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CI Financial scales up with a $780 million acquisition of Sentry

Sentry will remain a standalone brand within the CI family, CI CEO says.

Neil Jonatan 11 August, 2017 | 5:00PM
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 CI Financial Corp. (CIX) has announced that it will acquire Sentry Corp. in a $780-million deal that combines two of Canada's largest independent active asset managers -- scaling CI’s assets under management by 16%, from $120.4 billion to approximately $140 billion and growing its total assets (assets under management plus assets under advisement) to approximately $180 billion.

The transaction is expected to close on or about Sept. 29, 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.

"The combined company will enjoy greater scale, which is key to being competitive in the investment industry today," said Peter W. Anderson, CI's chief executive officer, in a press release. "We’re a large Canadian independent firm that has the scale to be able to compete, with exceptional portfolio managers, an excellent sales team and a real independent focus."

Sentry manages a diverse lineup of over 45 mutual fund mandates and other investment solutions with approximately $19.1 billion in assets. The firm’s president and chief executive officer, Philip Yuzpe, says that Sentry "will remain a leading Canadian investment management firm, now benefiting from the support of CI's best-in-class investment platform."

Following the completion of the acquisition, Anderson points out that Sentry will remain a standalone brand that will continue to provide its own products. "There’s always going to be a Sentry brand within the CI line-up," he says. As part of the CI Financial group of firms, Sentry will "have a much broader product shelf," he adds.

According to Anderson, the portfolio management team is part of the reason for this acquisition: "Investors are going to benefit from the big funds that Sentry has chosen. We want to integrate the back offices because that allows…investors to move from one fund to another [more easily] if they so desire," he says.

CI Financial has a history of acquiring smaller firms. The most recent of CI's more than a dozen acquisitions include Marret Asset Management Inc. in 2013, First Asset Capital Corp. in 2015, and Grant Samuel Funds Management in 2016.

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Neil Jonatan

Neil Jonatan  Neil Jonatan is a Toronto-based financial writer specializing in student finance, currently enrolled in the Journalism program at Ryerson University.

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