Mission Statement

As a managing general agent, The Gryphin Advantage is dedicated to providing better opportunities to its associates through a determined focus on recognizing, understanding and satisfying their needs, expectations and demands

The Gryphin Evolution

The last 15 years have witnessed a lot of changes in the makeup and service delivery structure of the financial services business. Back then, there were still some clear distinctions between the traditional four pillars of the financial services business - what they were what they offered, how they offered it. Back then, most of the business was generated by agents who were either tied to a particular company or certainly were housed by a company and identified as representing one company for a lot of their business. The type and variety of products and services offered by agents and advisors was much smaller and in many respects, more restricted. Contractual and regulatory restrictions served to segment and compartmentalize product and service offerings. The agency system was still king - at least in terms of results. It may have been a simpler time, with reduced demands from consumers and certainly a slower pace of product development and information dissemination.

Rapid and sometimes feverish consolidation of companies pounded the industry. In the blur, it became harder and harder to distinguish between the product and service offerings of banks, insurance companies, trust companies and investment organizations. There was a wholesale redefinition of competitive territory, as everybody seemed to be getting into everybody else's business. Every street corner offered up a gallery of "financial advisors" offering a wide variety of insurance, savings and investment products.

Most companies separated their roles, manufacturing products and then distributing them through exclusive channels, independent advisors or producer groups. The large investments made in recruiting, training and supervising agents directly were rechanneled into arrangements with independent contractors who in turn were supposed to take on the roles formerly held by company employees and managers. There was and continues to be wide divergence in the amount invested in agent development by the organizations which evolved or entered the industry to provide distribution of products and services.

Agents, now called advisors or advisors found themselves having to arrange and provide for their own expenses, offices and support staff. Their cards and letterhead promoted their ability to offer products from a number of companies. They became licensed to sell a greater variety of products. More and more became professionally accredited to offer services and advice. The need for training mushroomed but the traditional sources disappeared. The regulatory requirements increased in great strides and became more complicated, arguably to the point of serving as an impediment to new entrants to the business and as an impetus to exodus from the business. Costs skyrocketed, severely impeding the ability of independent advisors to go it alone or even in small groups.

The present situation is a microcosm of all that has happened in the last 15 years. Talking about insurance used to be pretty dull stuff, rarely the fodder for newspapers and television programs. Today there are successful journals and newspapers dedicated to the financial services business, television programs and websites specializing in the issues, problems and solutions facing advisors and clients alike. Regulations are becoming ever more onerous and expensive to advisors, many with no demonstrated advantage to consumers.

The consumer through all this has suffered a barrage of data, facts, figures and information. A savvier consumer has evolved, with changing purchasing preferences and increased access to tools and information just a mouse click away. Products have become seemingly more complicated; choice is very broad, and trust has been eroded. All this has brought many challenges, but also opportunities to the financial services industry and the people who work in it.

Forward thinking leaders are embracing new opportunities presented by the revolutionary changes and upheaval in the distribution of financial services. Instead of avoiding or sidestepping the issues and challenges to current approaches, people like McMaster grad Rod Millard and a few others are on constant lookout for novel methods of optimizing advisor success and expanding market share. Success is being achieved by combining some of the best things that worked so well under the old system with innovative ways which address the changing needs of both advisors and most importantly, consumers. Organizations like Millard's Gryphin Advantage, headquartered in Hamilton are developing a winning formula that works well for consumers and advisors alike. Building on successes earned as much as 15 years ago and longer, Rod Millard and his team have put together a package of service offerings that are appealing to advisors across the province and the clients they serve. In fact, the appeal has expanded into other provinces in Canada. The Gryphin Advantage exemplifies what happens when consumer-accountable products, competitive compensation, strategic leadership and especially strong relationship-building skills are used as key ingredients to attract, develop and grow the practices of independently minded advisors who are focused on effectively dealing with the needs and wants of clients.

Rod Millard is no stranger to success. Being on top of his game is a characteristic the former McMaster Marauder has maintained throughout his business career. He demonstrated he could master the game with countless awards for production and service excellence going back to the mid-70s when he graduated. He managed one of the largest agencies in the industry while representing one of the major insurance companies still in business today. He now owns one of the larger Managing General Agencies in the country which is a major force in the Golden Horseshoe area, representing a plethora of companies and offering an impressive suite of products and services.

Whether you are a seasoned veteran looking for better efficiencies, a long-time advisor looking for ways to expand your practice, or someone exploring career opportunities in the financial services business, the Gryphin Advantage has alternatives and solutions you can use to your advantage. For those of you looking at service perpetuation, Gryphin has access to systems and options for transitioning your practice to someone else. All of these scenarios are supported by training and continuing education programs to keep advisors current and clients comfortable that recommendations are up to date.

There are a growing number of advisors moving rapidly towards retirement with a clientele who have been promised advice and products for their lifetime. Yes, their lifetime, not the advisors. As advisors and business owners we need to plan how we are going to exit from our practices while maintaining the promise of lifetime service to our clients. The need to do this and the urgency to get on with it is also being felt by insurance and investment companies and MGAs. Gryphin has the necessary resources and technical support to guide advisors through this process while maintaining service levels to clients.

The Gryphin Opportunity

What are some of the important things people are looking for today? Choice, integrity, professionalism, vision and a sense of belonging. We live in pretty complicated times, but people are still looking for simple solutions to complicated problems. They are looking for value, quality and peace of mind, a customized approach and solutions that treat them holistically, not just as sources of business. This applies to advisors and consumers. Working in a caring environment, surrounded by people who operate with a collected sense of purpose, certainly is appealing. Maintaining independence as an advisor but having access to superior technical support and consumer-accountable products are critical to meeting the demands of a more discerning consumer. Having fun and being the focus of a dedicated, consistent deployment of relationship-building efforts are aspects of business too often lacking in organizations today. After spending even a little time at the Gryphin Advantage, it soon becomes apparent that an ongoing investment is being made in the business, on the business and in the people associated with the business. These aspects are part of the culture of the Gryphin Advantage, an option for some, the life for others and perhaps the choice for you.


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