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CI Financial Corp (CIX.TO)

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  • R
    Ron
    CIX March 31 Assets Under MGMT $240.6-billion
    CI FINANCIAL REPORTS RECORD TOTAL ASSETS OF $240.6 BILLION FOR MARCH 2021
    CI Financial Corp. has released preliminary assets under management as at March 31, 2021, of $138.5-billion and wealth management assets of $102.1-billion, for total assets of $240.6-billion. These represent CI's highest-ever month-end levels for wealth management assets and total assets.

    "We believe the growth in assets to record levels reflects our success in implementing our strategic priorities of modernizing asset management, expanding CI's wealth management platform and globalizing the firm," said Kurt MacAlpine, CI chief executive officer. "Notably, we are seeing improvement in asset management net flows, with the first quarter being our best quarter for net flows since the third quarter of 2017. We believe this is attributable to the many client-focused changes we have made, including the integration of our investment management platform, introduction of our new sales and marketing strategy powered by advanced analytics, and our new product management strategy."

    Total assets increased by $4.2-billion or 1.8 per cent in the month of March and by $84.9-billion or 54.5 per cent from March 31, 2020, reflecting CI's acquisitions in U.S. and Canadian wealth management and market growth over the past 12 months.

    Wealth management assets grew by $2.1-billion or 2.1 per cent in the month of March and by $57.5-billion or 128.9 per cent year over year. Canadian wealth management assets at $71.1-billion were up 2.3 per cent in March and up 61.2 per cent from one year ago. Canadian wealth management assets consist of the assets of CI Assante Wealth Management, Aligned Capital Partners Inc., CI Private Counsel LP, and CI Direct Investing and Virtual Brokers.

    U.S. wealth management assets grew by 1.6 per cent in March to $31-billion. This includes the assets of CI's network of 10 registered investment adviser firms across the United States. During the first quarter, CI announced agreements to acquire three RIAs -- Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC of Chicago, Barrett Asset Management LLC of New York and Brightworth LLC of Atlanta. The transactions are expected to add approximately $39-billion in assets1 to CI's U.S. business and are scheduled to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory, stock exchange and other customary closing conditions.

    CI's total assets under management were $138.5-billion, representing growth of $2.1-billion or 1.5 per cent in March and $27.4-billion or 24.7 per cent from a year ago. Core assets under management, which are those managed by CI's Canadian and Australian subsidiaries, were up 1.5 per cent in February and 19.4 per cent year over year to $132.6-billion. Core average assets under management for the first quarter were $131.6-billion, a 4.3 per cent increase over the average of $126.2-billion for the fourth quarter of 2020.

    CI also reported preliminary sales results for the first quarter. CI's Canadian retail business, excluding products closed to new investors, had $600-million in net redemptions, an improvement of $700-million over both the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2020. CI's Canadian institutional business had net redemptions of $400-million, an improvement of $500-million over the fourth quarter of 2020 and an improvement of $400-million from the same quarter a year ago.

    CI's U.S. asset management business, which consists of certain assets managed by its U.S. RIAs, had net sales of $300-million, while GSFM Pty. Ltd.'s net flows were flat. CI's closed business, comprising primarily segregated fund contracts that are no longer available for sale, had $200-million in net redemptions for the quarter.

