Wealth management firm to close half its Canadian offices

TORONTO – Wealth management firm Canaccord Financial Inc. (TSX:CF) is closing 16 branches across the country and reducing the number of advisors at the remaining Canadian locations, which will be concentrated in major cities.

The move will cut the number of Canaccord offices by half, with 16 remaining. It wasn’t clear how many people are affected.

The company, which has its corporate head office in Vancouver but announced the downsizing from Toronto, will record $11.5 million of charges in its fiscal second quarter report — reflecting the cost of severance and office closures.

Canaccord says it will have 180 investment advisory teams across Canada after the downsizing but it didn’t disclose how many people it will employ.

“This initiative will allow us to make additional investments in markets where we see the most opportunity for future growth,” John Rothwell, president of Canaccord Wealth Management (Canada), said in the announcement.

“We can better cater to the needs of our clients through an elite team of Investment Advisors who have demonstrated their abilities to generate meaningful value for our clients, foster long-term client relationships and an enhanced client experience.”

In the first quarter of fiscal 2013, ended June 30, Canaccord recorded a net loss of $20.6 million, or 24 cents per common share. Excluding significant items, it had an adjusted net loss of $16.3 million, or 20 cents per common share.

Canaccord simultaneously announced Monday it has agreed to acquire the wealth management business of a U.K. company, pending approvals.

The acquisition of Collins Stewart Wealth Management will also result in restructuring and other charges in the third quarter, estimated at $5.2 million.

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