Making A Splash With Thought Leadership
Updated: May 21, 2020
The following interview is an extract from 'Acclaim' magazine by Family Wealth Report meant to 'recognize leaders across the global wealth management industry'. The complete magazine and original article can be found here.
Arthur Salzer, CEO tells Tom Burroughes from Family Wealth Report that Northland Wealth was Built by Families for Families.
Northland Wealth Management was founded in 2011 in Toronto, Canada with the mission to always go above and beyond for the families we serve. This means providing families with more than they were currently receiving from the traditional Canadian advisory channels - the banks and brokers. As fiduciaries to the families we serve, we believe that by providing professional and unbiased advice in regards to a family’s financial and human capital combined with unfettered access to leading traditional and alternative investment managers and strategies can help families prevent the adage of “shirtsleeves-to-shirtsleeves in three generations”. With offices in Markham, Ontario and Calgary, Alberta, we serve families across Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and the United States.
For the third consecutive year, Northland was chosen as the Best Canadian Multi-Family Office. Along with this recognition, Northland was also Shortlisted for Best Outsourced CIO, while Arthur Salzer, our CEO was Shortlisted for the categories of Leading Individual (MFO & MFO Executive).
What is your firm’s extra factor that explains why you won this award?
Being recognized as an industry thought-leader is one of the ways that Northland differentiates itself. We are fortunate to be sought by the national media and are featured on a regular basis in Bloomberg, Reuters, BNN TV, and The Globe & Mail. As well our Arthur Salzer, Northland’s Founder & CEO is the Wealth Management columnist at Canada’s Financial Post Magazine. We are fortunate to have been invited to participate and speak at a number industry events over the past year:
Marcus Evans – Global Investment Summit, Montreux, Switzerland
Presentation – Why the Great 30 Year Bull Market is Over
Attendees included the top pension funds and family offices from Europe and North America as well as Sovereign Wealth Funds from the Middle East and Asia
Campden Wealth - North American Family Office Conference, Boston
Panelist – Uncovering and Understanding the Cost of a Family Office
Markets Group – Private Wealth Canada Forum, Toronto o Moderator – Opportunistic Alternative Investing
IMN - Annual Real Estate Family Office and Private Wealth Management Forum, Miami
Panelist – Defining Niche Investments
Diversifying Your Portfolio, Strategically and Tactically
We also share much of what we learn with the families we serve in our quarterly newsletter - The Artisan. Over the years we have we have delved into important topics such as philanthropy, the difference between wealth management and investment management, investing in secondary private equity funds and of course our insights into the markets.
Lastly, our families appreciate Northland’s open-architecture platform. Our ability to gain accesses to the same alternative investment opportunities and managers utilized by Canadian pension plans is a unique offering, as these are not available through typical advisory channels.
What specific qualities do your colleagues have that helped you win?
The talent and dedication of everyone within the firm to placing Northland’s families first and foremost is incredibly important. Without exception, everyone believes in doing the right thing for the families we serve. This includes providing objective advice surrounding delicate family situations, which sometimes involves saying things that the family may not wish to hear in order for the family to meet its long-term objectives. Building these trusted relationships with every family and all of its members is crucial to the success of the family over generations and therefore Northland’s.
We combine these deep relationships with our extensive experience and expertise in areas such as investment management, financial planning, trust and estate planning, family governance and education, philanthropy, and succession issues.
Explain how you intend to stay out in front of the competition.
Never to rest on our laurels, Northland is dedicating significant resources to training our professionals through specialized education programs offered by the Family Enterprise Exchange in Canada along with the Family Firm Institute in the United States. Our focus is to be a family’s most-trusted advisor over generations.
At Northland we believe that families and especially families in business are the backbone of economies and social wellbeing. As we believe in giving back, Northland recently committed $125,000 to the Family Enterprise Exchange to further its goals of empowering Canadian business families to succeed and flourish.
What obstacles has your firm had to overcome to be an award winner?
The family office industry in Canada is still in its nascent stages, with the majority of advice being provided to Canadians by commissioned bank brokers or by firms selling proprietary products. Unfortunately, this is what passes for investment advice in Canada. Northland Wealth’s biggest challenge has been to educate business families that there is an alternative to what passes as advice - a organization that places its client families first by offering unbiased advice and an industry leading ‘open-architecture’ investment platform.
Explain areas where you are pushing forward, such as new products and services.
Additionally, Northland is in the process of creating 5 pooled funds which act as “fund-of-funds” in various alternative asset class sectors. These pools will allow investments in taxable as well as tax sheltered accounts such as TSFAs and RRSPs for Canadian investors. The areas of investment will be Private Equity, Private Credit/ Direct Lending, Credit, Real Assets (private real estate/infrastructure) and Multi-Strategy. These pools will be utilized exclusively only for Northland clients as a way to provide ‘best-in-class access’ to a broad range of institutional quality alternative asset managers.
What and who are your role models?
Role models are very important as they serve as a reminder that others have wanted to make a difference and have faced and ultimately overcame their own unique challenges. Arthur O’Shaughnessy said “We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams” which was an important line in the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Whether it is my childhood heroes Gene Simmons of the rock group KISS, Arnold Schwarzenegger or current day Elon Musk, they all came from humble beginnings and have the dream and the desire to make things happen. Surveying the financial landscape, we look to the great work that Greycourt, Pitcairn and WE Family Offices are achieving in the United States - they are leaders and doing great things.
What will this award do for your business?
This is the third consecutive year we have been recognized at the Family Wealth Report Awards. While the effect is never immediate, the awards provide significant credibility and exposure to Northland Wealth. Families have begun to understand that there is a credible and superior option away from Canada’s banks. Advisers who wish to serve families in an unconflicted way combined with a comprehensive investment and service platform have started to approach Northland inquiring to join.
How does the award help you spread the message about what you do?
By receiving recognition from Family Wealth Report as Canada’s Best Multi-Family Office for a third consecutive year, provides independent, third-party credibility to Northland Wealth. This credibility is part of the reason that we are invited to speak at leading industry events around world. Attendance at these exclusive events introduces us and allows us to build enduring relationships with some of the world’s most sophisticated investors and asset managers. Suffice to say, being invited to present at the Global Investment Summit in Montreux, Switzerland to pensions, family offices and sovereign wealth funds who manage trillions of dollars of investments was a thrill.