Buried near the back of the latest issue of Report on Business magazine is an in-depth story on CI Financial. The piece, "How is CI Financial's Steve MacPhail still so damn happy," lays out the corporate history of this country's most successful independent mutual fund company. MacPhail has some encouraging words for any advisor worried about coming regulatory shifts around CRM2.
The story is largely positive. The piece details how the company, has, over twenty years, carved out a unique space in the Canadian financial industry. CI has been important in helping many advisors manage their practice. As Canadians took on the "equity-based" lifestyle through the 1980s and 1990s—that is, as Canadians cashed in GICs for mutual funds—CI has been there with the right product. According to the story, the company currently has the widest product offering in the country and boasts "the most top-rated funds" of any fund manager in Canada. The writer goes on to explain that CI carried out 1,167 training sessions as well as 15,581 one-on-one training sessions in 2013 as a way of explaining how deeply embedded the company is in the modern Canadian financial advisor industry. CI has managed to avoid the net redemptions plaguing other companies like AGF. "Everything is going exceptionally well," CIBC analyst Paul Holden is quoted as saying.
The most interesting stat: Since 1994 the stock of CI has skyrocketed an amazing 4,523%. The text can be found here.
For those without forty-five minutes to spend reading what is a rather long story, here are the vitals…MacPhail's comments on CRM2: According to the Globe writer, on July, 2016, CRM2, "will require advisers to disclose to clients the dollar value of all fees, including the dealer's operating and transaction charges; the total fees the client paid during the year; and trailing commissions, the fees investors pay an adviser for buying and holding a fund. Some expect widespread sticker shock, at least in cases where advisers are providing relatively little service to clients, and it has many in the industry "shitting their pants," as one observer puts it...But MacPhail says he isn't overly concerned. 'CRM2 sounds pretty intimidating, but in fact it's not,' he says. 'If you're in a value-add situation, it's not an issue at all.' MacPhail claims CI has been leading the industry in helping advisers deal with the compliance requirements, including providing templates for reporting and walking them through how to have the disclosure conversation with clients.'"
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