Tea Nicola and Chris Nicola, the founders of Vancouver-based robo-advisor WealthBar Financial Services, are leaving CI Directing Investing at the end of December and stepping down from their respective roles as CEO and chief technology officer with the firm.
Chris Nicola, who is also president of the company, announced his and his wife’s departure from the firm on social media on Wednesday, thanking staff at CI Directing Investing.
“While I do feel sad to be leaving the best job I’ve ever had, I’m staying positive and looking forward to the next adventure (perhaps after a brief rest),” Chris Nicola wrote.
CI Direct Investing is the entity created when parent company CI Financial announced in May that it planned to merge Vancouver-based Wealth Bar and CI’s direct brokerage Virtual Brokers into one platform earlier this year. CI also acquired the remaining 25% stake it didn’t already own in WealthBar at that time.
In an email to Investment Executive, CI Financial confirmed the departures of the two WealthBar founders, and said it would be eliminating their executive roles.
“We’re in the process of integrating the legacy WealthBar business into CI Direct Investing to offer a world-class investing experience to our clients,” a CI spokesperson wrote. “Ensuring a seamless transition while maintaining service excellence remains our main priority at this time. As CI moves to continue to unify the various subsidiary brands and share efficiencies across the organization, we will no longer have the titles of CEO and CTO for CI Direct Investing.”
CI Direct Investing staff report to Darie Urbanky, president of CI Financial, the firm said. CI declined to comment on whether there had been other staffing changes at CI Direct Investing.
CI bought a majority stake in WealthBar in 2018 and bought BBS Securities Inc., and its online brokerage Virtual Brokers, in 2017.