By Staff | January 19, 2009 | Last updated on January 19, 2009
3 min read
Previous Brieflies this week: | MON | TUE | WED | THU |

Troubled U.S. insurance giant American International Group has found a buyer for its commodity index operations, part of its AIG Financial Products subsidiary.

UBS Investment Bank has bought the business, including AIG’s rights to the DJ-AIG Commodity Index.

The Swiss bank will pay $15 million up front and up to $135 million more over the next 18 months, based on future earnings of the asset. The transaction, which still requires regulatory approval, is expected to close by May 2009.

• • •

Scotia launches portfolio program

ScotiaFunds has launched a new managed portfolio program aimed at investors with a minimum portfolio of $50,000 and promising to deliver more sophisticated investment management.

The Scotia INNOVA Portfolios are available for five investment styles, reflecting risk tolerances and investment needs, ranging from income generation to a “maximum growth” portfolio.

“We are bringing the exclusive expertise of Scotia Cassels Investment Counsel Ltd., to a broad range of investors,” said Glen Gowland, president and CEO, ScotiaFunds. “Scotia INNOVA Portfolios offer greater sophistication, unparalleled diversification and simple execution through our strong relationship-based retail branch network.”

• • •

Hartford rolls out managed portfolios

Hartford Investments has announced the launch of a new portfolio program consisting of four investment mandates.

The Hartford Portfolios program offers investors access to investment managers Beutel Goodman and Company, Black Creek Investment Management, Greystone Managed Investments, Hartford Investment Management Company and Wellington Management.

“Very few programs give investors access to the level of money management expertise that Hartford Portfolios provide,” says Laurie Davis, president of Hartford Investments. “We’re offering Canadians exactly what they need: the expertise of five leading, pension-style managers in a single portfolio solution.”

Asset allocation will be managed by the company’s U.S.-based investment team, which can also selectively add small allocations of ETFs to “achieve optimal asset allocation.”

• • •

AGF Harmony adds managers

Sticking with the portfolio solution theme, AGF Funds announced today that it was adding 10 new managers to its Harmony Managed Asset program.

“In the current economic environment, advisors are telling us that their clients continue to look for financial solutions that effectively balance risk management with the potential for returns,” said AGF Funds Inc. president Randy G. Ambrosie. “Our enhancements to the Harmony program will give investors even greater access to top institutional management to help meet those needs.”

Three new managers have been added to the Harmony U.S. Equity Pool. Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Rainier Investment Management and Turner Investment Partners will join current managers INTECH Investment Management and Systematic Financial Management, while William Blair & Company has been dropped.

On the Harmony Overseas Equity Pool, AllianceBernstein Canada, Martin Currie Inc., and Tradewinds Global Investors will join current managers McKinley Capital Management Inc. and Principal Global Investors. Harris Associates will no longer work on the pool.

Connor, Clark & Lunn Investment Management, Highstreet Asset Management, MFC Global Investment Management (Canada), and Scheer, Rowlett & Associates Investment Management will join Ridgewood Capital Asset Management on the Harmony Canadian Equity Pool. Foyston, Gordon & Payne and AGF Funds will no longer be portfolio managers.

“The portfolio managers being added to the Harmony program are leaders in the asset classes they manage and include some of the most respected institutional asset managers from around the world,” said Ambrosie. “The newly expanded teams of portfolio managers on the pools strongly complement each other and the Harmony program.”

• • •

Dynamic offers two funds managed by Aurion Capital

Dynamic Funds has introduced a new investment approach to its lineup, rolling out two funds based on the new style.

Under a new style dubbed “Dynamic Aurion,” the funds — Dynamic Aurion Canadian Equity Class and Dynamic Aurion Tactical Balanced Class — will be sub-advised by Aurion Capital Management.

“Aurion’s institutional influence will give financial advisors access to a unique approach to achieving risk-adjusted returns in various asset classes,” said David Goodman, president and CEO of DundeeWealth Inc.

The equity fund is managed by Aurion co-founder Robert B. Decker and Aurion equities specialists Craig MacAdam and Greg Taylor. The Tactical Balanced mandate is jointly managed by the Dynamic Aurion equities team and Aurion vice-president and fixed income expert Christine Horoyski.

DundeeWealth bought a 60% stake in Aurion in July 2008.

(01/19/09) staff


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