By Staff | August 30, 2004 | Last updated on August 30, 2004
5 min read

(September 3, 2004) Franklin Templeton Investments has announced unitholders of Franklin U.S. Small Cap Growth Fund have voted to expand the mandate of the fund to include the ability to invest in U.S. mid-cap companies.

“The change to the mandate allows the fund to take advantage of the growth opportunities that exist in the U.S. mid cap market in addition to those in the U.S. small cap market,” said Don Reed, president and CEO of Franklin Templeton Investments Corp.

The fund will be re-named the Franklin U.S. Small-Mid Cap Growth Fund. The changes will take effect on September 20th, 2004, and will also be reflected in the RSP and Tax Class versions of the fund.

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CIBC introduces new income trust index

(September 2, 2004) CIBC World Markets has launched a new index aimed at the still-booming income trust market, billing it as “the most extensive and complete family of income trust indexes available in the Canadian marketplace.” The trust market has been a bit of an enigma to many analysts and there has been a distinct gap in the research available on the popular vehicles.

“The CIBC World Markets Income Trust Indices could serve as a performance standard for active managers, a proxy for asset allocation purposes, and a purchasable and replicable vehicle for passive indexing,” says Yin Luo, Director of Quantitative Equity Strategy & Equity Indexation at CIBC World Markets. “These new indices fill a gap in the current market by providing the first market-cap weighted income trust index family with both size and sector sub-indices.”

The index includes two streams of sub-indexes by size — large to mid cap and small cap — and four streams of sector sub-indexes: business, energy, REIT and utility.

CIBC’s data points to a burgeoning income trust market in Canada, with small cap income trusts outperforming large- and mid-cap income trusts by 3.9% over the past two-and-a-half years, adds Dawn Jia, Senior Analyst of Quantitative Equity Strategy & Equity Indexation at CIBC World Markets. “We also see strong growth in the number of business trusts and strong outperformance of the energy trust sector during the same period.”

The CIBC World Markets Benchmark Universe Yields/Returns Income Trust Index (which carries the clever code “BUY%IT”) currently includes 145 income trusts with a market capitalization of approximately $85 billion.

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Jovian buys Quebec back-office firm

(September 2, 2004) Jovian Capital has announced the acquisition of Citac, a third-party administrator providing fund accounting and transfer agency services in Quebec. Financial terms were not released. The purchase was made through Jovian’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Felcom Data Services.

“We are very pleased with this acquisition as it gives Felcom a presence in Quebec,” said Kevin Beatson, Felcom president and CEO. “Between Citac and Felcom, we can now offer fund accounting and transfer agency services across the country.”

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Pro-Hedge offers no-fee guarantee

(September 2, 2004) Pro-Hedge Funds has announced a new policy guaranteeing positive quarterly results, or they don’t get paid. The “no fee guarantee” applies to its Pro-Hedge Capital Preservation Fund and Pro-Hedge Capital Preservation Plus Fund, which carry a 100% guarantee on the principal.

“This is simply an excellent investment opportunity for Canadians to access a fund with a nine-year track record of 13% per year with only five down months,” said Stuart McKinnon, CEO and president of Pro-Hedge Funds. “This kind of annualized performance is what gives us the confidence to offer the no-fee guarantee, and should definitely be of interest to any prudent long-term investor.”

Minimum investment for qualified investors in both funds is $5,000. The annual management fee is 1.5% or .375% per quarter — but only if fund performance remains positive during that quarter.

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OSC appoints accountant to executive ranks

(September 1, 2004) The Ontario Securities Commission has named chartered accountant Ken Gibson as director of corporate services. Gibson is also a Certified Management Consultant and Chartered Business Valuator and joined the OSC on August 16.

“We are quite fortunate to have attracted as experienced and qualified a candidate as Ken to our senior management team,” said Charlie Macfarlane, OSC executive director. “Ken is a strong leader who will bring out the best in the people around him, and I think he’ll keep a sharp eye on controlling our costs while improving the services we provide.”

Prior to joining the OSC, Gibson was vice-president, finance and chief administrative officer, at the United Way of Greater Toronto. Before that, he was partner, business valuation and forensic services at Mintz & Partners, Chartered Accountants.

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Dynamic to offer advisor workshops

(September 1, 2004) Dynamic Mutual Funds has hired Harrington Lane to provide high-end business-building workshops for financial advisors across Canada.

“We firmly believe it is important to assist distributor firms with tangible ways to help them better educate their advisors and deliver enhanced service to investors,” says David Goodman, president & CEO of Dynamic. “By engaging the professionals at Harrington Lane, we are taking this commitment to the next level.”

The workshops will be offered to advisors through their respective dealerships, covering topics including team-building, compliance, high-net-worth prospecting and investor psychology.

The workshops include CE credits and are available in multiple-day, one-day, half-day or one hour formats.

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Scotia posts higher earnings

(August 31, 2004) Scotiabank has reported earnings for its latest quarter, recording a profit of $733 million, up 17.2% from the same quarter in 2003.

“In Canada, exceptional growth in mortgages and strong gains in other retail lending assets have allowed us to earn through tighter margins in the current low interest rate environment,” said Rick Waugh, president and CEO. “Our international division continues to post strong results in all regions, driven by business growth and acquisitions in Latin America and the Caribbean, and lower credit losses in Asia.”

Scotia also announced a dividend of 30 cents per common share for the quarter ending October 31, 2004. Scotia is the last of the big five banks to report quarterly earnings, with all posting impressive profits, averaging around $660 million.

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Global fund assets rise in first quarter

(August 31, 2004) The international mutual fund industry now manages $14.6 trillion in assets, up 3.6% during the first quarter, according to figures compiled from 39 countries by the Investment Company Institute and the International Investment Funds Association.

Nearly $259 billion in new cash poured into funds worldwide, while several countries saw strong equity market performance inflate total assets. Global equity assets increased 5.8% to $6.2 trillion, with the largest equity fund gains coming in the Americas.

Balanced funds assets gained $36 billion in net inflows and grew by 3.2%. Money market funds rose by 4.2% despite outflows of $6 billion, as Luxembourg reclassified some bond funds as money market assets.

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Current account nears record high

(August 30, 2004) Canada’s global current account surplus surged to its second highest level ever, increasing by $2.2 billion in the second quarter to $10.4 billion, according to Statistics Canada.

The gain was driven largely by positive trade in goods, counteracting the drain from the nation’s capital and financial account. Canada’s trade surplus hit $20 billion in the second quarter. Cash flowed back out of the economy as Canadian investors poured $33 billion into foreign economies. This record amount was in large part due to Manulife Financial’s takeover of John Hancock Financial.

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Fiera hires bond manager

(August 30, 2004) Montreal-based Fiera Capital has announced the hiring of Yves Boileau as Portfolio Manager, Corporate Bonds, effective this month.

Boileau has more than 20 years of experience in the investment industry, which includes corporate bond and credit derivatives management, credit analysis and bond rating, as well as stock and private equity analysis.

He joins Fiera after working with CDP Capital since 2001 as portfolio manager and analyst, where he managed a $3 billion corporate bond portfolio.

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