By Staff | December 30, 2009 | Last updated on December 30, 2009
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Despite the wild ride that was 2009, the financial services industry remains one of the best to sectors in which to work, according to Report on Business magazine’s annual Fifty Best Employers in Canada survey.

Financial services and insurance companies made up 14 of the top 50, with Regina’s Farm Credit Canada ninth place ranking overall being the highest of the sector.

Advisory firm Edward Jones ranked 10th, placing in the top ten for eight consecutive years. Last year the firm ranked fourth.

“Once again we take great pride in being acknowledged by our associates as one of the best employers in Canada,” says Gary Reamey, principal, Edward Jones Canada. “We continue to increase employee engagement by centering our efforts on just one important task -serving long-term, conservative investors.”

Wellington West Holdings ranked eleventh overall, while insurance firms Chubb and The Co-Operators ranked 16th and 18th, respectively. The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System Administration placed 23rd, just ahead of the top ranked bank, Scotiabank.

“This award recognizes our efforts to be a global employer of choice, and our commitment, in spite of the challenging business environment of the past year, to provide a destination workplace where all employees can thrive in their careers,” said Rick Waugh, President and CEO, Scotiabank. “Best employers are determined primarily on employee survey results and for this reason, we are particularly proud to be recognized as one of Canada’s top employers for the sixth year in a row.”

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Russell changes U.S. equity sub-advisers

Russell Investments Canada has announced changes to the sub-advisers managing the Russell US Equity Pool, part of the Russell Sovereign Investment Program.

New to the pool are Numeric Investors LLC and Sustainable Growth Advisers, LP, while MFS Institutional Advisors and Montag & Caldwell have been dropped.

Russell describes the changes as structural enhancements.

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Scotiabank raises stake in Chinese bank

Scotiabank has announced the acquisition of an additional 13.2% stake in China’s Xi’an City Commercial Bank (XACB), raising its overall stake to 14.8%. That could rise to 18.1% if Scotia receives final regulatory approval.

Based in the capital of Shaanxi Province, XACB was formed in 1997 through a consolidation of 42 urban credit cooperatives. The bank provides a full range of personal and commercial banking services to over 1.2 million customers.

“The China market has strong fundamentals with very good long-term growth prospects,” said Rob Pitfield, group head, international banking, Scotiabank. “Scotiabank’s increased investment in Xi’an City Commercial Bank is a great opportunity for us to capitalize on the strength of the China market and on the strong relationship that we have already built with XACB.”

Upon closing of the transaction, Scotia says it plans to pick up additional shares from private holders, in an effort to reach the 20% regulatory limit on foreign ownership.

The increased stake will allow Scotia to double its representation on the board of directors, from one to two, and triple its representation within the senior management team from one to three.

(12/30/09) staff


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