Wealth manager Canaccord Genuity is partnering up with global asset manager Credit Suisse to help spark growth among high-net-worth Canadians.
Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management (CGWM), a subsidiary of Canaccord Genuity Corp., is expected to announce Monday that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Credit Suisse Asset Management (CSAM). The partnership will provide Canaccord's high-net-worth investors with portfolio management tools and exclusive access to a new suite of high-net-worth products.
"We have a very extensive business in Canada today which has been, and continues to be, a very important market for Credit Suisse over all," Ron Lloyd, chief executive officer of Credit Suisse Canada, said. "Over the last several years, we have been looking at various ways in which we could continue to grow our business in the Canadian market."
Leading up to the Canaccord partnership, Mr. Lloyd said he explored a number of retail opportunities in this country as he looked to leverage the global expertise Credit Suisse has been providing in other markets.
Canada isn't a new market for the Zurich-based asset manager. Credit Suisse has already been operating in the institutional and investment banking space here for the past 50 years but it will be the company's first foray into the Canadian retail market.
"Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management can leverage additional global expertise while we benefit from the reach and quality that they provide through their advisory network," Mr. Lloyd said. "It's a win-win for both partners."
Through CGWM, Credit Suisse will enter the retail space with four separately managed accounts (SMAs) exclusively for clients of Canaccord. Previously, the funds were only available to Credit Suisse private bank clients.
(Typically for those with a minimum investment of $100,000, an SMA is a "customized share portfolio" where the assets are owned by individual investors. Unlike a mutual fund, where investment decisions affect all investors, SMA decisions can vary for each individual investor.)
Branded as the CSAM Capital Discipline Strategies, the SMAs include: Credit Suisse Global Sustainable Dividend, Credit Suisse Canadian Equity, Credit Suisse U.S. Blue Chip Opportunities and Credit Suisse U.S. Sustainable Dividend.
The partnership will also entail Credit Suisse providing CGWM with client seminars and events, investment adviser education and training, and a mobile app to help with portfolio construction.
"We think there is an opportunity to provide our clients with a more diversified global portfolio," Stuart Raftus, president of CGWM in Canada, said.
Canaccord's wealth management arm is among a handful of larger investment firms that are still holding their own in a niche dominated by Canada's big banks. Regulatory changes and rising compliance costs have created challenging times for many independent firms, causing many to either close up shop or consolidate to survive.
Currently, the firm is home to 140 advisory teams – down from 161 in 2014 – and over the past several quarters, CGWM has seen a decline in overall assets.
In Canada, Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management has $9.04-billion in assets under administration as of Dec. 31, 2015 – down 5 per cent from $9.48-billion at the end of the previous quarter, and a decrease of 12 per cent from $10.31-billion at the end of fiscal third quarter 2015.
Mr. Raftus says the partnership with Credit Suisse was a result of a lengthy search for a global partner that could help built the firm's high-net-worth market.
"This partnership wasn't about getting an exclusive partner or a distribution agreement, it was about tapping into resources that will allow our clients to receive optimal services," Mr. Raftus said. "What we are trying to do is offer a unique investment product that will help us grow our business. We believe it will help us gain greater wallet share of our existing client base – as well as attract new clients in the high-net-worth segment."