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Forstrong Global Asset Management Inc. has purchased Calgary-based Shaunessy Investment Counsel Inc.

The deal, which closed on March 17, brings the Kelowna, B.C.-based firm’s assets under management (AUM) to $1.5 billion from $1.2 billion.

The move is part of a strategy to grow Forstrong to at least $3 billion in AUM by the end of 2024, said Tyler Mordy, CEO and chief investment officer of Forstrong. The firm was founded in 2001 and specializes in low-volatility, globally diversified active investment strategies for financial institutions and individual investors.

Shaunessy Investment Counsel (SIC), a boutique investment management firm, was founded in 2000 by Terry Shaunessy.

“We’ve always been a big fan of the firm,” Mordy said, as the teams share values and investment philosophies and have complementary skill sets. “They overlap so nicely with our outlook on how investments should be managed.”

SIC specializes in globally balanced, diversified custom portfolios for clients with more than $5 million to invest, and has provided investment management services to First Nations in the Yukon since 2008. The acquisition will allow Forstrong to push into the ultra high-net-worth space “in a meaningful way,” Mordy said.

Terry Shaunessy has joined Forstrong as a portfolio manager and member of the investment committee. SIC’s president, James Garcelon, has joined Forstrong as president, replacing Mordy in the role. Garcelon will be responsible for the firm’s operations, compliance and client experience, while Mordy will continue leading the investment team and business development.

SIC’s third team member, vice-president of administration Katharine Eirich, will support the transition over the next few months before exiting. There will be no changes to Forstrong’s existing staff, the firm said in a release.

Mordy called the SIC transaction the “opening volley” following Forstrong’s November 2021 management buyout, when the firm acquired iA Financial’s 73.3% stake with backing from an independent investor group.

He said Forstrong’s growth plan involves continuing to build its subadvisory and institutional businesses, looking for more acquisitions and expanding its investment strategies beyond the diversified global macro approach the firm is traditionally known for.

“Our core vision is to be a niche independent with a focus on active global macro specialty,” Mordy said. “We don’t aim to compete with the banks; we aim to partner with them.”

The transaction brings Forstrong to 60% employee-owned from 40%. The firm now has offices in Kelowna, Calgary and Toronto.