Archive for January, 2014

Bank of Montreal in Talks to Buy UK’s F&C for $1.2 Billion (1)

Bank of Montreal is in talks to buy
FC Asset Management Plc (FCAM), manager of the oldest U.K. investment
fund, for about 697 million pounds ($1.2 billion) in what would
be the second-largest takeover in its 196-year history.

Canada’s fourth-largest lender by assets made an indicative
offer of 120 pence a share, the London-based money manager said
today in a statement. Shareholders will also receive the 2 pence
annual dividend for 2013, the company said.

“FC and BMO are in advanced discussions,” the money
manager said. “FC has indicated to BMO that it is likely to
recommend a firm offer at the offer price.”

Bank of Montreal is joining other Canadian lenders in
seeking to expand its international asset-management business
amid a slowdown in domestic consumer lending. Royal Bank of
Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of
Commerce are among lenders that have added money managers
outside the country in the past four years.

Bank of Montreal (BMO) bought London-based Pyrford International
Plc in 2007 for C$41 million ($37.1 million). Four years later,
it purchased Hong Kong-based Lloyd George Management, which had
an office in the U.K., and introduced its BMO Global Asset
Management brand.

FC jumped 24 percent to 116.4 pence at the close of London
trading, while Bank of Montreal fell 2.1 percent to C$70.46 in
Toronto.

‘Good Move’

“The announcement was put out with our consent in
accordance with U.K. regulatory requirements,” said Paul Deegan, a Bank of Montreal spokesman, who had no further
comment.

Chief Executive Officer William Downe, 61, said at a Jan.
14 conference that Bank of Montreal has been “investing in
wealth management very consistently” since the financial
crisis. The company’s presence in Europe, the Middle East, China
and Singapore “all ties into a much better global-wealth
platform than I think many people appreciate,” he said.

The acquisition would be the firm’s second-largest,
following its C$4.1 billion takeover of Milwaukee-based bank
Marshall Ilsley Corp. in July 2011.

“This is a little bit different for BMO, they had been
pretty much sticking close to North America,” said John Kinsey,
who helps oversee about C$1 billion at Caldwell Securities Inc.
in Toronto. “It’s probably a good move.”

Activist Investor

Activist investor Edward Bramson stepped down as FC’s
chairman five months ago. He sought to boost the fund manager’s
performance by cutting costs and focusing on traditional
business areas such as investment trusts and managing fixed-income assets for insurers. Bramson’s Sherborne Investors LLC
sold 111 million shares, or about 19 percent of the outstanding
stock, in November, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

FC had about 90.1 billion pounds of assets under
management at the end of September, down from 92.3 billion
pounds as of June 30. The firm earns more than 90 percent of
revenue in mainland Europe and the U.K., the data show. About 96
percent of Bank of Montreal’s profit comes from Canada and the
U.S., according to financial statements.

Bank of Montreal must now make an offer or cancel the bid
by 5 p.m. local time on Feb. 24 to comply with U.K. takeover
rules, FC said in the statement.

The potential offer may flush out other bidders, David McCann, an analyst at Numis Securities Ltd. in London with a
hold rating on FC shares, said today in a note to clients.

“Anyone who was strategically interested will have likely
already been contacted by Bramson before he exited a few months
ago and already concluded not to bid,” McCann said.
“Nonetheless, we believe a counteroffer is not impossible.”

To contact the reporters on this story:
Doug Alexander in Toronto at
dalexander3@bloomberg.net;
Howard Mustoe in London at
hmustoe@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
David Scanlan at
dscanlan@bloomberg.net;
Peter Eichenbaum at
peichenbaum@bloomberg.net

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Monday, January 27th, 2014 EN No Comments

China money manager applies for new quota for yuan product in London


HONG KONG Jan 27 (Reuters) – Chinese asset management firm
CSOP said it has started applying for new quotas for its
newly-listed renminbi exchange-traded fund (ETF) in London due
to strong demand, signaling international investors’ growing
appetite for yuan assets.

The fund, which tracks the FTSE China A50 Index to
allow investors to have exposure to the top 50 companies in
mainland China, has exhausted 1.45 billion yuan ($239.60
million) of its 1.5 billion yuan quota, only two weeks after its
launch.

