Bloomberg News

Macquarie Hiring Advisers in Canada as Brokerages Scale Back

November 18, 2011

(Updates share price in last paragraph.)

Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Macquarie Group Ltd.’s Canadian brokerage plans to increase advisers by as much as 30 percent within a year as rivals such as HSBC Holdings Plc and UBS AG retrench.

Macquarie Private Wealth, created in January 2010 after its Sydney-based parent purchased Blackmont Capital from CI Financial Corp., may expand in Canada to about 225 to 250 advisers next year, from 193 now, said Earl Evans, the unit’s chief executive officer.

“We’re very close to putting on approximately 80 advisers” since the Blackmont deal closed, Evans said yesterday in an interview in Toronto. “I have never seen anything like it in my 23 years in the business -- the inflow of advisers ringing us, wanting to talk to us and hear our story.”

Macquarie, which had assets of about C$6.5 billion ($6.38 billion) after acquiring Blackmont, is hiring even as some of Canada’s asset-management businesses retreat or seek buyers. In July, National Bank of Canada purchased Wellington West Holdings Inc. of Toronto and the Montreal-based lender agreed in September to buy HSBC’s investment-advisory business.

UBS AG, Switzerland’s biggest bank, said last week it will fire 10 employees as it ends the in-house management of Canadian equity portfolios.

“Normally in a downturn there’s a consolidation in the independent side of our industry, and you’re seeing that,” said Evans, 46. “The independents historically have found it very challenging in difficult times.”

Ahead of Target

Macquarie Private Wealth previously expected to reach its target of 225 to 250 advisers by 2014, Evans said. About half of the advisory hires had worked for domestic banks, with the rest coming from independent companies such as Richardson GMP Ltd. and Wellington West.

“There’s not a firm on the street that’s had the inflow of advisers, banks included, that Macquarie Private Wealth has had in the last 20 months,” said Evans, who estimates that he’s taken 250 flights in the past 18 months to meet with clients and employees in 12 offices.

Macquarie Private Wealth expects to have C$25 billion in assets under management by the end of 2014, he said.

Macquarie Group rose 1.7 percent to A$23.95 in Sydney.

--Editors: Peter Eichenbaum, Steve Dickson

To contact the reporter on this story: Sean B. Pasternak in Toronto at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at; David Scheer at

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