Canaccord Genuity eyes Close Brothers wealth business in UK push – sources

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LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Canaccord Genuity (CF.TO) has explored a potential acquisition of Close Brothers Group’s (CBRO.L) wealth management operations, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters, a move that would increase the Canadian group’s presence in the UK.

Canaccord, which offers investment banking and wealth management services, was among the final bidders in an auction process run by Goldman Sachs (GS.N), one of the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

Reuters could not establish whether Canaccord’s interest in the business, known as Close Brothers Asset Management, is still live. There is no certainty that a transaction will materialise, the people also said.

Shares in Close Brothers closed 2.2% up on Thursday after initially jumping as much as 5% on the news. Canaccord shares were up 2.6% at noon in Toronto.

Close Brothers and Goldman Sachs declined to comment. David Esfandi, CEO of Canaccord’s UK wealth arm, reached by telephone, declined to comment.

Such a deal would be another example of consolidation in the UK’s fragmented wealth management industry, driven by both corporates and financial investors.

Last month, Canadian pension fund OTPP struck a deal to acquire British wealth manager 7IM.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) acquired London-listed Brewin Dolphin last year in an effort to bulk up its international wealth management footprint.

Bloomberg first reported Close Brothers’ plans to offload its wealth management division in July.

The business, which provides financial planning and investment management services, increased managed assets by 7% to more than 16 billion pounds ($19.3 billion) in the year to July 31 2023, reflecting net inflows, based on its latest annual report.

However, it reported a 27% drop in adjusted operating profit, driven by lower income and hiring costs.

Canaccord has sought to grow its UK wealth management arm via acquisitions. In 2021, it brought in private equity group HPS Investment Partners to support the unit’s expansion.

HPS declined to comment.

Image by: Canaccord Genuity

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Edmund Shing, PhD

Global Chief Investment Officer
BNP Paribas Wealth Management

Edmund has over 29 years of experience in financial markets in a wide variety of positions, ranging from proprietary trading to portfolio manager in a number of financial institutions in London and Paris.  He previously held the role of Global Head of Equity and Derivative Strategy at BNP Paribas in London from 2015 to 2020, and has been Chief Investment Officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management since November 2020.

Edmund is responsible for piloting our investment strategy and will continues to rollout out recommendations and themes with actionable advice that brings our expertise to our clients and support to our client-facing teams.  In this time of change, his expertise in following and anticipating markets is a true value added for both our customers and those at Wealth Management who serve them.

Edmund has a PhD in Cognitive and Computing Science from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and has done advanced studies in Knowledge-Based Systems and in Experimental Psychology.  He is an EFFAS-certified financial analyst. He has also authored the book “The Idle Investor” published by Harriman House in 2015, proposing 3 simple investment strategies that take only a few minutes to execute per month.

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