Canadian Wealth Manager's Profits Fall

Tom Burroughes Editor London 25 February 2009


Canadian-based CI Financial, which operates a wealth management business, reported that fourth-quarter profit plunged 72 per cent from a year ago to $53.2 million from $187.7 million a year before as assets of its mutual fund arm fell amid the financial market turmoil, media reports said.

Toronto-based CI Financial, which is

Canada's second-largest publicly traded fund company, also owns brokerage Blackmont Capital and financial planning unit Assante Wealth Management.

“It was by a significant margin the most difficult period in our business ever,” CI Financial's chief executive officer Bill Holland told analysts during a conference call after the markets closed, according to media reports.

“We took immediate and considerable action on the expense front starting in September, and have plans to continue to align expenses with asset levels if markets continue to decline,” he said.

CI reported that assets under management fell to $54.6 billion at 31 December 2008 from $69.1 billion a year earlier. By the end of January, assets slid further to $52.2 billion. The assets include mutual and segregated funds.

Total fee-earning assets, which include assets under administration, dropped to $80.3 billion from $105.5 billion a year ago.

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