Power Still Deciding How Wealthsimple Fits Into New Strategy

Power Corp. of Canada has scored a massive win with its investment in online brokerage Wealthsimple. The company is still deciding what to do with it.

Power Corp. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Orr said the financial conglomerate didn’t originally plan to dilute its holdings in Wealthsimple through successive rounds of financing -- the most recent of which valued Wealthsimple at about $4 billion -- but the firm has benefited from having high-profile tech investors like Meritech Capital Partners and Greylock Partners as advisers.

It’s still not clear how Wealthsimple will fit into Power Corp., which still holds 43% of the equity and 60% of the votes in the firm, over the long term, Orr said.

“I can’t tell you whether we’re going to end up being the controlling shareholder for 10 years -- maybe that’s part of it, or maybe the opportunity is to grow by bringing in more outside capital,” Orr said in an interview Friday. “I don’t know the answer, but we don’t have to make that decision today.”

Power Corp.’s other major early fintech investment was Personal Capital, an online wealth-management firm that oversees more than $12 billion in assets. That business is fully owned by Power Corp. and is part of its Empower retirement unit.

“We had these two big bets, and they have turned out to be very successful,” Orr said.

Bloomberg News provided this article. For more articles like this please visit bloomberg.com.

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