Annie Belanger got her start in finance at a young age, immediately after graduating with a degree in business administration in 1988. Thirty-five years later, she’s as excited and passionate about the industry as ever, working diligently with high-net-worth clients on their tax and estate planning needs. Fluent in French and English, her financial advisory clients, most of whom are business owners and professionals, come from across Ontario and Quebec, where Annie is a licensed financial security advisor. She also holds a chartered life insurance underwriter designation. No matter how complex the circumstance, Annie is able to craft a perfect plan for their needs by way of a deeply consultative approach and an equally deep sense of empathy for each client. She works closely with each person, identifies any weaknesses, and designs a customized plan to address it. The rare combination of her taxation degree and insurance designation also means she can tackle multiple facets of the often-complicated financial lives of business owners to help ensure the best, most secure outcomes.
Prior to founding Belanger, Brosseau Fiscalité, Assurances & Placements (BBFAP) with her husband, Louis-Pierre Brosseau, Annie enjoyed a 10-year career as an estate specialist with three of Canada’s major banks. She was one of the country’s top-producing women in the field, and won Executive Clubs designations, the highest awards for insurance-producing professionals. She has also been a noted presenter at multiple conferences, and completed a master's degree in taxation in 2011.
We were fortunate to connect with Annie and learn about how she’s translated her banking experience into a client-focused consultative role.
Tell us about BBFAP.
BBFAP is a family business, founded by my husband and I more than 12 years ago. You could say insurance is in our DNA. As of this year, we’ve both accumulated more than 35 years of experience. My daughter also works in insurance, as have other family members. From the moment we started BBFAP, we provided our clients with everything they needed in terms of insurance, investment, and estate planning. Because we’re a family business, we treat our clients like family. In 2019, our son-in-law joined the team as an investment advisor, and after my husband retired, he stepped in to head the company.
Tell us a little about your specific role and how you help your clients.
Currently, I’m on the insurance planning side for both personal and business matters for high-net-worth clients. We have a lot of entrepreneurs, like doctors and dentists, who we work with. The role involves meeting the client and doing a needs analysis, where I get to know them and identify any weaknesses in their current situation. Then, I build a custom plan specifically designed to address those issues and reduce clients’ tax burdens and protect their net worth and estates, as well as ensure their assets are bequeathed properly and according to their exact wishes. I’ve worked with some very, very large clients with very complicated situations, and getting them a tailored plan that works gives me a lot of satisfaction! My combination of experience in taxation and insurance, which is uncommon in the industry, is extremely helpful when it comes to clients like this.
You’ve worked with three of Canada’s largest banks. How is the BBFAP experience different for you and your clients?
Because we’re an independent brokerage firm, we’re not beholden or attached to any single insurer. That means we have a lot of flexibility to find the best solutions for our clients. This flexibility is the main reason I left the banks; this is far more advantageous to me and to my clients. Plus, the independence and opportunity to be a business owner myself was paramount.
What’s something that drives you even after more than three decades in the industry?
Even after all this time in the industry, I still have a love of transmitting knowledge and educating clients about the traps they may not even be aware of in terms of protecting and transferring their wealth. It gives me happiness. There is a professor in me somewhere who loves educating people! I also love hearing clients’ stories. That’s my favorite part of the work. I really care about them, and about what is best for them, and they can sense that.
When you’re not working, what else do you enjoy?
I enjoy spending time with my family, my children, and grandchildren. I especially love sailing and scuba diving, as well as tennis and traveling.
Founder and Estate & Tax Planner — BBFAP
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