Canadian wealth management firm CI Financial, one of the industry’s most voracious RIA acquirers, said it will buy a portion of the wealth management business of Eaton Vance WaterOak Advisors from Morgan Stanley, totaling about $11.4 billion.
At the same time, Pathstone, an independent advisory firm with $23 billion AUM as of the end of December, announced it would acquire some $3 billion in assets from Eaton Vance WaterOak Advisors, bringing Pathstone’s total assets under advisement above $35 billion.
Eaton Vance WaterOak Advisors was originally known as the Eaton Vance Investment Counsel when it was the wealth management affiliate for Eaton Vance Corp. It acquired WaterOak in November 2020, before Morgan Stanley acquired Eaton Vance and its subsidiaries in March of the following year in a $7 billion deal.
CI Financial CEO Kurt MacAlpine said the Eaton Vance team had earned its reputation as one of the United States’ leading RIAs and said he was proud to welcome them into the CI fold.
“This is one of our largest U.S. acquisitions by assets to date and aligns us with a growing firm with a rich history, an exceptional team, industry-leading wealth management capabilities and loyal, sophisticated clients,” MacAlpine said.
CI Financial first entered the U.S. space in January 2020 when it acquired a majority stake in the Phoenix-based RIA Surevest Wealth Management and quickly followed it with a majority stake in the California-based $1.6 billion RIA One Capital. CI’s continued to keep up the fevered acquisition pace; to date, it’s made 32 deals in the United States.
With the completion of the Eaton Vance deal (and other transactions), CI Financial is expected to jump to about $133 billion in assets (the firm’s total global assets total about $311 billion). In February, CI Financial acquired Corient Capital Partners, a $5 billion firm based in Newport Beach, Calif. In December, the firm acquired RegentAtlantic, a $6 billion firm based in New York and New Jersey. Last September, CI Financial announced it would open a U.S. headquarters in Miami, leasing 20,000 square feet of office space in the city's Brickell financial district. The office is expected to be completed this year and to open in 2023.
Pathstone’s partial acquisition of assets from Eaton Vance WaterOak will boost the former firm’s footprint in Florida (WaterOak is based out of Winter Park, Fla.), and, with the deal, Pathstone will expand to 14 locations with 235 team members throughout the United States.
WaterOak Advisors founder L. Clarke Lemons, who also heads the firm’s southeast division, said Pathstone would be a “fantastic partner” for the firm and its clients for the future.
“Pathstone represents the culture, vision and perspective that we so highly value in our care for our people and clients,” he said.
The CI and Eaton Vance deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022.