Skip to Main Content

An Unconventional Practice with an Unconventional Start

Up-and-coming Investment Advisor, Steven Furtado, Mandeville Private Client Inc., didn’t start in the wealth management industry with a typical background. He took a unique path in starting his practice and has since continued to build a robust referral business, client by client.

November 2021

Photo of Steven Furtado

Steven Furtado

Investment Advisor, Mandeville Private Client Inc. and Financial Security Advisor, Zagari+Simpson

Read bio

An inflection point

What makes my story unconventional is the starting point. I spent almost two decades in the family business – a high traffic restaurant in the heart of downtown Montreal. Combined with my curiosity for people and their stories, this created an environment where I would listen and learn from many individuals of various walks of life. Conversations with our “regulars” were a particular highlight. There was one customer in particular, responsible for the inflection point leading me to the world of finance. Operating a successful trading firm, he often commented that I possessed many of the attributes that form a strong basis for a career as a trader.

My parents who believed strongly in hard work ethic, taught me the value of a dollar earned. Unlike most typical teenagers spending their income on material things, I focused on learning how to manage money, taking an interest in growing it, passively. I started buying stocks at 16 and owned the first of several rental properties by the time I was 20. Naturally, the concept of saving and investing was deeply ingrained at a very young age.

Flash-forward several years to an unfortunate circumstance that changed everything: a call in the middle of the night, informing us that our restaurant caught fire. The damage was extensive, leaving our family with no business to operate while waiting for it to be re-built. I believe that everything happens for a reason – the owner of that trading firm happened to reach out and offered me an opportunity; something I would not have considered a year prior.

The concept of saving and investing was deeply ingrained at a very young age.

I passed the requisite courses to work on the trading floor, around the clock, in international markets. It was an exciting entry into the world of finance; being placed in an environment where I could soak up market knowledge, and see the impact of investor emotion and political climates. It, however, wasn’t a sustainable lifestyle for a newly-married husband and father. At this time, our family financial advisor suggested I consider a career in personal finance, given my affinity for investing and saving. Like a lightbulb going off, it seemed the clear choice to leverage and integrate my experience as a business owner, my knowledge accumulated as a trader, and my interest as an investor.

Learning to swim

Entering the industry as a young Advisor in 2015, it seemed you could come into an existing book of business or inherit clients at a bank, or buy assets from a retiring peer at a wealth management firm. I chose to attach myself to an independent firm. However, that route also meant starting my new career with zero assets under management. Looking back, I question whether I would have done things differently, because it’s certainly a more challenging path. For me, the independent structure was like being thrown into the ocean without a life jacket and no other choice than to learn how to swim… fast.

I became very intentional about my industry education, making a conscious effort to surround myself with bright people who showed me what I needed to do, to succeed – those who had practices I could emulate, or an approach I admired. I sought out opportunities to network, looking for other professionals who complemented my own service ethic and shared like-minded values. I was a sponge for knowledge and experience from peers, and from people in adjacent industries, where together, we could add value to the client base I was looking to grow.

When I first started, I was encouraged to make cold calls to prospect, but this method just didn’t feel like the right fit for my talents, nor was it a strategy I could get excited about. So, I turned to my network. While I couldn’t tout years of experience, I traded on the reputation I’d built as a sounding board to friends from school, restaurant customers, and anyone I’d “bumped” into where I invested time to cultivate those relationships over time. What started as informal prospecting soon emerged as a viable strategy resulting in organic growth – primarily consisting of referral-based leads. I became more mindful of what fed me – the ability to carve out a space for myself and earn the role of trusted counsel to clients. Given my propensity for entrepreneurship, being an advisor has also afforded me the opportunity to live vicariously through the eyes of my business-owner clients, and play an integral role in helping them grow their wealth.

I wanted to make a real impact in the industry and level the playing field

In a world where everything is seemingly for sale – products, services, online teaching, etc. – I’ve always been a proponent of FREE education! The truth is, I felt my parents’ hard-earned money could have been better managed; their financial choices more efficiently guided. This is why I want to level the playing field for anyone who works hard for their money. Advocating for financial literacy is the best way to accomplish that and has become a differentiator in building my practice. I want to put my clients in the driver’s seat. With my guidance they can ultimately make sound decisions on their own.

What gets measured gets done

Regardless of how good I am at my job, I can’t control the markets, but I can add value by guiding entrepreneurs in how they spend and save their money. I focus on helping them build those disciplines and invest passively – growing what they aren’t re-investing in their own businesses, so they can focus on what they do best.

I recognize that educating my clients on the quality of their investment holdings and integrating the financial professionals that support them is the most meaningful impact I can have on their financial situation and their businesses. I focus on executing on the financial plans we put in place to address the tax and legal implications of their retirement and estate planning objectives. Helping my clients, goes beyond the selection of stocks and bonds – it integrates the successful transfer of intergenerational wealth, so no one’s hard-earned money goes to waste. Rather than be distracted by market ups and downs, I teach them to focus on the things that are controllable.

One of the characteristics that drew me to Mandeville Private Client Inc, which is co-branded as Zagari+Simpson, is their approach to the discipline of financial planning. Our teams rigorously engage our clients to go through the exercise of building a financial plan.

Without putting a formal plan in place and setting milestones, it is a more difficult task evaluating the success of a path taken. What gets measured gets done, right?

