By Staff | November 1, 2007 | Last updated on November 1, 2007
4 min read
Previous Brieflies this week: | MON | TUE | WED | THU |

(November 1, 2007) Scotia Securities has announced a slew of changes to its Scotia Mutual Funds lineup, marking the bank-owned firm’s resolve to boost its presence in the mutual fund space.

“The most recent changes better position our funds to take advantage of current investment opportunities for the benefit of unitholders,” said Glen Gowland, president and CEO, Scotia Securities Inc.

Scotia also announced that effective immediately, the maximum trailer fee payable on the Scotia Canadian Dividend Fund will change from an annual rate of 50 bps to 110 bps.

The firm is also making it easier to get started in the Scotia Global Growth Fund, slashing its minimum initial investment from $500 to just $100. Subsequent investments can be as low as $25.

Several of Scotia’s funds will be rebranded to give them a simpler name, such as the Scotia CanAm U.S. $ Money Market Fund, which is being renamed Scotia U.S. $ Money Market Fund. Scotia is also dropping the word “Growth” from the names of several funds; for example, the Scotia European Growth Fund has been renamed the Scotia European Fund.

Related article: Scotia no longer “weakling” of wealth management.

• • •

Feds cut EI premiums

(November 1, 2007) Hard on the heels of the federal government’s announcement that it would cut the GST and income taxes for both individuals and corporations comes news that Employment Insurance premiums are also being decreased.

The premium rate for employees will fall to $1.73 from its current level of $1.80 per $100 of insurable earnings, effective January 1, 2008. The rate paid by employers will be reduced as well, to $2.42 from $2.52 per $100 of insurable earnings.

The 2008 EI premium rates for Quebec will be $1.39 for employees and $1.95 for employers. These are lower than in the rest of Canada because Quebec finances its own parental benefits.

Human Resources and Social Development Canada has also raised the maximum insurable earnings threshold by $1,100 to $41,000.

Related articles: Industry applauds Flaherty’s tax proposals.

• • •

RBC offers high minimum U.S. cash fund

(November 1, 2007) RBC Asset Management has launched the RBC Premium $U.S. Money Market Fund, aimed at investors with larger U.S. dollar balances who want a lower cost structure.

“With the Canadian dollar at a near all-time high, the RBC Premium $U.S. Money Market Fund is both a timely and better-priced solution for larger U.S. dollar balances,” said Brenda Vince, president of RBC AM. “Investors who need easy access to U.S. dollars for vacations, retirement or major purchases also want the peace of mind of knowing that their investment is well-managed.

The management fee on the fund is just 35 bps, compared to 90 bps on the standard U.S. money market fund. That discount comes at a price, however, as investors must pony up a minimume investoment of $100,000 US, compared to $500 US.

RBC is giving advisors the first crack at the fund, making it available immediately, while the RBC retail network will not offer the fund until January 2008.

• • •

BMO heads to London

(November 1, 2007) BMO Capital Markets has become a member of the London Stock Exchange, a move that allows it to service its corporate clients on all major global stock exchanges.

By joining the LSE, BMO also becomes a broker on the small-cap Alternative Investment Market. BMO now has the authority to advise and execute on equity offerings on behalf of companies on the London Stock Exchange or AIM.

“Given the increased level of activity on AIM and the explosive growth of the metals and mining sector, where we are a global leader, we are extremely well positioned to add value to our clients immediately,” said Yvan Bourdeau, CEO, BMO Capital Markets. “It is our goal to continue to be a leading underwriter of equity issues for mining companies globally and to build upon our strength, which is assisting metals and mining companies at every stage of the business cycle.”

• • •

Energy ETF hires Sandy McIntyre

(November 1, 2007) Strategic Energy Management has named Sandy McIntyre to the portfolio management team of the Strategic Energy Fund. Laura Lau will continue her role as senior portfolio manager of the fund.

“Sandy’s expertise in managing oil and gas royalty trusts will complement Laura’s expertise in finding and managing junior private oil and gas companies,” said John Driscoll, president of Strategic Energy Management Corp. “I believe Strategic Energy Fund can be the best performing Canadian energy fund in its category, and we are fortunate to have one of Canada’s premier income trust managers to help us achieve that objective.”

McIntyre currently manages several income trust portfolios for Sentry Select, including the company’s flagship Sentry Select Diversified Income Trust and Sentry Select Focused Growth and Income Trust.

Strategic Energy Fund is an ETF trust that invests in a wide variety of energy companies, from established firms to early-stage energy companies and, to a lesser extent, special energy issuers.

(11/01/07) staff


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