IGM Financial Inc. chief executive James O’Sullivan says he is ready to sit at the table to talk about any potential deals that will expand his company’s market share in both wealth and asset management.
The investment giant, which is a subsidiary of Power Corp. of Canada , manages about $271-billion in assets and includes IG Wealth Management, Investment Planning Counsel and Mackenzie Investments. IGM has been on a hot acquisition streak throughout the pandemic, closing three deals in the past year.
On Wednesday, the company reported net earnings in the third quarter of $271-million or $1.13 a share – up 42 per cent from the third quarter of 2020.
More than half of the net earnings this quarter – $146.8-million – comes from the company’s wealth management arm, which consists of more than 3,300 financial advisers and licensed associates at both IPC and IG Wealth (the rebranded Investors Group). The division saw a profit increase of 21.3 per cent compared with the third quarter of 2020.
It is also an area of the company Mr. O’Sullivan wants to see grow – both by adding individual financial advisers with high-net-worth books of business, and by acquiring larger adviser practices.
To do so, IGM has earmarked about $700-million in cash to be at the ready. In addition, the company has debt capacity and a significant holding in Great-West LifeCo Inc. , another Power Corp. subsidiary, which could “potentially be used as currency for acquisitions,” Mr. O’Sullivan said in an interview.
“Already there has been so much consolidation among firms in the industry, so those opportunities are rare. But if anything surfaces, we want to be able to have a hard look at it,” he added.
Mr. Sullivan said his appetite in wealth acquisitions will be restricted to the Canadian marketplace. Unlike some of his competitors, he is not looking south of the border.
In particular, he hopes to purchase a number of private investment counsel businesses, which typically manage anywhere from $1-billion to $10-billion in client assets.
“Those businesses are potentially of interest to us because we know they tend to have a base of high-net-worth clients, they’re fee-based, and they’re discretionary, which is all appealing to us,” Mr. O’Sullivan said.
“We have not achieved our full potential yet in Canada among the high-net-worth and ultra high network, so our appetite in wealth management is very much Canadian focused.”
Asset manager Mackenzie Investments, however, will not limit its search to within Canada’s borders for future acquisition opportunities.
Last year, Mackenzie, along with its sister company Great-West Lifeco Inc., bought a major stake in private-equity firm Northleaf Capital Partners for $700-million, boosting their presence in the alternative investments space, such as infrastructure and private credit. The company also added Greenchip Financial, a socially responsible investment manager and GLC Asset Management Group.
Enhancing investment capabilities has begun to pay off. IGM has seen an influx in investor dollars over the past year as industry sales remain elevated because of higher consumer savings and an improvement in many household balance sheets as a result of the pandemic.
Mackenzie Investments reported investment net sales of $1.7-billion for the third quarter, compared with $610-million in the same quarter for the year prior.
Barry McInerney, CEO of Mackenzie Investments, said during an analyst call the household savings also resulted in “quite a reduction” in investors redeeming their funds.
Growth in industry sales is sustainable, though perhaps not at current levels, Mr. McInerney said, adding he anticipates it will continue “at a higher level for many years to come.”
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