At the Canadian Wealth Professional Awards dinner ( in Toronto on June 2, 2016, a gathering of wealth professional from across the country, Doug Macdonald, one of the founders of Macdonald, Shymko & Company Ltd., was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing his contributions to the financial services industry over Macdonald, Shymko & Company 44-year history.

The Wealth Professional Awards brings together leaders to celebrate excellence in the Wealth Management industry and are designed to recognize individuals, teams, and companies for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the field.

David Shymko and Doug Macdonald (pioneers in fee-only advice), got together in May of 1972 with a unique concept to create a new business model within the financial services industry. This concept was to offer Independent Comprehensive Financial Advice on a fee for service basis to individuals – a model similar to that of an accountant, lawyer or architect, and is now referred to as “Fee-Only”.

Doug Macdonald stated, “Forty-four years ago we received advice and counsel from many experienced individuals that this business model was not viable, there would be no demand for this service, and most certainly no one would be prepared to pay for this service on an hourly charge basis. Fortunately, we both were young, idealistic, and committed to the concept.”

Today, 44 years later, while the original partners David Shymko, Larry Jacobson, and Doug Macdonald are transitioning out of Macdonald, Shymko & Company, the six younger partners have taken to guiding the company forward with the same original values and vision. This business model has now been used by many firms and individuals within Canada, and in addition, there is an overall trend within the financial services industry towards fee-based advice.

In accepting his Award Doug Macdonald noted, “That the financial services industry in 1972 was very different, it was transaction based, commissions and trading costs were high, the concept of personal financial planning was unheard of, the education of participates was limited, and lastly, consumer knowledge was limited or often non-existent. Today there has been significant change, consumer knowledge and awareness is significantly higher, thanks in a large part to the media and the internet. Costs are greatly reduced, and the education level and professionalism of participants is significantly enhanced.”

This Gala Award Dinner is a national event where 20 different awards are handed out within various categories. Nominations are received from across Canada and then narrowed down to six finalists. In the category Private Client Award for Advisor of the Year, Gina Macdonald was one of the finalists for this category, which in itself was a significant achievement. Gina remarked, “The type of services by Macdonald, Shymko & Company provided in the beginning and today have resulted in advice centered on the client and the achievement of their goals and we have no plans to stray from that approach.”

Wealth Professional’s Wealth Professional Article.


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