Our story begins in 1983, when a partner in the Listowel, Ontario accounting firm Ward & Uptigrove started to offer clients the value-added services of financial, investment and estate planning. One client came to the firm for expertise after receiving ill-fated advice from a financial planner which led to a $50,000 loss in his portfolio! Fortunately, the loss led this client to our pioneering advisors, who were prompted by his experience to develop a new service, “Transitional Wealth Management” to help ensure that our client’s wealth – including their investments, personal assets and their business – was preserved for their family and beneficiaries by executing sophisticated tax-efficient strategies.
Over the years, this leading edge service developed significantly. Many of the accounting firm’s clients began seeking out the financial services division. In a short period of time, the investments managed exceeded $100 million. Clients were pleased with the service, not only because of their growing returns, but because they had great trust investing with an accounting firm with which they had worked with throughout their careers.
As more clients learned about the service, it blossomed. As a result, the partner who originally started the service realized it may be something of interest to other independent accounting firms. He reached out to his contacts across Ontario and as a result, Independent Accountants’ Investment Counsel Inc., a registered portfolio manager, was launched in 1999. Utilizing a value-based approach to investing, combined with rigorous diversification and discipline strategies, IAIC’s client base and roster of referring firms grew substantially over the years. We refer to the group of firms that owns IAIC as the Independent Accountants’ Financial Group.
After more than 20 years of serving clients it shares with the referring firms, IAIC now manages more than $2 billion of investments for almost 3,000 households across Canada.
Clients continue to rely on their long and trusting relationship with their accountant for business, tax, estate, retirement and financial planning, while IAIC integrates its investment management services with the accountant’s work.