Canada’s CI Financial buys the 16th US RIA in Brightworth


Canadian investment management firm CI Financial continued its aggressive foray into the US market with the acquisition of Atlanta-based registered investment advisor Brightworth, the companies said on Monday.

Brightworth marks the third acquisition the Canadian company made in 2021 and the 16th since entering the U.S. wealth management market in January 2020, bringing CI Financial’s U.S. business to $ 55 billion in assets under management. Dollar has risen.

Brightworth, an RIA that manages $ 4.7 billion, brings to CI Financial 23 consultants, 18 investment advisors, and five associate investment advisors distributed between its Atlanta and Charlotte, NC locations.

Details of the transaction were not disclosed, but all of Brightworth’s 20 partners sold shares to CI Financial. Private equity financier Emigrant Partners, which made an investment in Brightworth in 2007, was fully acquired and received no equity from CI Financial.

However, CI Financial announced in February that it would offer Emigrant Bank’s high net worth services to its US clients, including fiduciary and administrative services, personal and property insurance, and advice and financing related to art and collectibles. Emigrant Bank is the parent company of Emigrant Partners.

Ray Padrón, Brightworth’s CEO and advisor, said he and the 19 partners were looking for permanent capital and improved technology to better serve the company’s high net worth clients, comprised of executives, business owners and wealthy retirees.

Padrón also said his team will help CI Financial build a domestic personal fortune.

“We are coming together to help them build what is known as CI Private Wealth, and we are bringing all of these companies together in a domestic partnership,” he said.

Several of the executives of the companies acquired by CI will sit on the business unit’s board of directors, added Padrón.

Padrón and Brightworth co-founder and partner Dave Polstra said the team initially did not want to be acquired until it received a report in August 2020 on the acquisition of $ 4.5 billion by Chicago-based CI Financial and BDF .

“We have great respect for BDF in Chicago. We have to look at that too, ”said Polstra. “We felt very good when CI approached us.”

Padrón said administrative changes will come to the company but does not envisage any major changes.

Brightworth was founded in 1997 after Polstra had worked for the Coca-Cola Company for over 10 years. Today Brightworth still has 350 customers who work for the beverage company. Padrón joined the company in 2004.


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