Quality Financial Planning for All

President and CIO Steven Belchetz is linking T.E. Wealth's clients with the best managers while also offering solutions to marginalized communities

Steven Belchetz joined wealth-management firm T.E. Wealth in early 2003 to be the chief investment officer of its investment arm, T.E. Investment Counsel. He became president in 2004 and began overseeing research, compliance, people, and operations related to the company’s investment side. Since late 2013, his role has expanded to include oversight of the planning side of the business and dealings with corporate clients. (Photo: Michelle Belsky)
Steven Belchetz joined wealth-management firm T.E. Wealth in early 2003 to be the chief investment officer of its investment arm, T.E. Investment Counsel. He became president in 2004 and began overseeing research, compliance, people, and operations related to the company’s investment side. Since late 2013, his role has expanded to include oversight of the planning side of the business and dealings with corporate clients. (Photo: Michelle Belsky)

An executive position at a company often comes with a huge salary bump, and with the extra money comes extra headaches, including new considerations in the areas of retirement planning, estate planning, and tax planning and preparation. T.E. Wealth is here to help, though.

Founded in 1972 as a financial consultancy, the organization now has $3.5 billion in assets under management and is considered “Canada’s best-kept secret,” according to president and chief investment officer Steven Belchetz. The firm wants to shed its remaining anonymity, though, by connecting its clients with more top managers and continuing to branch out in its key areas: executive financial counsel (EFC), private-client services, Aboriginal services, and financial-education services (FES).

Since its inception, T.E. Wealth has been offering its corporate clients the full EFC package, which is effective risk management for corporations’ key executives through a suite of customized financial-planning services. It also offers the FES package, which helps companies bolster their corporate governance, minimize their potential liability, increase the financial security and knowledge of their workers, and ultimately attract and retain top talent for the long term.

In addition to providing services to corporations, T.E. Wealth provides total wealth-management services to private clients. “We’re a one-stop shop that oversees the total financial picture for a family, including financial and retirement planning, estate planning, and tax planning and return preparation,” Belchetz says. “It’s almost like a family office for our clients, except we work with families of all sizes.”

Each client receives a personalized financial and investment strategy from the firm’s consultants, who work closely with each client’s lawyers, accountants, and other professionals to ensure a truly holistic approach. Among T.E. Wealth’s customers are professional athletes and those in need of elder care.

“The whole premise of our firm is risk management, be that for corporations, their executives and employees, as well as individual families,” Belchetz says. A company using T.E. Wealth’s EFC services ensures that its executives’ personal financial affairs will be well looked after so that the executives can focus on running their business. T.E. Wealth’s financial-education services assist companies in exercising their corporate governance and fiduciary responsibilities by making certain that employees are well educated on their pension- and retirement-planning options. And for private clients, T.E. Wealth offers peace of mind. “It’s like having a chief financial officer who oversees all of your financial affairs and makes sure that everything’s in place,” Belchetz says.

How are you growing?

“The Aboriginal practice has been a big part of our growth, and we’ve seen continued growth on the private-client side. For our company to reach the next level, we need to focus on developing corporate-planning and [corporate-]education business.”

T.E. Wealth stays abreast of developments in the financial arena in order to continue providing its clients with proactive and innovative solutions from both a planning and investment perspective. For example, the company ensures tax efficiency and tax compliance for its clients so that they don’t pay more tax than they need to and so that they’re onside with their tax return filings. (This is especially important for executives with complex tax scenarios.) T.E. Wealth also works to protect client portfolios by ensuring that they’re well positioned to weather difficult environments such as the 2008/9 financial crisis.

To remain a truly agnostic consultancy, T.E. Wealth doesn’t manage any money itself. “We research and analyze the entire universe of investment managers and solutions,” Belchetz says. From its fieldwork, the company has created a proprietary multimanager platform called Prosperity, which allows T.E. Wealth’s clients to access managers that would not normally be available to them. “Our clients have the opportunity to access top managers they normally couldn’t use and have economies of scale in terms of cost and diversification,” Belchetz says.

In addition to all this, the organization has launched a successful Aboriginal practice. Belchetz brought the idea of serving Aboriginal communities over from his time at Ernst & Young, and it has proven to be extremely successful. Now, T.E. Wealth is the preeminent provider of investment-consulting and investment-education services for indigenous communities across Canada.

Offering its clients greater access and serving the corporate, private, and Aboriginal markets equally through its executive-planning and financial-education services, T.E. Wealth may truly be one of Canada’s best-kept secrets. However, considering its significant growth over the past five years, the secret may soon get out.