Wellington-Altus attracts $85 million from two minority partners to fuel growth

Capital will be used to incentivize new advisor teams and make more acquisitions as firm bounds into 2022

Wellington-Altus attracts $85 million from two minority partners to fuel growth

Wellington-Altus Financial Inc. of Winnipeg has attracted $85 million from two minority partners to fuel its growth.

“We’ve been working hard to take our company to the next level,” Shaun Hauser, Wellington-Altus’s Founder and President, told Wealth Professional, “and we think we’ve done that with these transactions.”

Wellington-Altus, which now has about $20 billion in assets under management, has attracted minority growth equity investments from Jessiman Family Investments of Winnipeg and The Cynosure Group of Salt Lake City. Hauser said they will both hold just under 10% once the transaction closes.

The Jessimans built their wealth in an internationally recognized Manitoba-based transportation business and now support many private equity businesses. Cynosure is a U.S.-based private equity fund, which is experienced in investing in minority positions, particularly with registered independent advisors in the U.S.

“We wanted to create a rock solid balance sheet,” said Hauser. “We feel very lucky. We’re an independent company. We’re employee-owned, but we now have mountains of cash on our balance sheet, and we have the ability to be more pliable and dynamic than ever in the ways we can incentive advisors to join us and the opportunities for potential acquisitions. We think this is going to propel us to an even faster rate of growth into 2022 and beyond.”

Hauser said it quickly became apparent that the companies shared the same views of what it takes to be successful. The two companies will, through their investments and options to provide follow-on growth capital, become minority owners in Wellington-Altus and join its board of directors. Wellington’s founders, advisors, and management team will continue to control and operate the business.

The new arrangement provides Wellington-Altus with more financial flexibility to meet new opportunities that arise to hire top wealth advisors and acquire select money management firms from across Canada. Hauser said it’s already talking to several Investment Counsel Portfolio Managers’ businesses, where it feels its wealth management infrastructure can “add just as much value to these small business as we’re adding to IIROC advisors.”

Wellington-Altus, founded in 2017, expects to put another $6 billion of assets from recruitments on the books in 2021.  It’s looking for the right people to help it continue to grow, and Hauser said it’s very close to adding a few advisor teams in Quebec, starting in the first quarter of 2022, after launching its Quebec operation this fall. 

“I think it’s a tremendous piece of validation for the executive committee and the existing board of directors at Wellington-Altus Financial that we have seasoned professionals who believe in our business plan, believe in our strategy to attain unprecedented success,” said Hauser.

“We’re starting to get validation from people who do this for a living. So, we’re really honoured that these organizations of this pedigree have made this investment and given us the confidence. It really solidifies that we feel we have a good plan. We think the plan has come to life over the last four and a half years, and we want to get to that next leg of growth, with which we think we can even turn up the volume on our growth trajectory. So, we’re really excited as we head into the new year.”