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The enterprising trust-services exec

Jennifer Hodgson, BA 99
November 6, 2023
By Samantha Rideout, GrDip 10

Portrait of a smiling woman with shoulder-length curly hair. She is wearing a business suit and a pearl necklace.

After 20 years of working for trust companies owned by major banks, Jennifer Hodgson is building a new one. In 2020, the independent financial services firm Raymond James launched a trust company subsidiary. As its CEO, Hodgson is scaling up the business and strategically leading it forward.

“This is a great opportunity to think about the estate and trust business differently because we’re not saddled with existing systems or infrastructure,” she says. “We can create something that’s really adapted to the needs of today’s advisors and their clients.”

Changes in the field

“We live in a global society now, which affects where people own assets. Families have complexified, too: we see more family members moving away, blended families, common-law situations and so on. We’re also seeing more people wanting to create a legacy beyond the home hub, establishing intergenerational trusts or leaving important gifts to charitable organizations or foundations.”

Serving future generations

“Everyone has become busier. Families are increasingly choosing us because they don’t want to put the burden of administering an estate onto their loved ones. They know they just won’t have the time for it.”

Favourite professional task

“Building a team and a business at the same time is exhilarating. I miss the work I used to do with clients, but creating a business focused on supporting them and their families is very gratifying.”

Outside of work

“I have my family: two daughters, my spouse and a dog. I serve on the board of Equestrian Canada; horses have always been my passion. I do yoga and Pilates to keep my body and mind in check. Just having a great career isn’t enough; you have to find balance to keep it all together!”

From reluctant student to fond grad

“Although I would have opted for another path at 19, my parents made education a priority. I wound up really enjoying the economics program at Concordia. There was a professor in my first year who was so passionate and interesting that he inspired me to continue. I feel a great affinity for Concordia, and I hope to inspire my girls to go there one day as well.”

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