CI Financial to acquire BDF, a US$4.5-billion leading Chicago registered investment advisor, boosting CI’s U.S. wealth assets to US$11 billion in just six months

August 4, 2020

TORONTO (August 4, 2020) – CI Financial Corp. (“CI”) (TSX: CIX) and Balasa Dinverno Foltz LLC (“BDF”) of Itasca, Illinois, announced an agreement today under which CI will acquire full ownership of BDF, a private wealth management firm with US$4.5 billion in assets.


BDF’s excellence has been recognized through its inclusion on the prestigious Barron’s magazine list of America’s Top 50 registered investment advisor (RIA) firms for 2019. Through offices in the Chicago region, the BDF team of 62 people provide customized wealth management services to individuals and families, business owners and institutions and non- profit organizations.


“The purchase of BDF, a large and incredibly well-run RIA, significantly accelerates the growth and development of our U.S. wealth business,” said Kurt MacAlpine, CI Chief Executive Officer. “We are very excited that the BDF team will be joining CI to help execute our wealth management strategy. BDF, with its client-centric approach, scale and experienced leadership, will be a strong foundation for continued expansion.”


The acquisition vaults CI’s U.S. wealth management business past the US$10 billion mark to approximately US$11 billion (C$14.7 billion) in assets. CI is the industry’s fastest-growing RIA platform, having built its U.S. business in just six months. BDF is CI’s fifth direct RIA acquisition, its eighth transaction when including acquisitions by CI’s RIA subsidiaries, and its largest RIA acquisition to date.


“We could not have found a better partner for our firm than CI,” said Armond Dinverno, BDF President and Co-Founder. “This relationship will provide stability, continuity, and an enhanced service offering for our clients, and new opportunities for our firm and team members. Backed by CI’s financial strength, expertise in all aspects of asset and wealth management, and vision for a national wealth business, BDF is ready to begin our next phase of growth.“


Following the close of the transaction, Chad Carlson, who is currently Wealth Manager and Director of Research at BDF, will be named President and Co-Chief Investment Officer.


“I’m looking forward to BDF joining the CI family and am excited to leverage CI’s deep capabilities to enhance our client service and experience, as we build on our leading position in the Chicago market,” said Mr. Carlson.


“BDF is an exceptional company and gives us a solid presence in the Midwest and the affluent Chicago market,” said Mr. MacAlpine. “This acquisition provides us additional scale in wealth management to realize synergies and introduce enhancements such as broader investment choices and wealth planning support. An important step will be the introduction of the CI Private Wealth brand in both Canada and the United States to represent our high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth advisory businesses.”


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.


“The RIA sector is the fastest-growing segment in U.S. wealth management and the RIA model is a strong fit with our own approach to wealth management, which emphasizes the central role of the advisor and the importance of a holistic approach to wealth planning,” Mr. MacAlpine said.


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, established in 2001, was founded by Mark Balasa, Armond Dinverno, and Mike Foltz, who each have more than three decades of industry experience. BDF’s 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. In addition to the Barron’s Top 50 RIA ranking, BDF has received extensive recognition over the years, including being listed on the 2020 FT300: Top Registered Investment Advisors, the Investment News Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors (2020) and being ranked Number 30 on the RIA Channel Top 100 Wealth Managers for 2020.


BDF was advised by the Asset & Wealth Management Investment Banking group of Raymond James Financial, Inc. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is scheduled to close in the third quarter of this year. Terms 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 $179 billion in fee-earning assets as of June 30, 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, 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.


Investment News recognizes standout employers in the financial advice industry each year. These firms, ranging from small practices with fewer than 20 people to large companies with hundreds, invest in creating a work atmosphere and culture that attracts the best employees. The annual list of top firms is compiled by Best Companies Group through online employee and employer surveys. The collected information is combined to determine the strengths of each of the firms that voluntarily participate in the program and each workplace is ranked on this data.


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