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About

WM GATEWAY — Energizing Wealth Management

WM Gateway supports Credit Union executive and Wealth Management leaders in their efforts to improve the capability and business performance of their Wealth Management divisions. WM Gateway works directly with each Credit Union in the validation, design, and deployment of Wealth Management strategies and structures, providing tailored solutions in support of their respective value proposition and market opportunity.

Elmar Kurtz — Principal

Bringing over 25 years of Wealth Management and Retail Branch Banking leadership experience to Credit Unions, Elmar works with Credit Union business leaders to energize their Wealth Management divisions. During his career Elmar has worked across multiple industries and functional disciplines, leading to a comprehensive understanding of the end-to-end infrastructure and architecture required to grow this key line of business.

Elmar spent much of the early part of his career with one of Canada’s leading banks, where he held a number of executive positions in retail banking, sales infrastructure, operations, and service fulfillment. Following his role in banking, he accepted a leadership role with a national, independent financial planning and advisory firm, helping them to build and enhance their wealth management delivery capability. In this role Elmar worked with key organizational stakeholders and top financial advisors in developing programs to boost productivity, effectiveness and profitability.

Moving from the independent advice channel to Credit Unions, Elmar then joined Qtrade Financial Group (a Credit Union service provider), to assist in the design and construction of an industry leading wealth management platform for Credit Unions. As the executive responsible for Distribution and Partner Relations, Elmar worked with Credit Union leaders across the country on strategy, capability, validation, and deployment needs. In addition, Elmar engaged extensively with key advisors and business leaders in the ongoing development of the Advisor Experience and a market-defining offering. As a natural by-product of this role Elmar gained substantial insight into the unique qualities of Credit Unions, the wide range of business models currently in place, and the need for a much more integrated wealth management infrastructure, to effectively capitalize on the opportunity.

Most recently, recognizing the need for more personalized, integrated, and comprehensive solutions for Credit Unions, Elmar established WM Gateway, a company dedicated to supporting Credit Union executive and Wealth Management leaders in their efforts to energize the capability and business performance of their Wealth Management divisions. Elmar works directly with each Credit Union to understand their unique culture, validate their current capability, and design solutions that incorporate the required elements.

John Finnie Principal

With thirty-five years in the business and twenty-five years of experience building and leading
high performance teams within the financial services industry, John works to enhance the
potential of front line advisors through building confidence and unlocking capabilities. He is an
accomplished coach with a successful track record of helping trusted advisors reach their full
potential.

John has been an executive within the banking industry and a senior executive within the credit
union industry. He spent his early career honing his skills as a trusted advisor to retail,
commercial and private banking clientele. Over the past twenty-five years, he has been a leader
of teams spanning wealth management, commercial, retail banking, and insurance, where he
has consistently built teams with a client-first, trusted advisor mindset. Of particular note, John
led the transformation of Meridian’s wealth management offering from a transactional, passive
model, to a client-centric, holistic, advice-based offering, leading to exponential growth.

Most recently, John has been providing management consulting, covering strategy
development and execution, sales leadership and coaching, along with general consulting on
operations. This includes clientele within the insurance advisory business.

Over the years, John has developed a passion for change management, sales leadership, sales
management and strategy development & implementation. Seeking to leverage this passion
within the financial services environment, John and Elmar Kurtz had early discussions about
WM Gateway and possibilities within the credit union industry five years ago. Although he took
on other challenges in the interim, he never lost his interest in the WM Gateway model and
now brings his skills to the business.

John holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario and Master of Business
Administration from the Ivey School of Business at UWO.

Ruth Gatzke — Regional VP, Wealth Services

With over 30 years of successful retail banking and wealth management leadership experience, Ruth works closely with our Credit Union partners to elevate the performance and business results of their wealth management sales and service teams.

Following 10 years of direct retail banking experience in roles ranging from frontline delivery through to branch management, Ruth spent the next 20 years successfully developing and leading teams of wealth management professionals.  During her time with CIBC Imperial Service she gained valuable experience in change management while rolling out the IIROC offering, which was very new at that time in the banking industry.  Through her leadership, direction, and coaching, her teams consistently exceeded revenue and growth targets.

After being recruited to Meridian, she found the credit union values were much more aligned to her own and has never looked back.  She was quickly recognized as a key change agent, turning around an under performing wealth team to one of the fastest growing divisions of the firm. From Meridian, Ruth moved to PenFinancial, where she again helped restructure the business and transform their wealth management department into a profitable, contributing business line.

Seeing the magnitude of the need for wealth management success across the credit union industry, Ruth joined WM Gateway as Regional VP, Wealth Services, and brings her extensive sales management and coaching expertise to our Credit Union partners.

Ruth holds her Certified Financial Planning designation (CFP) and is also a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI).  She has been recognized with numerous awards for her achievements over the years such as the CIBC Annual Achievers award (for her leadership abilities) and the CIBC Service Quality Award which recognizes world class customer service.  Ruth believes strongly in giving back to community and walks the talk by being a board member of Leadership Niagara and an active participant in the local food bank, Pelham Cares.

For more information, or to get in touch with Elmar, John, or Ruth, please click here.