Morgan Stanley has agreed to sell its $15 billion registered investment advisory arm, Eaton Vance WaterOak Advisors, in two parts to CI Financial Corp. and Pathstone.
In November of 2020, WaterOak was acquired by Eaton Vance Investment Counsel, a subsidiary of asset management firm Eaton Vance Corp. Eaton Vance Corp. and its subsidiaries, including WaterOak were subsequently purchased by Morgan Stanley in March of 2021.
CI Financial agreed to buy the Eaton Vance Investment Counsel division, which is based in Boston and acts as advisor for $11.4 billion in assets on behalf of families, endowments, foundations and other institutions. The acquisition will boost CI Financial’s U.S. assets to $133 billion.
Pathstone will purchase WaterOak, which is based in Winter Park, Florida and provides investment services to institutional and private wealth clients and has $3 billion in assets under advisement. Once the transaction closes, Pathstone’s total assets under advisement will be more than $35 billion.
Kurt MacAlpine, CI Financial’s chief executive officer, said that this is one of the firm’s largest U.S. acquisitions by assets to date. “With nearly a century of success, Eaton Vance Investment Counsel has earned its reputation as one of the country’s leading registered investment advisors and we are proud to welcome them to CI Private Wealth,” he said.
Pathstone said that the WaterOak transaction will “significantly expand its footprint in Florida.” Pathstone will now be in 14 locations in the U.S. with 235 team members.
“We are very excited to welcome WaterOak to our family,” said Matthew Fleissig, president of Pathstone. “They, like Pathstone, are driven by innovation and believe that unique technology and process will keep us a generation ahead of the industry.”
CI Financial’s transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022, while Pathstone did not provide its closing timeline.
CI Financial Corp. is a global wealth and asset management company that has managed and advised on approximately $292.1 billion in global client assets as at February 28, 2022.
Pathstone is an advisory firm that offers comprehensive family office services and investment advice for families, family offices, and foundations and endowments. Pathstone is institutionally backed by Lovell Minnick Partners.