    Further information about CI's assets and financial position can be found in the attached tables of statistics and on the company's website.
  • C
    ChopinTheMan!
    literally the most undervalued stock on the market
  • R
    Ron
    More Globe & Mail
    CI Financial Inc. is making its first foray into the private real estate sector with a joint venture interest in Axia Real Assets LP, a newly formed alternative investment manager focusing on global real estate and infrastructure.
    CI announced the new venture on Tuesday along with industry veterans and Axia co-founders Kelsey Boland, Darrell Shipp, Greg Stevenson and Joshua Varghese, a former CI portfolio manager.
    No financial details were released by either company, but Axia will be independently operated and managed by its four partners. Prior to the deal, CI had only stepped into real assets by offering larger institutional investors access to private real estate funds and private equity and credit.
    The new venture will now allow retail investors access to private real estate opportunities that are typically hard to access, said Mr. Varghese, who managed a multibillion-dollar portfolio of global real estate equities at CI Global Asset Management for more than a decade.
    Over the past 18 months, CI chief executive officer Kurt MacAlpine has been rapidly expanding CI through acquisitions in its wealth management business, as well as boosting its alternative investment arm to include alternative exchange-traded funds, cryptocurrencies and private-fixed income.
    “The products people are buying today are very different from what they bought 10 years ago and they will be different five years from now,” Mr. MacAlpine said in an interview. “We are trying to be relevant to wherever Canadians want to invest – and today that includes real assets.”
    With more than $3.7-billion in liquid alternative funds, CI offers retail investors access to publicly listed real estate investments through mutual funds and ETFs – as well as a private real estate fund for accredited investors.
    Mr. MacAlpine said along with the growth of CI’s wealth management business, which has doubled its assets under management compared with a year ago, “the demand for both liquid – and illiquid – real estate has also increased from both institutional and retail investors.”
    Rather than expand through acquisition, Mr. MacAlpine spent several months last year discussing the new joint venture with Mr. Varghese, who left his role at CI last November to start building Axia.
    Mr. Varghese was joined by several former Slate Asset Management executives, including Mr. Stevenson who was the former CEO of the Slate Retail real estate investment trust, which invested in U.S. retail properties anchored by grocery stores.
    “Right now what we are seeing is a lot of the interesting opportunities in real estate that are based on the emergence of the new economy – whether it’s e-commerce warehouses, grocery stores, or data centres – and are hard to access for a lot of investors, both retail and institutional,” Mr. Stevenson said in an interview.
    “As investors continue to diversify their portfolios to accumulate long-term wealth, we believe the opportunities for global real assets are significant.”
    In addition to grocery-anchored real estate, which includes big-box grocery stores, other areas of interest to the firm, said Mr. Varghese, include life-science facilities, cold-storage facilities and single-family rental homes.
    Mr. Varghese declined to comment on the company’s initial investment capital, but said he expects to launch the first set of investment products this summer.
    “We think because of digitization and because of what that is going to do to enable societal change, we are going to see bigger changes in the next two decades than we saw in the last two decades,” Mr. Varghese said.
    “When you are investing in real estate – which is a long-term asset class – you have to have a laser focus view on what those changes will look like and [the areas we are looking] will provide our investors access to the types of real estate that are going to benefit from the new economy.”
  • R
    Ron
    CI Financial names Amit Muni as chief financial officer
    Former WisdomTree Investments Inc. executive Amit Muni has joined the leadership team at CI Financial as Chief Financial Officer.


    Mr. Muni will start his new role no later than May 31 and will replace Douglas Jamieson, who announced last November he planned to depart the wealth manager. At the time, Mr. Jamieson declined to comment on his resignation, which came a day after CI received regulatory approval to list its common shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
    Mr. Muni has been CFO of New York-based asset manager WisdomTree since 2008.
    CI’s CEO Kurt MacAlpine, who was also recruited from WisdomTree when he replaced long-time CI executive Peter Anderson in 2019, worked with Mr. Muni for four years in New York.
    Since joining CI, Mr. MacAlpine has been busy hammering out a new strategic plan that includes expanding rapidly into the U.S. market. CI has purchased more than a dozen registered investment advisory firms, as well as the Canadian division of WisdomTree.

