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Independent wealth manager Wellington-Altus Financial Inc. has sold a minority interest to two private investor groups for about $85-million.

The Winnipeg-based investment company – which manages more than $20-billion in assets – announced on Tuesday that Cynosure Group and Jessiman Family Investments have both become minority owners in the company and will join the company’s board of directors, subject to shareholder approval.

Wellington-Altus’s co-founders Charlie Spiring and Shaun Hauser, along with its 70 advisers and management team members, will continue to control and operate the business.

Winnipeg-based Jessiman Family Investments was formed after the Jessiman family sold the Bison Transport Group of Companies to James Richardson & Sons Ltd. in late 2020. The family office now has substantial holdings in public equities, real estate and a portfolio of private investments, including a private equity partnership.

Cynosure Group is an independent alternative asset manager and portfolio adviser that makes long-term investments on behalf of families, foundations and institutions. The group looks at alternative asset classes that include profitable small to mid-sized companies.

Mr. Hauser said in an interview the $85-million investment from the two groups will help the firm continue to recruit advisers, as well as acquire money management firms across the country, particularly investment counsel portfolio managers who are focused on retail clients. Jessiman Family Investments will invest $45-million and Cynosure will add in the remaining $40-million.

“The investment allows us to be more flexible in our incentive offers for advisers as well as be at the table when acquisition opportunities come available, which we think will come alive in 2022,” Mr. Hauser said.

The Winnipeg-based company has been aggressively recruiting since it first opened its doors almost five years ago. When Mr. Spiring and Mr. Hauser launched the independent wealth manager, they announced plans to hit $10-billion in assets by the spring of 2020, a target they reached just before the coronavirus pandemic hit North America.

Now, the company has doubled its assets by poaching high-end adviser teams from competitors.

“COVID-19 ended up being a silver lining to our company and pivotal in thrusting us to the next level because it created a lot of dislocation at our competitors and a lot of unhappy advisers looking to move,” Mr. Hauser said.

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