In Canada’s largest oil and gas producing province, investors who have been made wealthy by the energy sector are starting to open their pockets to a budding local tech industry.
For years, Alberta’s startup technology sector has complained of a lack of access to homegrown venture capital. Tech entrepreneurs in Alberta have historically had better luck going to Silicon Valley for funding than trying to raise money locally.
But that’s starting to change. Alberta’s tech sector broke an all-time record for venture capital investment in 2020, closing $455 million in deals.
And though full-year figures will not be publicly available until March, Alberta government figures show that as of September 2021, the province had already surpassed 2020’s record for venture capital dollars invested by 5.5 per cent.
“We’re waiting to get the final results for all of 2021, but it looks like it’s going to be a significant increase, with a new record,” said Doug Schweitzer, the province’s minister of jobs, economy and innovation.
Whatever the final dollar figure turns out to be, at least half of that funding will likely still have originated outside of the province, particularly from U.S.-based investors, said Zack Storms, founder of Startup TNT — an Edmonton-based non-profit that works to stimulate investment in the tech sector.
But Storms said a growing amount of the investment capital flowing into the province’s startups is locally generated.
“We are starting to see more Alberta investors,” Storms said. “There’s also a lot of new venture capital funds popping up. Local, homegrown and other Alberta VC funds — I think there’s more to be had there than I’ve ever seen.”
David Edmonds, who sits on the board of The A100 — a Calgary-based non-profit whose aim is to help the next generation of tech entrepreneurs thrive in Alberta — said for many years, high net-worth individuals in the province were hesitant to invest in the tech sector, preferring to invest in oil and gas and other more familiar industries.
But he said that has changed dramatically in a short period of time.
“It started a couple of years ago with certain family offices, as the next generation comes forward,” Edmonds said. “Three or four years ago, you could see that there was a sentiment shift toward the big companies — Amazon, Apple, etc. If you’re an investor watching trends, you see that you want to be part of that. And to be part of that, you have to do some portfolio mixing.”
“Tech is an untapped market. And in the past, (Alberta investors) have been scared,” said Ashif Mawji, an Edmonton-based partner with Rising Tide VC. “It’s been kind of ‘I see it, but I don’t understand it.'”
Mawji, who also invests privately, will launch a new Alberta-based venture fund next month. He said it’s significant that this time, much of the capital is coming from people without a tech background.
“These are folks who have made their money in construction, in real estate, in oil and gas. But they have the confidence now,” Mawji said. “Not to directly invest in a tech company yet, but they’re confident enough to go into a fund, where the risk is diversified.”
If confidence in Alberta’s tech sector is growing, it’s likely due at least in part to a string of high-profile success stories. Last year, Calgary-based software firm Benevity achieved envied “unicorn” status when British-based Hg Capital LLP purchased a majority stake in the company in a deal valued at US$1.1 billion.
Other companies — like Edmonton-based Jobber and Calgary-based Symend, which raised more than US$60 million and US$100 million respectively in recent funding rounds — have also attracted attention.
“When people start to see these companies in Alberta that are commanding some significantly high valuations and raising some serious money, I think they start to say ‘there is something here,'” Mawji said. “And the VCs have started to take note.”
While Mawji said tech is currently booming all over the globe, Alberta’s industry has benefited from public and private sector efforts to encourage diversification during a string of downturn years for the province’s traditional oil and gas economy.
But even with oil prices booming once again, boosters say tech in Alberta will continue to attract ever growing amounts of investment capital. Schweitzer pointed out that some of the companies attracting seed and early-stage funding right now will grow into larger, more mature companies capable of attracting larger dollar amounts.
“We anticipate that in the years to come, the venture capital numbers in Alberta are going to grow quite exponentially, because there will be more and more companies getting to those later stages,” Schweitzer said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2022
Credit Suisse Nabs Truist's Wolfgram for Tech Investment Banking – BNN
(Bloomberg) — Credit Suisse Group AG hired Rick Wolfgram as a managing director within its technology investment-banking group.
