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Kurt MacAlpine, the new CEO of CI Financial, in downtown Toronto, on Dec. 20, 2019.Tijana Martin/The Globe and Mail

CI Financial Corp. has continued its U.S. buying spree with the purchase of Seattle-based McCutchen Group LLC, a registered investment adviser firm that caters to high-net-worth families.

McCutchen Group, which manages US$3.4-billion in assets, is CI’s fourth RIA acquisition since June, as it looks to expand its ultra-high-net-worth wealth management capabilities outside Canada.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

CI has been on a tear, acquiring more than 20 RIA companies since January, 2020. Earlier this month, it bought Budros, Ruhlin & Roe, a Columbus, Ohio-based wealth management firm with US$3.5-billion in assets, and in September purchased Silicon Valley-based Portola Partners Group LLC, with US$5.6-billion in assets.

McCutchen Group is CI’s first office in the Pacific Northwest and will boost its U.S. wealth management assets to about $106-billion and total assets to about $329-billion.

The expansion into the U.S. RIA market is part of CI’s plans to globalize while building out its wealth-management businesses. Last month, it opened a head office for its U.S. operations in Miami.

In the U.S., an RIA company typically follows an independent business model – it is not part of a larger brokerage – and advisers have a fiduciary obligation to act in the best interests of clients. The U.S. RIA market has more than 17,000 companies but has seen a wave of consolidation in recent years.

CI has not disclosed its total spending on its U.S acquisitions. But according to its annual report, it spent $891-million in 2020 on 10 U.S.-based registered investment advisers and Canadian firm Aligned Capital Partners Inc. – $537.4-million in cash, $35.4-million in CI stock and an estimated $318.3-million in future payments.

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