By Staff | June 13, 2008 | Last updated on June 13, 2008
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(June 13, 2008) Assumption Life is celebrating the third consecutive year win of the prestigious Best Practices in Learning and Development award from the Life Insurance Institute of Canada (LOMA). The National Corporate Awards are dedicated to the memory of André Mailhot, vice-president of human resources, Industrial-Alliance Life Insurance Company, who died in 1994.

This is the first time LOMA has awarded the same company this award for a third consecutive year. Assumption Life was chosen for its Introduction à Assomption Vie program that was offered in the form of an e-learning training module to all new employees. Andrea LeBlanc of Assumption Life, Moncton, New Brunswick, accepted the award on behalf of Rachelle Gagnon, human resources director.

Timo Hytonen, vice-president human resources and community relations, Empire Life, Kingston, Ontario, was presented the award in the large company category for the company’s Corporate Orientation Program. The program is a year-long process, including presentations, workshops, training programs and appropriate follow-up, in which all new employees participate.

“LOMA Canada is pleased to recognize Empire Life and Assumption Life with this important national award for their innovative employee development programs, which not only ensure that employees retain key business and company information but do so in a flexible and cost-effective manner,” said George Mohacsi, president and CEO of Foresters and chairman of the LOMA Canada council.

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U.S. CFP Board to enhance ethical standards

(June 13, 2008) New ethical standards for all U.S. financial planners who are authorized to use the CFP certification will go into effect on July 1, 2008.

The recent updates to the United States’ CFP Board’s ethical standards, which were announced a year ago, significantly strengthen the ethical requirements for the more than 57,000 CFP professionals.

Under the revised Standards of Professional Conduct, a consumer seeking financial guidance will have a clearer understanding of what to expect from his or her CFP, including discussion of topics a financial planner should bring up with a client prior to entering into a business engagement, disclosures that should be given to a client receiving financial services, and conduct that at all times puts the client’s interests first.

The Canadian CFP Board applauded the move by its U.S. counterpart, saying, “the FPSC already has, in many ways, led the way on this front.” In 2003, the FPSC released its Practice Standards (which became mandatory in 2005) and in 2006 it released the Competency Profile, which informs all future development of the standards going forward.

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Loring Ward agrees to sale

(June 12, 2008) Loring Ward International is being acquired by Friedman Fleischer & Lowe, LLC a U.S. private equity firm, FFL will acquire all of Loring Ward’s outstanding shares at a price of US$16.50 per share in cash.

The company was once part of Assante, before that firm was acquired by CI Financial. The company is listed on the TSX, but its core business is providing a turnkey asset management program to American investment advisors. The services include investment strategies and products, back office operational processing, education and training, and business development support. The company’s U.S. corporate offices are headquartered in New York.

The price offered by FFL is currently equivalent to approximately $16.96 Cdn per share, which represents a premium of approximately 27% to yesterday’s closing price and a premium of approximately 45% to the price on February 13, 2008, the day prior to the initial announcement of a proposed hostile offer for the company by Werba Reinard Holdings.

Loring Ward has received an opinion from its financial advisor, BMO Capital Markets, that the offer is fair from a financial point of view for shareholders. The board has concluded unanimously that shareholders should vote in favour of the proposed transaction.

“It was just over two years ago that our shares — at the time unlisted and highly illiquid — traded at $4.50 Cdn,” says Robert Herrmann, the president and CEO of Loring Ward. “I am delighted that we are now in a position to bring a US$16.50 offer to our shareholders. I am also excited about continuing to lead the company and about the positive impact partnering with FFL will have on our employees and our investment advisor clients”.

The plan of arrangement agreed upon by both parties is subject to certain conditions, including regulatory, court and shareholder approvals. Loring Ward has also agreed not to solicit competing acquisition proposals from this date forward.

Further details will be contained in an information circular that will be mailed to shareholders in connection with a special meeting that will be held to consider the arrangement and related matters. The transaction is required to be completed by October 15, 2008 unless extended by the mutual agreement of the parties.

(06/13/08) staff


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