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Toronto-based GMP Capital Inc. announced on Monday that its shareholders have approved the sale of its capital markets business to U.S. firm Stifel Financial Corp., with over 98% voting in favour of resolutions to facilitate the deal.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, still requires regulatory approval.

The firm also reported that its transition to a pure play wealth management business is advancing with the formation of a special committee of its board to acquire the 66.6% of Richardson GMP that it doesn’t already control.

That committee has, in turn, hired RBC Capital Markets to prepare a formal valuation for the common shares of Richardson GMP.

Approximately one third of Richardson GMP is controlled by the firm’s advisors and management, and the other third is held by Richardson Financial Group Ltd. (which is also GMP’s largest shareholder).

GMP said that taking outright control of the wealth business would enable it to “prudently and aggressively” grow that business by recruiting advisors, acquiring additional wealth management businesses, developing new products and services, and investing in initiatives to “improve the service offering to investment advisors and their clients, and expand margins.”

“I am encouraged by the overwhelming shareholder support our resolutions received. Shareholders have delivered a strong vote of confidence in our strategy to divest the capital markets business to Stifel Financial Corp., a world class company, and shift our focus to opportunities in wealth management,” said Don Wright, chair of GMP’s board.

Any deal to take full control of Richardson GMP would only take place after the sale of the capital markets business, and would also be subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.