By Staff | January 27, 2010 | Last updated on January 27, 2010
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Gary Baker has been named president of CANNEX Financial Exchanges, U.S. division.

Baker has extensive experience in the insurance and retirement income markets and will lead the firm’s efforts in a time of growing concern and opportunity in the U.S. retirement income market.

“Advisors are demanding unbiased information about income annuities, which are increasingly seen as a separate asset class required for clients’ optimal retirement income portfolios,” says Lowell Aronoff, CEO and co-founder of CANNEX. “With Gary leading our expansion in the U.S., we’ll be able to help more advisors and, ultimately, [help] more consumers make financially sound retirement income choices.”

Baker comes to CANNEX from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., where he served as vice-president, income solutions.

CANNEX Financial Exchanges Ltd. provides data and information services to the financial services industries in the U.S. and Canada.

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Sun Life offers new guaranteed retirement income product

In response to a recent Sun Life Financial poll that revealed that a majority of pre-retirees between ages 45 and 65 would like to see at least some of their retirement income guaranteed, the company has announced a new guaranteed retirement income product for group plan members as they approach retirement.

The product, called “my money for life,” offers insurance coverage and investment growth potential for the Canadian group retirement market.

“We’re hearing from many people as they approach retirement that they want at least part of their retirement income guaranteed,” says Tom Reid, senior vice-president, group retirement services, with Sun Life Financial Canada. “‘my money for life’ fills a gap in the Canadian group retirement market by offering plan members an affordable, flexible solution that has the safety of a built-in guarantee, with the potential for market value growth.”

Sun Life Financial’s 2009 Unretirement Index poll revealed that more than 70% of these pre-retirees would like to see at least some of their retirement income guaranteed.

Plan members will be able to add ‘my money for life’ to all or some of the group plan investments held in an RRSP, a defined contribution plan, a deferred profit sharing plan and a registered retirement income plan.

Members can immediately begin receiving their lifetime annual income guarantee at age 65, regardless of when they added the product to their savings. When the market value is worth more than the benefit base, the latter is automatically reset every three years to lock in any increases. No adjustment is made in times where the market value is less than the benefit base.

The product will allow members to keep most—if not all—of their existing group plan investment options, plus the ability to insure up to 60% of their assets invested in equities. Any remaining market value of the assets covered by the product at the time of the plan member’s death will be paid to the spouse, named beneficiary or estate at that time.

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iSHARES Canada launches new ETFs

BlackRock, Inc. has announced six additions to its iShares exchange-traded fund (ETF) line, offering investors increased access to emerging markets and U.S. fixed income markets.

The six new funds include the following:

• iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (TSX:XBZ); • iShares S&P Latin America 40 Index Fund (TSX:XLA); • iShares CNX Nifty India Index Fund (TSX:XID); • iShares China Index Fund (TSX:XCH); • iShares U.S. IG Corporate Bond Index Fund (CAD-Hedged) (TSX: XIG); and • iShares U.S. High Yield Bond Index Fund (CAD-Hedged) (TSX: XHY).

These funds are managed by BlackRock Asset Management Canada Ltd. and will begin trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Jan. 27.

“As markets continue to stabilize, investors are revisiting their risk threshold,” said Heather Pelant, managing director, head of iShares Canada, at BlackRock Asset Management Canada Ltd.

“Four of our funds offer a cost-efficient way of gaining targeted exposure to growth-oriented emerging market countries. The U.S. bond ETFs address investors’ needs for more sophisticated income-generating products. They join our comprehensive suite of iShares ETFs, which are recognized by our clients and the industry for their precision, quality and effectiveness in tracking the underlying asset class or market exposure.”

(01/26/10) staff


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