Desjardins Group, The CUMIS Group and a partnership of five provincial credit union centrals (the Centrals) have agreed to merge operations of their subsidiaries to create a new independent wealth manager in Canada with $55bn in assets.

The deal combines the businesses of Credential Financial, Qtrade Canada, and NEI Investments.

Called Aviso Wealth, the new entity will be headquartered in Toronto and Vancouver and will serve over 500,000 clients in Canada.

Aviso Wealth will offer wealth management, asset management, online brokerage and digital advice, mutual funds and correspondent services.

Aviso Wealth will be equally owned by Desjardins and a limited partnership of the Centrals and CUMIS. It will be headed by Bill Packham, who currently serves as the CEO of Qtrade Canada.

“Each of the three combining companies is successful on its own, but the combined organisation will be much stronger, with greater potential for growth, profitability and innovation than the existing companies could achieve on their own,” Packham noted.

The deal is expected to be wrapped up in the first quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory nod.

Desjardins Group president and CEO Guy Cormier said: “Desjardins is a partner with Canada’s credit unions and is proud to join forces with them and with CUMIS and its majority owner, The Co-operators, to create a major Canadian wealth management provider that will, in all aspects, offer credit union members and other clients a strong alternative to the banks and other wealth management companies.”