Year of Local
This is the 19th in a series of submitted stories produced by the Year of Local, a collaborative project highlighting businesses and not-for-profit organizations in Sarnia.
Tara Webster was originally recruited by Investor’s Group as she was completing her MBA at McMaster University.
“What drew me to Investor’s Group was the comprehensive planning they offered, not just investments,” she said. “I’m really attracted to looking at the whole picture. There are a lot different types of investments but there are also many different ways to plan.”
When she started with Investor’s Group 10 years ago, Webster brought credentials and experience. While completing her MBA she was also working on her insurance and securities licenses, as well as her CFP certification. She had previously completed an undergraduate degree in business and engineering.
“I worked at the refineries in the summer,” she said. “I met lots of great people, and engineering is all about problem solving. When someone is retiring and they’re looking at taking a package, I love helping them figure out which option is the best for them. Engineering gave me those problem-solving skills.”
When she first joined Investor’s Group, the office was located near the Tim Horton’s on Exmouth, before moving to Front Street.
“During the first two years, I became a division director and I was managing seven people. When I was pregnant, I decided that I didn’t want to be working with my clients and also managing people; it was too much. Fred Pentz offered me space in his office at 1317 Exmouth Street. He had worked for Investor’s Group for more than 20 years. I jumped at the opportunity and I’ve been working out of Fred’s office for five years.”
Webster spent the first years working hard to build her own client list. “I’m not sure what anyone else’s secret is, but for me it was five years of very hard work. I did presentations all the time; I went to networking events; I held lunch-and-learns. I wasn’t shy.
“I could speak in front of absolutely everybody. Now I have a good network. Most of my business has come from the plants and the hospital, both of which have generated many referrals.”
Webster also offers tax planning with colleague Keith Hunt. “I do taxes for my clients as well, though nothing too complicated,” she said. “There are a lot of different planning techniques that are completely dependent on taxation, on estate planning, and on your end goals.”
Webster’s career with Investor’s Group has allowed her to balance work and home life while still using her skills in a fun and challenging way.
“I love looking at investments. I can go home at the end of the day knowing I have a diversified portfolio that I am going to be happy with because I am looking at the complete picture. That’s my added value to my clients.”
For more community stories, visit www.yearoflocal.com.