Page 14 - Newcom
P. 14

    Following the global financial crisis, Shauna George made a “lateral shift” to pursue a career as a financial advisor
Embracing change
After starting her career in Toronto, Newport Private Wealth portfolio manager Shauna George relocated to Kelowna, and hasn’t looked back
l BY PATRICIA CHISHOLM the area ever since.
George moved to Newport in 2016 after she decided she would prefer to travel less and engage more meaning- fully with a select group of clients. She also was attracted to Newport’s relatively flat structure. The firm — founded in 2001 as an independent wealth-manage- ment boutique for affluent clients — pro- vides discretionary portfolio and wealth management for clients who gener- ally (but don’t always) have more than $1 million in investible assets.
Newport’s wealth-management advice is developed through extensive research and evaluation that assess the potential
 shauna george was in her late
20s when she embarked on a career that might have taken others in the financial services industry years to achieve.
With a bachelor of commerce degree in international finance and a minor in psychology, George joined the Toronto office of Beutel Goodman & Co. in the late 1990s, where she was quickly drawn to research and analysis in global equities. The job was not only intellectually chal- lenging; it also took her on a decade-long adventure through Europe, with regu- lar trips to Paris, London, Barcelona and Madrid, among other cities.
George is now based in Kelowna, B.C., and is working as a portfolio manager with Toronto-based Newport Private Wealth Inc. She recalls past eras of market turbu- lence, such as the Asian financial crisis, the collapse of the Russian ruble, the bursting of the tech bubble in 2000, and the wreckage of the 2008 global financial crisis.
So, how does the extreme market volatility that accompanied the Covid-19
outbreak compare to past crises? George acknowledges that the long-term fallout of the pandemic remains unknown, but notes that the current crisis led to a mar- ket correction that lasted only 22 days, while most market plunges traditionally last six months or more. “That is probably one of the most significant changes [from other corrections],” George says.
George’s depth of understanding in these matters not only appeals to her clients; it also complements Newport’s business model, which uses a centralized investment committee to develop wealth-management strategies offered to clients.
“My role is to work with clients on a more broad-spectrum basis,” George says, “to help them understand the reasons why we are positioned in the different sectors and asset classes, and how that, in turn, impacts their financial well-being.” She adds that, in addition to her background in finance, her training in psychology “can be helpful” when working with clients.
George says her decision to leave Toronto and move to Kelowna in 2011
was triggered partly by a desire to work more closely with retail clients follow- ing the 2008 crisis. That was when she learned that most people were struggling to understand why the crisis occurred — and how it could be weathered.
“[I saw] the strong need for an inter- preter between the investment special- ists and the clients, to help them really understand [what was happening],” George says. “That is when I made the lateral shift to start working with clients directly, so I could help them understand how their decisions about their portfolios were impacting their lives.”
George, who is originally from Toronto, relocated to Kelowna to take a position with a local independent firm that used a discretionary model similar to Newport’s. George’s mother had been living in the region for 20 years. Family and profes- sional connections, as well as the life- style offered by Kelowna — there are 40 golf courses within a 40-minute drive and several ski resorts nearby — have helped keep George, an avid golfer and skier, in
  “The pandemic is causing people to reflect a lot more”

   12   13   14   15   16