By Staff | April 16, 2007 | Last updated on April 16, 2007
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(April 16, 2007) RBC Asset Management has named the new fund managers who will replace John Varao and Shane Jones, who left the company suddenly last week for positions at Scotia Cassels. Their departure left a large void in the management of some of RBC’s top Canadian equity funds.

All of the new managers are from within RBC’s organization. Stu Kedwell and Doug Raymond will assume shared management responsibilities for the RBC Monthly Income Fund, the RBC Canadian Dividend Fund, the RBC North American Dividend Fund and the RBC Private Canadian Dividend Pool.

Jennifer McClelland, who currently manages a number of portfolios, including the RBC Select Portfolios, will join Kedwell and Raymond in managing the RBC Monthly Income Fund.

Martin Paleczny has been appointed lead manager of the RBC Tax Managed Return Fund. He joins Suzanne Gaynor, who will continue to manage the fund’s fixed income holdings. Cameron Winser will focus on the U.S. equity portion of the fund.

Dan Chornous, RBC Asset Management’s chief investment officer, says the company has confidence in the new people to continue to manage the Canadian equity funds effectively.

“We have a robust process behind a very talented team, and investors will continue to benefit from these strengths going forward,” said Chornous. “The funds will continue to be managed as before, incorporating the RBC Asset Management multi-disciplined approach to stock selection along with asset mix recommendations from the RBC Investment Strategy Committee.”

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Sun Life, CI launch guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit

(April 16, 2007) Sun Life Financial and CI Investments have launched SunWise Elite Plus, a guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit product (GMWB) that can be added to a number of new and existing Sun Life segregated funds.

Sunwise’s GMWB is an optional rider that can be added to both new and existing SunWise Elite contracts, with a minimum investment per policy of $25,000. Sun Life says that this feature will give investors guaranteed income while providing for growth through investment of up to 90% of the portfolio in equity funds.

Investors receive a 5% bonus to their guaranteed income benefits for every year they do not make a withdrawal in the first 10 years following the initial deposit to the GMWB rider. SunWise Elite Plus also includes the introduction of an optional annual automatic death benefit reset rider that is designed to maximize the payout to beneficiaries.

SunWise Elite Plus policies will be issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada and managed by CI Investments.

“SunWise Elite Plus provides a powerful combination of benefits that few other investments can match,” said Peter W. Anderson, CEO of CI Investments. “It allows investors and their advisors to meet the unique challenges of retirement planning and tailor an investment plan that will meet their needs and provide peace of mind.”

Investors can add the GMWB to a lineup of 47 segregated funds. This includes eight new funds, Sun Life says: SunWise Elite CI Global High Dividend Advantage Fund; SunWise Elite CI Harbour Foreign Equity Corporate Fund; SunWise Elite CI Harbour Foreign Growth & Income Corporate Fund; SunWise Elite Dynamic Global Value Fund; SunWise Elite Mackenzie Cundill Value Fund; SunWise Elite RBC O’Shaughnessy International Equity Fund; SunWise Elite RBC Canadian Dividend Fund; and SunWise Elite TD Canadian Bond Fund.

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AIM Trimark adds new funds, tax distribution

(April 16, 2007) AIM Trimark Investments says it is launching three funds and a tax-efficient flexible distribution series called T-FLEX.

Two of the new funds are dividend funds: the Trimark Canadian Plus Dividend Class and Trimark Global Dividend Class. These are designed to allow investors to benefit from the steady dividends and long-term growth of a range of international companies.

The Trimark Canadian Plus Dividend Class is led by Don Simpson and co-managed by Rory Ronan, with Lauree Wheatley as analyst. Bruce Harrop will serve as lead manager of the Trimark Global Dividend Class.

The third fund AIM Trimark is offering is the Trimark Canadian Focus Class. This fund will offer investors a clearly defined Canadian equity portfolio that limits its exposure to foreign investments to a maximum of 10% of its non-cash assets.

The Canadian Focus Class is overseen by Heather Hunter, lead manager of the Trimark Select Canadian Growth Fund. She is supported by analysts Erin Greenfield and Mark Uptigrove.

AIM Trimark has also launched a tax-efficient distribution add-on called T-FLEX. T-FLEX is marketed at the planning needs of investors who are nearing or entering retirement by allowing them to tailor their cash flow. Investors who opt for T-FLEX will have the choice of three target annual distribution levels of 4%, 6% and 8% to generate a steady tax-efficient monthly cash flow from their investment.

T-FLEX is currently available on Trimark Canadian Plus Dividend Class and Trimark Global Dividend Class. AIM Trimark says investors can switch between different T-FLEX series, and from one T-FLEX series of a fund to any other fund within the AIM Trimark Corporate Class structure, without any immediate tax implications.

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INVESCO launches short/long strategy

(April 16, 2007) INVESCO Global Structured Products Group is offering three different directional long–short products, which is an investment strategy designed to help clients gain additional alpha by investing a portion of the products’ assets in a short position.

“These offerings are in direct response to our plan sponsors’ needs and demands for higher alpha tied to the efficient use of capital,” said Russ Kamp, CEO of INVESCO Global Structured Products Group. “We are excited about making these strategies available to clients who are seeking enhanced alpha strategies while preserving the strong risk control normally associated with our stock selection strategies.

The three INVESCO strategies that have been funded are a Large Cap Core Directional Long/Short that is benchmarked to the MSCI US index; a Small Cap Core Directional Long /Short that is benchmarked to the S&P 600 index; and a Large Cap Growth Directional Long/Short that is benchmarked to the Russell 1000 Growth index.

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(04/16/07) staff


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