By Staff | August 22, 2006 | Last updated on August 22, 2006
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(August 22, 2006) The quality of financial reporting has improved over the past three years, according to a survey of Canadian CFOs conducted by Robert Half Management Resources.

The study found 33% of CFOs were more confident this year in the accuracy of their own company’s reporting than they were in 2003.

” The Sarbanes-Oxley Act has prompted public and private companies to better align their technology and finance functions,” said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “Replacing outdated business software with newer systems has enabled firms to capture essential data for more accurate financial reporting, and thus meet critical accounting mandates.”

Almost as many respondents (32%) also said they were more confident in employee loyalty than they were three years ago. However, just 13% were more confident about the level of internal controls and corporate governance.

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VenGrowth I reopened for existing investors

(August 22, 2006) VenGrowth Asset Management has reopened the VenGrowth Investment Fund Inc., commonly referred to as “Vengrowth I.” The fund is accepting new cash from existing Ontario shareholders only.

“The fund now has a portfolio of mature venture-backed companies seeking opportunities to realize on the value that they have built,” said David Ferguson, VenGrowth managing general partner. “We believe that re-opening the fund is in the best interest of shareholders and will enable loyal investors to roll over their existing investment, generate new tax credits and remain invested in a mature portfolio with significant upside potential.”

The fund has been capped to new investors since December 1999, but a preliminary prospectus is now being prepared with a view to re-opening the fund later this year.

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IDA dismisses jurisdiction challenge

(August 22, 2006) An IDA hearing panel has dismissed an application entered by Charles Kamal Dass challenging the IDA’s jurisdiction over allegations against him. Dass had argued that the IDA no longer had the right to sanction him, as he was no longer registered with the regulator.

Dass had relied on section 26 of the British Columbia Securities Act, which he said gave the IDA jurisdiction only over members, not former members. The IDA countered that the same section of the Act mandates that the IDA regulate members and approved persons in accordance with its own bylaws.

The IDA pointed out that bylaw 20.7 gives it jurisdiction over former registrants for five years after the person is no longer registered. Dass is a former approved person at the Port Alberni office of Dundee Securities, having resigned from the industry on July 21, 2004.

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Innovest named top “extra-financial” research firm

(August 22, 2006) A Canadian firm has been named the top provider of “extra-financial” research in a global survey of both buy-side and sell-side firms. Innovest Strategic Value Advisors received the most votes in the poll of 140 firms, with more than 16% of firms ranking them at the top of a field of 20.

Innovest specializes in analyzing companies’ performance on environmental, social, and strategic governance issues, with a focus on their impact on competitiveness, profitability, and share price performance.

“We are, of course, delighted by this honour,” said Dr. Matthew Kiernan, CEO of Innovest. “We have worked very hard to go beyond mere factual reporting and stress value-added, unique analysis, which our clients cannot find anywhere else.”

Two other research providers covering the Canadian market made the top-10 list, with ISS ranking fifth and the SiRi Network ranking sixth.

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Investor confidence index declines

(August 22, 2006) Global investor confidence dipped slightly in August, according to State Street Global Markets. Despite an apparent halt in the U.S. credit cycle, concerns over the economy and tensions in the Middle East have dampened enthusiasm.

“With Bernanke’s pause in interest rate increases has come a rally in stock prices worldwide. In anticipation of that, over the last five months we have seen strong increases in our measure of risk appetite based on the portfolio decisions of more than 10,000 professional investors in the marketplace,” said Harvard University professor Ken Froot, co-developer of the State Street Investor Confidence Index. “However, most recently, investors have taken portfolio risk no further. They positioned themselves for the rally now taking place, and may well begin to take risk off once that happens.”

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(08/22/06) staff


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