By Staff | May 24, 2007 | Last updated on May 24, 2007
4 min read
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(May 24, 2007) In this ever-shrinking world, focusing only on Canada can be limiting. That’s why Galileo Equity Management has decided to go international, by changing its name to Galileo Global Equity Advisors Inc.

Michael Waring, the firm’s co-founder, said that the name reflects the company’s increasing international business. “Our new name symbolizes our broader outlook and recognizes the fact that a significant amount of our discretionary portfolios are invested outside Canada,” said Waring in a press release. “Our intense focus on uncovering opportunities internationally simply means our name is not catching up to reality.”

Waring said that many Canadians have taken a keen interest in the firm’s “bottom up” approach to global investment research, but with no more limitations on foreign content in registered plans, it makes sense for Galileo to cast a wider net. “It’s not simply good enough to look at these opportunities from afar,” said Waring. “At Galileo, we have made it a policy to engage in deep research, get to know management teams and where they do business, whether it’s in Toronto, Shanghai, Accra or Rio, and work up a full analysis that allows us to make quality decisions.”

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Vancity creates carbon offset program

(May 24, 2007) Vancity, Canada’s largest credit union, is jumping on the environmental bandwagon. On Thursday, the B.C.-based operation announced a new carbon offset program that would help other organizations reduce emissions in exchange for carbon credits.

The program would see Vancity give out $100,000 a year in grants to businesses and non-profits that work in the renewable energy and energy efficiency fields. The credit union will also provide coaching support, using an assessor with carbon emissions expertise, in order to determine how much carbon has been reduced.

“Vancity’s Carbon Offset Program will not only support Canadian climate change innovation but provide high-quality, verifiable offsets for Vancity and, ultimately, other businesses that are interested in offsetting the emissions they are unable to reduce,” said Ellen Pekeles, Vancity’s vice-president of community leadership, in a release.

Launching this project will help Vancity — through offset credits it’ll receive — reach its target of being carbon neutral by 2010. The company says that it needs to offset 4,500 tonnes of emissions a year in order to reach that mark. According to Vancity, it’s well on its way to meeting the target; already, carbon emissions per employee are 50% lower than other financial institutions’ in Canada.

“We’re happy with what we’ve accomplished, and we’re committed to continuing to reduce,” said Pekeles.

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Mavrix joins the SIO

(May 24, 2007) Toronto’s Mavrix Fund Management has been a fan of socially responsible investing for years, but on Thursday it made its commitment to SRI official. The company announced that it’s now an associate member of the Social Investment Organization.

In joining the SIO, Mavrix will be able to seek out the non-profit for advice and assistance and have a voice in the SRI space. “We are pleased to join the SIO to help promote greater awareness of socially responsible investing amongst concerned investors and their financial advisors,” said David Balsdon, Mavrix’s vice-president and secretary-treasurer.

It’s not the company’s first foray into SRI — it launched the Mavrix Sierra Equity Fund in 1999.

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The CPP Fund ends 2007 with good news

(May 24, 2007) For the CPP Fund, Christmas — and New Year’s — has come early. The fund wrapped up its 2007 fiscal year on March 31 with net assets of $116.6 billion, up $18.6 billion from last year.

The company, which announced the results early Thursday morning, reported that a 12.9% investment rate of return contributed to $13.1 billion in investment earnings. David Denison, president and CEO of the CPP Investment Board, said the 12.9% return beat the benchmark by 2.5%, or about $2.4 billion.

Denison chalks up the improved performance to a strong equity market performance in the first nine months of the fiscal year and to the fund’s varied asset base. “Our decision to diversify out investments into a wider range of asset classes, including infrastructure and real estate, significantly contributed to our value-added results this year,” he says.

Another area where the CPP Fund improved was in private investments, which earned a return of 35.3% and added $1.9 billion in net investment income. That’s an increase of $572 billion over 2006.

Infrastructure investments were also in the black, bringing in $150 million, up from a $8 million loss the year before.

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Desjardins unveils its new lifestyle environment

(May 24, 2007) Retirement is supposed to be simple, so why is life insurance often so complicated? Desjardins Financial Security is hoping to simply the investment process by launching the TRACE Lifestyle Environment, an investment program that’s based on the life cycle of the participant.

According to the company, TRACE will automatically assign participants a place on a risk-tolerance path in relation to their age. The closer a participant gets to retirement, the lower his or her risk level becomes. “For plan sponsors, plan participant communication and education responsibilities, particularly in terms of investments, represent major challenges,” says Eric Filion, senior director, product development and marketing, savings for groups and businesses, at Desjardins Financial Security. “TRACE allows them to meet these challenges with confidence.”

The new system is set up to adapt to the participant, as it takes into account risk level and age, and helps them attain financial security for retirement.

(05/24/07) staff


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