It is the first Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional
Investor (RQFII) exchange traded fund (ETF) available in London,
after the firm listed another yuan ETF in Tokyo tracking CES
China A80 Index a year earlier.

“We’ve seen a lot of demand from institutional investors in
Europe, especially insurance companies and family offices,” said
Ding Chen, chief executive officer at CSOP Asset Management,
which managed $5.7 billion assets as of end-2013.

“We did a series of roadshows in Europe recently and found
that interest in yuan products is not only from Germany and
Switzerland where investment demand is usually strong, but also
from countries like Itlay,” Ding added.

Ding said the firm is also considering capitalising on
London’s 80 billion yuan RQFII quota for the fund, whose manager
is London-based Source.

The RQFII scheme, launched in 2011, allows financial
institutions to use offshore RMB to invest in the Chinese
mainland securities markets, including stocks, bonds, and money
market instruments.

As of Dec. 25, a total of 157.5 billion yuan of quotas had
been approved for 52 RQFII licences under the 270 billion yuan
quota granted to Hong Kong.

Britain’s Ashmore also kicked off London’s quota
earlier this month.

As China’s currency outperforms in the region, global
investors have started to add yuan assets to their portfolios to
diversify risks.

Ding said the company is studying whether to list more yuan
products in European cities, such as Frankfurt, to meet such
needs.

CSOP is not alone in expanding its yuan business roadmap.
China’s Harvest Global Investments partnered with Deutsche Asset
Wealth Management in December and listed the first yuan ETF in
the United States.

Offshore ETFs focused on the A-share market are among the
few options for foreigners to access mainland markets.

ETFs offered under RQFII are usually preferred more by
investors than those under QFII launched in 2002, given lower
counterparty risk and tracking error.

However, Ding noted foreign investors are not without
concerns about China, particularly its shadow banking problems
and its progress in opening up domestic markets.

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Monday, January 27th, 2014 EN No Comments

Wealth Management Firm Hobart Financial Group Says Retiring Early is Possible – PR

Hobart Financial Group, a wealth management firm, details one mans journey after retiring at the age of 30 and explains the reality of entering an early retirement.

According to a January 17th Market Watch article titled How to retire early 35 years early, it is possible to retire at an early age. The article discusses one mans decision to retire at the age of 30. Pete, a family man from Colorado, decided that it was his time to retire and work on his own terms when he was just 30 years old. Due to solid investing and a lot of planning, Pete was able to live as a stay-at-home parent with his wife and 8-year-old son.

In order to retire early, the article says Pete invested a lot of money in the stock market and in rental homes. He also paid off his house to avoid future payments that could derail his financial stability. Now, the article reports Pete only lives on a $25,000 per year annual income. The family doesnt spend much money on material items and rides bikes more often than a car.

Christ Hobart, CEO of Hobart Financial Group, a leading wealth management firm in North Carolina says people can retire early if they keep a tight budget and manage their investments carefully. Pete is obviously a jumping off point to a bigger discussion about smart investing and managing a strict budget, he says. Most people believe they are doomed to a life of working. In reality, its all about how you save, invest and spend money. People can retire early if they make the right investments and properly maintain their portfolios.

Hobart says that while being frugal goes a long way, its best to look into investments such as stocks, real estate, or annuities. These types of investments can offer you a greater return over time, while supplying you with spendable income. They might also help you retire early!

Hobart Financial Group is an independent financial advisory firm dedicated to personalizing service with uncompromising integrity. Its focus on comprehensive, tax-advantaged plans help to provide sound preservation of capital, growing income and increased returns with reduced risk. Chris Hobart, founder of Hobart Financial Group, understands that true wealth means being able to share your life with the people you love, free from financial anxiety. Hobart Financial helps Carolinas retirees preserve and protect their wealth with comprehensive financial retirement planning and wealth management.

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Sunday, January 26th, 2014 EN No Comments

Tashlein receives wealth manager award

Eric Tashlein, principal and founder of Connecticut Capital Management Group in Milford, for the third consecutive year, was named a recipient of the prestigious Five Star Wealth Manager award.

The award identifies wealth managers who satisfy 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria that are associated with wealth managers who provide quality services to their clients.

Tashlein appeared in the December 2013 issue of Connecticut Magazine as a winner of the award.

