Success Story

Building on Trust to Drive Organizational Excellence

Client Profile

Originally launched as MD Management in 1969, MD Financial Management (MD) has a proud history of helping physicians and their families achieve financial well-being. MD is headquartered in Ottawa and has 49 branch offices with more than 1500 employees. In October 2018, the Canadian Medical Association completed the sale of MD to Scotiabank®, which is committed to preserving MD’s unique physician-specific approach to financial services. MD will operate as a distinct, standalone brand within Scotia Wealth Management®, where it will build on its values and culture.


When Brian Peters was hired as MD’s CEO in 2006, he turned to The Bailey Group (TBG)—specifically, Leigh Bailey, his coach of several years. During Brian’s ten years at MD, Leigh and other members of TBG have provided a wide range of services, from coaching work with executive leaders to helping the company create and navigate significant organizational change.


Brian and Leigh began working together in 2003, when Brian was CEO of RBC Dain Rauscher. When Brian left RBC, he continued his monthly coaching work with Leigh by phone, underscoring his commitment to professional development and his trust in Leigh. After accepting the position at MD, Brian called on Leigh and TBG again.

His first request was for support with onboarding, which quickly led to helping him strengthen the executive leadership team (ELT). Work included development sessions with the ELT to create alignment around a new vision and strategy for MD. We also coached several team members individually and helped them build their teams to align with the new vision.

Early in Brian’s tenure, financial industry regulations required MD to change its infrastructure to ensure compliance. This initiated a technology systems transformation, which ultimately became a catalyst for change throughout the organization.

MD called on TBG to provide support for the organizational and human capital transformation. This included working with the ELT on strategies for leading transformation. We also led training sessions for leaders throughout the organization to help them communicate clearly and consistently with staff about what was happening and why.

Additional work included conducting prehire assessments for key executive hires, providing onboarding coaching for new executives, and identifying and developing high-potential future leaders within MD. The board of directors also asked Leigh to design and execute a new CEO evaluation process, which has since been incorporated.

Leigh’s relationship with Brian continues to this day and currently includes monthly check-in calls and quarterly face-to-face meetings for in-depth discussions regarding strategy, ELT development, board relationships, and other issues. We also cultivated a high level of trust with the many individuals across MD—no small accomplishment considering that the primary relationship was with the CEO. MD’s executives came to rely on us to ask questions that might be hard for them to ask, provide insights into key issues, and ensure that all efforts were aligned with the company’s overriding objectives and its mission and vision.

“Some clients view consultants like The Bailey Group on a ‘get in, get out’ basis,” says Leigh. “MD’s transparency, communication, and ability to navigate different worldviews and mindsets allowed us—and them—to be highly efficient and productive in addressing critical issues as they arose.”


MD’s philosophy was to leverage the investment made in their work with TBG to become even more effective, better address new issues as they arise, and create deeper conversations with Brian and his team members.

The level of mutual trust between both parties helped MD realize these goals, all while addressing complex issues regarding confidentiality, value alignment, and boundaries when coaching multiple layers of management within an organization.

TBG’s business acumen and deep working knowledge of behavioral science allowed us to understand and advocate for MD’s people and the organization as a whole. Moreover, the depth of our bench strength enabled us to seamlessly provide MD with the breadth of expertise and rigorous processes it needed at any given time, enabling the company to act swiftly and efficiently.

“From day one of working with Leigh, his astute questions made a tremendous difference to my work as CEO. After I moved to Ottawa, we transitioned from monthly in-person meetings to regular updates via Facetime and one full-day meeting every quarter, allowing for extended conversations about key issues. Leigh has also come to know and work with my direct reports, and he really understands MD’s culture. Those insights, coupled with his ability to get to the heart of an issue, broaden perspectives, and help people maximize their potential, have been invaluable to me and MD.”

Brian Peters

President and CEO

MD Financial Management

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