By Staff | July 10, 2006 | Last updated on July 10, 2006
3 min read
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(July 10, 2006) Shares of Standard Life have started trading on the London Stock Exchange, hitting the market at 230 pence. Standard Life is the Scotland-based parent company of Standard Life Canada.

“We have seen tremendous support for Standard Life’s IPO. By increasing their investment in the company, members and customers have demonstrated their continuing belief in the prospects for our business,” said Standard Life chair Sir Brian Stewart in a press release. “Together with the substantial investment by institutions from around the world, this represents a powerful commitment and provides a platform for future development.”

At a price of 230 pence per share, the company has a market capitalization of 4.65 billion pounds sterling.

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Bosses not much help in retirement planning

(July 10, 2006) When it comes to retirement planning, many Canadians would appreciate more help from their employer, according to a recent national survey sponsored by Edward Jones and conducted by Leger Marketing.

The survey found 37% of respondents said their employers were either “Not Very Helpful” or “Not helpful At All” in helping them plan for retirement.

“This survey question proves there is an opportunity for employers to take charge and help prepare their employees to lead a financially secure life when they retire,” says Edward Jones principal Gary Reamey.

According to the survey, younger respondents received the least information, with only 12% of those between the ages 18 and 24 saying their employers were “extremely helpful.”

“We’ve known for some time that Canadians are not properly preparing financially for retirement — only 9% of RRSP contribution room is used,” says Reamey. “Those who think they’re getting the information they want from their employers may need more help than they think. Employers can be part of the solution and offer quality retirement planning programs to help people from making errors.”

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AGF mergers drops RSP designation from Harmony portfolios

(July 10, 2006) AGF Funds has announced it has completed the merger of four Harmony RSP Portfolios into non-RSP versions within the Harmony program.

The Harmony RSP Balanced Portfolio, RSP Growth Portfolio, RSP Growth Plus Portfolio and RSP Maximum Growth Portfolio have all been merged into their respective non-RSP counterparts. The continuing funds all have the same names as their former RSP versions, minus the “RSP” designation in their names.

The changes were approved at a unitholder meeting on June 30, 2006.

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Macquarie enters Canadian mortgage sector

(July 10, 2006) Cervus Financial has been bought out by Macquarie Group, an Australia-based giant in the global financial services industry. Cervus is a mortgage lender and with Macquarie behind it, is planning an aggressive push into the market.

“We’re extremely pleased to have the support of Macquarie, an industry leader and the innovator of the same long-term broker model in Australia that we pioneered in Canada,” said Grant MacKenzie, CEO of Cervus. “We will be able to build on the existing capabilities of both parties to provide customers with a range of first class financial products and services. Macquarie’s distribution skills and success in developing third-party and broker relationships is an excellent strategic fit with Cervus.”

Cervus offers mortgages through a network of mortgage brokers and much of its growth strategy will be focused on compensation. The company uses trailer-fee model which it claims is unique to the Canadian mortgage industry.

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BCSC to hear fraud case

(July 10, 2006) The British Columbia Securities Commission has issued a notice of hearing into allegations of securities fraud, against Lionel Mervin Negus, Christopher John Thompson, and Kevin Wilson, along with four corporate entities.

The group is also alleged to have engaged in misrepresentation, and illegal trading and distribution, in connection with money raised using offshore companies, between September 2000 to March 2004.

According to the notice, the men illegally solicited 64 investors to place about $11.5 million US in the securities of Syndicated Gold Depository S.A. These allegations have not been proven.

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