Richard has six children. So yes, you could say he’s had to develop his listening skills.
As he likes to put it, “I see myself as a professional listener.”
It started with his life as a musician – first, with the classical guitar and then in his teens with the electric bass, which he still plays.
In the 90s, Richard spent six years in the social work world, working with street kids. “That’s where I had to develop an entirely different gear of listening – one that a lot of people don’t get the opportunity to learn.”
It was all building toward his business career, a 23-year run ultimately leading national recruitment of financial advisors and their senior leadership at BMO and TD banks. Always recognized as a business focused recruiter, one of his primary realizations was that big bank advisors often represent their firm’s products: they seemed simply to favour “house products”, rather than accessing a wider range of solutions that independents like Ardill Group do.
“That’s why the Ardill Group tagline – Just the right match for your money™ – appeals to me so much. As a recruiter of senior executives, it was all about finding the right match, and I did that by listening. That’s what I do here: it’s about listening for stated needs, but also for the answer to the question, ‘What problem is my client really trying to solve?’ Here I’ve got the toolkit to solve almost anything.”
Richard holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (with High Distinction) from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. An unexpected educational combination? Perhaps not. “I remember my dad, who was Mexican, for his love of life. He is the people side. And my mom is German, the analytical side. I literally got the best of both worlds.”
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