MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Jan. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — On January 3, 2018 Knowledge First Financial announced the acquisition of Heritage Education Funds Inc. and Heritage Education Funds International, LLC to pursue a shared goal of helping families maximize their education savings. The companies will create the largest Education Savings Plan provider in Canada and select international markets with a total of $6.4 billion in assets under management. Knowledge First is owned by a not-for-profit Foundation, while Heritage was privately held.
Each company brings more than 50 years of helping families across the globe save for post-secondary education through the use of a focused education savings plan. Heritage Education Funds International has been serving the education savings needs of customers around the globe for more than three decades.
“We are very pleased to bring together these two strong, long-standing financial institutions,” says George Hopkinson, President and CEO, Knowledge First Financial. “We believe the combined size and scale of these two organizations will enable us to meet a growing need for education specialists who are dedicated to helping families maximize their education savings.”
“It’s a privilege to serve families around the world who are planning ahead so their children can pursue a post-secondary education,” said Jason Maguire, outgoing president and CEO of Heritage Education Funds International, LLC. “Now we are in an even stronger position to make our education savings plans available to more parents and grandparents.”
The Heritage International Scholarship Trust Plan is a US dollar-denominated savings plan which has, to date, over US $115 million in asset under management and has benefited over 20,000 students attending post-secondary institutions in the Caribbean, United States, Canada, UK and other parts of the world. The Plan is sponsored by The Heritage International Scholarship Trust Foundation, a not-for-profit Canadian corporation which was also part of the acquisition. Since its inception, The Heritage International Scholarship Trust Foundation has returned more than US$152 million in principal, educational assistance payments and scholarships to qualified students.
The Heritage International Scholarship Trust Plan will continue to be distributed and managed as it is today. The international business will operate under the name of Knowledge First International Inc. and the company will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Knowledge First Foundation. The Knowledge First Foundation is a not-for-profit Canadian corporation that reinvests its net revenue in initiatives that support student success. Since 1965 the Knowledge First Foundation has provided students with nearly $50 million in additional discretionary top-up payments and has awarded more than $1 million in post-graduate scholarships.
George Hopkinson will continue as President and CEO and will lead the integration activities. Jason Maguire will join Knowledge First as Managing Director to assist in the integration and continue to lead and support the international operation.
The acquisition closed January 2, 2018.
The acquisition is not expected to have any impact on subscribers or beneficiaries to the Heritage International Scholarship Trust Plan or Knowledge First Plans. Blair Franklin Capital Partners Inc. is serving as financial advisor and Wildeboer Dellelce, LLP is acting as legal counsel to Knowledge First.
About Knowledge First Financial
Canadian families have relied on education savings plans offered by Knowledge First Financial for more than 50 years. Today the company provides sound financial management and administers $3.72 billion in assets on behalf of more than 250,000 customers. Since 1965, payments from the plans have reached $3.6 billion.
Knowledge First Financial Inc. is the investment fund manager, administrator and distributor of the Registered Education Savings Plans.
About Heritage Education Funds
Heritage Education Funds is a leading and trusted provider of Education Savings Plans, with over 50 years of experience in Canada and over 30 years in select international markets.
Heritage Education Funds International operates in Jamaica, Bahamas, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands.