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Founder and co-CEO of Grayhawk Investment Strategies Michael Kaumeyer (left) and Peter Mann (right).Courtesy of manufacturer

Former Gluskin Sheff executive Peter Mann has joined Grayhawk Investment Strategies as co-chief executive officer as the Calgary-based independent advisery firm unveils plans to expand across Canada.

Mr. Mann, a 25-year industry veteran in financial services and wealth management, most recently served as co-chief investment officer at Gluskin Sheff + Associates.

Along with current and new shareholders of Grayhawk, Mr. Mann will contribute to a new $11-million equity investment in the firm, the company announced.

“These investments position Grayhawk to scale into a truly national player as an independent wealth-management fiduciary that serves successful Canadian families,” founder and co-CEO Michael Kaumeyer said in an interview.

Grayhawk is a portfolio-management company serving 30 of Canada’s richest families. Founded in 2015 by Mr. Kaumeyer, the firm provides financial planning to high-net-worth and ultrahigh-net-worth households. (Ultrahigh-net-worth accounts typically comprise more than $30-million in investable assets.)

Also known as family offices, ultrahigh-net-worth portfolio-management firms help affluent individuals or families – which can include multiple generations of family wealth – to manage their financial portfolios, including complex tax and estate planning as well as insurance needs. The firm has been operating offices in Calgary and Toronto, with plans to open offices in Montreal and Vancouver over the next several months.

Grayhawk’s expansion plan comes at a time when Canada’s wealth-management industry is in the midst of the biggest intergenerational wealth transfer to date. Approximately $1-trillion will have passed from one generation to the next in Canada between 2016 and 2026, according to data from ISS Market Intelligence.

Servicing Canada’s wealthiest people is a competitive landscape for independent wealth managers, but the competition is starting to get smaller. There are 157 independent brokerage firms in Canada, according to the Investment Industry Association of Canada. That’s down from just over 200 firms that were operating five years ago.

Last year, Mr. Mann’s former employer, which also caters to affluent clients, was sold to private equity firm Onex Corp. for $445-million. When Mr. Mann left Gluskin Sheff last August after the sale, Mr. Kaumeyer – who had met Mr. Mann a decade ago – approached him about a possible partnership.

“I wasn’t looking for co-CEO specifically, but the opportunity of working together was an obvious for both of us,” Mr. Kaumeyer said.

Mr. Mann oversaw approximately half of the assets at Gluskin Sheff, or a little more than $8-billion at the end of 2018. His investment expertise includes both institutional and “endowment-style” portfolio construction. Grayhawk intends to expand its services in next-generation learning, family governance, and tax and estate planning.

Grayhawk also remains in discussions to bring digital capabilities in-house. Last summer, Grayhawk announced it was partnering with robo-adviser Wealthsimple to provide its advisers digital access that would allow them to automate manual processes, such as account opening, compliance and account administration.

Several months later, Wealthsimple said it was selling the division that serviced financial advisers to Purpose Advisor Solutions, a subsidiary of Purpose Financial. The deal also included Wealthsimple executives Dave Nugent and J-F Courville, who both helped establish the Wealthsimple for Advisors platform and brought Grayhawk on board.

Mr. Kaumeyer said the company continues to be interested in maintaining a relationship with the Wealthsimple for Advisors team and is waiting to hear further details after the Purpose Financial acquisition closes.