” Stephan Bourbonnais recalls. “They didn’t know how to pivot their business model.” He was able to help 200 of the best advisors at a banking institution, using a holistic approach that focused on the trust relationships between advisors and clients. “You have to be able to meet that need. To simplify things,” he says.
All of this led him to iA Wealth. “I jumped for joy at this new adventure,” he says, praising the group's entrepreneurial spirit in an industry where you have to know how to reinvent yourself. His passion for his work is very clear, he believes. “When I do presentations, people can see that I love what I do. I’m 100% invested.”
His biggest challenge is maintaining a work-life balance and being present for his two sons, who are 9 and 18 years old. “From the outside, because of my title, you might think that I work 24/7, but I am able to disconnect. I want to participate in family activities. I’m the guy who’s always the goalkeeper on my street!”
His long-term business plan is simple: make iA Wealth a Canadian leader in the industry and help real entrepreneurs develop their businesses with us. “In my opinion, we are stronger than the sum of our individual parts. I feel more like a team captain than a president.”