By Staff | October 31, 2006 | Last updated on October 31, 2006
3 min read
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(October 31, 2006) The New Brunswick Securities Commission has issued a temporary cease-trade order against three firms and three individuals after an investigation revealed they were trading in securities without being registered.

The companies involved are Jabez Financial Services, based in Panama, JFS Credit Union, which purports to be headquartered in Sweden, and JFS-INC.NET, the commission said in a news release.

“This scheme is largely Internet based and offers dramatic rates of return, from 2% to 10% per month,” said Rick Hancox, executive director of the NBSC. “This solicitation has all the red flags that investors should be concerned about: unrealistic high rates of return, secrecy, and no disclosure or particulars provided about the investments. We have reason to believe that at least 15 New Brunswick residents have invested money in this scheme.”

The cease-trade order will remain in effect until December 13, at which time a hearing into the matter is scheduled.

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CoVirt fund trades to be automated through FundSERV

(October 31, 2006) CoVirt announced Tuesday that its VirtGate wealth management system can now be used to automatically process mutual fund trades though FundSERV.

Buy, sell and switch orders can be placed through VirtGate, with the client files, transactions, and commission files automatically imported and the records in VirtGate updated, the firm said in news release.

Pilot projects using the new features are underway at several insurance brokerage firms.

“VirtGate has always supported mutual and segregated funds but the transactions and commissions had to be entered manually,” says CoVirt president Tim Fitzpatrick. “Thanks to our already flexible VirtGate tools for importing and exporting files, combined with FundSERV’s industry standards and documentation, the project to automate went very smoothly.”

CoVirt’s current clients are life-licensed and will continue to focus primarily on segregated funds. However, the technology for mutual funds is identical, Fitzpatrick added, claiming that VirtGate is the first software to join insurance and wealth management products into one integrated system with robust features for each.

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Western Financial buys into Manitoba insurance brokerage

(October 31, 2006) Western Financial Group has acquired a 25% stake in Hayhurst Elias Dudek, the largest independent insurance broker in Manitoba.

Financial terms of the deal were not released. The Winnipeg-based firm has approximately 190 employees across the country, with branch offices in Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.

Hayhurst Elias Dudek operates in the life and health, property and casualty, and pet-health insurance industries.

“We see enormous collaborative opportunities within our two operations, particularly in commercial insurance programs, group life and health, and support for the unique products of SecuriCan General Insurance,” said Scott Tannas, president and CEO of Western Financial Group.

As the partnership develops, it is anticipated that Western Financial Group’s ownership position in Hayhurst Elias Dudek will increase.

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B.C. broker slapped with $60,000 fine

(October 31, 2006) The IDA has fined David Wayne Gradidge, formerly with the White Rock, B.C.-branch of Scotia Capital, $60,000 for a series of violations of the SRO’s rules.

In a settlement agreement, Gradidge admitted that he purchased and sold real estate to a client without the knowledge, consent or authorization of his firm. He also lent funds to a client without the firm’s knowledge and commingled his personal funds with those of a client to purchase securities.

The offences took place between 2000 and 2003. Gradidge was also ordered to pay back $5,250 in commissions and profits, is prohibited from purchasing any newly issued securities of any publicly traded corporation or income trust for 24 months, and is subject to close supervision for a period of 12 months. In addition, Gradidge must rewrite and pass the Conduct and Practices Handbook exam within six months and pay $5,000 in costs.

Gradidge is currently a registered representative with Berkshire Securities.

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Berkshire-TWC appoints new senior vice-president

(October 31, 2006) Berkshire-TWC Financial Group has named Glenn Pittman as its new senior vice-president, business development. Pittman joins Berkshire from its affiliate, Markland Street Asset Management, where he held the position of executive vice-president, business development.

Pitman has 19 years of experience in the financial services industry. He joined AIC in 1998 and was in charge of the Atlantic Canada sales operation. Prior to Markland Street, Pittman was a senior vice-president at Connor, Clark & Lunn Capital Markets.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be joining the Berkshire senior management team and very much look forward to working closely with both head office staff and advisors across the country in contributing to the future success of Berkshire,” he said in a statement.

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