As the wealth management industry is squeezed by slowing growth and increasing regulation of fees and commissions, Bank of Nova Scotia is reportedly engaging in talks to sell independent advisor network HollisWealth, according to an article by the Globe and Mail
People familiar with the matter say Quebec-based insurer Industrial Alliance
Insurance and Financial Services is ahead among prospective buyers, though the likelihood of a sale pushing through or the amount being offered was not mentioned.
A successful sale of HollisWealth would let Industrial Alliance control a network of 800 advisors in more than 300 Canadian locations. The network currently provides advisory services on investments, insurance, mortgages, and estate planning, among others.
While wealth management firms face profit-shrinking challenges, insurers are gaining interest in such companies due to modest growth and low interest rates that are dampening their ability to achieve returns from low-risk investments.
HollisWealth was acquired by ScotiaBank over four years, starting with a 2007 purchase of an 18% stake in the firm’s predecessor parent company DundeeWealth for $348 million and ending with Scotia buying the remaining shares for $2.3 billion. The firm was renamed HollisWealth in late 2013, and its former head, Tuula Jalasjaa, left the firm earlier this year.
The sale would be a step forward in Scotia’s restructuring of its wealth management business, which combined services such as financial planning, investment management, and insurance products during a rebranding it underwent last year. The goal at the time was to create a one-stop shopping model for clients, according to executives.
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