CWB to acquire T.E. Wealth and Leon Frazer & Associates

Transaction significantly expands CWB’s wealth management presence, investment offering and comprehensive financial planning capabilities for high-net-worth families across Canada

EDMONTON, MARCH 2, 2020 – CWB Financial Group (TSX: CWB) (CWB) and iA Financial Corporation Inc. (iA) today announced that CWB will acquire iA Investment Counsel Inc. (iAIC), a wholly owned iA subsidiary. iAIC is a leading provider of financial planning and wealth management services targeting high-net-worth Canadian families under the brand names T.E. Wealth (T.E.) and Leon Frazer & Associates (Leon Frazer). T.E. is also one of the largest and most reputable providers of investment management and financial education services to Indigenous communities, with offerings provided under the T.E. Wealth Indigenous Services brand.

With more than $6 billion in assets under management and advisement, and offices located in Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver, this transaction will bring CWB’s total wealth assets under management, administration and advisement to more than $8 billion.

“This exciting transaction is a transformative step forward in wealth management for CWB and is fully aligned to our strategic direction,” said Chris Fowler, CWB’s President and CEO. “We are committed to accelerating the growth of our boutique full-service offering for successful business families. T.E. and Leon Frazer bring recognized talent and scale to our key markets and we believe these teams will be an excellent fit with our people-first, relationship-focused culture. CWB’s clients will benefit from broader and deeper investment counselling and planning capabilities, with an extended geographic footprint supporting our continued growth of strong client relationships across the country. CWB’s investors will benefit from diversifying our total revenue and scaling our wealth management business.”

Matt Evans, President and CEO, CWB Wealth Management, added, “We are very excited to welcome T.E. Wealth and Leon Frazer to the CWB family. Both are deeply established businesses with highly respected investment counsellors who maintain trusted client relationships, in many cases going back several generations. T.E. is a clear leader in complex financial planning with focused capabilities in corporate financial education and executive financial counselling. These capabilities complement CWB’s unique market position to serve successful entrepreneurs and business families. Leon Frazer brings a rich heritage in dividend-focused investing, and adds valuable diversification to our established in-house asset management capabilities. We are excited to bring these compelling new dimensions to our clients as we continue to align CWB’s boutique wealth offering with our proactive full-service business and personal banking experience.”

“It is incredibly important to our leadership that clients of T.E. Wealth and Leon Frazer continue to receive superior service through this transition and in future, which is exactly what we believe they can expect from CWB Wealth Management. The values and service model of CWB’s respected private client team are an excellent fit for both companies,” said Carl Mustos, Executive Vice President of iA Wealth. “For iA Wealth, this divestiture enables us to focus exclusively on investing in our core strength of serving the needs of high-net-worth Canadians through our network of independently owned investment advisory practices.”

The transaction is expected to close in CWB’s fiscal third quarter 2020, subject to regulatory approvals
and closing conditions. The purchase price payable will be satisfied through cash consideration with the transaction expected to reduce CWB’s regulatory capital ratios by approximately 30 basis points at closing. The transaction will support CWB’s adjusted cash earnings per share modestly at first with further accretion beginning in fiscal 2022.

TD Securities acted as exclusive financial advisor to CWB on the transaction.

About iA Financial Group

Founded in 1892, iA Financial Group is one of the largest insurance and wealth management companies in Canada. It also operates in the United States. Its stock is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol IAG (common shares) and IAF (preferred shares). To learn more about the iA Financial Group family of companies, please visit ia.ca/about-us.

About iA Wealth

iA Wealth is the wealth management division of iA Financial Group. iA Wealth provides a full range of financial advisory and wealth management services to Canadian investors though iA Securities Inc., Investia Financial Services Inc. and FundEX Investments Inc. iA Wealth’s investment fund manufacturing arm, IA Clarington Investments Inc., offers a wide range of products, including actively managed mutual funds, managed portfolio solutions, Active ETF Series and socially responsible investments. iA Wealth strives to be the leader in creating and preserving wealth for individual Canadians working with independent advisors.

