By Staff | November 22, 2006 | Last updated on November 22, 2006
3 min read
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(November 22, 2006) Advocis has launched a new best practices portal on its website, offering members easy access to the group’s new Best Practices Manual.

“Few professionals work in an environment as complex and changing as financial advisors [do], and they are concerned about how to incorporate new industry codes, standards and regulations into their practices,” said Steve Howard, president and CEO of Advocis. “The new Advocis BPM doesn’t simply list rules and regulations — it explains the most efficient and profitable way to meet or exceed them with relevant real-life examples, tools and templates.”

The portal offers guidelines for a wide array of advisor business activities, including marketing, due diligence, advice delivery, regulatory issues, codes and standards, business basics and technology. The site also offers access to forms and templates.

“Advisors are faced with volumes of rules and regulations to read and must figure out how best to incorporate them into their practice,” Howard said. “The Advocis BPM helps new advisors navigate this process with confidence and helps experienced advisors ensure their practices are not only compliant but the most profitable.”

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RRSP contributions hit record high

(November 22, 2006) Canadians contributed nearly $30.6 billion to RRSPs in the 2005 tax year, the highest amount ever and a 6% increase from the previous year, according to Statistics Canada.

More than 6.1 million tax filers contributed to an RRSP in 2005, up 2.2% from 2004, the agency added.

Still, although 86% of tax filers were eligible to contribute to an RRSP for the 2005 tax year, just 31% of those actually made contributions. And the $30-billion total represents only about 7% of the total contribution room available to eligible tax filers.

The StatsCan data is based on income tax returns filed in the spring of 2006.

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IDA rejects Katmarian appeal

(November 22, 2006) The IDA has dismissed an appeal by Stephan Katmarian, a former approved person with Rampart Securities Inc.

Katmarian had challenged two decisions by the IDA, which had banned him from registration for 15 years, imposed a fine of $275,000 and ordered disgorgement of commissions of $47,983.50 and $85,875.27 in costs.

The orders were the result of a hearing that found him guilty of participating in a “mark-up scheme” with the shares of Alive International Inc. for the purposes of unduly benefiting one Rampart client to the detriment of other Rampart clients. This ran afoul of IDA Bylaw 29.1.

Katmarian was also found to have violated Regulation 1300.1 (a) and (b), by failing to use due diligence relative to a group of clients who opened accounts for the purpose of purchasing shares in three private corporations that were found to be part of an RRSP stripping scheme.

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AEGON unit signs with EDS SOLCORP

(November 22, 2006) EDS SOLCORP has announced it has inked a deal with a subsidiary of AEGON Canada, which will see the WealthServ Insurance application adopted by the National Financial Insurance Agency.

NFIA recently expanded its operations to become a full-service MGA. The WealthServ platform will allow the company to ensure access to a wider range of products and resources through its offices across Canada.

“Our competitive selection process identified WealthServ Insurance and EDS SOLCORP as the right combination to help us grow our new business,” said Paul O’Keefe, vice-president, life insurance, NFIA. “The features and flexibility of this secure, web-hosted application will enable us to continually improve efficiencies while expanding the services and products we’re able to provide to our customers.”

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Northwest trims MERs

(November 22, 2006) Northwest Mutual Funds has announced cuts to the MER charged on a handful of its funds, retroactive to October 1, 2006.

The A and F series of the Northwest Canadian Equity Fund Series have had their MERs trimmed by four basis points, to 2.60% and 1.54%, respectively. The MERs on the A and F series of the Northwest Growth & Income Fund have also been cut by four basis points, to 2.61% and 1.55%, respectively.

The company also cut the MER on the Northwest Specialty Innovations Fund by six basis points to 2.71% for the A series and 1.65% for the F series.

“Since the June 2004 integration of Northwest with the Desjardins Group, Northwest has continued to honour its commitment to provide superior customer service and exceptional portfolio management,” said Michael Butler, president and COO of Northwest Mutual Funds. “The lowering of MERs on all of the Northwest Funds over the past two years is symbolic of that effort.”

(11/22/06) staff


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