By Staff | October 5, 2006 | Last updated on October 5, 2006
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(October 5, 2006) Michael Lee-Chin is handing over the chief executive officer position at AIC to Jonathan Wellum, the fund company’s chief investment officer. Lee-Chin will say on as AIC chair, as well as chair of the firm’s sister companies, including Berkshire.

Lee-Chin made the announcement Wednesday night at a gala event marking AIC’s 20th anniversary.

“AIC has celebrated many successes over the past 20 years and we will continue to build on this momentum to become a global financial services company headquartered in Canada,” he said. “I have every confidence that under Jonathan’s stewardship as chief executive officer, AIC will stay the course in creating long-term wealth for investors.”

Lee-Chin purchased AIC in 1987 and built its asset base from less than $1 million to nearly $9 billion. However, the company has suffered a long run of net redemptions over the past few years.

n his new role, Wellum will oversee the day to day operations of AIC. “For 20 years, AIC has followed a disciplined buy-and-hold investment philosophy in its fund management. We buy excellent businesses in growth industries and hold these for the long term provided their valuations remain reasonable. AIC’s approach is rooted in a proven and disciplined value investing methodology, and that will never change,” he said.

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Ottawa changes LIF rules

(October 5, 2006) Ottawa has announced plans to immediately remove the requirement that federally-regulated life income funds be converted to life annuities at age 80.

Under the new rules, maximum permitted withdrawals for those aged 80-90 will be calculated by extending the method previously used for those under the age of 80 rather than requiring that all remaining funds be converted into an annuity. Those 90 and over will be allowed to withdraw 100% of the funds in their LIF.

“Seniors have asked for a greater degree of control over their retirement savings and this initiative will help give it to them,” said Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in a news release.

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BetaPro funds now offered in Quebec

(October 5, 2006) BetaPro Management is moving into the Quebec market, announcing on Thursday that its Horizon family of funds is now available for sale in the province.

“Based on inquiries to date, we believe this product will be a great fit for this market and will represent the next leg in our asset growth,” BetaPro president Adam Felesky.

BetaPro is also joining forces with the Structured Product Solutions Group of National Bank of Canada for all of Eastern Canada, including Quebec. Under the arrangement, National Bank will assist BetaPro with marketing and promotion of their funds to dealers.

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Scotiabank to offer new mortgage financing program

(October 5, 2006) Scotiabank has introduced a program that offers eligible homebuyers who have the ability to repay their loans, but have not yet saved the standard 5% minimum down payment, with the opportunity to purchase a home.

The Scotia 100% Mortgage Program offers homebuyers 100% loan-to-value financing on any Scotiabank mortgage product, the bank said in a release. The mortgages insured through Genworth Financial Canada.

“We’re pleased to be the first financial institution to offer this program, which builds on our existing suite of flexible home financing products,” said Charles Lambert, managing director, mortgages, Scotiabank, adding that the program is “ideal” for first-time homebuyers.

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