iA Financial unifies IIROC business under new brand name

EVP tells WP that more cohesive packaging will help attract top advisors to its platform

iA Financial unifies IIROC business under new brand name

It’s a case of new year, new name for one of Canada’s largest independent investment companies.

iA Wealth, the wealth management division of iA Financial Group, has announced the launch of iA Private Wealth, a new brand identity that replaces its iA Securities and HollisWealth brands to unify iA Wealth’s IIROC wealth management business.

In addition, iA Wealth’s capital markets division, which formerly operated under the iA Securities brand, will be known as iA Capital Markets.

After a couple of years building out the tools and platform, Sean O’Brien, Executive Vice President, iA Wealth, said it was an exciting time to continue the firm’s growth, particularly on the discretionary portfolio side. Keeping the iA name was important, he added, to convey all the positives of a 125-year-old company renowned for stability. Maintaining the elephant logo was also important. It’s well-known, particularly in Quebec where the firm is headquartered, and around the country.

O’Brien said: “We thought that what advisors and investors are looking for is that combination of good independence, and good independent advice, backed by one of Canada's strongest companies, which is iA. Using the iA name in conjunction with our private wealth practices was important.”

O’Brien believes consolidating all the firm’s messaging, marketing and communications under one brand will provide more scope to attract quality advisors. The firm wants to showcase its growth ambition, independence and also the depth and strength of a big company.

“It’s a combination of pulling that together,” he said. “Hollis is a good name but it doesn't carry any sort of link to the stability and strength of a big company that we'd like to see. We hope to get the message across and really showcase what we've built and what we're proud of.”

On the independent distribution side, iA is among the leaders in the country but O’Brien admitted that many people do not view the firm in that light. It’s not a boastful company, he said, conceding that the various names may have seemed disjointed to some.

That begs the question: why wait for a rebrand three years after the Hollis acquisition? O’Brien said while it’s a fair question, iA wanted to make sure its platform was exactly where it wanted it to be before coming out with a rebrand.

It appears good timing, with independents attracting some top advisors from the big banks and large corporations as they look for more freedom to grow their practice.

“We have some scale and we have a really good platform,” O’Brien said. “The technology we’re putting together helps make advisors’ and investors’ experience even better. We’re proud of it and there is a nice track and runway for introducing more components.

“It’s not for every advisor. We are looking for people who are growth oriented and a little more entrepreneurial than some but there does seem to be a surge of interest in this space and in our platform. We’re excited to work with new advisors who are aligned in the same way.”

iA Private wealth is a nationwide network of more than 500 independent, entrepreneurial Investment Advisor and Portfolio Manager teams with over $40 billion in AUA.