    “I’m confident that [Mr. Muni] will have a positive impact on the successful execution of our strategic priorities,” Mr. MacAlpine said in a statement.
    Prior to WisdomTree, Mr. Muni was the chief accounting officer of International Securities Exchange Holdings Inc., where he led ISE’s successful public offering in 2005. He has also held positions at PwC LLP, where he performed audit and business advisory services for multinational and mid-sized broker-dealers.
    “CI is undertaking a dramatic transformation of its business, including creating a fast-growing North American wealth management platform, and I’m very excited to be part of it,” Mr. Muni said in a statement.
    Mr. Jamieson will remain at CI until his responsibilities have been transitioned to Mr. Muni.
  • R
    Ron
    CI Financial to acquire rest of Lawrence Park


    CI FINANCIAL TO ACQUIRE REMAINING STAKE IN LAWRENCE PARK ASSET MANAGEMENT, TAKING ITS OWNERSHIP IN THE ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT MANAGER TO 100%

    CI Financial Corp. and Lawrence Park Asset Management have reached an agreement in which CI will acquire full ownership of the alternative fixed-income investment firm.

    CI currently holds a minority interest in Lawrence Park, a Toronto-based alternative asset manager founded in 2011. Lawrence Park manages approximately C$600 million of assets specializing in credit-focused strategies, including a hedge fund, a liquid alternatives fund and an ETF.

    "The Lawrence Park team has decades of experience in fixed-income markets and alternative investing, and has been a valued partner for CI since 2012. We are thrilled to finally bring that expertise in-house," said Kurt MacAlpine, CI Chief Executive Officer. "Alternatives offer an array of benefits and are becoming increasingly embraced by advisors and investors. Building on CI's leadership in this category is a priority for us as we modernize our asset management business."

    "We share CI's commitment to alternative investing and are excited to be part of the continued development of innovative mandates in this space," said Andrew Torres, Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Lawrence Park. "We look forward to integrating into the CI Global Asset Management organization, with its extensive resources, research capabilities and distribution opportunities."

    Following the completion of the transaction, the Lawrence Park team will continue to manage its current funds: CI Lawrence Park Alternative Investment Grade Credit Fund, which is available as a liquid alternative mutual fund and ETF (TSX: CRED, CRED.U), and Lawrence Park Credit Strategies Fund, a hedge fund available to accredited investors. The team's investment approach will not change.

    Lawrence Park employs a simple but proven relative value approach to identify and profit from inefficiencies in global corporate bond markets (Canada, U.S., and Europe) and utilizes a disciplined active portfolio management process. This involves extensive attention to risk management, including hedging strategies against rising interest rates, currency, and selected credit risk. Using this investment process, Lawrence Park seeks to enhance yield, reduce volatility, and deliver consistent returns to investors in varying interest rate and credit environments.

    CI subsidiary CI Global Asset Management ("CI GAM") is Canada's largest provider of liquid alternative investment strategies1, managing $3.7 billion in assets as at February 28, 2021 in four strategies available in both mutual fund and ETF platforms. CI's lineup of alternatives also includes a global private real estate fund and a global private markets fund, which are available to accredited investors.

    The Lawrence Park transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.
  • R
    Ron
    Another acquisition!
    CI Financial to Acquire New York-Based RIA Barrett Asset Management
    CI’s U.S. assets to reach $50 billion

    March 11, 2021 09:13 AM Eastern Standard Time
    TORONTO & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CI Financial Corp. (“CI”) (TSX: CIX; NYSE: CIXX), a diversified global asset and wealth management company, today announced an agreement to acquire Barrett Asset Management, LLC (“Barrett”), a New York-based registered investment advisor (“RIA”) with wealth and investment management capabilities catering primarily to high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families.

    Barrett brings US$2.5 billion1 in assets to CI’s fast-growing U.S. wealth management footprint. Once the transaction is completed, CI is expected to have approximately US$50 billion in U.S. assets and total assets of US$212 billion2. Barrett represents CI’s second RIA in New York and expands CI’s scale in the world’s largest financial center to more than US$5.5 billion.

