Today it was announced that Desjardins Group (“Desjardins”) has signed a definitive agreement with Guardian Capital Group Limited (“Guardian”) to acquire the Worldsource Wealth Management dealer operations which includes, Worldsource Financial Management (WFM) and Worldsource Securities Inc. (WSI) and IDC Worldsource Insurance Network (IDC).
For over three decades Guardian has provided unwavering support for the development of the Worldsource independent dealers. During this time, we have proudly built one of the largest independent dealership platforms in Canada which exists to serve the needs of advisors. With a network of more than 800 advisors across Canada, we have been the platform of choice for those seeking independence of choice as we support one of the most open architecture dealer models. Over the past decade many of our key business metrics have grown significantly including the doubling of our total assets under administration which stood at more than $15 billion as of 30 September 2022. We are thankful for Guardian’s partnership and confidence in our business, employees and advisors. Yet there is still a great deal more potential for Worldsource, and with this transaction, Guardian has secured a future for Worldsource where we will have a strategic partner with a strong vision that aligns with ours.
As a management team we are excited about this transaction for a number of reasons:
- Business as usual: We are pleased to confirm that Desjardins wishes to retain the current leadership and employees. Guardian has always been focused on the stability for its employees and takes comfort that Desjardins shares this common value and is committed to maintaining the leadership and team continuity.
- Scale leads to opportunities for more robust infrastructure and solutions: Desjardins, like Worldsource, has an existing independent advisor business with approximately $20 billion in assets under administration. The combined scale of assets under administration will exceed $40 billion. In the industry we operate, scale is critical to assist funding innovation and enabling reinvestment in the quality of our products, services and technology. This is particularly important to continue executing Worldsource’s digital roadmap which we started a couple years ago.
- Independence Matters: Desjardins has a legacy of supporting advisor independence and is committed to allowing Worldsource to operate independently. They firmly believe that the independent advisor model is a vital factor in the industry-leading client satisfaction and loyalty enjoyed by the companies. Therefore our clients, the advisors, will maintain the same level of independence with respect to managing their business and products from different manufacturers.
- Cultural and Business fit: Desjardins has a strong vision and respect for the business we have built, and is a great strategic partner who will continue the commitment to the client first approach while sharing similar cultural values. They are also uniquely positioned to serve the diverse profile of our advisor base which include independent advisors, credit unions and corporate partners.
We are proud of our achievements under the stewardship of Guardian and look forward to the opportunity of being fully supported by Desjardins as we strive for even greater successes into the future.
We expect the transaction to close in Q1 2023 and Desjardins will work with Guardian throughout the transition to ensure you are prepared and that clients experience no interruption in the quality and care they are accustomed to from the Worldsource team.