May 28, 2023


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CI Financial buys Barrett Asset Management in latest acquisition for Canadian wealth management firm

CI Financial, the leading acquirer of independent wealth management firms last year, is aiming to retain that title.

The Toronto-based RIA said Thursday that it had snapped up Barrett Asset Management of New York, its second acquisition this year.

The deal by CI Financial, an RIA with nearly $186 billion in client assets, is the firm’s 15th since it entered the U.S. market in January 2020. Barrett, an RIA, has $2.5 billion in client assets under management for high net worth and ultrahigh net worth investors.

The deal gives the Canadian company around $212 billion in total assets, including a total $50 billion from U.S. client assets.

Toronto-based CI Financial's latest acquisition reflects frenzied consolidation among wealth management firms.

Toronto-based CI Financial’s latest acquisition reflects frenzied consolidation among wealth management firms.

Bloomberg News

CI Financial bought Chicago-based Segall Bryant & Hamill last January, adding $23 billion in assets, including $6 billion in wealth management.

The buying spree—which includes acquisitions by affiliated RIAs—made the Canadian company the RIA industry’s most prolific acquirer last year, with nine deals and more than $27 billion in acquired client assets, according to Echelon Partners, an investment bank and consulting firm.

The quick pace at which CI Financial has been buying smaller RIAs reflects the frenzied deal-making among wealth managers, where independent wealth management firms and private equity investors dominate. The acquisitions have quickly made the company, which says it is the primary financial advisor for 330,000 Canadian families, a new kid on the U.S. block.

The Canadian company “doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon,” said Trevor Davis, an outside spokesperson, adding that the most recent acquisition reflects the company’s “dedication to expanding its network in the States.”

CI Financial’s shares trade on the Toronto and New York Stock exchanges.