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One of B.C.'s most respected investment firms celebrates 100 years

Odlum Brown is featured in the 2023 Profiles of Excellence Magazine
Odlum Brown celebrates 100 years.

Odlum Brown has a big birthday coming up.

In 2023, the independent, B.C.-based investment firm will turn 100 – an impressive milestone for any business, but particularly for one that has maintained its independence in a rapidly changing industry.

“We are incredibly proud of our rich history and to celebrate this milestone as a firm,” says Odlum Brown President and CEO Debra Doucette. “It shows our clients we are resilient; it shows our people that we are steadfast; and it shows our communities that our support is for the long term.”

Founded in Vancouver in 1923, Odlum Brown has since grown to six offices throughout the province. The full-service firm provides personalized investment advice and objective, value-based research, with a commitment to putting clients first, always. To support clients’ total financial wellness, it also offers a full suite of financial, tax, estate and insurance planning through its wholly owned subsidiary, Odlum Brown Financial Services Limited.

While proudly B.C.-based, Odlum Brown serves clients globally, and is no stranger to national recognition. The firm has been named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies and one of Canada’s Most AdmiredTM Corporate Cultures, and was honoured with a Canada’s Volunteer Award in the Business Leader category by the Government of Canada. This recognition reflects the firm’s key relationships with three important groups: its clients, its people and its community.

“We invest for our clients to help them achieve their financial goals. That’s number one,” says Doucette. “But we also make substantial, purposeful investments in our people, and in the communities where we live and work. All of those relationships are core to our success.”

Another fundamental value is the firm’s independence – something Odlum Brown is very intentional to preserve, and fiercely committed to protecting. 

“Remaining an independent firm in a highly centralized financial world isn’t always the easiest path, but it’s who we are, and it’s incredibly important to us,” says Doucette. “Our independence is what allows us to truly act in our clients’ best interests, and to give our people ownership of what we achieve together.”

While the firm has much to be proud of, Odlum Brown isn’t solely looking back. “Our history is worth celebrating, but we really view it as the foundation for where we’re going next, and that is really exciting,” says Doucette.

In preparation for this milestone, the firm gathered input from – who else? – its valued clients.

“Leading up to our 100th was the perfect time to hear from our clients in a really focused, intentional way,” says Doucette. “They are the heart of our business, and it’s critical to ensure we are meeting their needs as we look to the future.”

The results were outstanding, revealing that 96% of clients were satisfied with Odlum Brown, and 97% with their advisor, with whom they have the primary relationship. Nevertheless, there are always opportunities to evolve.

“We know that growth is in our future – that’s a given in order to continue providing our clients with the level of service they’re accustomed to, and to add more and more value going forward,” says Doucette. “At the same time, we are committed to preserving our culture, which is a really special part of who we are. Therein lies the challenge, but it’s also an incredible opportunity that I know is really motivating for all of us at the firm.”

But first, it’s time to celebrate, and Odlum Brown intends to engage the clients, people and communities who have made them who they are.

“We’re definitely going to have cake,” says Doucette. “But it’s also about acknowledging everyone who has helped us get here, and making a statement about who we are and will continue to be. So all I can say right now is, stay tuned!”

What is certain is that a century-long track record inspires hope for the future. With an aim to positively impact clients, people and communities across B.C. and nationwide, Odlum Brown will continue investing for the next 100 years, and for generations.

Odlum Brown is featured in the 2023 Profiles of Excellence Magazine

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