Wolfgram, who’s based in San Francisco, will report to Brian Gudofsky, the Swiss lender’s global head of technology investment banking, according to a memo to staff seen by Bloomberg News. A spokesman confirmed the memo’s contents, declining to comment further.
Wolfgram was most recently a managing director at Truist Financial Corp., where he led internet and digital media investment banking. He’s worked on transactions including initial public offerings for Coursera Inc., DoubleVerify Holdings Inc., NerdWallet Inc., Udemy Inc. and Snap Inc., as well as a high-yield offering for Cars.com Inc., Gudofsky said in his memo. Wolfgram joined Truist in 2012 after working at ThinkEquity.
Earlier this month, David Miller, Credit Suisse’s global head of investment banking and capital markets, said the Zurich-based firm plans to hire roughly 40 managing directors as part of its broader effort to rebuild.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.
As Markets Tumble, Financial Advisors Rethink Growth Prospects, Finds Natixis Investment Managers 2022 Survey of Financial Professionals
- Canadian financial advisors look for double-digit growth in their business, primarily driven by new assets from new clients.
- Vast majority of client assets are now in model portfolios as focus of wealth management business transitions from portfolio management to holistic financial planning.
- Advisors see generational wealth transfer as crucial to business success, but only one-third prioritize next-generation heirs as new business targets.
BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Financial advisors are looking to increase client assets under management (AUM) by 5% (median) this year, and with little of that likely to come from market performance, they are counting primarily on new assets from new clients to grow their business, according to findings from Natixis Investment Managers (IM) 2022 Survey of Financial Professionals, published today.
Natixis IM surveyed 150 financial advisors across Canada, as part of a larger global survey of 2,700 financial professionals. The Canadian findings presented here provide insight about advisors’ growth strategies, the challenges they face, and how they are adapting their business to changes in the market.
Over the next three years, financial advisors are targeting a median annualized growth rate in AUM of 15% and 10 new clients per year. While the long bull market helped turbo charge asset growth over the past ten years, advisors aren’t counting on double-digit returns over the long term. Rather, the survey suggests that advisors are looking to catch a tailwind from the vast amount of money in motion, including rollover retirement assets and the transfer of significant generational wealth. Many may be hard-pressed to hit their targets unless they also adapt their business practices and assumptions.
The survey found:
- Client acquisition is the most difficult way for advisors to go about growing their business. When asked which business growth strategy is most challenging, they were two times more likely to say winning new assets from new clients (45%) than gaining more assets from existing clients (20%). Nearly one in three (29%) say retaining clients is most challenging.
- 65% of advisors say that establishing relationships with clients’ next-generation heirs is the most important factor for the growth of their business, yet 50% say it’s difficult to make progress at it since it takes so much time.
- 59% say that demonstrating their value beyond portfolio construction is one of the most important factors for their success, but 42% say it’s challenging because of the time needed to deliver a broader range of advice and services.
“Advisors have to expand their capacity to grow their business while meeting the needs of new and existing clients,” said David Giunta, President and Chief Executive Officer for the U.S. at Natixis Investment Managers. “Advisory relationships are no longer defined by transactions in an investment portfolio, but rather by a deeper understanding of clients’ financial needs and the services they feel add the most value for the money. Technology and product innovation are helping advisors deliver the consistent investment experience clients expect while supporting the transition of their business to a broader focus on financial planning.”
Modeling the business for new clients
One key way advisors are expanding their capacity on the planning side is by using model portfolios on the investing side. On average, 84% of client assets under management are in model portfolios, including 47% of assets in models that advisors build themselves, 29% in models built and managed by their firm, and 23% from third-party asset managers.
The survey found:
- 83% of financial advisors find that financial planning services are what clients whose assets are in model portfolios value most about the relationship, followed by tax management (60%), financial education and engagement with family members (51%), and trust and estate planning services (50%).
