handshaking and exchanging contract documents

Fiera Capital will be Natixis Investment Managers’ preferred Canadian distribution platform after the French firm bought an 11% stake in Montreal-based Fiera.

The firms have entered into a long-term agreement whereby Fiera will distribute Natixis investment strategies to Canadian institutional, private wealth and retail clients, the firms said Thursday in a release. Natixis will offer Fiera investment strategies in international markets.

“We are pleased to expand our commitment to the Canadian market by establishing this long-term partnership with one of its premier asset managers,” Natixis Investment Managers CEO Jean Raby said in a statement.

Natixis is purchasing more than 10 million Class A shares of Fiera from National Bank of Canada for $128.16 million. National Bank will still own almost 7 million shares of Fiera, or roughly 7% of all outstanding Fiera Capital shares, the bank said in a release.

Fiera is also repurchasing for cancellation 2.45 million Fiera shares from National Bank for $29.4 million.

National Bank “elected to monetize a portion of its holdings to redeploy the capital in its core activities,” the release said.

National Bank wealth management head Martin Gagnon is stepping down from Fiera’s board as Natixis’ Raby joins it.

Q1 results

Fiera reported a net loss of $6.6 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to a $2.2 million loss in the same period last year.

The firm’s $142.8 million in revenues were up 19% from Q1 2018, according to an earnings report released Thursday. Assets under management of $144.9 billion were up 10% year over year.

Expenses increased by $11.3 million to $109.2 million compared to the same period in 2018.