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In this Strive exclusive, we speak with Robert B. Schultz, Chief Executive Officer of Midland Walwyn Capital Inc., Canada's foremost retail brokerage firm. Since becoming Chairman and CEO of Midland Walwyn in 1989, Robert has instituted a series of management and philosophical changes that has elevated the company into its current status as retail market leader.

STRIVE: As Chief Executive Officer of Midland Walwyn, how would you describe your role in the shaping of the company?

Schultz: My personal mandate is to ensure that the appropriate systems are in place for our 800 brokers and to support them with direction that fits with the corporation's business philosophy. At Midland Walwyn, we truly believe that we have the best possible people working with us. There is no "ivory tower" mentality in our corporation -- if our brokers succeed, we succeed, our shareholders succeed, and that equates to bottom-line success.

STRIVE: With recent mergers and acquisitions, Midland Walwyn has grown to 800 brokers in 73 offices. Is it not more cost-effective to have a few more main offices than so many smaller branches?

Schultz: We want to bring Bay Street to Main Street. There are many different kinds of people with assets, who aren't necessarily experts in handling their money. We want our brokers to think of themselves as educated private bankers, and getting into the various communities enables our brokers to develop, cultivate and support stronger client-broker relationships.

STRIVE: Why are we seeing an increasing number of people moving their assets out of banks and into brokerage firms?

Schultz: With bank rates hitting forty year lows, it's difficult for investors to achieve any kind of results through common bank products. As licensed brokers, our staff are better trained and educated to advise investors on financial options. While banks can only sell you their own range of products, a broker can offer you a full array of fixed-income and equity options.

STRIVE: What makes Midland Walwyn different from discount brokerages?

Schultz: Simply put, discount brokerages are firms that can execute a financial transaction for an investor at a low commission rate. They are not licensed to provide advice to investors, only execute the investors request. At Midland Walwyn, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with recommendations that have the highest returns on investment. Our brokers recognize that every investor has different needs, and different risk parameters. When you deal with a Midland Walwyn broker, we're working to provide you with the highest returns while guaranteeing the highest level of service possible.

STRIVE: How are your brokers able to keep up with ever-changing financial conditions?

Schultz: Midland Walwyn brokers are supported by a expert staff of research and training professionals. While our research department continually updates the brokers with the most recent changes and trends in economic conditions and financial markets, our training staff delivers instruction and advise on how to best present the array of products available to investors.
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Title Annotation:Strive; interview with Midland Walwyn Inc. CEO Robert B. Schultz
Publication:Manitoba Business
Article Type:Interview
Date:Nov 1, 1992
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