After a flurry of acquisitions in Canada and the U.S., Toronto-based CI Financial Corp. saw its wealth management assets soar in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the firm’s earnings report on Thursday.
Canadian wealth management assets increased $16.1 billion or 31% during the quarter to $67.3 billion, the firm said, partly due to the October acquisition of Aligned Capital Partners Inc.
U.S. wealth management assets reached $29.2 billion on Dec. 31, up 96% over the quarter after CI acquired five U.S. registered investment advisor (RIA) firms.
“We have almost doubled the size of our wealth management business, reaching $96 billion at the end of the year, and quickly built a significant presence in the United States,” CEO Kurt MacAlpine said in a release.
The firm reported net income attributable to shareholders of $105 million for the quarter, down from $130.6 million the previous quarter. On an adjusted basis, net income for the quarter was $147.6 million. Adjusted earnings exclude a $42.6-million provision for non-recurring items such as legal charges, investment write-downs and losses from the early bond redemptions, the release said.
On a per-share basis, earnings for the quarter were $0.50, compared to $0.62 in the previous quarter and $0.66 in the fourth quarter of 2019. Adjusted earnings per share of $0.71 for the quarter and $2.45 for the year were record highs, the firm said.
CI’s total assets under management at the end of year were $135.1 billion, a 5% increase from Sept. 30 and 3% higher than a year earlier.
The firm reported $2.1 billion in overall net redemptions for the fourth quarter of 2020.
“We delivered a very successful fourth quarter, capping a transformative year for CI,” MacAlpine said.
“In 2020, we made great progress in executing on our strategic priorities of modernizing asset management, expanding wealth management, and globalizing the firm. While we are still in the early stages of executing our strategy, CI is a fundamentally different company than it was just a year ago.”
The firm repurchased 1.8 million shares in Q4 for $29.8 million, and 14 million shares in 2020 for $258 million, the release said. It paid a quarterly dividend of $0.18 per share totalling $37.8 million in the quarter and $155.3 million for the year.