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CI Financial Acquires $3.4B RIA Budros, Ruhlin & Roe

Budros, Ruhlin & Roe, which has $3.4 billion in client assets, is the fifth CI Financial acquisition to come out of the 'Blind Squirrels' study group.

Canadian financial services firm CI Financial has acquired yet another U.S.-based registered investment advisory, this time adding Budros, Ruhlin & Roe, a $3.4 billion firm out of Columbus, Ohio.

Budros, Ruhlin & Roe is the latest CI Financial acquisition that’s also part of the “Blind Squirrels” study group, an elite RIA organization. CI previously acquired other Blind Squirrels, including RGT Wealth Advisors in Dallas, Balasa Dinverno & Foltz in Chicago and former Squirrel Brightworth in Atlanta. CI also acquired Dowling & Yahnke in San Diego and then Radnor Financial Advisors in Wayne, Pa.

Budros, Ruhlin & Roe partners rolled their equity into CI Financial’s private wealth management unit. No further details of the transaction, expected to close in the fourth quarter, were disclosed.

“Budros, Ruhlin & Roe is the leading private wealth firm in its region with a multi-decade track record of success,” CI Financial CEO Kurt MacAlpine said in a statement. “Their highly accomplished team will play a valued role in building CI Private Wealth into a national leader.”

Through CI Financial’s large scale, the RIA gets better cybersecurity, additional compliance assistance, more services around taxes and trusts and an opportunity to negotiate for better investment opportunities for clients, said Dan Roe, co-CEO and chief investment officer of Budros, Ruhlin & Roe.

As a member of Blind Squirrels, Roe added, his firm’s employees will have a wider pool of firms to connect with for “beneficial collaboration.”

“It’s an extension of the work we’ve been doing together for the last couple of decades to try to bring to our own regions the leading practices, planning and investing strategies to all of our clients individually. But now it’s coming together in a more formal way,” Roe said.

Budros, Ruhlin & Roe has been with Blind Squirrels for more than 10 years. It’s founding partners, James Budros and Peggy Ruhlin, were initially part of a study group called the Alpha Group, a consortium of independent firms throughout the U.S. A sect of firms wanted to focus more attention on investment management and strategies to heighten client assets and the best practices for leaders, Roe said. So, the group spun off and formed Blind Squirrels.

Budros, Ruhlin & Roe represents CI Financial’s 16th acquisition, excluding subacquisitions. In all, it has added 20 firms to its growing list of U.S. wealth management firms.

CI Financial is keeping its eye on the potential tax changes, MacAlpine said during a second quarter earnings call. He expected the number of sellers to “taper off” last year and he still anticipates a bit of a slowdown. But he said the firm’s pipeline remains full. He said the firm has two more acquisitions in the hopper that will increase U.S. assets to $91 billion.

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