Fiera Capital Corporation, an independent investment firm based in Montreal, has acquired a U.S.-based wealth management firm and global asset manager as part of its strategy to expand into the U.S. market, Fiera announced Tuesday.

The two acquisitions add $8.1 billion in assets under management to Fiera for a total AUM of $70 billion for the firm. The acquisitions also add $1.3 billion in consulting assets to Fiera’s private wealth segment. The two transactions cost $156.3 million.

Fiera has acquired Bel Air Investment Advisors LLC and its affiliate Bel Air Securities LLC, based in Los Angeles. It also has acquired Wilkinson O’Grady & Co. Inc, an investment manager based in New York City.

Bel Air will continue to operate under its own name under the Fiera Capital Private Wealth North American division. Todd Morgan, senior managing partner of Bel Air, who will become chairman of Fiera Capital Private Wealth North American, will lead it.

Donald M. Wilkinson III, CEO and CIO of Wilkinson O’Grady, will be CIO for Fiera Capital Private Wealth North American.

“We see tremendous growth potential in the U.S. private wealth and investment management market and these transactions fit perfectly with our plan to create value by becoming a leading North American investment management firm within the next five years,” says Jean-Guy Desjardins, chairman and CEO of Fiera.