- Among the small percentage (16%) of advisors who don’t use model portfolios, half (54%) say that personally building clients’ investment portfolios is essential to their value proposition.
“The actively-managed, risk-adjusted performance features inherent in model portfolios make them particularly compelling in the current market environment,” said Marina Gross, Co-Head of Natixis Investment Managers Solutions. “Our portfolio consulting practice shows that core moderate-risk model portfolios consistently deliver higher risk-adjusted returns with less volatility than the broad market, enabling advisors to focus more time on long-term goals, than short-term performance.”
The survey found the most effective ways financial advisors are incorporating model portfolios into their practice are by:
- Transitioning assets on a case-by-case basis, depending on each client’s willingness (65%)
- Focusing on new assets from new clients (39%)
- Transitioning client assets in phases, eventually moving the entire client base into model portfolios over time (34%)
About one in three advisors (29%) have found it effective to focus their use of model portfolios on retirement drawdown clients, while one in four (25%) say it was best to take the plunge and move their entire book of business into model portfolios all at once. Few have found it particularly effective to reserve their use of model portfolios for clients who represent less revenue potential, including clients with lower balances (15%) and younger clients (12%).
Prospecting efforts come into focus
In their search for new clients, financial advisors are looking in all the usual places, with most (77%) considering the life stages of their prospects. Almost all advisors (98%) say that pre-retirees, or people between the ages of 50 and 60, are their top priority, while 64% focus on prospects who are at or just entering retirement. Seven in ten (70%) prioritize older accumulators, or people between the ages of 35 and 50 who are in their peak earning years and likely in need of comprehensive financial services to address multiple financial goals such as saving for retirement, funding education, and managing debt.
Given the market environment and generational transfer of wealth underway, advisors may be missing opportunities to reach the oldest and youngest group of potential clients.
- Only 33% of financial advisors are focused on post-retirees, many of who are drawing down versus accumulating assets but who still need robust financial planning and advice to protect, use and pass on their assets.
- 34% place a high priority on prospecting for clients between the ages of 18 and 35, members of Generations Y and Z, who represent the fastest-growing segments of Canada’s population1.
Beyond age segmentation, advisors are tailoring their business offering and business development strategies to appeal to specific high-valued groups. When asked which segments they are prioritizing for client acquisition and retention, the survey found that, again, advisors might be overlooking opportunities to meet the distinct needs of certain segments, namely women and the LGBT+ community. Moreover, relatively few are targeting next-generation heirs despite their importance to the success of their business.
The survey found:
- 83% of advisors are focused on professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, and corporate executives and nearly as many (75%) are targeting business owners
- 75% are focused on HENRYs (High Earners, Not Rich Yet)
- 35% prioritize next-generation heirs
- 29% are concentrating on the needs of women
- 4% are focused on the LGBTQ community
Natixis Investment Manager’s global report on the findings of its 2022 survey of Financial Advisors can be found here.
1 Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 2021, reported in A generational portrait of Canada’s aging population from the 2021 Census, released April 27, 2022.
Natixis Investment Managers surveyed 150 financial advisors across Canada, as part of a larger global survey of 2,700 financial professionals in 16 countries. Data were gathered in March and April 2022 by the research firm CoreData with additional analysis conducted by the Natixis Center for Investor Insights.
About the Natixis Center for Investor Insight
The Natixis Center for Investor Insight is a global research initiative focused on the critical issues shaping today’s investment landscape. The Center examines sentiment and behavior, market outlooks and trends, and risk perceptions of institutional investors, financial professionals and individuals around the world. Our goal is to fuel a more substantive discussion of issues with a 360° view of markets and insightful analysis of investment trends.
About Natixis Investment Managers
Natixis Investment Managers’ multi-affiliate approach connects clients to the independent thinking and focused expertise of more than 20 active managers. Ranked among the world’s largest asset managers1 with more than $1.3 trillion assets under management2 (€1.2 trillion), Natixis Investment Managers delivers a diverse range of solutions across asset classes, styles, and vehicles, including innovative environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies and products dedicated to advancing sustainable finance. The firm partners with clients in order to understand their unique needs and provide insights and investment solutions tailored to their long-term goals.
