CI Financial continues wealth expansion strategy with acquisition of a minority interest in Assante Dorval

TORONTO, Sept. 24, 2020 /CNW/ – CI Financial Corp. (“CI”) (TSX: CIX) and Assante Wealth Management (Canada) Ltd. (“Assante”), a wholly owned subsidiary of CI, announced today an agreement to acquire a minority share in Assante’s Dorval, Quebec operation, Assante’s largest and fastest-growing regional centre.

Assante Dorval provides comprehensive, customized wealth planning services to individuals, business owners and professionals across the province of Quebec. Located just west of Montreal, it is Assante’s largest retail presence in terms of assets under management (“AUM”), with 59 licensed financial advisors. It also serves as Assante’s Quebec regional corporate office.  

“We are incredibly proud and gratified by the confidence that CI and Assante have shown in our business with this strategic investment,” said Peter Pomponio, Managing Director of Assante Quebec and owner of Assante Dorval. “It is a testament to our strong partnership and an endorsement of our shared entrepreneurial culture, which emphasizes attracting and retaining top talent and putting the interests of our clients first.” 

This is the first direct equity investment in a regional or local operation for Assante, as these offices are typically owned by an advisor or advisor team. Assante Dorval, which has exhibited significant growth in AUM in recent years, will continue with its existing management team led by Mr. Pomponio and Chief Financial Officer Nick Marando. They will also continue their leadership role for Assante in the province of Quebec.  

“Large, growing, centrally located operations like Assante Dorval are essential to the continued success of our wealth management business in Canada,” said Sean Etherington, President of Assante. “CI’s investment in Assante Dorval will support the business by strengthening the platform for recruiting high-performing advisors, promoting continued growth in the high-net-worth advisory segment and allowing for long-term succession planning opportunities.

“Peter has built an industry-leading team of advisors at Dorval and has been instrumental to the growth of both the Assante brand and our regional presence in Quebec. I look forward to continue working with them to build on this success.”

For CI, the acquisition aligns with a substantial ongoing investment in both expanding and enhancing its wealth management platform in the U.S. and Canada, as this remains a key strategic area of growth for the company. 

“Since we rolled out our new corporate strategy late last year, we’ve made incredible progress toward our priority of expanding our wealth management platform,” said Kurt MacAlpine, Chief Executive Officer of CI. “In 2020 alone, CI has added $26 billion in new advisor assets across our wealth management business, and we have a fantastic pipeline that should continue to position CI as the fastest-growing platform in the key markets and segments we compete in. Peter and the Dorval team have done an impressive job of growing Assante’s presence in Quebec and we’re thrilled to be partnering with them in a new capacity.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close early in the fourth quarter of 2020.  

CI has invested in nine U.S.-based registered investment advisor (“RIA”) firms either directly or through affiliates this year, bringing its U.S. wealth management assets to approximately US$11.5 billion once all pending transactions have closed (based on assets as of August 31, 2020). This makes CI one of the U.S. wealth industry’s fastest-growing RIA platforms. Last month, CI also announced its intention to purchase a majority interest in Aligned Capital Partners Inc. of Burlington, Ontario, a rapidly growing Canadian full-service investment advisory firm with approximately $10 billion in assets, which is the largest wealth management acquisition in Canada in 2020.

About Assante Wealth Management 
Founded in 1995, Assante Wealth Management is one of Canada’s largest firms providing wealth management solutions. Assante’s 900 professional advisors, located in communities throughout the country, have approximately $46 billion of Canadians’ family wealth under their care (as of August 31, 2020). Assante is a subsidiary of CI Financial Corp. (TSX: CIX). For more information, visit www.assante.com.

About CI Financial
CI Financial Corp. (TSX: CIX) is an independent company offering global asset management and wealth management advisory services. CI held approximately $189 billion in fee-earning assets as of August 31, 2020. CI’s primary asset management businesses are CI Investments Inc. and GSFM Pty Ltd., and it operates in wealth management through Assante Wealth Management (Canada) Ltd., CI Private Counsel LP, WealthBar Financial Services Inc., CI Investment Services (BBS Securities Inc.), The Cabana Group, LLC, Balasa Dinverno Foltz, LLC, Congress Wealth Management, One Capital Management, LLC and Surevest LLC. Further information is available at www.cifinancial.com.

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SOURCE CI Financial Corp.