Toronto-based Nest Wealth Asset Management Inc. and Montreal-based National Bank of Canada are expanding their partnership with a multi-million dollar investment and commercial deal.
The deal, which follows an initial $6-million investment from National Bank in 2017, includes a further investment in Nest Wealth through National Bank’s venture capital arm, NAventures, as well as the commercial deal. The agreement is worth between $40 million and $50 million.
Cementing a deal that builds on National Bank’s earlier investment in Nest Wealth “shows a much stronger commitment between a traditional Big Six Canadian bank and a fintech,” Randy Cass, CEO of Nest Wealth, said in an interview.
National Bank will retain its minority stake in Nest Wealth, which will remain independent. “It’s an incredible testament to the quality of the people that National Bank sees [in] our organization,” Cass said.
The commercial deal will see Nest Wealth continue to work with National Bank’s retail division and, for the first time, build out the technology of the National Bank Independent Network (NBIN), the country’s largest provider of custodial, trading, clearing, settlement and record-keeping services to independent registered portfolio managers and investment dealers.
Through the deal with Nest Wealth, NBIN plans to upgrade its Compass operating system for its client firms and advisors. Patrick Primerano, president of NBIN, noted that the Compass system was designed to be a “robo-administrator” platform, so partnering with a robo-advisor made sense.
Primerano said NBIN will work with Nest Wealth to upgrade the Compass system to include features such as digital account opening and all-in-one administrative tasks, from reminders that a client’s account needs to be transferred to a RRIF to setting up such an account.
“[The new platform] will give a good swath of independent managers, money managers and advisors in the country more tools to grow the independent market in Canada,” Primerano said.
Primerano says he expects the new platform to be available in 2021.