Financial planner Keith McConkey with daughters Abigail and Madison. DON RICKERS

Keith McConkey has a passion for baseball, community, and serving clients

Before his family and financial services career came along, it’s fair to say that Keith McConkey’s primary passion was baseball.

Born in Toronto, McConkey moved with his family to Thorold as a child, and has lived in Niagara for some 30 years. He currently resides in Welland with his wife, Kerri (a Welland native), and their two daughters. He attended Brock for his university studies, and then at age 22 headed to Florida for baseball umpire school, thereafter spending six years in the minor leagues as a professional umpire.

“I started in the New York-Penn League in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. From there I went to the Midwest league with teams in Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. My next stop was the Florida State League, followed by three years in Double A in the Eastern League, covering Maryland all the way over to Ohio. The Umpires Association moves its people around a lot, in order to give umpires a varied experience at several levels of play.”

Ultimately, the stressors of professional baseball, especially the long periods living in hotels away from home and family, convinced McConkey to transition into a new career in financial services. He spent four years with CIBC as a financial advisor, then took on a management role with PenFinancial Credit Union. The appeal of running his own business led him to the Investors Group over a year ago, and he now offers a full array of financial services to his clients encompassing debt management, savings, estate planning, wealth protection, and tax minimization strategies. McConkey has earned Professional Financial Planner (PFP) and Responsible Investment Specialist (RIS) designations.

McConkey is still active as a baseball umpire, officiating games in the Intercounty League, an amateur league in Southern Ontario, featuring teams like the Welland Jackfish. He has also represented Canada internationally as an ump at a few World Championships and the Pan Am Games.

“I was supposed to work a qualifier tournament in June for the Tokyo Olympics, but COVID travel restrictions have curtailed that,” he said.

As an active member of the Fonthill Rotary Club, McConkey is eager to engage within the Pelham community. He and his family enjoy the Farmers Market and Bandshell concerts on Thursdays during the summer at Peace Park, along with Summerfest activities.

He has enjoyed his move to IG Wealth Management.

“It’s been great. I achieved an internal performance award, and have made plenty of client introductions. It’s a relationship business, so you really want to meet people face to face to develop a sense of trust, which is so critical. Zoom meetings are currently necessary, but just aren’t the same as in-person conversations.”

IG places an emphasis on planning for clients, said McConkey. “I’m a firm believer that you don’t become a client until we’ve done some planning for you. I need to know the direction that you want to go, so that I can make recommendations on the solution side. Investments and insurance and all the other financial services are just solutions that fill gaps in a financial plan. I will recommend early solutions that people need, but I’m never going to be product-centric, I am always going to be client-centric.”

McConkey is working from home during the pandemic, rather than at the Investors Group office on Lincoln Street in Welland. He can be reached by phone at 905-788-1356 (office) and 905-347-2251 (mobile), or by email at [email protected]