Altamira operations re-branded National Bank

By Mark Noble | October 15, 2007 | Last updated on October 15, 2007
2 min read

Altamira Investments Services’s distribution network is being converted into National Bank Securities as a way for the nation’s sixth largest bank to expand its brand recognition in English Canada.

When Altamira was acquired by National Bank of Canada in 2002, it was already a well-known fund company with a particularly strong presence in Ontario. National Bank was the nation’s sixth largest bank, but relatively unknown outside its Quebec base of operations.

National Bank made no secret that its acquisition of Altamira was an effort to make inroads into English Canada’s wealth management industry. It’s now taking the next step by rebranding Altamira’s distribution network, but retaining the Altamira brand of investment products. When an investor purchases Altamira, it will be directly associated with National Bank as the distributor, creating greater brand awareness.

“Growing the National Bank presence outside of Quebec is part of the bank’s overall growth strategy. We want to act as a one client/one bank [model],” says Charles Guay, president and CEO of Altamira. “On the distribution side, we’ll use the National Bank brand, and on the product side we’ll keep Altamira products and solutions.”

Altamira’s investment professionals will join the National Bank network of more than 2,000 investment professionals across Canada. For its existing clients, the bank is working to obtain regulatory approvals so all Altamira Financial Services accounts can smoothly become National Bank Securities accounts by the end of 2008.

Guay says the change is not much of an upheaval. Traditionally, Altamira has better known on the product side than as a distribution channel. Its business model has been to have the products generate demand on their own and not depend on a captive advisory network.

Guay says there are no plans to scrap Altamira as a product line.

“The Altamira brand has a legacy and we want to continue to grow that, not only with our direct customers but also the dealer markets we started to grow with CashPerformer products,” Guay says. “We added the Meritage Portfolios last year and we’re also working on having advisor series on all of our funds. So, all of our funds will be much more easily available to advisors than what they’ve been in the past.”

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Mark Noble