Two months after Desjardins Group, Canada’s largest cooperative, said it planned to buy up to 40% of outstanding shares of Otrade Financial Group, more credit unions have extended their partnerships with the online brokerage firm.
First West Credit Union in Langley, British Columbia, which has $7.1 billion in assets under administration, said it has extended its strategic alliance with Qtrade to at least 2019.
The two divisions partnered with Qtrade early in its development, said Launi Skinner, CEO of First West CU, which deepened its partnership in 2011 to provide more frequent advice to a greater number of members.
Since 1999, Qtrade has provided brokerage and wealth management platforms across Canada. Its services include online, full service and institutional brokerage, mutual fund dealer, insurance dealer and portfolio management. The firm said it oversees approximately $7.5 billion in client assets.
“Our members benefit by being able to access greater investment expertise and products, and the credit union benefits because we have enhanced our sales and service culture, which has resulted in increased wealth management business,” Skinner said.
Because Canadian credit unions collectively have more than 5.3 million members, Skinner said there are more opportunities for them to expand their expertise and services and grow their market share in the wealth management space.
“We very much appreciate the confidence and trust that First West Credit Union has placed in Qtrade, even in the early days when we were not yet a proven solution,” said Scott Gibner, CEO of Qtrade. “We are proud and excited that First West has extended its commitment to working with us.”
In February, the Vancouver-based Desjardins Group, which has more than $200 billion in assets and is Canada’s largest cooperative, said it would purchase between 25% and 40% of the outstanding shares of Qtrade from current security holders, with the right to buy the remaining shares over the next six years.