By Staff | October 8, 2009 | Last updated on October 8, 2009
4 min read
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The majority of privately held companies have fared better than might have been expected, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) 2009 Business Insights Survey.

PwC says many private companies entered the recession well managed and capitalized, with minimal debt, and were able to weather a market correction.

According to PwC’s survey of 466 businesses across Canada, 58% of respondents are planning for growth and expansion in the coming year, 14% are planning to consolidate, 2% are stabilizing, and only 1% of companies surveyed were planning an exit in the coming year.

To achieve growth, the survey found that many respondents plan to improve their sales and marketing programs (82%), gain market share (75%) and develop new products and enter new markets (72%). Only 18% are counting on a stronger economy to grow their business.

The economy does remain, however, the biggest challenge for private businesses, the survey finds. Nearly half (49%) of respondents said it was their single biggest challenge.

“Companies have fought through the recession and are now looking at new opportunities to grow their business,” says Eric Andrew, partner and national leader of the private company services practice at PwC. “We are seeing a bounce back from last October, which was a low point in terms of confidence for the future. Now, almost 60% of companies see growth ahead for themselves, and that’s a good sign.”

Private businesses are looking for efficiencies. In fact, 59% are reducing their cost of operations, 51% are improving processes, 48% are focused on better targeting of customers, and 45% are improving staff skills.

When asked what steps they were taking to protect their company from future recessions, 75% said they are better managing cash flow and forecasting, while 70% said they were diversifying their customer base.

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CIBC Mellon buys Jovian’s recordkeeping business

CIBC Mellon will acquire the unitholder recordkeeping and fund administration business of Felcom Data Services Inc., a subsidiary of Jovian Capital Corp.

The acquisition, tagged at approximately C$4.2 million, is expected to close on or about Oct. 23, 2009, and does involve the transfer of Felcom’s client contracts. CIBC Mellon will offer employment to the majority of Felcom employees who currently support the recordkeeping and fund administration business.

“CIBC Mellon’s acquisition of these well-integrated services will provide our investment fund clients with a greater array of top-tier services and product offerings that can be bundled and customized to deliver enhanced productivity and ongoing growth,” says Thomas C. MacMillan, president and CEO of CIBC Mellon. “We are pleased to deliver this full and robust complement to our clients’ current recordkeeping and fund administration experience.”

Felcom has been providing recordkeeping and fund administration services to investment fund manufacturers since 2001, and it offers a total solution to address all investment product administrative requirements for 17 individual customers with combined assets under administration of C$3 billion.

“This is a win-win for Felcom and CIBC Mellon,” says Ronald C. Landry, president of Felcom. “Felcom’s existing clients will benefit from CIBC Mellon’s leading custody and other product offerings. In turn, CIBC Mellon’s clients will benefit from Felcom’s robust technology and the experience of our employees.”

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Small businesses hopeful for 2010: TD

More than half (57%) of small business owners in Canada say they are excited or optimistic about 2010, according to the TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey. This second annual survey was conducted to better understand the impact of the recession on small businesses.

“For the TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey, we asked small business owners what keeps them up at night, and it is not surprising that the impact of the recession tops the list,” says Paul Douglas, executive vice-president of TD Business Banking. “What is encouraging is that despite the recession, 63% of small business owners say their business performance was either on or ahead of projections. This indicates that many small businesses are well positioned to thrive in 2010.”

The survey did find that nearly 31% lost some business in the recession, 18% are in more debt than they were 12 months ago, 7% were forced to downsize their operations or staffing, and 5% say they came close to bankruptcy or closing.

More than one in 10 businesses (12%) grew despite the recession, and 2% grew their business because of the recession.

TD believes that there is a direct correlation between the impact of the recession and how small business owners rate their businesses. In 2009, only 19% of owners gave their business an A or A+, down from 25% in 2008, and 44% gave their business a B, down from 50% in 2008. However, the majority of small business owners say they managed well relative to the competition, with 65% saying they fared as well as their main competitors and 28% saying they fared better.

The lingering effect of the recession is still anticipated to be a big issue that owners will face in 2010, with 30% naming it as the top challenge for next year, followed by managing cash flow (20%) and managing growth (16%). staff


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