“It is an honor to be recognized again as a Five Star Wealth Manager,” Tashlein said. “Out of over 28,400 financial planners in the state, less than 2% receive this distinction. We provide the highest levels of service to our clients — it is nice to know that others recognize it, as well.”

The team at Connecticut Capital Management Group works with private and corporate clients. Their areas of service include investment and money management, tax planning, retirement income and distribution planning, family wealth planning, risk management and insurance planning and, for corporate clients, enhanced value for corporate 401(k) trustees and investors.

Tashlein is a certified financial planner who enjoys helping investors manage, organize, and simplify their financial affairs. He has served as president of the New Haven Council Board of the Financial Planning Association of Connecticut and is a financial columnist for the New Haven Register. He has written articles on various financial topics and has been quoted by the news media, including Money Magazine, Financial Advisor Magazine and USA Today.

 

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Sunday, January 26th, 2014 EN No Comments

Alibaba’s planned investment products may boost solar industry

Alibaba's logo. (Photo/CFP)

Alibaba’s logo. (Photo/CFP)

Reports suggest that Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company, will soon unveil a wealth management product called “regular treasure,” which might include investment in solar power stations.

Media reports said “regular treasure” was a wealth management product that would invest in fixed-income areas and the Shanghai Securities News confirmed that Alibaba had embarked on discussions with a major solar power station.

Alibaba’s goal is to have an investment return that would surpass that of banks, sources said. Faced with so many investment tools, the stations appear to the company to present one of the best tools with a stable income.

Shanghai Securities News further noted that if negotiations prove fruitful, Alibaba may use its funds to ensure fixed income for the power stations’ operation, which would establish an innovative investment model. Once Alibaba takes this step, other e-commerce companies and solar power enterprises would follow suit, the report forecast.

If this were to happen, the country’s solar power industry would no longer be strapped for cash as in the past few years and could reduce its reliance on loans extended by state-owned banks.

Beijing has unveiled a series of policies supporting the development of solar power since last year to allow a stable income and subsidies for solar power stations for the next two decades.

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Saturday, January 25th, 2014 EN No Comments

3 Reasons Why Sovereign Wealth Funds are Bullish on Huarong

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Chinese bad debt is a hot sector for institutional investors. Blackrock, the Blackstone Group, Bain Capital and KKR are savoring over the possibility of buying a stake in China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd, the largest of China’s bad loan managers. Other institutional investors include sovereign wealth funds from Asia and the Middle East. Huarong is seeking to sell a major stake worth between 15% to 20% to strategic investors before their initial public offering. The IPO could be as far as 2016.

Many Chinese economists perceive if their domestic economy slows, a major influx of loans are expected to go bad. A tough pill for the Chinese economy, but a boon for bad loan managers like Huarong.

Institutional Investors’ Three Reasons for Huarong

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Saturday, January 25th, 2014 EN No Comments

Scotiabank’s ING Direct Sees ‘Gigantic’ Wealth Opportunity (2)

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)’s ING Direct
unit sees growth potential in wealth management after it
completes efforts to add deposits and customers and introduces a
credit card, said Peter Aceto, who heads the business.

“We see, a few years out on the horizon, wealth management
as a gigantic opportunity for our business,” Aceto, 45, the
unit’s chief executive officer, said yesterday in an interview
at Bloomberg’s Toronto office.

The first priority is rebranding the business to Tangerine
by June, wooing more customers with high-interest savings and
checking accounts and introducing a credit card by next year,
Aceto said. Scotiabank bought Amsterdam-based ING Groep NV (INGA)’s
Canadian operations in November 2012 for C$3.1 billion ($2.8
billion), gaining an online banking platform with C$30 billion
of deposits and 1.8 million customers.

“We’ve grown our deposit base significantly since the
change in ownership,” Aceto said. “We will be very focused on
growing our customer base over the next five years.”

Scotiabank, Canada’s third-largest lender by assets,
forecasted in September 2012 that the business would have 3
million clients in five years — a goal Aceto says it expect to
meet. The Toronto-based unit added more than C$1.5 billion in
deposits and 85,000 to 90,000 customers last year, he said.

Scotiabank fell 1.8 percent to C$63.05 at 4:16 p.m. in
Toronto. The shares have gained 7.8 percent in the past 12
months, trailing the 12 percent return of the eight-company
Standard Poor’s/TSX Commercial Banks index.

