By Staff | January 13, 2010 | Last updated on January 13, 2010
3 min read
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The president and managing director of State Street Global Advisors, Ltd. (Canada) has left the firm, joining Desjardins Group as vice-president of investments.

Grégory Chrispin joins Desjardins’ wealth management and life and health insurance executive division, effective February 1. Among his responsibilities, Chrispin will be in charge of real estate and securities investments, selection and management of portfolio managers and investment strategies for Desjardins Group investment portfolios.

At SSgA, Jamie Kase, executive vice-president and head of global and sales and marketing will work in partnership with Peter Lindley, head of investments and fixed income and cash, to oversee the firm’s Canadian operations on an interim basis.

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Advisors bullish on stocks, gas

Canada’s financial advisors are predicting first-quarter strength in broad-based equity markets, the dollar and commodity prices, according to the BetaPro Management’s Advisor Sentiment Survey.

“Given that last quarter our respondents correctly called the direction of 12 out of 15 indices — an 80% success rate — their outlook is worth noting,” said Howard J. Atkinson, president of BetaPro. “This quarter they are more bullish on the broader Canadian market than on commodities or a specific sector, the first time this has occurred since we started tracking advisor sentiment.”

Seventy percent of advisors reported they were bullish on the S&P/TSX 60 Index for the first quarter, with 69% saying they were bullish on energy stocks.

Natural gas, which utterly failed to join the commodities rally of the last decade, is now seen as a potential leader, with 59% of advisors saying they are bullish.

The Canadian dollar, already hovering near parity with the U.S. dollar, is expected to benefit from higher commodity prices, with 60% of respondents saying they were bullish on the loonie.

The bearish sentiment on the U.S. dollar also spills over into the fixed income market, with 52% of advisors saying they expected the value of 30-year U.S. Treasury bonds to decline.

The survey was completed by more than 350 advisors between December 17 and December 31. As a group, the respondents manage about $25 billion in assets.

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BMO hires New York debt specialist

BMO Capital Markets has appointed David Weiss as managing director and head of U.S. leveraged finance distribution and trading.

“Dave represents a critical addition to our team as we increase our focus and expand our capabilities to deliver distribution-driven solutions for clients,” said Bill Butt, executive managing director and global head of investment and corporate banking, BMO Capital Markets. “Dave will work closely with our highly regarded U.S. investment and corporate banking teams. We believe adding additional resources and people to this area of the business will produce substantial rewards.”

Weiss has built and managed high yield and leveraged finance distribution teams throughout his career including 14 years at JPMorgan Chase & Company where he oversaw the firm’s high yield sales team.

BMO predicts that low interest rates will lead to increased debt issuance as companies seek capital to refinance or grow operations in the economic recovery.

Meanwhile, institutional demand for debt issues remains strong on a global basis, as investors seek stable returns.

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RBC builds London team

RBC Global Asset Management has announced the hiring of Philippe Langham and Michael Joynson, both of whom will join the firm’s London team.

Langham has been appointed portfolio manager, and will be responsible for establishing and leading RBC GAM’s Emerging Markets equities team. Joynson joins RBC GAM as a senior member of the European Equities team.

“Philippe and Michael share our belief that a disciplined approach is key to successful investing. Philippe brings to RBC GAM a wealth of experience in emerging markets, spanning Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America,” said Dominic Wallington, CEO and CIO of RBC Asset Management U.K. Ltd. “We are actively looking to hire two more people to our team in the coming months. This is all part of our strategy to assemble a comprehensive offering of high performing global debt and equity investment solutions for our clients and partners worldwide.”

RBC GAM recently moved fixed income portfolio managers Jane Lesslie and Soo Boo Cheah from Toronto to London to take advantage of the access to liquidity, research, and corporate management teams.

(01/13/10) staff


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