The Desjardins Group is set to acquire Montreal-based investment firm Hexavest Inc.

The deal is expected to close on Sept. 1, 2021, subject to certain conditions. Hexavest, which is based in Montreal, manages $5 billion in assets. The majority of its approximately 50 clients are institutional investors from Canada, the U.S., Australia and Asia.

In a press release, Guy Cromier, Desjardins’ president and chief executive officer, said the acquisition would enhance the services the firm offers to institutional investors. “This transaction also allows us to consolidate Montreal’s position as an asset management hub.”

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Following its acquisition, the firm is expected to be absorbed by Desjardins Global Asset Management. According to the release, the deal is part of a broader pan-Canadian growth plan, which aims for DGAM to secure $100 billion in Canadian assets by 2024. As of March 31, 2021, it had $83 billion in assets under management. The growth plan is focused on securing assets from pension plans, insurance companies, investment funds, private trust companies and public organizations, noted the release.

Nicholas Richard, DGAM president and chief operating officer, said at least some Hexavest’s 30 employees would be brought over to Desjardins. “We expect Hexavest’s specialists to join Desjardins in the beginning of September, strengthening DGAM’s expertise in the fundamental and quantitative management of global equity and emerging market investments.”

Hexavest was founded in 2004 by Marc Christopher Lavoie and Vital Proulx. Both co-founders remain involved in the firm’s work, with Lavoie serving as its president and Proulx serving as its chief investments officer and board chair.

“I’m delighted that we’ll have access to Desjardins’ resources to continue growing the services that make all the difference for our clients,” said Proulx, in the release.

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