Brendan Wood International
TopGun® Press


January 8th, 2019 by TopGun Press

Released by Brendan Wood International

Confidential Closed Circuit Communication
January 8th, 2019

Dear Panel Members & Clients,

The Canadian securities business has changed considerably over the last couple of decades. That could be said about almost any industry but the capital markets have been particularly challenged. One compelling trend is the sell side industry’s now long history of revenue decline. Another is the pressure on the fee revenues of professional investment firms, the client base of equity traders. Additionally, the rise of index investing displaces active management of assets on an ongoing basis, causing attrition in fees. Given that the primary asset of a sell side trading franchise is its professional people, declining personal incomes caused by the above trends has been a critical headwind. What was once the “business that spoils you for any other” has become a tough competitive landscape with as much margin pressure and attrition as other professional services businesses. That said, the changes keep coming, lately in the form of the MiFID movement which adds more expensive compliance rituals and seems likely to cause further cuts to industry revenue.

In this new landscape, the role of a professional trader has been forced to adapt competitively and in so doing has morphed into a different animal. The trader legends of the bygone era may not recognize much of themselves in the profile of a modern trader. Today’s TopGunSM trader is the product of an innovative metamorphosis driven by the need to add further value to the client’s investment process. TopGunSM Traders are now a source of investment ideas for their clients; also the overlaps of trading coverage with sales coverage and investment research are increasingly apparent.

The TopGunSM Trader designation results from independently obtained performance ratings provided by institutional clients concerning their trader relationships. The TopGunSM designation signifies the economic value of professional trader’s services as reported by their clients. Key selection criteria for a TopGunSM designation include:

  • Top score for effectiveness in execution of trades
  • Top score for placing the client’s interest first
  • Top score for understanding the client’s needs and making contributions to client’s investment knowledge and ideas
  • High quality communication & personal relationship which impacts the client’s decision to award commissions and fees

Selections result from a meticulous client by client assessment of a professional trader’s impact on the investment process and the revenue awarded to his/her firm as a result. The client commentary supporting their selection of TopGunSM Traders most often cites the following qualities … “understands our needs and objectives”, “effective relationship builder and communicator”, “trusted” and “brings us well researched actionable knowledge and ideas”.

TopGunSM Traders make things happen. They are proactive, creative and sales driven; TopGunSM traders are order creators not order takers. About $300 million in commissions per year is allocated globally for the services provided by professional traders of Canada stocks. The lion’s share is earned by Canada based traders but there is no guarantee that multi national banks/brokers will not encroach on Canada ‘stock trading’ commissions in the years ahead.

Trusted personal relationship, always a factor in the investment business, is an increasingly vital component of today’s trading offering. According to the trading client, relationship is a product. Exceptional relationship building skill is a key selection criterion in hiring and grooming future traders. The ‘sales trader’ model, exemplifying exceptional personal coverage, seems the predictable trend for Canada’s TopGunSM Traders Club.

The TopGun Canadian Equity Sell-Side Traders 2018:
(Alphabetical Order by Last Name)

Paolo Albanese – National Bank Financial
Ashlim Ameen – RBC Capital Markets
Cameron Baker – Laurentian Bank Securities
Jay Bakker – Cormark Securities
Steven Barnes –  RBC Capital Markets
Tara Cope – Scotia Capital
Geoff Darling – Scotia Capital
Tony De Crescentiis – BMO Capital Markets
Geoffrey Fell – CIBC World Markets
Chris Finora – TD Securities
Tim Foote – Cormark Securities
Paul Forma – UBS
Carlo Giarrusso – BMO Capital Markets
Tom Grant – TD Securities
David Lower – National Bank Financial
Peter Newell – Scotia Capital
Brian O’Hea – National Bank Financial
Craig Oliver – Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Sean Riley – Laurentian Bank Securities
Tom Scheuring – RBC Capital Markets
Anthea Stanley – RBC Capital Markets
Chris Stuart – CIBC World Markets

(Some traders may have moved firms)

Copyright© 2019 All Rights Reserved – Reproduction in any form, strictly prohibited

About Brendan Wood International:

A private partnership formed in 1970, the firm independently conducts performance audits throughout the capital markets world. Relying on real time intelligence, the firm advises public companies, institutional and activist investors, investment banks and broker dealers on strategy, performance and recruitment of TopGunSM talent. The firm’s partners have formally presented at 1000+ C level strategy meetings and corporate off sites in fifty cities. Brendan Wood founded the exclusive TopGunSM Club through which the firm provides value add career management services to TopGunSM professionals and introduces ‘game changer’ recruitment solutions to the firm’s clients.

Related Links:


Jordan Novak
Brendan Wood International
+1 416 924 8110

Amanda Knott
Managing Director
Brendan Wood International
+1 416 924 8110

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