CI Financial Corp., a wealth management firm based in Toronto, will expand its presence in the midwestern United States with the acquisition of the $4.5 billion firm Balasa Dinverno Foltz (BDF), a private wealth management firm based in Itasca, Ill.

The move is part of the rapid expansion strategy of CI Financial, one of the fastest growing RIAs in the industry. The acquisition is CI Financial’s largest RIA acquisition to date. The firm began expanding into the United States six months ago as part of an effort to become a global wealth management firm.

The purchase of Balasa Dinverno Foltz "gives us a solid presence in the Midwest and the affluent Chicago market," said Kurt MacAlpine, CEO of CI Financial, in a statement. “This acquisition provides us additional scale in wealth management to realize synergies and introduce enhancements such as broader investment choices and wealth planning support.”

CI Financial serves high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients in the United States and Canada, where it owns Assante, one of that nation's largest advisory firms. The latest acquisition brings CI Financial’s assets under management to $11 billion. It is the firm’s fifth RIA acquisition and its eighth transaction when including acquisitions by CI's RIA subsidiaries.

Balasa Dinverno Foltz was recently listed among Barron’s list of top 50 RIAs in America. Through its offices in the Chicago region, the Balasa Dinverno Foltz team of 62 people provides wealth management services to individuals and families, business owners, institutions and non-profit organizations.

Following the close of the transaction, Chad Carlson, who is currently wealth manager and director of research at Balasa Dinverno Foltz, will be named president and co-chief investment officer.

CI also holds ownership interests in the Cabana Group in Fayetteville, Ark.; Congress Wealth Management in Boston; One Capital Management in Westlake Village, Calif.; and Surevest in Phoenix.

CI began its expansion in the United States earlier this year in support of its newly adopted strategic priorities of globalizing the firm and expanding its wealth management platform, CI Financial said.

"The RIA sector is the fastest-growing segment in U.S. wealth management and the RIA model is a strong fit with our own approach to wealth management, which emphasizes the central role of the advisor and the importance of a holistic approach to wealth planning," MacAlpine said.

Balasa Dinverno Foltz, established in 2001, specializes in the needs of women, widows, business owners, insurance brokers and agency owners, lawyers, financial professionals, and divorcing individuals.