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Fiera Sceptre May Add Staff, Acquire Assets in U.S., CEO Says

Fiera Sceptre Inc., the Montreal-based money manager that agreed to buy Natcan Investment Management from National Bank of Canada, wants to expand in the U.S. and may add staff or acquire businesses in the next year.

“We have ambitions to grow our business in the U.S.,” Fiera Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jean-Guy Desjardins said today in a telephone interview. “We’re already looking at a few things.”

Fiera agreed to buy Natcan for C$309.5 million ($308.4 million) in cash and stock, the company said today in a statement. The firm will change its name to Fiera Capital and the deal will bring its assets to about C$54 billion, making it one of the five largest independent asset managers in Canada, according to the statement.

“It’s possible to grow by acquiring people -- investment-management talent -- and it’s also possible to grow by acquiring a business that would bring to us investment-management expertise that we do not have,” Desjardins said.

National Bank, Canada’s sixth-largest lender, will have a 35 percent stake in Fiera Capital. CEO Louis Vachon said he expects Fiera Capital to consolidate in the next three to five years.

“We do feel it will be a consolidator of choice in the Canadian market,” he said in an interview.

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