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CI Financial

CI Financial to Take U.S. Wealth Unit Public

The Canadian aggregator of U.S. wealth management firms will use the proceeds of the IPO to pay down debt.

CI Financial, the Canadian-based asset management firm that has been aggressively buying up registered investment advisors in the United States, said Thursday it will take its $133 billion U.S. wealth management business public. The company announced plans to sell up to 20% of its U.S. business via an initial public offering that will be a U.S.-listed subsidiary of the publicly traded parent firm.

CI will file a form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission later this year. The company will use the proceeds of the IPO to pay down debt, according to a statement. The firm will maintain majority interest in the U.S. wealth business.

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. 

The firm recently announced a deal to buy a portion of the wealth management business of Eaton Vance WaterOak Advisors from Morgan Stanley, totaling about $11.4 billion. Once that acquisition closes, CI’s U.S. wealth business will consist of approximately $133 billion in total assets.

“The growth in our U.S. wealth management business is incredible; however, in our opinion, the value we have created isn’t reflected in our share price today,” said CI CEO Kurt MacAlpine, in a statement. “After a thorough evaluation of our strategic options, we are confident that a U.S.-listed subsidiary IPO is the best route to shareholder value creation. The U.S. wealth management business now has sufficient scale to stand alone as a public company, creating an attractive, long-term destination for clients and advisors. We believe this is the best path to realizing our vision of becoming the leading ultra-high-net-worth and high-net-worth business in the U.S.”

CI Financial is using the U.S. RIA market to carry out its plans to globalize. 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 2020.  

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.

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