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Indigenous firms, First Nation to create investment dealer with Scotiabank

Two Indigenous development corporations and one First Nation have partnered with Scotiabank to create a new investment dealer in Canada. Scotiabank signage is pictured in the financial district in Toronto, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Lahodynskyj

TORONTO — Canada's first Indigenous-owned investment dealer could soon be a reality as Scotiabank is partnering with two Indigenous development corporations and a First Nation to launch one.

Cedar Leaf Capital Inc., which still needs regulatory approval, will be majority-owned by Nch'kay Development Limited Partnership, Des Nedhe Financial LP and Chippewas of Rama First Nation.

Together they will own a 70 per cent stake, while Scotiabank will initially hold 30 per cent and control the investment dealer.

Over time, Scotiabank intends to reduce its controlling stake so Cedar Leaf will become a fully Indigenous owned and led investment dealer.

Scotiabank CEO Scott Thomson said the bank was proud to help launch an organization that will expand access within capital markets to Indigenous communities.

“Reconciliation and deepening relationships with Indigenous communities are critical priorities," said Thomson in a statement on Friday.

"While the economic participation of Indigenous communities has seen significant advancement, much more must be done."

Cedar Leaf will offer Canadian institutional clients financial advisory services, with a focus on fixed income securities offerings.

The groups say it will foster greater Indigenous participation in the capital markets, create commercial opportunities for Indigenous communities, and partner with established market participants to help them in meeting their reconciliation commitments.

Cedar Leaf is set to be run by Clint Davis, who is Inuk from Labrador and has more than 20 years of experience with financial institutions and Indigenous organizations in Canada. 

Davis said in a statement that the organization will work to participate on new bond offerings as well as identify, attract and develop Indigenous talent.

"Cedar Leaf Capital will exemplify reconciliation in action."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX:BNS)

The Canadian Press

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