    The acquisition exemplifies CI Chief Executive Officer Kurt MacAlpine’s mission to expand wealth management and globalize the company by teaming with strong U.S. wealth management businesses with committed management teams, aligned cultures and a shared vision for the future of the industry.

    “We look forward to working with the dedicated and experienced Barrett team and helping them build on their success,” said Mr. MacAlpine. “Since 1937, Barrett has been delivering superior service to its clientele, which includes families, trusts and charitable organizations. We place immense value on their team approach to client service and focus on multi-generational planning, and CI’s backing will allow them to continue to enhance their multi-family office services and capabilities.”

    Barrett offers an array of high-touch services tailored to each client, including wealth planning and investment management. The firm’s portfolio management expertise includes the management of two in-house mutual funds. Barrett has received notable industry recognition from respected outlets such as Bloomberg, Investment News and Financial Times for their advisory services.

    “Our firm has always been guided by the principle that the client comes first,” said Peter Shriver, CFA, Chief Executive Officer of Barrett. “Our clients’ goals and needs were at the forefront of our decision to align with CI. Partnering with CI provides continuity for our clients and our firm as we develop our next generation of leaders. It will enable us to continue providing the incredible level of service we are known for, while gaining resources and capabilities that will benefit our clients and drive their success.”

    Since entering the U.S. market in January 2020, CI has become one of the industry’s fastest-growing RIA platforms, with 15 acquisitions (including transactions by affiliated RIAs). Following the completion of all outstanding transactions, CI’s total North American wealth management assets are expected to be approximately US$105 billion (C$133 billion) and total assets are expected to reach US$212 billion (C$270 billion).2

    Cambridge International Partners LLC served as the exclusive financial advisor to Barrett. This transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory, and other customary closing conditions.
  • R
    Ron
    Growing interest in the USA!!

    There is no question about it. CI will be re-rated and given a much higher multiple than they currently have.

    CI has always been very big and well known in the mutual fund industry in Canada. Although they were very small and unknown on an international basis. They knew they needed to change that perception if they wanted to be the biggest and the best as they say. To do that you need a change at the CEO level with some new and fresh ideas and a high energy level individual. They accomplished that with the new CEO they hired in Sept 2019. Kurt MacAlpine is exactly the kind of guy CI needed to hire. He is young, ambitious, energetic, smart, and most importantly, a "visionary". He knows the trends in the industry and the demographics play a huge role in shaping up CI to take a leadership role in market share. We didn't have that kind of focus before.

    He was also smart to list on the USA exchange. If you want to be a global leader then you have to start with getting USA exposure first. With the huge RIA's CI had been acquiring over the last 12 to 18 months, he now has solid assets south of the border to build on. Remember too that these are pretty much all friendly takeovers with the target companies wanting to merge with CI. Many of the acquisitions I understand are companies coming to CI directly and wanting to be part of the CI umbrella. That is a very good thing and speaks volumes about CI's status and future in this industry. Leaders are built on reputation and industry acceptance.

    As a veteran myself holding this stock for 20 years, I have never been so happy and excited about owning CI than I am today. The future is very bright indeed for this Canadian "jewel".

    I have bought more shares recently at both the $17 and $18 with "limit" orders. I had a very large order placed with a limit price of $16. I highly doubt we ever reach that low again based on the big accomplishments CI has done over the last 18 months. Not to mention the huge insider buys that took place at prices ranging from $16.50 to $18.25. Many of those were by the legendary Bill Holland whom I always respected since the days he was CEO of CI. The fact he is still here as chairman and buying gallore in the $2m worth of shares over the last 4 months alone in addition to the number of shares he held previously tells you where he thinks CI is going. I wouldn't bet against those insiders. Follow the smart money always always always!!!

    I am thinking of just increasing my limit price to $18 and just place my large order there. $18 could very well be the new support or base price range going forward. You get to collect a nice 4 plus percent yield on a very undervalued company with huge growth plans coming up. No better place to park your money imo. You are starting to see the Nasdaq crumble and a shift in 2021 from overinflated growth stocks and back to value stocks. This is very long overdue IMO and CI will benefit tremendously here.

