money growing on tree / Vadym

Wellington-Altus Financial Inc. has $40 million in new capital to help attract wealth advisors and portfolio managers across the country, the firm said on Thursday.

The Cynosure Group, a U.S.-based alternative asset manager, provided Wellington-Altus with a $40-million second-round growth equity investment.

“This investment excites us,” said Shaun Hauser, founder and CEO of Wellington-Altus, in an interview.

“Our competition continuously likes to tell people that we’re selling, and I think this should squash any of those rumours. Our intention is to grow for the foreseeable future by continuing to double down and invest in our business, so we can attract new advisors.”

Wellington-Altus, founded in 2017, has more than $25 billion in assets under administration.

Hauser said the firm has 92 advisory teams, up from 60 in 2020, and advisors who join the firm tend to have $100 million in assets or gross revenue at minimum.

But “we measure the quality of the individual,” Hauser said. “Good human beings tend to be great advisors, and great advisors tend to have great books.”

He said Wellington-Altus continues to focus on attracting investment advisors (registered with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada before the self-regulatory organizations merged) and investment counsel portfolio management (ICPM) advisors.

“We want to find disenfranchised IIROC advisors,” which typically come from bank-owned broker-dealers, Hauser said. “And we’re continuously, vigorously trying to grow our investment counsel business…. We think the upside to that business is fantastic.”

Hauser said about 85% of the firm’s acquisitions have come from banks, where assets tend to be concentrated in Canada, representing an attractive growth source.

Cynosure’s first $40-million investment in 2021 (alongside $45 million from Jessiman Family Investments) also went toward advisor incentive offers and acquisitions.

Andrew Braithwaite, managing director with the Cynosure Group, said in a release that there’s a trend in Canada toward advisor independence and that Wellington-Altus’s platform investments position the firm to be a leader.