By Staff | September 5, 2008 | Last updated on September 5, 2008
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(September 5, 2008) The financial services industry raised $45,000 at a sold-out dinner last night for Amani Children’s Home, a charity that helps street kids and AIDS orphans in Tanzania.

Two hundred industry bigwigs attended last night’s dinner held at the National Club, including Earl Bederman of Investor Economics, David Feather of Mackenzie Financial and compliance lawyer Ellen Bessner. The dinner was organized by CIBC Wood Gundy investment advisor Mark Newsome, and Dan Richards, president of Strategic Imperatives. Both were inspired to help Amani after coming in contact with the charity during their respective trips to the African country.

“This is the single biggest amount Amani has ever raised,” Richards says. “I’ve never been involved in anything where we’ve seen a natural response [to the charity]. People were genuinely inspired.”

After the dinner sold out, Richards and Newsome started an online auction featuring items of interest to financial advisors. So far, the auction, which has been extended to 12 noon on Friday, September 12, has raised $35,000. You can place your bids here.

Due to the overwhelming response, Richards and Newsome plan to make the auction and dinner an annual fundraiser. “We have the potential to make a significant impact so Amani can expand the services they offer to kids in Tanzania,” Richards says.

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CPPIB names next chair

(September 5, 2008) The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has named its next chair of the board, with Robert Astley taking the helm effective October 2008. Astley is currently a director, and the chair of the audit committee.

“I am honoured to assume the role of chair,” said Robert Astley. “I look forward to working with the board of directors, president and CEO David Denison and his management team in service to Canadians, as the CPPIB continues to build a world class organization.”

Prior to joining the CPPIB in September 2006, Astley served a stint as president of Sun Life Financial Canada and is the former president and CEO of Clarica Insurance Company. He currently also sits on the board of directors for the Bank of Montreal and is chair of the bank’s human resources and management compensation committee.

Astley will succeed Gail Cook-Bennett, the CPPIB’s founding chair since 1998, whose term expires in October. During her tenure, Cook-Bennett led the board of directors to oversee the creation, development and growth of the CPP Investment Board. Under her stewardship, the CPPIB evolved from a passive investor into an active global investment organization.

“It was an honour for our founding board of directors to launch the CPP Investment Board as a start-up organization in 1998,” said Cook-Bennett. “Current directors oversee a well-respected investment organization that continues to grow and diversify the $128 billion CPP Fund to help secure the future pensions of 17 million Canadians. I am proud to have been part of this evolution over the past 10 years.”

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RBC offers cash bonus to DIYers

(September 5, 2008) RBC Direct Investing has brought back its incentive for investors to move their accounts to the bank’s discount brokerage. Do-it-yourself investors who transfer a minimum of $25,000 into a new or existing RBC account from another institution will earn a 1% cash-back payment.

“With our site redesign earlier in the year and the recent introduction of Model Portfolios, we believe that do-it-yourself investors have even more to be excited about,” said Doug Coulter, president and CEO, RBC Direct Investing. “And if clients choose to invest with RBC Direct Investing, then we are going to invest in them, and this cash incentive is just one way to do that.”

The offer ends November 28, 2008, with a maximum payment of $2,500 per account, or $10,000 per client. RBC will also chip in up to $125 to cover the costs of transfer fees.

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Watson Wyatt names western retirement head

(September 5, 2008) Watson Wyatt Worldwide has announced the relocation of senior actuary Doug Chandler to the firm’s retirement practice in Western Canada. He will work out of the firm’s Calgary office, providing clients with advice on retirement plan design, actuarial valuations and regulatory issues.

“Doug has tremendous experience and expertise in long-term financial arrangements and pension planning,” says Laura Samaroo, Western Canada retirement practice leader at Watson Wyatt Worldwide. “His thought leadership and proven track record of delivering strategic advice and excellent results will be a tremendous asset to our clients in Western Canada.”

Chandler has been with the firm for eight years, serving corporate clients on matters of pension plans and long-term financing arrangements for other post-employment benefits. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

(09/05/08) staff


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