Harbourfront Wealth Management is buying

Company outlines aggressive growth strategy, targeting philosophically aligned dealerships and entrepreneurial advisors

Harbourfront Wealth Management is buying

Harbourfront Wealth Management is pushing ahead with its aggressive growth strategy, targeting philosophically aligned dealerships and entrepreneurial advisors.

The firm has enjoyed impressive expansion across Canada by attracting a number of veteran advisors who are “true fiduciaries” and in line with the client-first culture.

Daniel Popescu, CEO, said the company’s structure allows advisors a stake in the business, an opportunity that appeals to ambitious and forward-thinking finance professionals.

“Most advisors own one business – their practices,” Popescu said. “At Harbourfront, they effectively own two, their practice and the firm, which empowers them to shape the direction of the firm.

“We attract entrepreneurial advisors who look beyond their practice. They recognize the economics behind firm ownership, which includes annual dividend distributions and building enterprise value with a view to monetization.”

The company also has an intelligent acquisition strategy and clearly has the experience within their ranks to execute deals and partnerships. Both Popescu and Mark Pinto, Executive Vice President, Leadership & Growth Strategy, are far from rookies when it comes to building and monetizing dealerships.

Between the two, they have been involved in three successful transactions: the sale of Wellington West to National Bank Financial for $333 million in 2011, Assante to CI Financial in 2002 for $846 million, and Dundee Wealth to Scotia for $3.2 billion in 2010.

Any fears potential partners may have of a quick sale regarding Harbourfront, however, are wide of the mark, with Popescu stating that the management team are in it for the “long haul” and won’t entertain anything for at least 10 years.

He added: “We’re well capitalized and continue to earmark funds for accretive acquisitions.”

To that end, the firm is currently in conversations with a handful of dealers who like its growth trajectory and are looking to “hitch their wagons” to the success story.

Pinto said the team is intent on turning the traditional industry model on its head by placing clients at the epicentre of all business decisions. He said: “We’re looking for IIROC dealerships and ICPMs anywhere from $500 million in AUA to $10+ billion. If there is philosophical alignment with sound organizations, we are interested in exploring synergies.”