By Staff | December 18, 2007 | Last updated on December 18, 2007
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(December 18, 2007) AGF Funds has announced the appointment of Carrie Tuck as senior vice-president of product management and development.

“Carrie’s product background and understanding of sales support will help AGF better meet the needs of investors and their financial advisors,” said Randy G. Ambrosie, president of AGF Funds Inc.

Tuck is a 15-year veteran of the financial services industry, most recently leading product management and client service at Manulife Financial Company Global Investment Management.

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Industrial Alliance selects security analysts

(December 18, 2007) Industrial Alliance Securities has named Morningstar Canada to provide third-party equity research and ratings for its financial advisors.

Industrial Alliance Securities advisors will have access to reports that include an investment thesis, competitive overview, fair value estimates, risk assessment, and access to the Morningstar Rating(TM) for stocks.

“Industrial Alliance Securities is proud to provide this additional tool to its advisors,” said Lise Douville, president of Industrial Alliance Securities. “With this research, [our] advisors will be able to provide more timely, more in-depth, more informed and more accurate advice to their clients.”

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Investors remain jittery

(December 18, 2007) Investors from around the world were less confident at the beginning of December, according to the latest reading of the State Street Investor Confidence Index.

The latest report found that global investor confidence fell from a reading of 75.8 in November to 65.9 for this month. The greatest drop came in North America, with confidence dropping 10 points from 75.4 to an all-time low of 65.3. This is no doubt attributable to the heavy weighting given to the U.S. market and uncertainty over the knock-on effects of the slowing housing market.

On the other hand, European investors became more confident, with their reading rising from 83.9 to 85.0, while the confidence of Asian investors fell from 86.6 to 85.8.

The index uses a quantitative model to track the global buying and selling patterns of institutional investors.

“This month, our quantitative measure of global investor confidence established a new low, cementing the evidence that investor risk appetite has been strongly impacted by the one-two punch of the August and November credit crises,” says Harvard University professor Ken Froot, co-developer of the index. “In very recent days, we do see institutional investors following more of a holding pattern than a selling pattern, but the overwhelming conclusion from the data is that they are much more skeptical about fundamentals than they were in the first half of the year.”

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Ontario adjusts savings bond rate

(December 18, 2007) The Government of Ontario has announced the latest interest rate adjustment for its Variable-Rate Ontario Savings Bonds, which will earn investors 4.10% for the next six months.

“We are committed to ensuring that OSBs continue to remain competitive with similar investment instruments,” Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said. “Investing in Ontario Savings Bonds means that the funds stay here in Ontario, contributing to the prosperity of the province.”

The Fixed-Rate and Step-Up Ontario Savings Bonds are unaffected by this interest rate. The next rate adjustment for the variable rate OSBs will be announced June 21, 2008.

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Burgeonvest, Bick to merge

(December 18, 2007) Burgeonvest Financial and Bick Financial have announced the creation of Burgeonvest Bick Corporation, merging their investment operating companies into a single full-service investment and wealth management firm.

The new company will be named Burgeonvest Bick Corporation, and will receive the assets of both Burgeonvest Securities Limited and Bick Financial Security Corporation at the close of business on December 31, 2007. Insurance business will be driven through a third subsidiary, Burgeonvest Insurance Corporation.

The three business units will continue to operate as separate entities but will allow clients access to services offered across the parent company — Burgeonvest will remain an IDA registrant, while Bick remains an MFDA member.

“It is our view that the synergies from merging our activities will boost growth as the advantages to both clients and advisors become even more obvious and as advisors in southern Ontario recognize us as a sizeable full-service independent firm,” says Clarence Bick, co-founder of Bick.

Upon completion of the merger, the resulting firm will provide advice and service relating to approximately $1.1 billion of client investment assets through 11 offices in Ontario. The merger is subject to regulatory approval.

(12/18/07) staff


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