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Notes From the 2018 CMA Health Summit


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As the Regional Vice President of the Prairie Region, my primary role is to make sure our Advisors have everything they need to ensure our physician clients and their families achieve true financial well-being. One of the ways we do that is by having the most in-depth knowledge and direct experience of doctors’ lives. But this knowledge doesn’t evolve in a vacuum. It comes because we talk—and most importantly listen—to physicians, residents and medical students across the country.

With the sale of MD to Scotiabank® remaining a topic of conversation among physicians, I attended this year’s Canadian Medical Association Health Summit in Winnipeg because I wanted to hear—first-hand—physicians’ concerns and questions. I had some interesting conversations and learned a lot. But it seemed to me that many attendees had the same questions. I thought I’d share my answers in case others want to know the same things.

How can MD continue to provide unbiased advice now that it’s owned by a big bank?

We’ve been doing what’s right for our clients for nearly 50 years. That’s not going to change. Your Advisor will still be paid on salary, not commission, and have no incentives to sell any products—including Scotiabank products—that they don’t believe are best suited to meet your unique needs.

How will Scotiabank make a profit if fees don’t increase?

Scotiabank will make a profit because MD has always been a for-profit business and paid an annual dividend to the CMA. But being profit oriented hasn’t stopped us from operating in the best interests of physicians for nearly half a century. We’ll continue to ensure that your fees are among the most competitive on the market because we understand—as does Scotiabank—that if we change how we do things, we’re not going to be as attractive to clients.

I trust my MD Advisor. I don’t want to have to move to someone new.

We know how important the relationship is between you and your Advisor. It’s why we firmly believe in providing the one-on-one contact that delivers maximum client support. We have no plans to make any changes to our advisory or management teams. This means clients will keep their Advisors and receive the same independent, objective and client-centric financial advice and outstanding service they’ve come to expect. Scotiabank appreciates the in-depth knowledge of our highly skilled staff—and so do we.

How can MD continue to be driven by the needs of physicians?

Because it’s part of our DNA. Our owner might have changed, but we haven’t. Our in-depth knowledge and direct experience of doctors’ lives has made us unique and driven our—and your—success, and we’re not going to jeopardize that by changing who we are. Physicians will continue to inform how MD operates and the services we offer.

Final thoughts

I’ve spent most of my career working for companies whose focus is ensuring increased corporate profitability. What’s special about MD is that we act in your best interests, regardless of the size of your account, because we understand that being a for-profit business doesn’t mean we have to put profits above everything else. However, we also know that we must remain a sustainable business that stays ahead of the curve and relevant for the next generation of physicians. The sale to Scotiabank is about doing just that, about finding the best way to give our clients more of what they want and need, while maintaining the core MD values you rely on. I know that actions speak louder than words. In the Prairie Region—and across the company—we’re focusing on proving to our clients that we’re still the same objective, trustworthy MD.



About the Author

Lee Raito, CFP, FMA is Vice President of the Prairie Region. He manages the day to day operations of our Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina and Thunder Bay offices, ensuring the effective delivery of advice and services to physicians and their families is leading to better financial outcomes for clients.

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