Toronto-based wealth management and capital markets firm Echelon Wealth Partners is set to combine its operations with Vancouver-based independent investment firm PI Financial.

The ‘merger of equals’, which also includes the affiliates of both the companies, will see the creation of a major investment advisory, wealth management and capital markets firm in Canada.

This comes after the firms submitted an application to the regulatory authority for changing their current ownership status. Once approved, PI and Echelon will have a common ownership, starting 1 April 2023.

Following the change in ownership, the firms will integrate their businesses, which is anticipated to be done by early next year.

The consolidated entity will have a workforce of over 550, comprising 210 investment advisers and more than 80 capital markets professionals.

It will have more than $12bn in client assets, and significant employee ownership.

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The rest of the ownership will be split between RCM Capital Management, and Peerage Capital founder and executive chair Miles Nadal.

Echelon CEO and director David Cusson will become the CEO, while PI chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Bachellerie will become the president and chief operating officer of the merged entity.

The proposed merger is yet to receive regulatory clearance.

Cusson said: “PI and Echelon – two well-respected, profitable, and innovative firms – are creating an amalgamated firm that is greater than the sum of its parts.

“I have great respect for Jean-Paul and his team, and the exceptional firm they have built. I look forward to building on our momentum by bringing together complementary services and skills, and leveraging new opportunities created by this combination to build even greater value for our clients.

“With a shared, purpose-driven approach that values entrepreneurship and collaboration, we have a strong foundation to ensure a successful integration.”