That may be the secret to client retention…

My advice: be open and malleable

I'm now in the process of integrating a highly experienced partner who complements my approach. While I naturally gravitate toward a macro view of our business, she’s able to focus on the details from a micro perspective. We each have our respective strengths, but work on every file together, rigorously testing our clients’ plans from various angles so they benefit from solutions derived through our collaborative skillsets and experience. I’m excited to scale up the business with a professional who covers my blind spots and increases our ability to connect with a wider range of clients.

As someone who has only been in the business for six years, I’ve learned one thing that has consistently resulted in success: be open and malleable. I’m open to what may initially seem unconventional but adaptable enough to integrate creative solutions.

While the industry – and our role as Advisors – may be in need of a little disruption, I’m not here to change that world; I’m here to make an impact on people who share my vision. That may be the secret to client retention – empower like-minded individuals with education, give them the ability to leave anytime they want, and deliver as much value as possible outside of investment returns.



For ideas to grow your practice, or information about how BMO ETF Portfolios can benefit your clients, contact your BMO Global Asset Management Regional Sales Representative today.

Mandeville Private Client Inc. Disclosures:

Mandeville Private Client Inc. is a Member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and a Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Mandeville Private Client Inc. is a registered trademark of Portland Holdings Inc. and used under license by Mandeville Private Client Inc.

BMO Global Asset Management Disclosures:

BMO Global Asset Management is a brand name that comprises BMO Asset Management Inc., BMO Investments Inc. and BMO Asset Management Corp.

Any statement that necessarily depends on future events may be a forward-looking statement. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Although such statements are based on assumptions that are believed to be reasonable, there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from expectations. Investors are cautioned not to rely unduly on any forward-looking statements. In connection with any forward-looking statements, investors should carefully consider the areas of risk described in the most recent simplified prospectus.

This article is for information purposes. The information contained herein is not, and should not be construed as, investment, tax or legal advice to any party. Investments should be evaluated relative to the individual’s investment objectives and professional advice should be obtained with respect to any circumstance.

Commissions, management fees and expenses (if applicable) all may be associated with investments in mutual funds. Trailing commissions may be associated with investments in certain series of securities of mutual funds. Please read the fund facts, ETF facts or prospectus of the relevant mutual fund before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Distributions are not guaranteed and are subject to change and/or elimination.

For a summary of the risks of an investment in the BMO Mutual Funds, please see the specific risks set out in the prospectus. ETF Series of the BMO Mutual Funds trade like stocks, fluctuate in market value and may trade at a discount to their net asset value, which may increase the risk of loss. Distributions are not guaranteed and are subject to change and/or elimination.

BMO Mutual Funds are managed by BMO Investments Inc., which is an investment fund manager and a separate legal entity from Bank of Montreal.

®/™Registered trade-marks/trade-mark of Bank of Montreal, used under licence.

* As compared to an investment that generates an equivalent amount of interest income.

®/™Registered trade-marks/trade-mark of Bank of Montreal, used under licence.

BMO Global Asset Management is the brand name for various affiliated entities of BMO Financial Group that provide investment management, and trust and custody services. BMO Global Asset Management comprises BMO Asset Management Inc. and BMO Investments Inc. Certain of the products and services offered under the brand name, BMO Global Asset Management are designed specifically for various categories of investors in a number of different countries and regions and may not be available to all investors. Products and services are only offered to such investors in those countries and regions in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. BMO Financial Group is a service mark of Bank of Montreal (BMO).

BMO ETFs are managed and administered by BMO Asset Management Inc., an investment fund manager and portfolio manager and separate legal entity from Bank of Montreal. Commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with investments in exchange traded funds. Please read the prospectus before investing.

Exchange traded funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.

BMO Mutual Funds are managed by BMO Investments Inc., which is an investment fund manager and a separate legal entity from Bank of Montreal.

Commissions, trailing commissions (if applicable), management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the ETF facts, fund facts or prospectus of the relevant mutual fund before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.

For a summary of the risks of an investment in the BMO Mutual Funds, please see the specific risks set out in the prospectus. ETF Series of the BMO Mutual Funds trade like stocks, fluctuate in market value and may trade at a discount to their net asset value, which may increase the risk of loss. Distributions are not guaranteed and are subject to change and/or elimination.

BMO Life Assurance Company is the issuer of the BMO Segregated Funds individual variable insurance contract referred to in the Information Folder and the guarantor of any guarantee provisions therein. The BMO GIF Information Folder and Policy Provisions provide full details and govern in all cases. BMO GIF products are offered through BMO Life Assurance, a separate legal entity than BMO Global Asset Management and wholly owned by BMO Financial Group. Segregated funds are only available for sale by individuals with appropriate insurance licences and are not considered a mutual fund. Segregated fund fees are higher than mutual funds as they include insurance fees to provide for the guarantees on deposits at maturity or on death.

Legal and regulatory disclosures

This information is for Investment Advisors only. By accepting, you certify that you are an Investment Advisor. If you are NOT an Investment Advisor, please decline and view the content in the Investor or Institutional areas of the site. The website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide a complete description of BMO Global Asset Management’s products or services. Past performance is not indicative of future results. It should not be construed as investment advice or relied upon in making an investment decision. Products and services of BMO Global Asset Management are only offered in jurisdictions where they may be lawfully offered for sale. The information contained in this Website does not constitute an offer or solicitation by anyone to buy or sell any investment fund or other product, service or information to anyone in any jurisdiction in which an offer or solicitation is not authorized or cannot be legally made or to any person to whom it is unlawful to make an offer of solicitation. All products and services are subject to the terms of each and every applicable agreement. It is important to note that not all products, services and information are available in all jurisdictions outside Canada.