GLASfunds, a Cleveland alternative asset manager, gets minority equity investment from CI Financial

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GLASfunds, a tech-enabled alternative asset manager based in Cleveland, has drawn a minority acquisition by global Canadian wealth management outfit CI Financial Corp.

Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.

The deal includes an option for CI to acquire a majority interest in the firm over the next four years.

Founded in 2009, GLASfunds has eight employees and approximately $524 million in regulatory assets under management, according to its latest public filing. The firm reports approximately $1.1 billion in total combined AUM and assets under contract.

Following this and some other recent deals, CI said its U.S. wealth management business represents about $98.7 billion in total assets. Its global assets total approximately $283.9 billion.

GLASfunds says that through its platform, advisors can aggregate client capital and invest in alternatives through a digital dashboard, streamlining the process and reducing the paperwork typically required to execute a customized alternatives portfolio.

CI said its investment “will strengthen GLASfunds’ offering to the broader market, while providing CI Private Wealth clients with enhanced access to alternative asset classes through a best-in-class platform.”

“We are thrilled to work with CI to bring our leading alternatives solution to CI Financial and their fast-growing CI Private Wealth group,” said GLASfunds managing partner Michael Maroon in a statement. “Alternatives have become a core component of high-net-worth client portfolios, but the process to invest has often been cumbersome. We simplify that process, enabling advisors to deliver even better investment management service. Having CI as a strategic partner will enhance our capabilities and reach and broaden our appeal to all advisor firms seeking an alternative investment platform.”

“Alternative assets are an increasingly important part of investing today, and having an execution platform like GLASfunds is a critical foundational component to our strategy in this space,” said CI CEO Kurt MacAlpine in a statement. “Making this investment will enable us to deliver a better client experience, which is incredibly important as we work to build the leading high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth wealth manager in the U.S.”