September 2, 2010

BNY Mellon Completes Acquisition of I(3) Advisors, a Toronto Wealth Manager

Canada's high-net-worth market is attracting big overseas wealth managers

BNY Mellon has completed its purchase of the Toronto wealth management boutique I3 Advisors, the firm said in a statement on Tuesday, September 1. It did not disclose terms of the deal, which it first announced June 18.

"Canada's high-net-worth market represents a very attractive opportunity for BNY Mellon as we accelerate our global expansion and seize new opportunities in dynamic markets," Larry Hughes, chief executive of BNY Mellon Wealth Management, said in the statement.

BNY Mellon's new acquisition is its first foray into Canada's wealth management sector. It has asset management operations in Toronto as well as a joint venture with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce for asset servicing and issuer services through CIBC Mellon, according to a June 21 Dow Jones report. The I3 Advisors purchase will put the firm in direct competition with UBS AG and Citigroup Inc., whose private banking businesses cater exclusively to ultra wealthy Canadians, the report said.

June Ntazinda remains chief executive of I3 Advisors, which has some $3.6 billion (in U.S. dollar terms) under advisement. In the announcement, she said the transaction would offer I3 Advisors clients several advantages:

? Broader global asset management opportunities

? Increased access to alternative investment opportunities

? Expanded banking and wealth planning services

? BNY Mellow announced its agreement to buy I3 on June 18.

"BNY Mellon Wealth Management is the ideal partner for us not only because of our shared commitment to client service, but also because of BNY Mellon's powerful global resources," Ntazinda said. "Working together we aim to broaden and enhance I3's investment services and fuel the next phase of the firm's growth."

I3 Advisors was originally the investment advisory division of Ernst & Young in Canada. An internal management group bought the business from E&Y in early 2005, and gave it its current name. Ntazinda, the division's president, became chief executive.

BNY Mellon Wealth Management has approximately $150 billion in private client assets and an extensive network of offices in the U.S. and internationally.

Michael S. Fischer (msf7@columbia.edu) is a New York-based financial writer and editor and a frequent contributor to WealthManagerWeb.com.

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