Thane Stenner of Stenner Wealth Partners+ Speaks on Wealth Management, His Team and His Journey of Over Three Decades in the Industry
Stenner Wealth Partners+ of CG Wealth Management is committed to helping clients reach their financial goals. Its team is composed of exclusive, award-winning Wealth Advisors for investors with at least $10+ Mil- lion in investment capital, or $25+ Million net worth, across Canada and the USA. Stenner Wealth Partners+ has been named Pan Finance’s Boutique Wealth Advisory of the Year – North America 2022. Thane Stenner is the senior wealth advisor and senior portfolio manager for Stenner Wealth Partners+ CG Wealth Management. In the following interview, he answers questions about the industry, his experience, his team and their approach to business.
Well, first of all, I would say that I’m passionate about serving clients, because at the end of the day, if we don’t do well by them, then we all are not going to do as well for our teams and for our own families. So, I think at the end of the day, being passionate about the types of clients that we get to have the privilege of serving is something that I’m super passionate about today.
The first lesson I learnt in my career is that less is more. Over time, I’ve had to downsize the number of relationships that we deal with. This means we have had more time to build and to proactively service the ones we do keep.
In the first 15 years that I grew the practice to about 660 households, we had a big team of 22 people and we would normally do a couple of reviews per year. While we were doing great on revenues, assets and whatnot, we didn’t have as deep a relationship (client relationship) as I really strove for or wanted.
So, over the next decade, I methodically transitioned from dealing with 660 families down to nine, and then from there slowly built up to about 45 clients today across Canada – some multi-generational families across Canada – and a few in the US. Our team today is approaching 15 members and that means we can be extremely proactive in our service model with them. In fact, we connect proactively with our clients at least 50 times a year.
Aside from them reaching out to us, we’re very proactive in reaching out to them and I think that has been a big part of our success. Part of my learnings is that you have to constantly try to tweak and improve your business mod- el, and secondly, you have to try to figure out what are the types of clients you really want to be servicing in the long term. In our case, our clients have ranges of net worths between $25 Million, typically, (as a low point) to upwards of $2 Billion. They’re very sophisticated for the most part and they require us to always be alert as a group and try to anticipate the types of things that they’re looking for. This seems to be working well. We have an extremely high retention rate, which we’re very proud of and I think we’re being recognised for that.
We utilise a number of different strategies around philanthropy, insurance, but also do- nor advised structure. We work with a group called Charitable Impact Foundation, which is an online charitable investment bank account for our clients. We’ve been doing that for over ten years now and last year we worked with our clients on giving away approximately $80 million of their capital to various charities of their choice.
What we found is that our clients are very successful people. They’ve done some amazing things in their career, entrepreneurial and family lives. And they tend to really care about a number of causes, whether their local community, their family causes or national or inter- national causes. So, we’ve learned to make sure that we’re having conversations with them about what they’re doing, not just with their investment portfolios, not just with their businesses but also what their family wants to achieve from the point of view of giving back to the community.
I can say that we’ve been really blessed with some great, successful clients, but also clients that really want to make an impact in this world. Hence, we prioritise having some very interesting high-level conversations about maximising their philanthropic interests. I’ll give you one quick example. A lot of people just think that philanthropy is about writing a check when in fact, there’s a lot of strategies in which you can try to optimise your charitable impact – things like coming up with strategies around matching of gifts. So, we’ve had certain clients that have agreed to go for hospitals or foundations or other things in Canada and the Unit- ed States that they’re passionate about. Say they want to give away a million or $3 million or $5 million towards something, what they’ll do is they’ll agree to do a matching program, 1 to 1 or 5 to 1. The foundation they’re giving to, through their own foundation, creates and sets these performance targets, to help amplify their giving overall. Things like that tend to really energise our conversations with them. And we’re pretty excited about what they’ve been able to accomplish.
Well, I’d say we are in the wealth management and investment business, markets are always changing. And as we sit here today, I can tell you that markets have been very volatile in recent times. So, managing investments, managing the markets is always an intellectual pursuit that I find fascinating. Each market cycle is different, the conditions are different. I’ve been doing this for a long period of time and one of the things I learned from my father is you have to try to anticipate as much as you can, but still deal with the unknown as it comes. So fortunately, this year we’ve been managing those challenges extremely well for our clients and we’re very, very pleased with that. The other thing I’d say is mentoring. Mentoring my team and growing my team and developing a culture that is high performance for clients is constant. So that’s the area that I would say is our focus right now. We’ve engaged with two top performance coaches from the US in the last few months, for example, to help every- body take their performance to another level on behalf of clients. And that’s actually already bearing some really good fruit early on and people within our group seem to be energised by learning best practices and what’s going on on a global basis.
Great question. Well, I would say that historically, to be honest, I haven’t actually really enjoyed mentoring. I found that I’ve gotten so busy, focused on clients at times that I’ve actually neglected some of the mentoring. But over the last decade, I’ve learned that it’s not only something that needs to be done. If you really want to accomplish a lot as a team, you have to actually mentor your team. So, I’ve kind of learned to do that. I’m enjoying it far more now at this stage of my career. I have to admit that.
And I think bringing on some really seasoned performance coaches is actually helping me do that. So, I’m learning ideas from them as we go through this as well. Over the last few years of my career, I think I’ve finally come to the realisation as to how important that is because you’re only as strong as your weakest link on your team. Having the team energised by getting various mentors speaking into their lives is the winning formula from my point of view.
www.stennerwealthpartners.com Email: SWP@CGF.comThane Stenner on LinkedIn:www.linkedin.com/in/thane-stenner/
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