    This is too easy!
    Ron
  • R
    Ron
    CIX Financial rolls out CI Bitcoin Fund

    CI GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LAUNCHES NORTH AMERICA'S FIRST BITCOIN MUTUAL FUND; CARRIES INDUSTRY-LOW MANAGEMENT FEE OF 0.40%

    CI Financial Corp.'s CI Global Asset Management (GAM) has launched CI Bitcoin Fund, North America's first mutual fund to provide dedicated exposure to bitcoin. Through the Fund, investors can access the bitcoin market at an industry-low management fee of 0.40% (Series F) and with an initial minimum investment of just $500.

    Today, CI is the only firm globally offering investors access to bitcoin in both mutual fund and ETF structures.

    "CI Bitcoin Fund provides another convenient, secure and cost-effective option for Canadian investors to add bitcoin to their portfolios," said Kurt MacAlpine, Chief Executive Officer of CI Financial Corp., the parent company of CI GAM. "As investor interest in digital assets continues to grow, it was a natural next step for CI to extend our bitcoin investment capabilities to a mutual fund platform, in addition to the CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF.

    "In offering a broad suite of crypto products, we are truly democratizing access to bitcoin and other digital assets," Mr. MacAlpine said. "We are very excited by the prospects for these investments as we continue to build on our leadership in this space."

    The Fund's investment objective is to provide investors exposure to bitcoin through an institutional-quality fund platform. It invests all or substantially all of its assets in the CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF ("the ETF"), which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker BTCX. BTCX invests directly in bitcoin with its holdings priced using the Bloomberg Galaxy Bitcoin Index (the "BTC"), which is designed to measure the performance of a single bitcoin traded in U.S. dollars. The BTC index is owned and administered by Bloomberg Index Services Ltd.

    BTCX uses high-quality service providers in the digital assets sector, including Galaxy Digital Capital Management LP ("GDAM"), which serves as the bitcoin sub-advisor for the ETF. GDAM executes bitcoin trading on behalf of the ETF and is the asset management arm of Galaxy Digital, a diversified financial services firm dedicated to the digital asset and blockchain technology sector. The GDAM team has deep institutional experience managing third-party capital across traditional and alternative asset classes, strong relationships with institutional service providers and counterparties, and exceptional connectivity throughout the blockchain and digital assets ecosystem.

    CI Bitcoin Fund is available to retail investors in Canada in Series A, F and P units, with Series A carrying a management fee of 0.90% and Series F, 0.40%, which is the same management fee as BTCX. In addition to the industry-low management fee, benefits of the Fund and BTCX include convenient access to bitcoin, secure storage of bitcoin holdings in a segregated cold storage system, the digital asset management expertise of GDAM, and eligibility for registered plans.

    CI GAM's digital asset lineup also includes CI Galaxy Bitcoin Fund (TSX: BTCG), a closed-end investment fund that CI GAM launched in December 2020 and which it intends to merge into BTCX. It has also obtained receipts for the preliminary prospectuses of CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF (the "Ether ETF") and CI Ether Fund, a mutual fund. The Ether ETF will invest directly in Ether, the cryptocurrency built on the Ethereum blockchain, while CI Ether Fund will invest in units of the Ether ETF.

    More information is available at www.ci.com/bitcoin.
  • T
    The Freak Show
    why is this a $15. stock?
  • D
    Daryl
    just stated a position today. Excited to see this grow.
  • Q
    Quang
    Went through their products, their Financials and their statements. I initially wanted 1500 shares but now I'm worried that this is a value trap.

