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CI Financial Makes 10th US Wealth Management Acquisition

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor , November 25, 2020


The transaction is CI Financial's 10th direct US deal this year and when other affiliates are taken into account, its 13th. The agreement is part of a wider M&A phenomenon that is affecting the US registered investment advisor market.

Canada’s CI Financial continued its astonishing run of US wealth management acquisitions this week by announcing that it has agreed to buy a majority stake in RGT Wealth Advisors, a Dallas-based RIA overseeing about $4.7 billion. 

Payment will be a mix of cash and shares in CI.

The agreement represents CI’s 10th direct US wealth management acquisition this year and 13th overall (including acquisitions by CI affiliated RIAs). The deal, along with previously announced transactions, is expected to increase CI’s total US wealth assets to about $21 billion.

RGT, founded in 1985, serves high net worth individuals and family offices in Texas and across the US. The firm’s practice specialties include wealth management and planning for corporate executives, business owners, multi-generational families, and current and retired professional athletes.

“RGT, our largest US acquisition by assets to date, is a growing firm with an exceptional team, strong leadership and well-developed expertise attuned to the needs of their clients,” Kurt MacAlpine, CI chief executive, said. “RGT also provides CI with a leading presence in the important and fast-growing Texas market, one of the country’s largest regional economies with its major drivers being growth sectors such as financial services, energy, technology, telecommunications and life sciences.”

CI has been part of a wider M&A surge this year, shrugging off any disruptions caused by COVID-19. As this news service has reported, there has been a run of M&A deals that play to the consolidation and scale-building narrative. According to ECHELON Partners, an investment bank and advisory firm operating in this space, there were 55 M&A deals involving RIAs in Q3, up from 35 in the second quarter and 46 in the first quarter of this year. In the same quarter of 2019, there were 49 such transactions. (See an analysis of the CI Financial purchases by regular FWR correspondent Charles Paikert.)

The Canada-based firm wants to widen its CI Private Wealth brand, which was recently introduced in Canada to represent its HNW and ultra-HNW advisory businesses, to the US.

Ardea Partners LP served as the exclusive financial advisor to RGT. The transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, and requisite stock exchange approvals in respect of the issuance of the CI share consideration. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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