By Staff | January 4, 2010 | Last updated on January 4, 2010
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Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management has launched two new funds, the PH&N Monthly Income Fund and the PH&N Canadian Equity Value Fund.

“Both of these new investment solutions translate the investment strength of RBC Global Asset Management into timely and relevant solutions for Canadian investors,” said John Montalbano, head of RBC Global Asset Management. “The PH&N Monthly Income Fund provides a straightforward, quality solution that meets Canadian investors’ demand for dependable income in a low-interest rate environment – whether in retirement or as a supplement to their existing income.”

The Monthly Income Fund aims to deliver a 5% annual distribution, investing in a conservative mix of income-producing investments, including government bonds, corporate bonds and conservative high-yield bonds.

The Canadian Equity Value Fund will step outside of the firm’s traditional growth-at-reasonable-price (GARP) strategy and will focus on providing downside protection while generating solid long-term returns for investors.

Both funds are available in Series D, C and F.

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Macquarie completes Blackmont deal

Macquarie Group’s purchase of Blackmont Capital from CI Financial has been completed. Effective January 1, 2010 Blackmont’s business and employees have been integrated into Macquarie’s global retail advice and distribution activities.

Blackmont will be rebranded as Macquarie Private Wealth on February 1.

“Having the Blackmont team become Macquarie Private Wealth in Canada represents a key acquisition for our global financial services business,” said Peter Maher, global head of Macquarie Banking and Financial Services Group. “It provides Macquarie with an established and growing Canadian wealth management business and adds additional retail distribution to Macquarie’s existing capital markets and product offerings in Canada.”

Bruce Kagan will continue to serve as CEO, while Earl Evans, has been appointed president. Evans is Macquarie’s executive director and former head of Macquarie Full Service Broking.

“Joining Macquarie is a tremendous outcome for Blackmont, an opportunity for our common goals to be realized and an external affirmation of our team, business and depth of client relationships,” Kagan said. “We look forward to beginning the next chapter of our success, which will be written as part of Macquarie Private Wealth.”

At the same time, CI Financial completed its transfer of Blackmont’s capital markets operations to CI Capital Markets, a newly created wholly owned subsidiary. A group of employees led by senior management plans to acquire all of the outstanding shares of CI Capital Markets in early 2010.

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M&A activity falls again

The Canadian mergers and acquisitions market stumbled again in 2009, as both deal volume and value fell, according to KPMG Corporate Finance.

There were 2,110 transactions involving Canadian companies completed in 2009, with a total value of US$129 billion. That’s a year-over-year decline of 4% in terms of volume, but a 20% drop-off in value.

The role of private equity groups has all but vanished, accounting for just $3.2 billion in total value, a decline of 92% from 2007.

“Debt capital markets and economic conditions made it difficult for private equity to compete for transactions in 2008 and the downward trend accelerated in 2009,” said Peter Hatges, president of KPMG Corporate Finance. “In this market, companies experiencing financial and market difficulties present opportunities for strategic buyers, and challenges for private equity buyers. But don’t count private equity out yet, they still have a lot of capital to deploy.”

The decline in deal-making was not across the board, however. The mining sector was highly active in 2009, with about one-third of all deals taking place in this sector, accounting for US$9.2 billion in value.

“The high volume of deals in mining and metals is not surprising, given tight credit conditions and the need for companies to realize synergies at each opportunity,” said Brian Imrie, corporate finance partner at KPMG responsible for mining and metals. “Moreover, the abundance of Asian capital looking at the sector will result in significant opportunities for a lot of different players. The issue facing Canadian mining companies is that the search for capital and strategic partners has become a global exercise that knows no boundaries.”

The energy sector accounted for far more of the value, at US$70.7 billion, but made up just 14% of deal volume. Two deals — the merger of Petro-Canada and Suncor, along with EnCana’s spin-off of Cenovus Energy — made up more than half of deal volume, at US$41.6 billion.

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Co-operators, Central 1 close CUMIS deal

Co-operators Life Insurance Company and Central 1 Credit Union have completed their acquisition of The CUMIS Group Limited of Burlington, Ontario, effective December 31, 2009.

Under the terms of the deal Co-operators Life will take a 73% stake in CUMIS, with Central 1 holding the remaining 27%. The deal was first announced September 17, 2009, and received approval by CUMIS’ shareholders in November.

“This is an exciting growth opportunity for Co-operators Life, which also strengthens our bonds with the Canadian credit union system,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators Group Limited and the new CEO of CUMIS. “We look forward to meeting and exceeding the insurance needs of credit unions, caisses populaires and their members throughout the country in the years ahead.”

Madison, Wisconsin-based CUMIS provides a full range of personal insurance products, which will be made available through the Central 1 distribution network. All existing CUMIS insurance policies remain in effect with no changes.

“This acquisition will provide growth opportunities by building on our relationships with credit unions,” said Don Rolfe, president and CEO of Central 1. “We believe this is a strategic investment that offers the potential to improve our members’ experience and create value for them.”

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Canaccord launches ETF portfolios

Canaccord Wealth Management has launched a portfolio program consisting of five portfolios that use exchange traded funds: the Complete Canaccord ETF Portfolios.

“Complete Canaccord is a tailored approach to wealth management,” said Tanya Bird, senior vice-president of products and services. “Our Complete Canaccord ETF Portfolios have been specifically designed to meet a range of client objectives, from capital appreciation to capital preservation, while focusing on risk management and stock selection in a tax efficient product.”

The portfolios are administered by Rogerscasey Canada.

(01/04/10) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.