On April 1, 2018, Desjardins Group (Desjardins) and CU CUMIS Wealth Holdings LP (Holdings), a limited partnership comprised of Canada's five provincial credit union centrals (the Centrals) and The CUMIS Group Limited (CUMIS), announced the closing of the merger of the businesses of their subsidiaries, Credential Financial Inc., Qtrade Canada Inc. and NEI Investments.
The transaction created one of Canada's largest independent wealth management firms with more than 500,000 clients across the country and more than $55 billion in combined client assets under administration and management. The new entity, Aviso Wealth, is jointly owned by Desjardins and Holdings with each holding a 50-per-cent stake.
Desjardins was represented in-house by Renaud Coulombe, Luc Boucher and Karine Fadous and was assisted by a team from Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP led by Éric Stevens and Mathieu Deschamps and comprised of Michael Bunn, David Crandall, Weihe Feng, Thomas Charest-Girard, Pierre-François Tétreault (corporate), Marc Duquette, Jamie Macdonald, Jeremy Devereux, Christine Dubé, Michelle Lutfy, Jeffrey Spiegel (regulatory), Louis Gratton, Éric Bellemare (intellectual property), Jules Charette, Antoine Desroches (tax), Kevin Ackhurst, Thierry Dorval and Lady Africa Sheppard (competition).
MLT Aikins LLP acted as lead counsel to the Centrals and CUMIS in the closing of the transaction, with a team led by James Ferguson and Peter Drazic and comprised of Pamela Hilderman, Eric Buettner, Nicolas Joubert (corporate), Richmond Bayes (regulatory), Randy Brunet, Danielle Graff (intellectual property), Michael Ziesmann (taxation), Penny Yeager and Erin Smith (competition). They were supported, in the formation of Holdings, by the equity holders’ internal legal counsel, including David Meldrum (SaskCentral), Shannon Rennie (Alberta Central), Brenda Roberts-Harmon (Atlantic Central), and Susan Ols (Credit Union Central of Manitoba).
CUMIS and The Co-operators Group Ltd. were represented in-house by Blair Groff and assisted by a team from Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP comprised of Robert McDowell, Koker Christensen and Craig Bellefontaine.