Manulife Financial will acquire independent financial planning firm Wellington West Financial Services Inc. from National Bank Financial Group.
The deal brings 39 MFDA-registered advisors and $900 million in assets under administration to its Canadian dealer, Manulife Securities. The financial terms of the acquisition were undisclosed.
“Once the bank looked at its capacity to develop a competitive platform to satisfy this clientele’s needs — they are mostly based in Western Canada — National Bank determined its best course of action would be to sell Wellington West Financial Services to a company that already has the scale to allow the business to grow,” says National Bank’s Joan Beauchamp.
As for Manulife, Rick Annaert, president and CEO of Manulife Securities, says, “There is a natural cultural fit between our two firms.”
National Bank bought Wellington West Holdings Inc., a then-independent Winnipeg-based financial services firm, for $333 million last July. At the time, Wellwest had 223 advisors and more than $10 billion in assets under administration.
Wellington West provides personal and corporate financial planning services through its network of advisors in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario.
The acquisition will create a team at Manulife Securities of more than 1,250 independent advisers with $20 billion in assets under administration. Manulife Securities’ advisers provide independent financial planning and investment management services to individuals, families and business owners.
The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter 2012 and is subject to regulatory approval.
On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Manulife shares were up 10 cents at $11.30 in afternoon trading Wednesday, while shares in National Bank, which reports second-quarter earnings Thursday, were up $1.01 at $75.66.