People Moves

Exclusive – Another CI Financial Advisory Firm CEO Is Out

Charles Paikert US Correspondent New York February 16, 2023

Exclusive – Another CI Financial Advisory Firm CEO Is Out

This news service has learned that a CEO of one of the wealth firms operating under the CI Financial group has left, following a similar departure of a CEO in a CI firm in less than two months.

Philip Hildebrandt has stepped down as chief executive of the $20 billion CI Financial firm Segall Bryant & Hamill, after nearly 28 years with the RIA, Family Wealth Report has learned.

Hildebrandt is the second CEO of a CI firm to leave his post in less than two months. George Stapleton exited as CEO of CI RegentAtlantic Private Wealth in late December after more than five years with the firm.

Neither departure was publicly announced by CI Financial. When contacted by FWR, a CI spokesperson said the 60-year-old Hildebrandt “retired” on February 3. Similarly, when Citywire RIA reported last month that Stapleton was no longer at RegentAtlantic, CI said Stapleton had “retired” at the end of 2022. 

Stapleton launched a consulting firm this month, The Stapleton Group, to help “create value” for RIAs. Hildebrandt did not respond to an interview request. His LinkedIn “Experience” resumé still describes him as Segall Bryant CEO.

The two high-level departures come as the RIA industry waits to see whether CI Financial will go through with its proposed initial public offering in the wake of Focus Financial’s negotiations to go private via a sale to private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

IPO status
The IPO remains on track, according to the company spokesperson, but no timetable has been set. According to a December 2022 press release, CI has “submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.” 

The IPO is expected to take place “after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions,” according to the release. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering “have not yet been determined.”

Cost cutting?
Some industry executives speculate that the exits of Stapleton and Hildebrandt are part of a cost-cutting initiative by CI Financial. When asked if that was the case, the company did not respond.

CI has not announced successors to the exiting CEOs. 

Carolyn Goldhaber, who worked closely with Hildebrandt, was promoted from CFO to the newly-created role of president of Segall Bryant last May, CI noted in a statement. 

At RegentAtlantic, which has over $6 billion in assets, Brent Beene, who served as the firm’s chairman, was named managing partner of the firm’s New York and New Jersey offices and took on Stapleton’s responsibilities, CI announced.

Both Chicago-based Segall Bryant and Morristown, New Jersey-based RegentAtlantic, were acquired by CI in 2021 as part of the Canadian asset manager’s massive buying spree over two years that resulted in over two dozen purchases and $180 billion in assets. 

But after paying premium prices for its properties in 2020 and 2021, CI took its foot off the gas pedal last year, amid concerns about high debt levels, soaring valuations, stiffer competition and shifting market conditions. 

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