When he was just a young boy, financial advisor Joe Moffatt started a lawnmowing company to help his newly-widowed mother pay the family’s bills.
“I was 11 years old, and a couple of buddies of mine had lawnmowers, and we cruised around the neighbourhood and mowed lawns,” Moffatt told the Times-Herald. “It was a way for me to contribute toward truly stabilizing the finances in our household.”
As a reward for their hard work, every Friday the group of young entrepreneurs would buy themselves a bag of blue whale candies at the local convenience store before divvying up the week’s profits, Moffatt said.
“That was the sort of pay yourself first philosophy that I had, and even though it was minor, it was quite significant to me at the time. ... That was really the start of my entrepreneurial life,” he said.
The experience has stuck with Moffatt well into his career, becoming the inspiration behind the rebranding of his financial advising business to Blue Whale Financial, 125 Ominica St. W.
“The blue whale story is the start of something big,” said Moffatt. “That’s where we got our motto from, and it’s all about letting us help you build your blue whale story.”
The decision to rebrand, Moffatt said, came about during the company’s move from its original location at 117 Ominica St. W., to the property next door in order to acquire more space and enable further growth.
“It was a matter of positioning our company for further growth. I think that the insurance and investment business over the last two decades, and more specifically over the last decade, has changed dramatically,” said Moffatt. “No longer does the ‘jack-of-all-trades, master of none’ model of financial planning exist.
“Businesses are getting larger, and moving toward a team approach to financial planning with the increase of complexity in the products and services we offer, and the broader range,” he added.
“Our model is to attract financial planners from various different backgrounds within the industry to collectively work together and give our clients the best advice,” Moffatt explained.
In order to further reflect the team spirit of the firm, Moffatt said, a more open brand had to be developed.
“As we continue to build our team, it’s only natural to think other people within the team are looking to become partners in the firm. We wanted to, at the onset, create a brand and a name that would be consistent and known for generations to come,” said Moffatt.
But the move to Blue Whale does not represent a severance of ties between Moffatt’s team and Sun Life, he said.
“We are still very much with Sun Life, and we are affiliated very well with them. They’ve got a strong brand, and they’ve been very good financial partners of ours,” he said. “We’re very committed to our relationship with Sun Life, and (the rebranding) is not because we’re moving away from them in any capacity.”
Changing gears to Blue Whale Financial is simply all about creating a lasting corporate identity, Moffatt said, and facilitating growth in the company.
“Our business has grown significantly ... we’ve just been recognized in the last couple of weeks as the No. 2 holistic financial planning firm associated with Sun Life in Canada, out of 3,800 financial planners,” he said. “Where does that come from? It comes from the significant amount of support, loyalty and trust from Moose Javians to us.”
And Moffatt said as the company continues to grow and prosper with Moose Javians, the Friendly City can expect Blue Whale Financial will keep giving back.
“It’s the neighbour who hired me to mow a lawn 23 years ago that taught me the lessons about what I can do today, so how do I not give back?” Moffatt said.