By Staff | December 17, 2007 | Last updated on December 17, 2007
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(December 17, 2007) Member firms of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada approved the IDA’s proposal to merge with Market Regulation Services (RS) at a special members’ meeting.

The member firms overwhelmingly supported a resolution approving the combination of the association with RS into a new self-regulatory organization.

“We are very pleased that member firms have endorsed positive change to consolidate market and member regulation in a single national self-regulatory organization that will benefit the investing public and the Canadian capital markets,” says IDA chair Ronald S. Lloyd.

Susan Wolburgh Jenah, CEO and president designate of the new SRO, thanked member firms for their strong support.

“This is an important step towards modernizing, simplifying and strengthening Canada’s self-regulatory system. Combining the IDA and RS into a single national SRO is fundamental to ensuring strong, streamlined, expert self-regulation in Canadian capital markets,” Wolburgh Jenah says.

The IDA says it is now in the process of seeking regulatory approval from the Canadian Securities Administrators. The newly merged regulator is slated to launch on April 1, 2008.

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GMP launches asset management business

(December 17, 2007) GMP Capital Trust announced Monday the launch of an asset management business that will target high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors. The new initiative, GMP Investment Management L.P., has received regulatory approval to act as an investment counsel and portfolio manager.

GMP Investment Management plans to launch its first fund, GMP Diversified Alpha Fund, focused on multi-discipline strategies, in early 2008.

Jason Marks will lead the new initiative as its principal partner. A veteran of the financial services industry, Marks has trading, structured product and risk management experience.

Marks will be joined by Michael Wekerle, vice-chairman of institutional trading at GMP Securities, who will provide advice to the new venture while also continuing his role leading the trading floor of GMP Securities. Timothy Lazaris, previously a financial services research analyst at GMP Securities, has also signed on as a partner and will focus on research and analytics.

“We have a compelling proposition for investors seeking high-quality, experienced investment managers and disciplined, comprehensive risk management within a strong institutional framework,” Marks says.

Kevin Sullivan, CEO of GMP Capital Trust, says the new initiative is a logical extension of GMP’s current operations.

“This initiative demonstrates GMP’s commitment to our clients and unitholders to expand our business and to best serve the needs of our investors and clients through a robust offering of unique products and services,” he says. “Like our other business units, GMP Investment Management will follow a partnership model where principals have an equity stake in the business.”

GMP Investment Management is targeting approximately $100 million in assets under management in its first fund by the end of 2008. It intends to have further offerings aimed at both high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors in Canada shortly thereafter. GMP is committing $20 million of its own capital to support the launch of the fund; the managing partners of the fund will also be putting up capital.

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Unity Life takes over CPSA’s policies

(December 17, 2007) Unity Life of Canada and the Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA) announced on Monday that Unity Life has completed the acquisition of the individual life and accidental death insurance policies of CPSA.

With the transaction complete, CPSA will cease operating as a fraternal benefit society governed by the Insurance Companies Act, and will cease offering insurance benefits directly to its membership. Certain insurance benefits will continue to be provided to CPSA members by Unity Life, with no requirement for future premium payments.

Unity Life says the transaction was overwhelmingly approved by CPSA members at a special meeting held in Toronto on November 16, 2007.

“This transaction comes at an important time in Unity Life’s 110-year history. This acquisition underlines our strategy to develop Unity Life as one of Canada’s leading niche insurers and provides added strength to our financial standings. We are committed to our well-established acquisition growth strategy,” says Unity Life president and CEO Anthony Poole.

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RBC amends O’Shaughnessy equity pools

(December 17, 2007) RBC Asset Management today announced that it is amending the investment strategies of the RBC Private O’Shaughnessy Canadian Equity Pool and the RBC Private O’Shaughnessy U.S. Growth Equity Pool, effective January 14, 2008. Both pools are sub-advised by O’Shaughnessy Asset Management.

The amendments are being made to align these pools with the RBC O’Shaughnessy All-Canadian Equity Fund and the RBC O’Shaughnessy U.S. Growth Fund II, to be launched in early 2008. RBC did not say what specific changes are being made.

The company did stress that the investment objectives for both pools will remain the same and that the pools will continue to follow strategies developed by Jim O’Shaughnessy to select securities with the strongest investment potential.

The pools are currently available only through RBC Managed Portfolios.

(12/17/07) staff


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