H. Sanford Riley will become the chairman of the board of directors for Investors Group of Winnipeg, company officials announced today.

In addition, Jeffry Orr, who was chairman and CEO of BMO Nesbitt Burns, will join the company as president and CEO. Both executives assume their posts May 1.

Riley, who has been with Investors Group for more than nine years, replaces former board chair Robert Gratton.

The announcement follows Investors Group’s $4.1 billion acquisition of Mackenzie Financial Corporation. The purchase closed April 17 with Investors Group holding 98 percent of Mackenzie’s shares, said Lee Crawford, a spokesperson for Investors Group.

The Investors Group executives made the top-management changes because they want Riley to focus primarily on smoothing the two companies’ transition into the new ownership structure, Crawford said.

'It’s far more efficient and productive to have someone managing the transition who is not caught up in the day-to-day business of either company,' she said.

The companies will maintain their own brands and function as separate entities while combining corporate operations and infrastructure, company representatives said.

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