By Staff | September 8, 2009 | Last updated on September 8, 2009
3 min read
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Vijay Parmar has been appointed president of RBC Phillips Hager & North Investment Counsel Inc., subject to regulatory approval. Parmar is expected to begin his new role in mid September 2009.

Parmar was most recently branch manager, vice-president and director, RBC Dominion Securities, in Vancouver with RBC Dominion Securities.

Darrell Oswald and Patrick Keeley were previously co-presidents of RBC PH&N Investment Counsel.

With a successor in place, Oswald will return to dealing with clients and mentoring investment counsellors in Vancouver as part of the RBC PH&N Investment Counsel team. He will make this transition by Oct. 31, 2009.

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Back to school, back to spending

The start of the school year is one of the important shopping seasons on the consumer calendar, according to a special report by Scotia Economics.

“At a time when consumer spending has clearly downshifted over the turn of the year because of the recession’s intensifying impact, Canadians continued to increase their spending on education,” says Aron Gampel,n deputy chief economist with Scotiabank.

He also added that spending on school supplies will be competitive this year as families look for many ways to stretch their dollars. Also, consumer confidence is still in recovery mode from the recent economic crisis.

“Many Canadians households are likely to remain cautious spenders until the recovery broadens, improving business confidence triggers a revival in job hiring, and debt burdens become more manageable,” says Gampel.

Though consumers are still cautious about expenditures, they have not cut back spending on education-related items.

According to Statistics Canada, the value of personal expenditures on education and cultural services posted a record high 1.5 % share of total consumption in the second quarter of 2009—more than 50% higher than in the beginning of the 1990s.

Gambel noted that current economic environment and the reduced number of job opportunities may also be responsible for keeping more students in school, and encouraging more employed people to improve their skills.

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Northwest & Ethical Investments re-vamps fund line-up

Northwest & Ethical Investments is proposing fixed administration fees for its mutual funds.

As is the case with other mutual fund groups that have implemented similar pricing arrangements, the fixed administration fee will cover most operating expenses.

The change is intended to improve the predictability and transparency of the management expense ratios of the funds.

If the proposal is approved by the funds’ security holders the new fee structure will be in effect on or about Nov. 1, 2009.

The company is also proposing merging several funds, which could result in name changes. If the proposal is approved, the mergers are expected to be completed on or about Oct. 23, 2009.

For a full list of fund mergers and closures, please click here.

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Manulife receives gold award

Manulife Financial’s Canadian individual wealth management operations has been recognized by the National Quality Institute (NQI) for outstanding achievement in quality.

“Earning this honour further demonstrates our commitment to always raising the bar when it comes to our leadership principles and management practices,” says Guy Vaillant, vice-president, operations, individual wealth management with Manulife Financial. “A tremendous amount of hard work got us to this point and we will continue on this path to offer excellent customer service and keep a healthy and positive work environment.”

NQI is a not-for-profit firm that helps companies achieve organizational excellence. The award acknowledges excellence in multiple categories, including customer service, people, process management, partnerships, and responsibility to society.

(09/08/09) staff


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