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Investment managers adopting reconciliation practices, but more work to be done: report – Investment Executive

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“In some cases, [firms] have yet to make any movement,” Wheatley said.

Forty of the 47 investment management firms surveyed (85%) indicated that they had considered reconciliation and Indigenous rights recognition within their investment analysis. For 33 of those 40 firms (70%), considering reconciliation led to a change in the valuation of the companies in their portfolio.

However, only 22 firms (47%) had proxy voting guidelines that incorporate considerations related to Indigenous peoples.

Investment managers were also asked whether they knew of any Indigenous-led or Indigenous-focused investment opportunities.

While 18 firms (39%) said they were unaware of any such opportunities, nearly half of firms said they knew about the Raven Indigenous Impact Fund. First Nations Finance Authority Bonds, the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association Indigenous Growth Fund and the Deshkan Ziibi Conservation Impact Bond were the other opportunities named by the firms.

Perhaps a result of this limited awareness, only 10 firms (21%) reported raising Indigenous-focused opportunities with their Indigenous clients, and only eight firms (17%) said they’d done so with non-Indigenous clients.

The survey also looked at investment managers’ internal policies for promoting reconciliation.

Twenty-three firms (49%) had enacted policies to attract, retain and/or promote Indigenous employees, while 21 firms (45%) reported having educational programs for management and staff on the history of Indigenous peoples. The least-common policy was related to procurement from Indigenous suppliers, which only eight firms (17%) had adopted.

Wheatley said investment managers have many opportunities to up their game.

“Some Australian investment industry firms have built reconciliation action plans to articulate a firm vision for reconciliation and set targets and responsibilities to guide their actions. We would love to see Canadian firms draw inspiration from these models,” she said.

“Investment management firms have wide spheres of influence within the industry; their direct interface with clients and investee companies and their interaction with regulatory institutions and industry peers position them to be drivers of positive change,” Wheatley added.

The report detailing the survey results included five broad recommendations for investment managers: develop a clear vision on reconciliation; deepen engagement with Indigenous people; identify opportunities to support reconciliation; promote reconciliation across the investment chain; and partner and/or invest in Indigenous communities and businesses.

Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action 92 defined reconciliation for corporate Canada by asking it to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Doing so would involve actions such as ensuring equitable job access for Indigenous peoples and educating staff on Indigenous rights.

The RRII survey was conducted between February and March 2021. Of the firms that provided their location, 27 were headquartered in Canada, one in the U.S. and one in the U.K.

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Guardian Capital picks 60% stake in Rae & Lipskie Investment Counsel – Private Banker International

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Guardian Capital Group has signed a deal to acquire a 60% majority interest in the Ontario-based private wealth manager Rae & Lipskie Investment Counsel (The RaeLipskie Partnership).

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, subject to regulatory approvals.

Current employees of The RaeLipskie Partnership will retain the remaining 40% ownership interest in the firm. It has assets under management (AuM) of over C$1.1 bn.

Guardian president and CEO George Mavroudis said: “We’re delighted to partner with such a well-respected firm and management team as we continue to grow our presence in the private client wealth space.

“This transaction will add over $1bn in assets under management to our Private Wealth segment and further extend our regional coverage in key markets.”

The RaeLipskie Partnership president and COO Brian Lipskie added: “Like Guardian, we have always believed in serving our clients with a customer-first and community-based approach to everything we do. We look forward to continuing to do so, but with the added strength and stability that comes from partnering with Guardian.”

Founded in 1962, Toronto-based Guardian specialises in wealth and investment management.

The firm provides a range of investment management solutions to institutional and private wealth clients through its subsidiaries and offers wealth management services to financial advisors in its national mutual fund dealer, securities dealer and insurance distribution network.

As of 31 March 2022, the firm had C$53.1bn of assets under management and C$30.5bn of assets under administration. It also managed a proprietary investment portfolio with a fair market value of C$741m at end of this March.

Last year, Guardian concluded its previously announced takeover of BNY Mellon’s wealth management and advisory services unit in Canada.

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Toronto investment bank Origin Merchant Partners to acquire Chicago advisory firm – The Globe and Mail

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Toronto-based investment bank Origin Merchant Partners is expanding into the U.S. market by acquiring Chicago-based InterOcean Advisors, creating a firm with more than 40 bankers in five cities.

Origin and InterOcean advise mid-sized public and private companies on mergers, acquisitions and raising capital, and are among a number of boutique investment dealers created in recent years by veterans of larger banks or professional services firms. The two employee-owned firms worked together on a number of cross-border transactions prior to merging.

“We are excited to join forces with InterOcean,” Jim Meloche, Origin’s managing partner, said in a press release. “With its deal and sector expertise, coupled with an extensive network of industry and capital provider relationships, the InterOcean team will enable us to better serve our US and Canadian clients across a range of sectors.”

M&A investment bank Origin Merchant Partners expands into Quebec

Two former leaders of Ernst & Young’s corporate finance team for automotive, building products and other industrial clients – Bill Doepke and Bob Wujtowicz – founded InterOcean in 2006. They named the firm after a Chicago business newspaper launched in the 1800s with a “pro-American industry stance” that became a touchstone publication for readers across the U.S. Midwest. Both founders are joining the merged firm.

Going forward, the company will be known as Origin, with offices in Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Atlanta and Denver. The two investment banks did not release financial terms of the transaction.

Last year, Origin welcomed veteran investment banker Darren Williams as a principal in its Toronto office. He also began his career at E&Y, then went on to become an adviser to industrial companies and leader of the team that covers the sector for Origin. Mr. Williams said: “The combination of our capabilities will expand on the benefits we bring to our industrials clients, deepening our talent pool and growing our network of key relationships in the sector.”

Over the past two years – during the COVID-19 pandemic – Origin and InterOcean have completed more than 25 transactions, advising entrepreneurs and companies on divestitures, acquisitions and capital raising.

Boutique advisory firms such as Origin have successfully pitched their services as conflict-free alternative to bank-owned investment dealers, which earn fees from lending and underwriting equity offerings along with providing advice on transactions. A number of Origin’s founders started their careers at the investment banking arm of CIBC, then moved to independent dealers.

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Investment platform Qooore rebrands as Qure.Finance – Private Banker International

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Investment platform Qooore, which touts itself as a social investment platform for Gen Z, has rebranded as Qure.Finance.

Subsequently, the firm also launched paper trading in its iOS app to allow users to carry out risk-free trades based on insights from “finfluencers”.

Qure.Finance will also allow users to practice trading approximately 10,000 securities, including US stocks and ETFs, as well as more than 20 cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The firm will provide each user with $100,000 in virtual money that they can be used to make simulated trades on its app based on real-life market quotes.

The move is expected to help users enhance their trading skills without risking their money or paying fees.

Qure.Finance CEO Igor Sheremet said that paper trading will help to enhance both the financial literacy and trading skills of the community.

 Sheremet said: “Today marks a new chapter in our company’s development, as we launch paper trading under our new brand name.

“Thanks to paper trading, our users will not only be able to receive trading insights from leading content creators, but also test them out in real life, free of charge, with no financial risks attached – all within a sleek and user-friendly interface.

“We are making investing solutions more accessible to everyone, regardless of their level of skills or financial resources.”

The company plans to paper trading functionality for Android users in the coming months.

The San Francisco-based firm was founded in 2020 to provide social-media style trading insights from global financial influencers to young investors.

This April, women-focused robo advisory platform Ellevest secured an investment of $53m in a Series B funding round to expand its offerings and product solutions.

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