VANCOUVER, BC, and TORONTO, ON, March 7, 2023 – PI Financial Corp. (PI) and Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. (Echelon) today announced that they, and their affiliates, have agreed to combine in a merger of equals to create a leading investment advisory, wealth management, and capital markets firm. The two firms have applied for regulatory approval of ownership changes that will result in common ownership effective April 1, 2023. Subsequent to the change in ownership, PI and Echelon will amalgamate their operations, which is expected to be completed in early 2024.
Echelon and PI have offices across Canada, and the amalgamation will create a truly national firm that will serve clients with greater scale, deeper experience and expertise, and enhanced service offerings. With over 550 employees, including 210 investment advisors and over 80 capital markets professionals, the amalgamated firm will be well-positioned to leverage new opportunities and enhance value for its clients. With over $12 billion of client assets, the combined firm is set to continue to grow its investment advisory and wealth management businesses. The combined capital markets franchise is the second largest amongst Canadian non-bank capital markets firms,* and is poised for continued growth.
The combined firm will have substantial employee ownership, and a clear path for increasing it. The remaining ownership will be shared between RCM Capital Management and Miles Nadal (Peerage Capital). Upon completion of the amalgamation, Echelon CEO and Director, David Cusson, will serve as CEO, and PI Chairman and CEO, Jean-Paul Bachellerie, will serve as President and Chief Operating Officer. Both PI and Echelon will run independently during the period between closing and amalgamation.
“This is an exciting day for our two firms,” stated David Cusson, CEO and Director of Echelon. “PI and Echelon – two well-respected, profitable, and innovative firms – are creating an amalgamated firm that is greater than the sum of its parts. I have great respect for Jean-Paul and his team, and the exceptional firm they have built. I look forward to building on our momentum by bringing together complementary services and skills, and leveraging new opportunities created by this combination to build even greater value for our clients. With a shared, purpose-driven approach that values entrepreneurship and collaboration, we have a strong foundation to ensure a successful integration.”
“PI and Echelon are successful, well-run dealers with growing and profitable businesses,” said Jean-Paul Bachellerie, Chairman and CEO of PI. “As we thoughtfully amalgamate our operations, I look forward to working with David on building a firm that takes the ‘best of’ from both organizations and provides the highest level of client service. Although our firms have different strengths, we see this transaction as a merger of equals. Echelon and PI have similar corporate cultures centred around independence, entrepreneurship and a commitment to excellence, which will allow the combined firm to more effectively serve our clients and create value. We also believe this combination will provide new and exciting opportunities for all of our employees.”
“Since the inception of our partnership with the PI management team, we have worked together with the goal of growing PI into a truly national financial services firm. The teams at PI, Echelon, Peerage Capital, and RCM Capital have collaborated to construct a combination that marks the first milestone in that effort,” said Christopher Morris, Managing Partner of RCM Capital Management. “We look forward to the future opportunities available to the combined platform.”
“A merger of two successful, independent, entrepreneurial firms of this calibre and pedigree is a rare opportunity,” said Miles S. Nadal, Founder and Executive Chair of Peerage Capital. “Combining such exceptional talent and operating savvy will enable the amalgamated firm to continue to build a pre-eminent investment dealer with tremendous upside for future growth.”
“The two management teams’ respect for each other’s mutual commitment to their clients, their teams, the spirit of entrepreneurship, and independence made them logical partners to build the highest quality independent dealer in Canada,” said Trevor Maunder, CEO of Peerage Capital. “Their compatible DNA and unique entrepreneurial cultures will allow the combined firm to grow nationally and provide clients and advisors with a strong, independent option.”
This transaction is subject to obtaining regulatory approval.
About Echelon Wealth Partners
Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. is a leading independent Wealth Management and Capital Markets firm based in Toronto, Ontario, with over 60 advisor teams, and over $20 Billion in capital raised in the past 6 years by our Echelon Capital Markets team, serving clients across Canada from offices in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, London, Oakville, Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal.
About PI Financial
Founded in 1982, PI Financial has become one of Canada’s largest independent investment dealers with approximately 300 employees from Toronto, to our headquarters in Vancouver, BC. PI Financial provides expertise across a variety of growth sectors and delivers a full range of research, investment banking, advisory, and sales & trading services to its institutional clients. For private clients, PI offers a comprehensive wealth management platform for its Investment Advisors and Portfolio Managers who provide customized advice to their clients and access to the full spectrum of securities products and services.
About Peerage Capital
Peerage Capital is a leading North American business services and private investment firm that forges long-term partnerships with entrepreneurial management teams. These cover several sectors including asset management, real estate services, through Peerage Realty Partners, a residential real estate operation with over $60 billion in annual volume, and real estate development, primarily in self-storage through Vaultra, a leading Canadian provider with 30 facilities and approximately 3,000,000 ft2 under ownership, management, and development. For more information visit: www.peeragecapital.com
About RCM Capital Management
RCM Capital Management is a Toronto and Vancouver-based asset management firm focused on direct debt and equity investments across North America. Since inception in 2009, RCM Capital has invested in more than 50 companies operating across a diverse range of industries, with a specialty in financial services. RCM Capital provides funding to companies through uniquely tailored products across the capital structure, allowing them to take advantage of critical strategic opportunities.
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*Source: FP Infomart 2022 League Tables Full Bookrunner Credit