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Brokerage house Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. landed a trio of investment advisers from rival dealers in the past week, a sign that wealth managers are looking past the pandemic and once again recruiting talent.

Canaccord Genuity, one of the country’s few remaining large independent dealers, hired stockbrokers from Richardson GMP Ltd., Raymond James Ltd. and RBC Dominion Securities, a Royal Bank of Canada division.

Full-service brokerage houses, including the bank-owned companies that dominate the domestic industry, are all focused on hiring advisers and adding clients because their wealth-management divisions generate relatively dependable fees.

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However, movement came to an industrywide halt in March, when the novel coronavirus knocked backed equity markets and locked down advisers, most of whom focused on keeping their businesses running and helping clients. The recent hiring spree at Toronto-based Canaccord Genuity shows talent is once again on the move.

Canaccord Genuity’s new arrivals include Vancouver-based Lori Pinkowski, who spent the past 11 years at Raymond James and was one of the company’s top performers. Former RBC Dominion adviser Monica He is also joining the investment dealer in Vancouver.

In Calgary, Canaccord Genuity brought aboard Ernie Wyder, who spent the past six years at Richardson GMP. This is the second veteran adviser to come over from Richardson GMP’s Calgary office this year: Scott Starratt made the move in February, after 13 years at his former company. At the end of March, Canaccord Genuity fielded 146 adviser teams in Canada.

Richardson GMP is in the midst of a long-promised transaction meant to give its employee shareholders a chance to cash in on their stakes in the company. If the deal, announced in February, does go forward, financial advisers and the Winnipeg-based Richardson family will exchange their stakes in a private company for shares in publicly traded GMP Capital Inc.

So far this year, GMP Capital’s stock price is down by 34 per cent. Year to date, Canaccord Genuity’s share price is up by 45 per cent.

Canaccord Genuity made a significant investment in its wealth-management platform in recent years, including rolling out technology from Envestnet, a Chicago-based company that supports more than 103,000 financial advisers.

“We have been focused on building a boutique wealth-management offering for the best investment advisers in the country,” said Stuart Raftus, Canaccord Genuity’s executive vice-president and chief administrative officer. The dealer has welcomed 41 adviser teams in the past four years, and Mr. Raftus said: “It is so pleasing that even during this unprecedented environment of COVID-19, our momentum continues.”

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The company oversees $60.7-billion on behalf of clients in North America, Europe and Australia. In the most recent quarter, which included March’s pandemic-induced selloff in equity markets, revenues from wealth management rose by 18 per cent compared with the same period the previous year, to $138-million. Companywide, Canaccord Genuity’s profit rose by 12 per cent in the most recent quarter, compared with the previous year, to $25-million.

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