Headquartered in Paris and Boston, Natixis Investment Managers is part of the Global Financial Services division of Groupe BPCE, the second-largest banking group in France through the Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne retail networks. Natixis Investment Managers’ affiliated investment management firms include AEW; AlphaSimplex Group; DNCA Investments;3 Dorval Asset Management; Flexstone Partners; Gateway Investment Advisers; Harris Associates; Investors Mutual Limited; Loomis, Sayles & Company; Mirova; MV Credit; Naxicap Partners; Ossiam; Ostrum Asset Management; Seeyond; Seventure Partners; Thematics Asset Management; Vauban Infrastructure Partners; Vaughan Nelson Investment Management; and WCM Investment Management. Additionally, investment solutions are offered through Natixis Investment Managers Solutions and Natixis Advisors, LLC. Not all offerings are available in all jurisdictions. For additional information, please visit Natixis Investment Managers’ website at im.natixis.com | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/natixis-investment-managers.
Natixis Investment Managers’ distribution and service groups include Natixis Distribution, LLC, a limited purpose broker-dealer and the distributor of various U.S. registered investment companies for which advisory services are provided by affiliated firms of Natixis Investment Managers, Natixis Investment Managers S.A. (Luxembourg), Natixis Investment Managers International (France), and their affiliated distribution and service entities in Europe and Asia.
1 Cerulli Quantitative Update: Global Markets 2021 ranked Natixis Investment Managers as the 15th largest asset manager in the world based on assets under management as of December 31, 2020.entities measured as of March 31, 2022 are $1,320.6 billion (€1,187.6 billion). AUM, as reported, may include notional assets, assets serviced, gross assets, assets of minority-owned affiliated entities and other types of non-regulatory AUM managed or serviced by firms affiliated with Natixis Investment Managers. 3 A brand of DNCA Finance.2 Assets under management (“AUM”) of current affiliated
This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice. There can be no assurance that developments will transpire as forecasted.
The data shown represents the opinion of those surveyed, and may change based on market and other conditions. It should not be construed as investment advice.
All investing involves risk, including the risk of loss. No investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee return or eliminate risk in all market environments.
Guardian Capital acquires majority of Ontario investment counselling firm – Investment Executive
The deal announced June 27 also expands the geographic footprint of Guardian’s private wealth segment, which currently has offices in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.
Once the deal closes, current Rae & Lipskie management will retain a 40% stake. “All employees are expected to stay,” the Guardian spokesperson said.
Chairman and CEO Ken Rae (who founded the firm as Kenneth Rae Investment Counsel Inc., in 1988) is selling his ownership stake to Guardian “but remaining in a leadership role for the foreseeable future,” the Guardian spokesperson said.
Rae began his career with Canada Permanent Trust in Toronto. In 1968, he moved to Waterloo and worked for Mutual Life and Dominion Life before founding Advantage Investment Counsel in 1985, which he sold.
President and chief operating officer Brian Lipskie (who began his career with Wood Gundy in 1985 before joining Ken Rae in 1989) will retain a “significant” ownership interest and continue to lead the business. A group of senior staff and portfolio managers will also acquire shares in the company.
Rae & Lipskie “is deeply embedded in the Kitchener/Waterloo community, so while the majority of their base is made up of private clients, it also includes foundation and endowments,” the spokesperson said.
Guardian is “always considering such opportunities, and as we learned of this opportunity regarding a business with the strong industry reputation of Rae & Lipskie, we reached out,” the spokesperson added.
“With leaders Brian Lipskie and Ken Rae interested in succession planning, they were highly amenable to the option to secure the future of their businesses by partnering with us.”
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter.
With files from Melissa Shin
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