Mutual Funds

Wealth management could further help its expansion plans,
Aceto said. While the company wouldn’t consider an advisory
business, adding an online brokerage so customers can do their
own trading is “in the cards,” he said, along with expanding
its mutual-fund selection. ING Direct began offering mutual
funds in 1999 and they now account for more than C$1 billion of
assets under management, the company said.

“When you look at the way the mutual-fund business is done
in this country, and you look at the fees people pay and the
costs of wealth management, we see this as a perfect place for a
direct model that has a low-cost structure,” Aceto said. “It’s
something we’re thinking about, but a little further down the
road — three years or longer.”

ING Direct, which offers mortgages in addition to
investments, is part of Scotiabank’s Canadian banking business,
the firm’s most profitable unit. That division had a 36 percent
return on equity last year and accounts for about a third of the
bank’s total annual profit, according to financial statements.

‘Cornerstone’ Savings

ING held C$25.7 billion of mortgages at the end of fiscal
2013 and will continue offering home loans to its customers,
Aceto said, though it’s not the lender’s primary focus.
Scotiabank earmarked C$20.7 billion of the unit’s mortgages to
sell off as of the end of October, according to financial
statements.

ING Direct pays 1.35 percent on its investment savings
account with no minimum balance, according to its website, while
Scotiabank’s Money Master Savings account pays 0.2 percent for
balances of more than C$5,000 and 0.1 percent for accounts with
less than that amount.

“Savings is a cornerstone of our business, it always has
been, and we want to help facilitate Canadians saving more,”
Aceto said. “We think this is really important and it’s going
to continue to be a big focus of ours, and I still think it’s a
great growth opportunity.”

To contact the reporter on this story:
Doug Alexander in Toronto at
dalexander3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
David Scanlan at
dscanlan@bloomberg.net;
Peter Eichenbaum at
peichenbaum@bloomberg.net

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Saturday, January 25th, 2014 EN No Comments

Apple’s Declining Advantage is Undeniable

Last week, The New York Times posted a story relating Apple‘s (AAPL) lackluster growth in the Chinese mobile phone market. In China, Apple is playing second fiddle to Samsung as consumers are demanding phones with larger screens at cheaper prices – the new iPhone 5s runs about $875 dollars in the country, while the Samsung Galaxy S4 is $775 and the older model Samsung Galaxy Star Pro is available for just over $100.

Even with the introduction of the entry-level iPhone 5c, recent reports have Apple’s Chinese mobile market share ranging anywhere between just 8-12%, while Samsung has a 21% market share and Android phones have a 79% market share.

Continue this article at New Constructs

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Friday, January 24th, 2014 EN No Comments

Wealth Management News – January 24

Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:27pm EST

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Friday, January 24th, 2014 EN No Comments

Business Wire – Virtual

Satuit Technologies Inc., a global leader in client management software
for the institutional asset managers, private equity and wealth
management firms, was once again a key sponsor at the annual
Institutional Investors Conference in Aspen, Colorado, January 21-23.
More than 70 fund managers participated in the 3 day conference. Satuit
counts many clients among the firms attending.

“Our sponsorship allows Satuit to stay current on industry trends and to
connect with our clients in a more informal and relaxed environment,”
explains Chet Hayman, VP of Sales. “We appreciate the effort
Institutional Investor puts in to assure excellent content and
attendance at the conference.”

The conference, Re-Booting for Growth, offered the Asset
Management Industry a forum to breakdown and identify the products,
market segments and strategies that will allow firms to capitalize on
emerging and shifting opportunities. Questions regarding what kinds of
investment products institutional investors will require and what types
of resources are needed to meet that demand were key topics of
discussion at the conference, which drew a record number of attendees.

ABOUT SATUIT TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

Satuit Technologies, Inc. is the premier provider of cloud-based and
On-Premise CRM software solutions for the Institutional, wealth
management, private equity, hedge fund, and real estate and property
markets. Satuit has offices in the United States and the United Kingdom,
and serves clients in more than thirty-five countries. For additional
information, visit www.satuit.com.

Contacts

Satuit Technologies Inc.
Cheryl Caruolo, 781-871-7788
ccaruolo@satuit.com

Copyright (2014) Business Wire.
All Rights Reserved.

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Friday, January 24th, 2014 EN No Comments