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James Rockwood

CapIntel was founded in 2017 to bridge process and communication gaps for wealth professionals with a leading investment sales platform which enables them to easily prepare investment comparisons, build customized client proposals, and display investment opportunities. The intuitive platform also simplifies the way wealth professionals compare and propose investments, enabling investors to better engage with and understand the information presented. This transforms the client and advisor experience by shifting the focus to holistic wealth management – the key to a secure financial future. With nearly 12,000 advisors and 500 wholesalers across the country using the platform, CapIntel aims to innovate the finance industry to help build wealth for all Canadians. The platform is currently partnering with some of Canada’s leading financial asset management companies, like Middlefield Group and Mackenzie Capital, and wealth advisory firms, like Canada Life, to ensure that investors across the nation receive best-in-class holistic wealth management services. Ultimately, CapIntel allows wealth professionals to efficiently manage the time-consuming aspects of their role so they can focus on providing best-in-class, holistic wealth advice.

Tell us about yourself?

I was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a Canadian city that’s very quickly becoming a tech and entrepreneurial hub. Growing up, I had always wanted to run a large business, but I initially pursued accounting and investment banking because I wanted a foundation in technical skills. While working in finance, I recognized I didn’t have a long-term future there, so I started spending my free evenings working towards creating a business that would impact the world.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

If I could go back in time a year or two, the piece of advice I would give myself is to ignore, to a degree, the market and sentiment outside of the market you’re serving. Although this isn’t what many business owners would consider doing, it is important not to be discouraged, to be aware of, but not set too much store by, global trends that might be hot topics at the time and do what’s right for your business. Instead of trying to time the market, which is often unpredictable, stay business-focused and raise support when the time is right. At the end of the day, what is truly important and will determine if you’re on the right track is whether your customers like your product and whether you’re solving meaningful issues for them. There’s a lot of pressure and noise for founders that can make people lose focus – but just do what you need to do at the time.

What problem does your business solve?

One of the biggest problems in the wealth management industry that CapIntel aims to address is the time taken for financial advisors to create personalized proposals that are tailored to their clients’ unique financial goals. After all, the bulk of a financial advisor’s time should be spent cementing strong relationships with their clients, understanding their financial objectives, and providing sound advice that ultimately results in these investors experiencing financial stability. CapIntel’s platform enables wealth professionals to efficiently manage the time-consuming aspects of their role, allowing them to focus on providing best-in-class, holistic wealth advice.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

While I was working in accounting and investment banking early in my career, I observed the archaic systems and processes used by most people working in financial services. I was disappointed to see the wealth management industry be left behind as other industries saw significant improvements in efficiency and more quantifiable results through the use of technology.

I wanted to fill that gap, which inspired me to build the first iteration of what is now CapIntel in my free time. A few years later, CapIntel is the leading intuitive sales platform designed to help wealth management firms and their teams of financial advisors grow their practice. At its core, CapIntel enables wealth management teams to provide the best service to their clients through improved efficiency, data visualization, and financial outcomes.

What is your magic sauce?

I think our magic sauce is our perspective – we come to the table from a consumer and retail investor point of view. We try to think how we would want to be presented with information to make decisions we understand the gravity of. This dual perspective can go a long way to helping clients feel happy, secure, and confident in the advice they’re getting – and because of that, we understand that the output needs to be really understandable, personalized, and holistic, but also can’t be impossibly difficult for an advisor to create. So it’s really about combining a high level of understanding and easy access with a simple user experience and a meaningful proposal that I think gives us our secret sauce.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

The plan for the next five years is to continue to grow our position in Canada but also to become a key player in the U.S. – this is incredibly important to us. In the near future, our vision is to play a more significant role in helping advisors provide holistic advice and allowing them to use our technology to serve clients holistically. So continuing to deepen our product and its capabilities to become an incremental tool for advisors and retail investors is going to be a main focus for us.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Like many other companies, the pandemic is the biggest challenge we’ve faced so far. For us, it was a critical moment for the company as we decided to shift our focus from small and medium businesses (SMBs) to enterprises. That became the basis of what allowed us to land all of our major enterprise clients thereafter. Pivoting our focus to work with enterprise clients in 2020 allowed us to build a strong foundation for success at the end of that year, and we’ve seen that success continue into 2023 as we’ve been able to capture a significant portion of the Canadian financial market. The opportunities and partnerships we’ve cemented over the last two years as a result of this shift in focus has made us a leading industry player.

How can people get involved?

Connect with me on LinkedIn. I’m always happy to learn and discuss new ways to spread awareness of holistic wealth management and to build wealth for all.