OB Report
January 2020
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New Decade, Enduring Value

Debra Hewson By Debra A. Hewson, President and Chief Executive Officer

As we enter a new decade and begin looking ahead to our 100th anniversary as a firm in 2023, I’ve been thinking a lot about what has got us to where we are today and where we are going.

In my reflections, I decided to look back at what we were saying as the previous decade came to a close. We were in a different place then, coming out of a very difficult period in which we contended with the worst decline in the global economy and financial markets in nearly 80 years. Here is an excerpt of the speech I gave in 2009 to clients at our Annual Address:

At Odlum Brown, we strongly believe that by consistently applying the core values we have followed for 85 years, our clients will be well positioned for long-term prosperity.

Our core values have stood the test of time and will not change:
We will remain independent.
We will remain committed to a singular client focus.
We will remain long-term in outlook and perspective.

Odlum Brown’s 85-year history – a history that guided the firm and its clients through the stock market crash of 1929 and the Depression that followed – is a constant reminder that our longevity is attributed to offering investment advice and making investment decisions that remain true and consistent with our core values.

Today we are again confronting an uncertain world, politically, economically – you name it. Amidst all this, with investors faced with many options, new business models and ever-evolving technologies, what I said in those challenging days of 2009 remains as relevant as ever. Staying true to our core values is how we create value for our clients.

We will remain independent.
Being independent and employee-owned means that our interests and our clients’ interests are one and the same. Our advisors are free from any pressure to recommend a certain stock or sell a certain product. In difficult economic times, Odlum Brown clients know that we are all on the same team, and that no one is being forced to make difficult choices between what is good for the client and what is good for the business. We are very proud to be one of the only remaining independent firms in BC, and will continue to passionately defend this status on behalf of our business and our clients.

We will remain committed to a singular client focus.
We put the needs of our clients first – always. Our advisors are solely dedicated to understanding clients’ needs, building long-term relationships with them and helping them to reach their financial goals. This high degree of personalization extends into the value-added services we offer: in-house Client Services operations, a dedicated internal research team and financial, retirement, estate, tax and insurance planning through our wholly owned subsidiary, Odlum Brown Financial Services Limited. Everything we do at Odlum Brown is done in our offices, by our team members, for our clients.

We will remain long-term in outlook and perspective.
We strive to create long-term value and opportunity for our clients – and our track record speaks for itself. In our 97-year history, we have withstood the Great Depression, the dot-com bust and, as I referenced above, the Great Financial Crisis of 2008/09. Our industry has undergone massive changes in everything from regulation and technology to the impact of globalization. We have grown from a single office to six business locations with over 300 employees. Through it all, we have stayed focused on the long term, knowing that deepening our client relationships and advocating solid business with durable competitive advantages would serve our clients well over time. Odlum Brown clients benefit from our rich legacy – the lessons learned, the ability to adapt and the patience to stay the course to grow and preserve our clients’ wealth.

Since I gave that speech in 2009, we have added another decade’s ups and downs to our deep well of experience, and our business has continued to grow and prosper. Looking ahead, we know that by sticking to our core values, we will keep delivering value to our clients for the next decade and beyond – indeed, for generations.