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Why I Became a Wealth Manager


Growing up, I wavered between two career goals: becoming a doctor or working in finance. I didn’t realize then that both shared the common thread of helping people. I went on to study epidemiology in graduate school, receiving a Master of Science degree before realizing what I really wanted to do was work in finance. I was fascinated by investments and how money worked. 



With my science degree in hand, I changed industries. I spent a decade working as a biotech/pharmaceuticals research analyst for a brokerage firm, along with working as a portfolio manager for one of the largest pension funds in Canada, managing a healthcare/biotech portfolio. During this time, I also pursued my MBA from l’Université du Québec à Montréal and a Certificate in Derivatives Market Strategies from CSI Global Education. Following, I worked for a large Canadian bank within its private wealth subsidiary group.

A Desire for Change

Thus far in my career, I had served as a portfolio manager, CEO, and research analyst of both private and public companies. I had been the primary lead for the $150 million Canadian Healthcare portfolio with CDP Capital World Markets and had been responsible for managing over 600 relations/family accounts with $600 million plus under management, including client portfolio’s worth a minimum $1 million at National Bank Private Wealth 1859.


I had accomplished a lot and, while I enjoyed the financial side of things, I felt that I wasn’t able to work as closely with my clients as I wanted to. I sought to have access to more investment options and to develop more customized strategies for people based on their unique needs. And at that point in my career, I believed that the credentials and experience that I had would be extremely useful to help individuals navigate the investments world, strive to seek wealth, and prepare for retirement. This led me to leave the world of big finance to start my own small private firm.

Creating My Firm

It was intimidating to leave a secure job at a major national bank to go out on my own, but my passion and drive was stronger than my fear. I created Montag Private Wealth with the desire to take an independent approach to wealth management. This means I am unconstrained by conventional practices and can go beyond the limited opportunities offered by some larger players, such as banks.


Beyond independence, I wanted to provide a flexible approach to financial management and build a strategy that suits each client’s individual needs, from the conservative to the complexly diverse. By working independently, I am able to do just this. Passionate about making a positive impact on clients' lives, I like differentiating myself by listening, understanding and solving problem as well as managing risk, educate and simplify financial picture.

My Role Today

There are certainly challenges working as both the president and portfolio manager of my firm. There are a lot of tasks to juggle, and multiple hats to wear. It can also be tough debunking myths about personal finance, risk, creating wealth, and expected return. People often overestimate their financial literacy and aren’t always aware of all the moving parts of an investment strategy.


But, this is also what drives me to work hard in my career. I enjoy helping and teaching people. If there’s one thing I can provide to my clients, I hope it’s experience and knowledge. I want to give them the benefit of being able to ask questions and never feel that they are bothering me or that they should already know the answer. It’s so fulfilling to help people feel happier and more relieved regarding their financial future.

Taking the Next Step

If you’re interested in learning more about how I work, who I serve, and how I may be able to help you, I encourage you to reach out to me. I am always happy to go the extra mile to meet with you in the most convenient way, whether that’s virtually, at one of my offices in Toronto or Montreal, or at another location. To take the first step, call my office at 877-292-0009.

About Carl

Carl Martel is the president and portfolio manager of Montag Private Wealth. Along with more than 15 years of capital market experience and 10 years of experience in real estate hard assets, he is a Chartered Investment Manager® and hold a Certificate in Derivatives Market Strategies from CSI Global Education, a Masters of Science from Laval University, and an MBA from l’Université du Québec à Montréal. A focused and pragmatic, results-oriented investment professional and entrepreneur, he specializes in serving the unique financial needs of high net-worth individuals and families, foundations and endowment funds, and business owners. To learn more, visit or connect with Carl on LinkedIn.