BY SHERYL SMOLKIN
ADVISOR FOR BUSINESS
A dvisors who have moved into selling group products say offering both individual and group helps cement
business relationships and makes their clients less vulnerable to overtures from their competitors. It also adds to their bottom line.
But in the path to group success, there is key learning at every stage, particularly around the investment of time and return expectations.
Take Alan Coles. In the early 1980s, he started his careerin Vancouver selling individual insurance products, but it only took him a couple of years to realize that he missed the lifestyle in Halifax where he grew up. So he headed back across the country to join his father, Keith, and brother David in the family
business, The Coles Group Inc.
“I identified within two or three years that I was more drawn to the employee benefits side of things and so I started looking after my father’s small number of group clients,” he says. “Within five years of doing so, I doubled the revenue. We marketed to our existing individual business clients and when one
client split into two different organizations, I was appointed as advisor to both groups.”
Now Coles handles both group retirement and insurance accounts. He has a block of group business covering a total of about 2,000 lives, with each group typically generating commissions ranging from the low to the high five figures.
SEE PAGE 14 IN THE ATTACHED PDF