– Words by Darcy Nybo Photographs by Lia Crowe
Some people know at the heart of their being what they want to do with their lives. Darren Morcom is one of them.
And one of the driving forces behind his decision to start his own business – The Morcom Wealth Management Group (a member of Wellington-Altus Private Wealth) – was his love for helping others.
“The whole investment game is also about the passion of the people working behind the scenes. Everyone is involved in it for different reasons – and my reason is quite personal.
About six years ago, Darren and his wife Lee-Ann’s eight-year-old son were diagnosed with brain cancer. He underwent more than 40 intense radiation and chemotherapy treatments and received more than 25 blood transfusions. Today, their son has been cancer-free for five years.
“It really made me see things differently,” Darren says. “There were so many people and organizations involved to help him recover. It’s all about my life and my work, and my desire to help people. I can relate better to my clients who may be going through similar situations.
He adds: “It has become a passion for me to help people, especially when they are going through difficult times.”
As a young man attending the University of Regina in his home province of Saskatchewan, he worked at the RCMP training academy, doing whatever was necessary. Then, in 1997, after meeting Lee-Ann, “the love of his life,” he moved to Kelowna.
“Once I got to Kelowna,” Darren recalls, “I reaffirmed that finance was really my passion, so I took the plunge. I worked as a bank teller while attending Okanagan University College. When I graduated, I was able to work my way up to become a financial planner.
From 2002 and for the next 19 years, he was employed by a well-known bank and rose through the ranks to the position of portfolio manager. Somehow, it still wasn’t quite what he wanted. Something was missing.
Darren, who describes himself as a “people person”, wanted to do more for the families he worked with. He wanted to be able to offer independent solutions and independent advice and be truly objective for his clients, and to do so in an environment with like-minded advisors.
“I heard of an independent private wealth management company called Wellington-Altus Private Wealth, a Canadian company headquartered in Winnipeg. After meeting the company’s founders and realizing that their prairie roots and values matched mine, it was easy to see why this firm had become the top-ranked consulting firm in Canada.
The decision to switch to the freelance side of this business became easy. The Morcom Wealth Management Group was born and Darren says he is extremely proud to be part of Wellington-Altus Private Wealth.
Darren and his team aren’t the only ones joining top-ranked Wellington-Altus Private Wealth. Over the past 18 months, he says, several senior investment advisers and their teams have left banks and other independent wealth management firms to join this growing business.
“We officially opened the Kelowna office in September 2020, and we already have over 30 employees and billions of dollars in assets under our management,” says Darren.
“With this explosive growth, the decision to move our offices to the 23rd floor penthouse of the new Landmark 7 office tower was an easy choice. The new offices are expected to be completed in August, with 360 degree views of the city, lake and surrounding vineyards and orchards. We are fortunate to be able to share with our clients some of the most spectacular views from any office in North America.
Asked about the appeal of his industry, Darren said, “Some people think what we do is sexy and edgy, like they show in the movies. It’s not like that at all. We must be stable and consistent. »
He says planning ahead is one of the most important things a person can do when it comes to the health of their finances, and it’s not just about the money.
“In many cases we may have a spouse who has been in charge of the finances all their life and when they pass away the other spouse has to take over. People really need to understand that it’s not just about to invest, but also what happens if something happens to you. You have to plan for the unexpected.”
During times of stress, he adds, the last thing people need is to worry about their finances.
“It’s important, whatever your age, to make sure your affairs are in order. The financial world is more complicated than ever. It is important to ensure that all facets of your family’s heritage are fully understood, properly integrated, administratively managed and appropriate for your life, now and in the years to come.
When Darren isn’t helping people plan for their financial stability, you’ll likely find him at the hockey rink, playing or coaching his sons. He also enjoys relaxing with his family, spending time on the golf course or local ski hills, or cooling off on the water.
“We enjoy the vineyards here too,” he says. “In fact, if I hadn’t done financial advice, I would probably own a winery.”
And true to his passion for helping others, Darren also volunteers for various organizations.
“After our son’s cancer,” he says, “we were very involved in fundraising and awareness for BC Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House and Canadian Blood Services.
When asked where he sees himself in 10 or 20 years, Darren replies, “I will do exactly what I do now: help people with their finances. It’s really my life and what I love to do.
Story reprinted with kind permission from Boulevard Magazine, a publication of Black Press Media
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