CI Financial completes acquisition of BDF, a Chicago-area private wealth firm with US$4.5 billion in assets

September 17, 2020

TORONTO (September 16, 2020) – CI Financial Corp. (“CI”) (TSX: CIX) announced today it has completed the acquisition of Balasa Dinverno Foltz LLC (“BDF”) of Itasca, Illinois, a highly regarded private wealth management firm with US$4.5 billion in assets as at August 31, 2020.


The addition of BDF increases CI’s U.S. wealth management assets to approximately US$11 billion (based on assets as at August 31, 2020) and gives CI a leading presence in the vital Chicago region. The purchase of BDF, which was first announced on August 4, 2020, is CI’s fifth direct acquisition of a registered investment advisor (“RIA”) firm this year and the eighth overall when including acquisitions by affiliated RIAs, and CI’s largest RIA acquisition to date. CI is one of the industry’s fastest-growing RIA platforms, having made its first acquisition in the first quarter of this year.


“BDF is a thriving, high-quality firm and we’re excited to welcome the team to CI,” said Kurt MacAlpine, CI Chief Executive Officer. “Adding a firm of BDF’s size and excellence significantly accelerates our U.S. wealth strategy. As we add scale to the business, we can realize synergies and provide service enhancements across our network, such as deeper wealth planning support and a wider choice of effective investment solutions.”


“Furthermore, we will be introducing the CI Private Wealth brand in the United States and Canada to represent our high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth advisory businesses and support our unique value proposition.”


The BDF team of 62 people provides customized wealth management services to individuals and families, business owners and institutions and non-profit organizations. BDF has earned numerous accolades, including being ranked Number 30 on the RIA Channel Top 100 Wealth Managers for 2020, and being listed on the 2020 FT300: Top Registered Investment Advisors and the Barron’s Top RIAs for 2020.


Chad Carlson has been named President and Co-Chief Investment Officer of BDF. He previously held the positions of Wealth Manager and Director of Research.


“CI is pursuing a compelling strategy of building a national wealth management company and we’re thrilled to play a key role,” said Mr. Carlson. “We share a client-centered, comprehensive approach to wealth management that helps our clients live full lives. As part of CI, we look forward to continuing to enhance our service offering and growing the firm.”


CI began its expansion in the U.S. earlier this year in support of its newly adopted strategic priorities of globalizing the firm and expanding its wealth management platform.


CI also holds ownership interests in the following RIAs:

  • The Cabana Group, LLC, of Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Congress Wealth Management, LLC of Boston, Massachusetts
  • One Capital Management, LLC, of Westlake Village, California
  • Surevest, LLC, of Phoenix, Arizona.

BDF was founded in 2001 by Mark Balasa, Armond Dinverno, and Mike Foltz. Its expertise includes practice groups specializing in the unique needs of women, widows, business owners, insurance brokers and agency owners, lawyers, financial professionals, and divorcing individuals. BDF was advised by the Asset & Wealth Management Investment Banking group of Raymond James Financial, Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


About CI Financial


CI Financial Corp. (TSX: CIX) is an independent company offering global asset management and wealth management advisory services. CI held approximately $189 billion (US$143 billion) in fee-earning assets as of August 31, 2020. CI’s primary asset management businesses are CI Investments Inc. and GSFM Pty Ltd., and it operates in wealth management through Assante Wealth Management (Canada) Ltd., CI Private Counsel LP, CI Direct Investing (WealthBar Financial Services Inc.), BBS Securities Inc., The Cabana Group, LLC, Congress Wealth Management, One Capital Management, LLC and Surevest LLC. Further information is available at


All financial amounts in Canadian dollars unless otherwise specified.


Barron's RIA rankings are intended to shine a spotlight on the nation’s best wealth managers and raise standards in the industry. Firms that wish to be ranked fill out a 102-question survey about their practice. Barron’s verifies that data and applies its rankings formula to the data to generate a ranking, based on assets, revenue and quality of practice.


The FT 300 assesses registered investment advisers based on desirable traits for investors and presents the FT 300 as an elite group, not a competitive ranking of one to 300. RIAs must complete an application to be considered. The formula the FT uses to grade advisers is based on six broad factors and calculates a numeric score for each adviser. Areas of consideration include AUM, asset growth, the company’s age, industry certifications of key employees, SEC compliance record and online accessibility.


RIA Channel ranked the Top 100 RIA firms of 2020 based on a proprietary set of criteria and data. The ranking is based on both size and growth in assets as of June 30, 2020, as reported to the SEC. RIA Database ( was used for regulatory data, organic research, and advisor surveys.


This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning anticipated future events, results, circumstances, performance or expectations with respect to CI Financial Corp. (“CI”) and its products and services, including its business operations, strategy and financial performance and condition. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as “believe”, “expect”, “foresee”, “forecast”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “estimate”, “goal”, “plan” and “project” and similar references to future periods, or conditional verbs such as “will”, “may”, “should”, “could” or “would”. These statements are not historical facts but instead represent management beliefs regarding future events, many of which by their nature are inherently uncertain and beyond management’s control.  Although management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements involve risks and uncertainties. The material factors and assumptions applied in reaching the conclusions contained in these forward-looking statements include that the investment fund industry will remain stable and that interest rates will remain relatively stable.  Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include, among other things, general economic and market conditions, including interest and foreign exchange rates, global financial markets, changes in government regulations or in tax laws, industry competition, technological developments and other factors described or discussed in CI’s disclosure materials filed with applicable securities regulatory authorities from time to time. The foregoing list is not exhaustive and the reader is cautioned to consider these and other factors carefully and not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Other than as specifically required by applicable law, CI undertakes no obligation to update or alter any forward-looking statement after the date on which it is made, whether to reflect new information, future events or otherwise.


For further information:


CI Financial Corp.


Murray Oxby


Vice-President, Communications