    So much debt

    This reminds me of the 90s' acquisition sprees lol

    I'm all for it but so much debt CIX
  • R
    Ron
    Insider buying... BIll Holland again!
    "Wild Bill" picks up another 17,500 shares @ $17 on March 4th. Gotta' love Mr. Holland... he certainly is positive on CIX. This is his 4’th big purchase over the last 4 months. My guess is this is about 100k shares over 4 months on top of the large quantities he was already holding. Assuming an average of around $17.50 and you are looking at $1.7 to $1.9m in purchases. Wow!!

    Yeah I would say our chairman sees a very good and immediate future for CI.

    Will be buying more myself in short order.

    Ron
  • R
    Ron
    CIX sees post pandemic boom ahead


    CI Financial Mr. Lingard says the stock market is underestimating or "not pricing in" the force of the snapback. He adds that Canadian GDP could grow by 10 per cent this year, before inflation. He says, "Once you see vaccines working and infections really going down, and the economy opening up, that could be a very powerful cocktail for people to bring down their savings rates and really supercharge this economy." For investors, that means lots of fuel for the pro-cyclical movement that has overtaken markets since November, when a number of pharmaceutical companies stunned the world with news that COVID-19 vaccines were far more effective than anticipated. The development produced a reversal of fortunes in the stock market, as the worst-performing sectors of the pandemic began to drive returns. The market began to favour value stocks over growth stocks, and pro-cyclical sectors over defensive sectors. UBS recommends "investors tilt their stock exposure to sectors that are likely to benefit from higher growth."
  • R
    Ron
    Another Acquisition
    08:13 AM EDT, 03/15/2021 (MT Newswires) -- CI Financial (CIX.TO) on Monday said it agreed to acquire it agreed to acquire Atlanta-based investment advisor Brightworth LLC for an undisclosed price as its U.S. expansion continues.

    The investment manager said Brightworth brings US$4.7 billion in assets and high net-worth clients.

    "They have built an exceptional firm based on a comprehensive, multi-generational approach to wealth planning combined with outstanding service. Additionally, they have developed expert teams offering highly tailored services to affluent client segments such as executives, business owners and dentists," chief executive Kurt MacAlpine said in a release.

    The acquisition is CI Financial's 16th since beginning its U.S. expansion in 2020. It has added US$55 billion in assets under management since its U.S. push began.

    CI Financial shares closed Friday down C$0.14 to C$18.56 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

    Price: 18.56, Change: -0.14, Percent Change: -0.75
  • H
    Hirsch
    Looking at the volume traded today (18M shares) plus the decent price rise (2.65%) and adding the short interest theory, maybe CIX is preparing to go up from here!
  • D
    Daryl
    Good price to open a position?
  • R
    Ron
    Insiders buy as CI Financial bets on bitcoin vehicles
    by TED DIXON --- SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
    PUBLISHED 1 HOUR AGO

    "Our No. 3 core investment theme is looking for ways to capitalize on monetary system change. We expect that would lead us to young firms. However, an established player has hit our INK Edge screens.

    Since Jan. 1, three CI Financial insiders have bought $9.1-million worth of shares in the market. The buying comes as CI Financial has been thinking outside the box. Last year, CI partnered with Galaxy Digital Holdings to launch a closed-end bitcoin fund. CI now wants to launch bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs."
    TED DIXON
    SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
    PUBLISHED 1 HOUR AGO
  • c
    carla
    This was published in The Globe and Mail in Feb. about even more CIX Insider Buying.
    CI Financial Corp.
    Between Jan. 14 and 22, chairman of the board Bill Holland invested over $4-million in shares of CI. He acquired a total of 250,000 shares at an average price per share of approximately $16.35.

    On Jan. 19, Bill Butt, appointed to the board of directors in 2019, bought 60,000 shares at a cost per share of $16.4547 for an account in which he has indirect ownership (Dunedin Investment Corporation). The cost of this investment exceeded $987,000, excluding commission charges.

