Desjardins Group and a partnership of five provincial credit union centrals and The CUMIS Group have entered into an agreement to merge the businesses of their subsidiaries, Credential Financial Inc., Qtrade Canada Inc. and NEI Investments.
Credential is owned jointly by the Centrals and CUMIS, Qtrade is owned by Desjardins, and NEI is owned jointly by Desjardins and the Centrals.
More than 500,000 clients
The deal will create a new company, Aviso Wealth, which will be one of Canada’s largest wealth management firms with more than 500,000 clients and over $55 billion in assets under administration and management, stated an announcement released Dec. 12.
Aviso Wealth, will be jointly owned by Desjardins and a limited partnership comprised of the Centrals/CUMIS. The Centrals represent approximately 300 credit unions across Canada. CUMIS is owned jointly by Co-operators Life Insurance Company and Central 1 Credit Union. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.
Bill Packham, currently the CEO of Qtrade Canada Inc, will lead Aviso Wealth as CEO. Aviso Wealth will have its main offices in Toronto and Vancouver and regional offices across the country.
Strong alternative to the banks
Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group, said, "Desjardins is a partner with Canada's credit unions and is proud to join forces with them and with CUMIS and its majority owner, The Co-operators, to create a major Canadian wealth management provider that will, in all aspects, offer credit union members and other clients a strong alternative to the banks and other wealth management companies."
"This partnership reinforces CUMIS and The Co-operators commitment to meet the wealth management needs of Canadians through both our multi-channel distribution network and the credit union system," said Rob Wesseling, President and CEO, The Co-operators.
Greater potential for growth
"Each of the three combining companies is successful on its own, but the combined organization will be much stronger, with greater potential for growth, profitability and innovation than the existing companies could achieve on their own," said Packham. "In today's competitive financial landscape, building a coalition between credit unions and successful wealth partners has become more important than ever."