Niche Market Leadership outweighs quest for market share

By Alain Thériault | October 21 2014 09:00AM

B2B Bank CEO François Desjardins thinks market share is deceptive for players that offer advisors banking services. In fact, an institution’s ability to dedicate itself exclusively to advisors is the most important yardstick.Desjardins sees B2B Bank as one of the largest Canadian suppliers of registered and nonregistered investment accounts for financial advisors. In its 2013 annual report, the Laurentian Bank said that the acquisitions of the trust companies AGF and MRS positioned B2B “into an indisputably leading Canadian financial institution catering to the needs of financial advisors and brokers. In fact, it is the only bank dedicated exclusively to this market today.”

Mainly vying with banks and insurance companies, B2B must seek advantages beyond size to take on the five large banks, Desjardins continues.

“We are a leader in this niche, which is much more important to us than market share. If you’re not one of the five large banks in this market, share becomes insignificant and not representative of growth,” he says.

Prime responsibility

The prime responsibility of the advisor-oriented bank is to aim for profitable growth, Desjardins underlines. He wants to be there tomorrow to continue to offer products of value that will let advisors build their clientele.

“Everyone from large banks to insurers is doing a bit of banking products for advisors. Many come and go. We seem to be the only ones who are doing this continuously,” he says.