By Staff | August 10, 2006 | Last updated on August 10, 2006
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(August 10, 2006) Berkshire-TWC Financial Group has announced the appointment of Robert Levis as chief executive officer, promoting him from his position as senior vice-president, investment banking and corporate development.

“Bob is an impassioned leader, able to galvanize team members in the expansion and growth of businesses,” said chairman Michael Lee-Chin. “Bob and I will work closely together to further enhance Berkshire’s existing strength and stability. Berkshire remains steadfast in its commitment to the independent advisor channel.”

A big part of Levis’ new role will be to evaluate the process and potential selection associated with a strategic minority partner, as outlined in the strategy Lee-Chin laid out in July.

Levis joined Berkshire when the company combined with the TWC Group of Companies in November 2003, where he served as CEO.

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GMP teams up with Lazard

(August 10, 2006) GMP Capital Trust has announced it is entering into collaboration with U.S.-based Lazard Ltd. to develop cross-border M&A transactions between Canadian and international counterparties.

“In establishing this relationship, GMP hopes to leverage Lazard’s global franchise so that our Canadian clients will have seamless access to the best possible network of global contacts,” said Kevin Sullivan, CEO of GMP. “GMP, in turn, will be available to help advise Lazard’s clients on Canadian cross-border M&A transactions.”

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U of Chicago opens new financial math centre

(August 10, 2006) The University of Chicago has announced the creation of a new research center for financial mathematics, believed to be the first of its kind among leading universities.

The centre will bring together academics and practitioners and offer research facilities and support to attract young researchers. The centre will be headed by Niels O. Nygaard, professor of mathematics and director of the university’s financial mathematics program.

The University of Chicago is the academic home of Myron Scholes, winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for economics for his part in developing the Black-Scholes formula for modelling future prices of financial instruments, particularly stock options.

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BMO tracks continued commodity rally

(August 10, 2006) A strong rebound in mineral prices helped boost the BMO Commodity Price Index by 2.7% for the month of July. The metals component of the index gained 7.3% in the month, well outpacing good performance in other sectors.

Agricultural commodity prices rose 3.0%, followed by the oil and gas component, which gained 1.9%. Forestry price gains were the weakest, creeping higher by only 0.2%.

“These gains raised the index to a level almost 15% higher than that seen a year ago,” said Earl Sweet, assistant chief economist, BMO Financial Group. “Commodity markets are expected to remain generally buoyant through the remainder of 2006 and much of 2007, though with heightened market volatility.”

The energy component has been relatively stable for most of the year, as ever stronger oil prices have been largely offset by weak natural gas. The first three weeks of July were relatively mild; however, a late-month heat wave across North America helped drive demand for gas, because increased air conditioner usage taxed electricity supplies.

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(08/10/06) staff


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