    On Jan. 22, Tom Muir, sitting on the board of directors since 2011, acquired 15,000 shares at a cost per share of $16.53 for an account in which he has indirect ownership (Muir Investments Limited). The cost of this purchase totaled approximately $248,000, not including trading fees.

    The company pays its shareholders a quarterly dividend of 18 cents per share or 72 cents per share yearly, equating to a current annualized yield of over 4 per cent.
  • R
    Ron
    Results are out and they are very good!!
    CI Financial Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual Financial Results for 2020

    Adjusted EPS1 reaches record levels of $0.71 for Q4 and $2.45 for 2020
    Repurchased 1.8 million shares in Q4 for $29.8 million, and 14.0 million shares in 2020 for $258 million
    Paid quarterly dividend of $0.18 a share, totalling $37.8 million in Q4 and $155.3 million in 2020
    Continued expansion of North American wealth management platform through six acquisitions with $25 billion in assets in Q4; total of 14 acquisitions in 2020 almost doubles wealth assets to $96 billion
    Total assets increased 19% in Q4 and 27% in 2020 to $231.5 billion
    Acquisition announced after quarter-end expected to increase U.S. assets to $58 billion, total assets to $261 billion
    Significantly diversified investor base through NYSE listing (ticker CIXX), successful U.S. debt issue that raised US$960 million
    Completed corporate rebranding which included the rollout of CI Global Asset Management and alignment of in-house investment teams

    All financial amounts in Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated.

    February 11, 2021, 7:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

    TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CI Financial Corp. (“CI”) (TSX: CIX, NYSE: CIXX) today released financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2020.

    “We delivered a very successful fourth quarter, capping a transformative year for CI,” said Kurt MacAlpine, CI Chief Executive Officer. “In 2020, we made great progress in executing on our strategic priorities of modernizing asset management, expanding wealth management, and globalizing the firm. While we are still in the early stages of executing our strategy, CI is a fundamentally different company than it was just a year ago.

    “We have almost doubled the size of our wealth management business, reaching $96 billion at the end of the year, and quickly built a significant presence in the United States,” Mr. MacAlpine said. “Our assets in the U.S. alone are nearing $60 billion with the completion of five acquisitions in the fourth quarter and an agreement this January to acquire Segall Bryant & Hamill, LLC of Chicago. The U.S. wealth management firms we acquired operate at strong margins and generated aggregate organic net new asset growth of 9% in 2020. These businesses are making important contributions to our results and we are committed to building on this progress in the coming year.

    “We have diversified our investor base by listing on the New York Stock Exchange in November and issuing debt in the United States in December,” said Mr. MacAlpine. “With the re-opening of that offering in January, we have issued US$960 million in notes, demonstrating a high level of investor interest and confidence in CI and our strategy. While CI had no U.S. debt just two months ago, today over 50% of our bonds are issued in the U.S.

    “In asset management, we have kept up the pace of enhancements to the business, rebranding CI Investments to CI Global Asset Management, and building on our leadership in alternative investments with the launch of the CI Galaxy Bitcoin Fund and, in January, launching a private equity product with Adams Street Partners for accredited investors,” Mr. MacAlpine said.

    CI is the market leader in liquid alternatives in Canada, with $3.2 billion in assets under management in this category as at December 31, 2020, offered in both mutual fund and exchange-traded fund structures.

    “We’re making these substantial investments in CI’s growth while achieving strong financial results, paying a quarterly dividend of $0.18 a share and continuing our share repurchase program,” Mr. MacAlpine said.

    “As a result of growing wealth management revenues and prudent cost management, our earnings per share, on an adjusted basis1, were $0.71 for the fourth quarter, the highest in the company’s history. For the year, adjusted earnings were $2.45, also a record high for the company.”

