I was born/grew up in: St. John's, NL
I now live in: St. John's, NL
I completed my training/education at: B.Sc. (Hons) Earth Sciences, Memorial University; MBA, Finance and Leadership, Memorial University; Professional Geoscientist, PEGNL; Group Benefits Associate, and CEBS® designation, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (Dalhousie University)
What I do at work
My family runs a full-service financial planning business, Ryco Financial. We specialize in group benefits and group retirement solutions, wealth management, insurance, intergenerational wealth & estate transfer and advanced tax planning. We each have an area of expertise. Mine is Group Benefits (insurance) and Group Retirement Solutions (e.g., Group RRSPs, pensions...etc.). We believe that through specialization in our respective and related fields we are equipped to offer the best possible holistic service to our clients.
We are different from most of our business competitors locally because of our affinity for math and science. My background is in geophysics and my business partner’s/brother’s background is in biochemistry. We use our analytical nature to identify trends and opportunities that others may miss. We dig deep into the data and use our training in visualizing data (charts, graphs, tables…etc.) to find trends that identify opportunities for efficiencies and threats to sustainability in group benefits plans.
We have developed several exclusive tools and techniques for specific analysis of group benefits & group retirement plans with several filters to get rid of the noise and focus on key data attributes. We rely on our experience in explaining complex concepts simply to our clients. We build trust and peace of mind with our clients through mutual understanding of how our workflow will meet their goals.
My first career was 5 years as a Geoscientist with Chevron Canada Resources working in St. John's, NL and Calgary, AB. Moving from a multi-national fully integrated super-major energy company to a local family run financial business was a switch. But, so many of the skills I learned and practiced at Chevron have set me up for success.
My career path is
Where I am today is function of being lucky enough to have been born into a loving and supportive family and in a country that promotes the growth of its' citizens. It is the culmination of all the questions I asked others and myself since March, 1989.
I have always been a bit of a generalist. I enjoyed studying and learning about a wide variety of topics that would probably put many people to sleep; but hey, do what you love. Through my schooling, university, sports, family and work careers, I continued to grow with excellent mentorship and great support from my family, in particular my wife.
However, the biggest influencer throughout my life has always been my big brother who I’m now fortunate enough to work with every day. He steered me toward STEM, sports, music, and he was in so many more ways a big part of making me who I am today.
I am motivated by
My motivation at work comes from helping others achieve their goals and attaining measurable business success at our firm.
When I reflect on some of my earliest memories of feeling accomplished, I have also always liked research (asking questions, exploring, idea and alternative solution generation, learning new things) and then presenting ideas. So, while I fulfilled my research need when I worked in geoscience, I seldom had a chance to present it to others. In my current role, I get to do both daily.
I also get to fill a different sort of motivation - being an entrepreneur and a leader. As partners in our firm, we are the leaders and we are the decision makers.
How I affect people’s lives
Our clients trust us with many very important aspects of their lives. This can include their personal life savings, health issues and estate planning needs. For business owners, they trust us with their company's sustainability & employee's financial, mental and physical wellness.
Our workflow focusses on enabling our clients to meet their life goals. Whether their goals are to travel the world, pay for their children's education, set up a foundation/scholarship, or to answer the question "am I going to be okay in retirement?" we help make it happen.
My line of work has very intimate affect on people's lives and I take great satisfaction from our clients reaching their goals.
Outside of work I
I am on the board of directors at a local non-profit called the Conservation Corps of NL. I have volunteered and organized many events over the years. Most recently we have been doing guest geoscience lectures at our local university.
My advice to others
Ask questions and explore the topics you are interested in most. You'll learn a lot about yourself and how to study and learn by doing that. Down the road, you may be surprised how many skills are transferable between industries. These skills can often be a competitive advantage.