By Staff | July 27, 2006 | Last updated on July 27, 2006
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(July 27, 2006) Vancouver-based sustainable investment specialist Ethical Funds is now offering an F-class option on its entire fund family.

Designed as an alternative to transaction-based programs, the F-class approach unbundles the trailer fees that are part of the MER, the company explained in a release. Instead of paying sales charges, investors pay a fee directly to their dealer for the advice and service of their advisor.

“The introduction of Class F units to Ethical Funds is designed to meet the growing demand for competitive socially responsible investment options from fee-based advisors,” said Ethical Funds president Don Rolfe. “We’re pleased to be able to provide independent advisors with the ability to give their clients the best option that works for their situation.”

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Labour fund revamps fee structure

(July 27, 2006) GrowthWorks Capital has announced that it is eliminating RRSP fees paid by Working Opportunity Fund investors. Shareholders of the labour sponsored fund approved the change in June 2006.

The fund will no longer charge a $30 first-time purchase fee, $15 additional purchase fees, or annual $30 fund RRSP fee normally paid to the manager to offset transaction and processing costs. The fees will be replaced with a tiered increase in management and administration fees.

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IFB re-elects Chouinard

(July 27, 2006) Independent Financial Brokers has unanimously re-elected Merlin Chouinard to a second term as president. In a speech at the industry association’s annual general meeting in Toronto earlier this week, Chouinard emphasized the role that IFB plays as a service organization focused on the needs and concerns of the independent broker. “One of our greatest strengths is that we do not try to be all things to all people, but rather, we have chosen to remain true to our original mandate: to serve the independent broker.”

Chouinard noted that in an era of decline in industry association membership, the IFB has enjoyed steady growth and an increase in membership of 200% in the last five years.

Alex Beelich, John Dargie, Allan Donald, Scott Findlay, Johanne Ouellette and Sharon Piper were re-elected to three-year terms on the board. Bruce Bell joins as a new board member for a one-year term.

As well as Chouinard, executive members of the IFB are John Dargie (vice-president, insurance), Wayne Harbin (vice-president, member relations), Allan Donald (treasurer), David Barber (past-president), and Neil MacLean (board representative).

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OpenSky adds two structured products

(July 27, 2006) OpenSky Capital has launched two new structured products, the Series 3 Progressive Income Notes and the first series of the company’s Equity Performance 3-Year Term Notes. Both principal-protected products are guaranteed by Société Générale if held until their respective maturity dates in September 2014 and 2009. Minimum investment in each is $2,000.

The Progressive Income notes have no stock market exposure for the first two years but pay guaranteed coupons of 6% and 7% in years one and two respectively. After that, investors have potential for progressively higher payments equal to the average of the cumulative price returns of a basket of shares representing 15 major global companies. The notes also offer a strike date to reset the initial value of each share if the basket is down by more than 20% after two years. Up-front commissions are 4%. The notes are available for sale until September 1.

The 3-Year Term Notes invest in a diversified basket of global stocks and offer a return at maturity, if any, linked to the basket’s price performance. At inception the notes invest in 30 global stocks. After six months, the five worst performers are removed from the basket. At maturity, managers calculate the adjusted performance of the remaining 25 stocks using a formula that assigns a fixed-price return of 125% to the 15 best performers in the basket, regardless of their actual performance, and calculates the price return of the 10 remaining stocks, set at their actual price performance, as measured from the settlement date. Up-front selling commissions are 2%. Equity performance notes are available for sale until August 25.

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TD modifies fund objectives

(July 27, 2006) TD Asset Management has received an exemption from regulators to make changes to the TD Private Canadian Strategic Opportunities Fund without shareholder approval.

The company is amending the fund’s investment objectives to give managers the flexibility to invest in large-cap Canadian equity securities. Originally the fund, managed by Highstreet Asset Management, was designed to invest primarily in small to mid-cap stocks based in Canada, with a mandate to earn above-average rates of return over the entire market cycle. The fund may also hold small to mid-cap equity securities of non-Canadian based companies.

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