The acquired entities strengthen Desjardins' growth plans in both insurance and wealth markets
The largest cooperative financial group in North America has successfully taken over life insurance, mutual fund, and investment distribution networks collectively worth $750 million. Desjardins Group closed the transaction first announced in November 2022 and has now acquired the following entities from Guardian Capital Group:
- IDC Worldsource Insurance Network, a leading life and health insurance managing general agency;
- Worldsource Financial Management, a mutual fund dealer; and
- Worldsource Securities, an independent, full-service securities dealer.
The three newly acquired entities will serve more than 5,000 independent advisors across Canada’s insurance and financial advice markets and accelerate Desjardins’ growth throughout the country.
Pursuant to Desjardins’ previous commitment, all three companies will maintain their current leadership and management teams and operate as stand-alone entities. Desjardins will continue to support the twin core values of independence and open architecture for all the companies’ products and solutions.
“I'm thrilled to have closed this major transaction, which consolidates Desjardins' position as a leader in independent distribution across Canada,” said Guy Cormier, president and CEO of Desjardins Group.
Cormier said that the group had been prioritising its national growth acquisition in recent years, and that its acquisition of Worldsource considerably strengthened its growth strategy across Canada.
As of September 30, 2022, $23 billion worth of Guardian Capital Group’s assets under administration related to the three newly acquired Worldsource entities.
"We are proud of the businesses we have built over the past three decades and have full confidence in their continuing success in the future," said George Mavroudis, president and CEO of Guardian Capital Group. "The sale of these businesses allows us to focus on our core asset management operations supported by a significant capital base."
Mavroudis previously said the group had taken “great comfort” in the thought of Desjardins Group succeeding it as owner of the Worldsource businesses. “Desjardins has the vision, resources and long-term commitment to offer the employees and advisors an environment to thrive and reach even greater levels of success,” he had said.
BMO Capital Markets acted as financial advisor to Guardian Capital Group throughout the transaction, providing a fairness opinion to the group’s board of directors, while Desjardins Capital Markets acted as Desjardins Group’s financial adviser to the transaction.
Borden Ladner Gervais and KPMG were Guardian Capital Group’s legal and tax advisors, respectively. Stikeman Elliott LLP acted as legal advisor to Desjardins.
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