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CI Financial Acquires $3.4B Multi-Family Office RIA

CI’s deal with Seattle-based McCutchen Group is its first in the Pacific Northwest, and it will expand the firm's footprint in the ultra-high-net-worth market.

CI Financial, an RIA acquirer from north of the border, continues on its U.S. acquisition tear, this time buying ultra-high-net-worth-focused McCutchen Group, a Seattle-based registered investment advisor with $3.4 billion in assets under management.

Terms of the deal, expected to close later this year, were not disclosed.

McCutchen represents CI’s 22nd deal, including sub-acquisitions, since entering the U.S. market at the beginning of 2020, and CI’s first acquisition in the Pacific Northwest. The multi-family office RIA will expand CI’s footprint in the UHNW space, much like CI’s acquisition of Portola Partners, a Silicon Valley-based wealth manager with $5.2 billion in client assets, which also specializes in serving the ultra-wealthy.

With the addition of McCutchen, CI’s total U.S. wealth management assets will be $83 billion.

McCutchen, founded in 2007 by CEO Matt McCutchen, provides comprehensive financial advisory services, including investment management, tax planning, charitable and estate planning and family office services.

In September, CI announced plans to launch its U.S. headquarters in Miami; the firm has leased 20,000-square-feet of office space in the city’s Bricknell Financial District. CI expects to open the new office in 2023, which will initially house core C-suite executives and personnel. But the firm plans to expand the office as its CI Private Wealth brand evolves. With the move, CI becomes the largest financial institution to place a headquarters in South Florida, according to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. 

According to Echelon Partners, CI Financial was the most active strategic acquirer in the RIA space in 2020, having completed nine transactions during the year. In November 2020, CI began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker CIXX. The firm issued its first bond in the U.S. in December of last year.  

CI Financial CEO Kurt MacAlpine has been quick to say they’re not building an “aggregator” model; the firm is not forcing these RIAs to change immediately. But, rather, the plan is to “empower them to naturally put these businesses together over time.”

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