Morgan Stanley sells its wealth management division

Morgan Stanley is separating and selling Eaton Vance WaterOak Advisors, the wealth management business that became part of the business with its purchase of Eaton Vance in March 2021.

The unit was managing about $14.4 billion as of February 28.

Eaton Vance merged Eaton Vance Investment Counsel, its long-term wealth management unit, with WaterOak Advisors in November 2020, which it purchased in 2020. The unit was renamed Eaton Vance WaterOak Advisors.

CI Financial has agreed to acquire the business from former Eaton Vance Investment Counsel in a deal expected to close in the fourth quarter, company spokesman Trevor Davis said in an email Thursday.

Pathstone, a wealth manager, will acquire the WaterOak business, a company press release said Thursday.

Neither the acquirer nor Morgan Stanley provided the financial terms of the transactions.

Eaton Vance Investment Counsel managed $11.4 billion for families, endowments, foundations and other entities as of February 28.

The addition of Eaton Vance Investment Counsel assets and other pending transactions will increase U.S. assets under management by Toronto-based CI Financial to $133 billion and its global assets to $311 billion, CI Financial said. in a press release Wednesday.

EVIC is CI Financial’s 24th acquisition of a US registered investment adviser in recent years. The EVIC team will remain in Boston, said CI’s Davis.

“With nearly a century of success, Eaton Vance Investment Counsel has earned a reputation as one of the nation’s leading registered investment advisers,” CI CEO Kurt MacAlpine said in the company’s release.

He added that the acquisition of EVIC is one of the “largest U.S. acquisitions by CI to date and aligns us with a growing business.”

WaterOak has $3 billion under management, which will bring Pathstone’s assets under deliberation to $35 billion.

WaterOak employees will remain in their office in Winter Park, Fla., and “significantly expand Pathstone’s footprint in Florida,” the company’s statement said.

The Pathstone deal is expected to close on May 2.

Pathstone is “very excited to welcome WaterOak to our family. Like us, they are driven by innovation and believe this unique technology will keep us a generation ahead of the industry,” said Matthew Fleissig, Partner and chairman of Pathstone, in the statement.