About CWB Financial Group

CWB Financial Group (CWB) is a diversified financial services organization known for a highly proactive client experience serving businesses and individuals across Canada. Operating from headquarters in Edmonton, Alberta, CWB’s key business lines include full service business and personal banking offered through branch locations of Canadian Western Bank and internet banking services provided by Motive Financial. Highly responsive nation-wide specialized financing is delivered under the banners of CWB Optimum Mortgage, CWB Equipment Financing, CWB National Leasing, CWB Maxium Financial and CWB Franchise Finance. Trust services are offered through CWB Trust Services. Comprehensive wealth management offerings are provided through CWB Wealth Management, which includes the businesses of CWB McLean & Partners Wealth Management and Canadian Western Financial. As a public company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), CWB trades under the symbols “CWB” (common shares), “CWB.PR.B” (Series 5 Preferred Shares), “CWB.PR.C” (Series 7 Preferred Shares) and “CWB.PR.D” (Series 9 Preferre  Shares). Learn more at cwb.com.

About CWB Wealth Management

CWB Wealth Management Ltd. (CWB WM) is part of CWB Financial Group, a diversified financial services group providing specialized services in business and personal banking, trust and wealth management across Canada. CWB WM provides discretionary portfolio management and investment advisory services, as well as financial planning products and services. Along with our subsidiaries, CWB McLean & Partners Wealth Management Ltd. and Canadian Western Financial Ltd., we provide a range of investment services and solutions to high-net-worth, institutional and individual investors including mutual funds, pooled funds and separately managed accounts.

Forward-looking Statements

From time to time, we (CWB) make written and verbal forward-looking statements. Statements of this type are included in our Annual Report and reports to shareholders and may be included in filings with Canadian securities regulators or in other communications such as press releases and corporate presentations. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about our objectives and strategies, targeted and expected financial results and the outlook for CWB’s businesses or for the Canadian economy. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the words “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “estimate”, “may increase”, “may impact”, “goal”, “focus”, “potential”, “proposed” and other similar expressions, or future or conditional verbs such as “will”, “should”, “would” and “could”.

By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve numerous assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties, which give rise to the possibility that our predictions, forecasts, projections, expectations and conclusions will not prove to be accurate, that our assumptions may not be correct and that our strategic goals will not be achieved.

A variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control, may cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, general business and economic conditions in Canada, including housing market conditions, the volatility and level of liquidity in financial markets, fluctuations in interest rates and currency values, the volatility and level of various commodity prices, changes in monetary policy, changes in economic and political conditions, material changes to trade agreements, legislative and regulatory developments, legal developments, the level of competition, the occurrence of natural catastrophes, changes in accounting standards and policies, information technology and cyber risk, the accuracy and completeness of information we receive about customers and counterparties, the ability to attract and retain key personnel, the ability to complete and integrate acquisitions, reliance on third parties to provide components of business infrastructure, changes in tax laws, technological developments, unexpected changes in consumer spending and saving habits, timely development and introduction of new products, and our ability to anticipate and manage the risks associated with these factors. It is important to note that the preceding list is not exhaustive of possible factors.

Additional information about these factors can be found in the Risk Management section of our annual MD&A. These and other factors should be considered carefully, and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements as a number of important factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements. Unless required by securities law, we do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or verbal, that may be made from time to time by us or on our behalf.

Assumptions about the performance of the Canadian economy over the forecast horizon and how it will affect our businesses are material factors considered when setting organizational objectives and targets. In determining expectations for economic growth, we consider our own forecasts, economic data and forecasts provided by the Canadian government and its agencies, as well as certain private sector forecasts. These forecasts are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties that may be general or specific. Where relevant, material economic assumptions underlying forward-looking statements are disclosed within the Outlook sections of our annual or quarterly MD&A.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Chris Williams
AVP, Investor Relations
CWB Financial Group
Phone: 780-508-8229
Manager, Public Relations
Phone: 418-684-5000, ext. 1-1660
Email: chris.williams@cwbank.com

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These articles are for general informational purposes only. Please obtain professional advice before taking any action based on this information. No endorsement or approval of any third parties or their advice, information, products or services should be implied by any references to third parties contained in any article. Trademarks cited in these articles are the respective properties of their owners.

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