By Staff | October 16, 2006 | Last updated on October 16, 2006
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(October 16, 2006) Macquarie Group, a specialist financial and investment banking services provider, announced Monday that it has successfully integrated the Cervus Financial Corp. platform into the company and changed the Cervus name to Macquarie Financial Ltd.

As part of the brand’s integration into Canada, the company plans to introduce new products and promote the benefits of using a professional mortgage broker. “The Macquarie brand is known around the world for its innovative mortgage products and commitment to promoting the highest standards in the mortgage lending industry,” says Macquarie CEO, Grant MacKenzie. “We are particularly committed to providing Canadians with comprehensive information about their mortgages.”

The company says it sees strong growth potential in the Canadian residential mortgage market, currently estimated at $725 billion. A 2005 report published by the Canadian Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders showed the Canadian mortgage market has grown 6.4% per year, on average, for the last 15 years, with an average growth rate of 9.4% over the last two years.

“We’ve always been interested in the Canadian market and the Cervus acquisition provides us with an opportunity to deliver innovative products to Canadian borrowers.”

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Jantzi Social Index loses 0.29%, beats S&P indexes in September

(October 16, 2006) Jantzi Research announced recently that the Jantzi Social Index decreased in value during the month of September, losing 0.29%, compared to 2.32% and 1.11% losses reported by the S&P/TSX Composite Index and the S&P/TSX 60 Index, respectively.

During the month, the company says its underexposure to the energy sector relative to the S&P/TSX 60 was the largest positive contributing factor to the index’s performance, while its overexposure to the health care sector made the largest negative contribution to performance.

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Small business owners say time is a luxury

(October 16, 2006) RBC Financial Group says small business owners are increasingly turning to online services to help their time management efforts. The Ipsos Reid poll of 2,032 small business owners was conducted using online interviews.

The 2006 RBC Small Business Survey found that “many small business owners are looking for ways to better manage their day-to-day workload, to give them more time to focus on their priorities, both at work and in their personal lives,” says small business national manager, Kristina Depencier.

Of those surveyed, 61% say there is room to improve how well they are balancing work and home life, while 39% said they felt they were balancing work and home “very well.” The survey also found that if more efficient time management freed up even one extra hour in the day, small business owners would use the hour as personal time with their spouse or family, for relaxation or down time, or catching up on personal matters.

The online survey also found that many small business owners are turning to online services to manage their banking. It found 48% use online services to pay bills, 39% review their bank accounts and conduct bank transactions online, 37% file their taxes online, 21% download banking information into financial software applications and 20% rely on e-mail money transfers to make immediate payments to suppliers.

To help small business owners, RBC suggests five pieces of advice to help achieve a better work and home life balance: Take time for yourself and your family; set clear boundaries between work and home; put your family and home life first; set realistic business goals; and efficiently manage your time.

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CMA recommends customer profitability analysis

(October 16, 2006) Although customer profitability analysis is not a new concept in financial planning circles where large businesses are concerned, certified management accountants are beginning to point out its benefits for small and medium-sized businesses as well.

Richard Monk, CMA and managing director of Welch Consulting Group, says customer profitability analysis is a precision instrument that ever company, large or small, should have in their managerial toolbox. But most don’t appreciate how much it can help build their business.

Although many business owners think the tools are too expensive or complex, Monk says all that is required is a different approach to how they look at their accounting information. “Traditional general ledger accounting can measure departmental or product profitability but it can’t determine profitability on a customer-by-customer basis. For that you need activity-based costing, which captures costs and allocates them to individual customers.” Once cost drivers are identified, firms can then set up a methodology to track costs as they specifically related to each client.

“This is more than just an academic exercise,” he says. “Analysts have discovered that as a rule, 20% of a company’s customers generate 300% of its profits, while the remaining 80% are actually unprofitable and can result in a loss of 200%, dragging overall profits back down to 100%.”

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