Clare O’Hara, Wealth Management Reporter
The Globe and Mail

Independent wealth manager Aviso Wealth Inc. has hired former Scotia Wealth
Management executive John Bai as its chief investment officer with an eye to boosting
its socially responsible investment arm, NEI Investments.

Mr. Bai was appointed executive vice-president and CIO of both Aviso Wealth and NEI
Investments, the company announced Wednesday.

In his role, which began May 6, Mr. Bai is responsible for the strategic direction of the
firm’s investment approach and philosophy, including its asset allocation process and
subadviser research.

He replaces Daniel Solomon, who moved on from the organization at the end of March.

“John brings tremendous experience in the asset management landscape in Canada and
particularly as someone who has worked in a vertically integrated organization, where
you have both distribution and manufacturing,” said Fred Pinto, senior vice-president
and head of asset management at NEI Investments.

“Given that we are looking to expand our footprint as a key wealth management
organization, this experience is invaluable – specifically as we look to drive growth
through our credit union partners.”

Aviso Wealth recently celebrated its first anniversary after Credential Financial Inc.,
Qtrade Canada Inc. and NEI Investments joined forces in 2017 to launch an
independent wealth management firm. The combined entity positions the credit union
industry (which includes more than 300 of the member-owned co-operatives in Canada)
to compete more aggressively with some of Canada’s largest financial firms, including
the Big Five banks.

Aviso, the Portuguese and Spanish term for “advice,” is jointly owned by Desjardins
Group and a limited partnership composed of five provincial credit union centrals and
CUMIS Group Ltd. Desjardins and the limited partnership each hold a 50-per-cent

CUMIS is owned by Central 1 Credit Union and Co-operators Life Insurance Ltd.
Combined, Aviso Wealth has more than 500,000 clients across the country with
approximately $60-billion in combined assets under administration and management.
NEI Investments manages approximately $8-billion in assets.

Prior to joining NEI, Mr. Bai held senior executive roles at Scotia Wealth, HollisWealth
and Goodman and Company Investment Counsel Inc., where he worked closely with the
financial adviser community in Canada and research investment teams.

“The investment landscape is changing, and the role of the chief investment officer has
to change as well,” Mr. Bai said in an interview. “It’s no longer just about running[investment] models and optimizing risk scenarios. Never before have investors had so
much choice in their investment options for their retirement dollars, so the CIO of the
future needs to engage with their investors.”

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