By Staff | November 16, 2006 | Last updated on November 16, 2006
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(November 16, 2006) The heads of three Canadian mutual fund companies have issued an open letter to the nation’s political leaders, calling for action on climate change.

“The decision to amend the Clean Air Act in the House of Commons presents a historic opportunity for Canada to show the world how a country can come to grips with the issue of climate change,” reads the letter, signed by Don Rolfe, CEO of Ethical Funds Company; Kerry Ho, CEO of Inhance Investment Management; Gary Hawton, CEO of Meritas Mutual Funds; and Eugene Ellmen, executive director of the Social Investment Organization.

“On behalf of the tens of thousands of investors we serve, we urge you to seize this moment to take decisive action on this monumental challenge facing humankind.”

The CEOs essentially call for the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, which includes fixed targets for greenhouse gas emissions and an emissions trading system to meet those targets.

“Action to establish a carbon trading market in Canada would place this country on a level playing field with Europe, California and other U.S. states, and other jurisdictions,” the letter says.

The letter points out that the current version of the Clean Air Act fails to set clear targets and that the 2050 target date is “simply too far away to deal effectively with the immediate challenges of climate change.”

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Foreigners dump Canadian assets

(November 16, 2006) Foreign investors sold off $3.1 billion in Canadian assets in September, reversing a trend of heavy investment since the beginning of the year, according to the latest report from StatsCan.

Equities bore the brunt of the sell-off, accounting for $2.7 billion of the total. The previous two months had seen net purchases of $1.7 billion. Selling was concentrated among European and American investors, while the rest of the world bought $2 billion in equity. Foreigners also sold off $664 million worth of Canadian bonds.

Canadian investors continued the trend of buying foreign assets, picking up $2.6 billion worth of securities, almost entirely debt. The first three quarters of the year have seen $61.6 billion invested out of the country, nearing the full-year high of $63.9 billion set in 2000.

Investors set a new record in monthly purchases of non-U.S. bonds, buying $3.1 billion, while selling off $1.7 billion in American debt. Canadians bought $18 billion in non-U.S. debt in the first nine months of the year.

Foreign money market paper was also a hot seller, with $1.1 billion flowing into these assets. Year-to-date investment has reached $5 billion.

Foreign equities, on the other hand, totalled just $98 million, down from $5.2 billion in August. On a year-to-date basis, Canadians have bought $24.2 billion in foreign stock.

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CC&L names new vice-president

(November 16, 2006) Connor, Clark & Lunn Private Capital has announced the appointment of Darin Thompson as vice-president, based in Toronto. Thompson, formerly a senior vice-president at Assante, will focus on working with advisors.

“We are delighted to have someone with Darin’s expertise and experience join the organization,” says Tim Griffin, CCL’s chief executive officer. “Having access to our broadly diversified platform to be able to meet individual investor requirements was key to attracting someone of Darin’s calibre to our organization.”

Thompson has more than 13 years experience in the investment management industry. Over the past seven years, he worked with affluent Canadian families and their team of professional advisors to develop personalized wealth management solutions.

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Software integration deal inked

(November 16, 2006) Two manufacturers of popular software for advisors have agreed to integrate their products, bringing together the VirtGate distribution management system and the PlanPlus Web Advisor financial planning tool.

Under the agreement, CoVirt will provide its users with the basic level of service for PlanPlus Web Advisor. Basic customer data will be automatically transferred to the PlanPlus system.

“The bottom line is if tools are provided so that the broker sells more, then everyone wins,” says Tim Fitzpatrick, president of CoVirt. “VirtGate MGAs will quickly see this is yet another reason why they win with VirtGate.”

“This type of integration will allow insurance-oriented reps to make advice a more central part of their services,” said Shawn Brayman, president of PlanPlus.

(11/16/06) staff


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