The Bank of Nova Scotia’s deal to acquire independent investment firm Jarislowsky Fraser for $950 million is part of the bank’s strategy to move beyond retail investing, according to one of the bank’s executives.

Almost 80 per cent of Scotiabank’s business has been in retail investing, with the rest split between institutional and private investment counsel, Glen Gowland, Scotiabank’s senior vice-president and head of asset management, told on Monday.

Jarislowsky Fraser represents almost the exact opposite, said Gowland, with 80 per cent of its business on the institutional side and the rest in ultra-high net worth investments.

Having an institutional platform has been a strategic priority for Scotiabank for the last few years, he said.

Montreal-based Jarislowsky Fraser manages more than $40 billion in assets for institutional and high-net-worth clients, a Scotiabank release announcing the deal said.

Read: 2017 Top 40 Money Managers Report: A look at the Canada Infrastructure Bank

The combination of Jarislowsky Fraser and Scotiabank’s asset management business creates the third‐largest Canadian active asset manager, with $166 billion in assets under management (as of Dec. 31, 2017), the release said.

Gowland confirmed that no job losses would result from the acquisition.

“We are committed to continuing to grow,” he said. “It’s critical for us to keep all of our talent at Jarislowsky Fraser and certainly continue to build here as well.”

The acquisition won’t result in significant changes for Jarislowsky Fraser. “We want to maintain the integrity of all their processes,” said Gowland, referring to investment management, including environmental, social and governance investing. “That’s what you’re buying.”

He adds that the bank’s scale will allow the firm to continue to grow, potentially benefiting from investment in technology and operations.

Read: Scotiabank to acquire Jarislowsky Fraser

The deal received unanimous support from Jarislowsky Fraser’s partners, who have agreed to invest half of their proceeds from the closing of the transaction into the firm’s investment strategies, the release said. Firm founder Stephen Jarislowsky will continue his association with the business, which will keep his name and retain investment autonomy. The Jarislowsky Fraser management team will continue to lead its existing business, and its head office will remain in Montreal.

This article originally appeared on the website of Benefits Canada‘s companion publication,


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