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Industry Spotlight > Mergers and Acquisitions

CI Financial Scoops Up $11.4B Eaton Vance Wealth Business From Morgan Stanley

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Toronto-based CI Financial is buying the wealth management business of RIA Eaton Vance WaterOak Advisors, which has some $11.4 billion of client assets and formerly did business as Eaton Vance Investment Counsel, or EVIC, of Boston. 

The deal that it struck with Morgan Stanley is expected to grow the assets on CI’s RIA platform in the U.S. — CI Private Wealth — to about $133 billion.

Eaton Vance’s operations, including WaterOak Advisors, became part of Morgan Stanley in March 2021 via a $7 billion transaction. EVIC, which has been a wealth management provider since 1924, does estate and tax planning, as well as family office and trust services for families, endowments, foundations and other institutions.

Separately, the advisory firm Pathstone said early Thursday that it is buying Eaton Vance WaterOak Advisors’ assets focused on custom investment solutions for institutional and private wealth clients from Morgan Stanley; this business includes advisory work for some $3 billion in assets, bringing Pathstone’s total assets under advisement to more than $35 billion. (Pathstone is institutionally backed by Lovell Minnick Partners.)

“With nearly a century of success, Eaton Vance Investment Counsel has earned its reputation as one of the country’s leading registered investment advisors and we are proud to welcome them to CI Private Wealth,” said CI Financial CEO Kurt MacAlpine in a statement. 

“This is one of our largest U.S. acquisitions by assets to date and aligns us with a growing firm with a rich history, an exceptional team, industry-leading wealth management capabilities and loyal, sophisticated clients,” MacAlpine added.

CI Financial says its Eaton Vance transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022. As part of the deal, the full EVIC team will move to CI, which includes co-presidents David McCabe and Larry Gingrow and the group’s 56 employees. 

“We’re excited about joining CI Private Wealth and what this partnership means for our clients, our employees and our firm as we solidify the long-term future of our business,” according to McCabe. 

“CI will be an exceptional partner, bringing extensive resources, which will ensure that we continue to serve our clients at the highest level for generations to come,” he said. 

CI’s wealth management business in the U.S. also includes: Barrett Asset Management; Balasa Dinverno Foltz; Bowling Portfolio Management; Brightworth; BRR OpCo; The Cabana Group; CPWM; Congress Wealth Management; Dowling & Yahnke; Doyle Wealth Management; Gofen & Glossberg; Matrix Capital Advisors; McCutchen Group; OCM Capital Partners; Portola Partners Group; Radnor Financial Advisors; RegentAtlantic Capital; The Roosevelt Investment Group; RGT Wealth Advisors; R.H. Bluestein & Co.; Segall Bryant & Hamill; Stavis & Cohen Private Wealth; and Surevest.

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