    Financial results

    CI reported earnings per share of $0.50 for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $0.62 in the previous quarter and $0.66 in the fourth quarter of 2019. Adjusted earnings per share1 for the fourth quarter were $0.71. This compares to adjusted earnings per share of $0.62 for the third quarter of 2020 and $0.66 for the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted earnings exclude a provision of $42.6 million ($55.8 million before tax) in the fourth quarter of 2020 for non-recurring items, including legal and restructuring charges, investment write-downs and losses from the early redemption of bonds.

    For the year ended December 31, 2020, CI reported record adjusted earnings per share of $2.45, versus $2.41 for fiscal 2019. Adjusted earnings exclude provisions taken in the first and fourth quarters of 2020 and in the second quarter of 2019.

    SG&A expenses for the fourth quarter were $116.7 million, up from $108.8 million in the prior quarter and $113.8 million in the same quarter of
  • R
    Ron
    CI Financial aims for first Ethereum ETF...

    Investment manager CI Financial is racing to cash in on the cryptocurrency craze by filing with regulators to launch one of the world’s first exchange-traded funds that tracks the price of Ether, after two Bitcoin ETFs saw more than $1-billion change hands in their first week of trading.
    Both Bitcoin and Ether – the cryptocurrency of software platform Ethereum – are digital currencies that are not backed by any country’s central bank. They both typically trade through online exchanges, are stored in various cryptocurrency wallets and make use of blockchain, a transparent, distributed ledger technology.
    If approved, the CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF will trade under the ticker ETHX and track the price of Ether using the Bloomberg Galaxy Ethereum Index. The Thursday filing is the second in less than a week for CI, which recently filed with regulators to launch a Bitcoin ETF. (Both funds are pending approval).
    ETHX, which would trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange, could gain a significant first-mover advantage, similar to the launch of the two Bitcoin ETFs.
    The Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC), which launched on Feb. 11 and is managed by Purpose Investments Inc., saw millions of dollars flow into the fund when it hit the market the day before the launch of Evolve Funds Group Inc.’s Bitcoin ETF (EBIT)
    “Despite the many unknowns of launching a world’s first product and the early days of digital currencies, Bitcoin ETFs launched smoothly with the benefits of the ETF structure shining bright and investors flocking to these ETFs,” said Andres Rincon, director and head of ETF sales and strategy at TD Asset Management, in a research note this week.
    After its first week, BTCC has become the most actively traded Canadian ETF in history, with investors buying and selling more than $1.2-billion worth of shares. The fund has about $600-million in total assets, as of end of day on Feb. 25. Purpose has even added a currency-hedged version of BTCC, which began trading Wednesday.
    EBIT currently has about $40-million in assets, which could grow quickly if investors begin to compare price tags. Earlier this week, Evolve dropped EBIT’s management fee to 0.75 per cent from its initial 1-per-cent fee, making it the cheapest Bitcoin ETF for investors.
    “From a launch point of view, what was so interesting was the tremendous power of having that first-mover advantage,” said Matthew Goddard, managing director and head of ETFs and futures at BMO Capital Markets. “It likely played a big role in the difference in assets between two funds that, while aren’t exactly the same, are highly similar. It is very telling how much innovation does matter and how much one day can be a major advantage.”
    Four other asset managers plan to join CI in launching Bitcoin ETFs once they receive regulatory approval. Horizons ETFs Management (Canada) Inc., 3iQ Corp., Accelerate Financial Technologies Inc. and Arxnovum Investments Inc. have all applied with regulators to list Bitcoin ETFs that would also trade on the TSX.
    Other fund companies have entered the Bitcoin market with closed-end funds, which trade more like an initial public offering (IPO). Unlike ETFs, which were halted by regulators for years, closed-end funds were approved by the Ontario Securities Commission in 2019. But they can trade with large premiums for investors – in some cases as much as 40 per cent.
    3iQ was the first to launch a closed-end fund in 2020 with the Bitcoin Fund, followed by CI with its CI Galaxy Bitcoin Fund. And just last month, alternative investment company Ninepoint Partners LP completed a $230-million IPO for its Bitcoin Trust.