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Industry Spotlight > Mergers and Acquisitions

CI Financial to Buy $5.1B RIA in San Diego

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What You Need to Know

  • The purchase of Dowling & Yahnke will give CI Financial its first San Diego location.
  • The Toronto-based firm continues to expand its U.S. footprint through acquisitions.
  • The firm is extending its CI Private Wealth brand to its U.S. operations.

CI Financial, a wealth and investment management firm based in Toronto, signed a deal to acquire Dowling & Yahnke, a San Diego-based registered investment advisor with $5.1 billion in assets, CI said Monday.

D&Y is led by Dale E. Yahnke, who is CEO of a team of 50, according to its website.

Other recent acquisitions by CI included Pinnacle Advisory Group of Columbia, Maryland, by CI-affiliated RIA Congress Wealth Management, announced May 3, and Brightworth, an Atlanta-based RIA with about $4.7 billion in client assets, announced in March.

The purchase of D&Y will give CI its first San Diego location, and the addition is expected to more than double its assets in the key Southern California market as the Canadian financial services firm continues to expand its overall U.S. footprint. CI’s U.S. wealth management business now consists of holdings in 13 RIA firms across the country, it said.

The acquisition would boost CI’s U.S. assets to $63 billion and total assets under management and wealth management assets globally to $230 billion, it said. CI managed and advised on about $192 billion in client assets as of March 31.

The  transaction would be CI’s 18th RIA purchase (including acquisitions by CI-affiliated RIAs) and its second-largest acquisition of an RIA to date, it said.

CI didn’t specify what its largest acquisition was and did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Terms of the D&Y deal were not disclosed.

D&Y, which does business as Dowling & Yahnke Wealth Advisors, was founded in 1991 and serves over 1,300 clients, mainly individuals, families and nonprofit organizations. D&Y provides comprehensive investment management and financial planning services that are tailored to each client’s individual life and legacy goals.

CI entered the U.S. RIA sector in January 2020 with the goal of building the nation’s leading private wealth firm.

“CI’s U.S expansion reflects its strategic priorities of globalizing the firm and expanding its wealth management platform,” according to the firm. “As part of this, CI will be extending the CI Private Wealth brand” to its U.S. operations, it said.

The D&Y transaction is expected to close later this quarter, subject to regulatory, stock exchange, and other customary closing conditions, CI said.

“Dowling & Yahnke is one of the top RIAs in the U.S.,” Kurt MacAlpine, CI CEO, said in a statement. “Dale Yahnke and his team have built an exceptional business distinguished by their dedication to clients, deep expertise in holistic wealth planning, and an enduring reputation for excellence.”

D&Y will be the sixth RIA in CI’s group to have more than 5 billion Canadian dollars in assets, MacAlpine added.

“Our firm was founded 30 years ago on the idea of placing the best interests of our clients above all else,” Yahnke said in the announcement. “A strategic partnership with CI at this time allows D&Y to reach new heights in delivering a further elevated level of professional service for those that would trust us with the responsibility of overseeing their complete financial picture.”