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Purpose Financial secures $53.5 million CAD investment from Allianz X – BetaKit



Toronto FinTech company Purpose Financial has secured $53.5 million CAD from Allianz X, with the German investor acquiring a minority stake in the company. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approval.

Allianz X is the digital, FinTech-focused investment unit of Allianz Group, a global insurance and asset management firm. Allianz joins existing Purpose investors OMERS and TorQuest.

Purpose Financial plans to use the capital to accelerate its growth and fund product development.

Founded in 2013, Purpose Financial is a financial services company that provides investors, wealth advisors, portfolio managers, entrepreneurs and SMBs with asset management, wealth management, banking tools. Purpose’s core businesses include Purpose Investments, its asset management division, Purpose Advisor Solutions, its wealth-as-a-service platform, and Thinking Capital, its small business lending system.

Purpose Financial plans to use the new capital to accelerate its growth and fund product development. According to the company, the transaction is “an initial step in a strategic cooperation between Purpose Financial and Allianz.” As part of the deal, a member of the Allianz X team is joining Purpose’s board of directors.

Som Seif, CEO of Purpose, said the deal gives his company additional resources and expertise to accelerate its growth. He added that the company is still in the early stages of its journey to innovate within the financial services sector.

RELATED: Toronto FinTech startup Payfare files to go public on Toronto Stock Exchange

Alexander De Kegel, deal and project manager at Allianz X, called Purpose is “well positioned” for future growth in asset management and SME lending, identifying opportunities to capitalize on developing and distributing retirement solutions and investment products.

Allianz’s portfolio also includes telemedicine provider AmWell, business-to-business FinTech C2FO, and challenger bank N26. In 2019, Allianz X led Wealthsimple’s $100 million investment round.

Last year, Purpose’s Thinking Capital acquired fellow small business lender Ario in order to better support SMB recovery during COVID-19. Purpose initially purchased Thinking Capital in 2018 for a reported $200 million. In 2019, Purpose acquired CreditGenie, a Toronto-based startup focused on point-of-sale financing, for an undisclosed amount.

Photo by Vanessa Garcia from Pexels

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Comparing Luxury Investment Around the World – Visual Capitalist



Do you enjoy the finer things in life? For many of the world’s wealthy individuals, acquiring luxury goods such as art, fine wine, and watches is a passion.

Unlike traditional investments in financial assets, luxury goods can be difficult to value if one does not have an appreciation for their form. A rare painting, for example, does not generate cash flows, meaning its value is truly in the eye of the beholder.

To gain some insight into the market for luxury goods, this infographic takes data from Knight Frank’s 2021 Wealth Report to compare the preferences of nine global regions.

Global Tastes in Luxury Goods

To rank the most popular luxury investments in 2020, Knight Frank surveyed over 600 private bankers, wealth advisors, and family offices. The following table summarizes their findings, as well as each category’s growth according to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index.

Global Average Ranking Category 10-year growth in asset values (%)
1 Art 71%
2 Classic cars 193%
3 Watches 89%
4 Wine 127%
5 Jewelry 67%
6 Rare whiskey 478%
7 Furniture 22%
8 Colored diamonds 39%
9 Coins 72%
10 Handbags 108%

Art was unmistakably the top category for 2020, ranking first in every geographic region except Africa and Asia, where it placed second instead. The global market for artwork was estimated to be worth $64 billion in 2019, and is often facilitated through auction houses such as Sotheby’s.

In terms of asset appreciation, rare whiskeys have climbed the most in value over the past 10 years. Connoisseurs of this spirit will be familiar with distilleries like The Macallan, whose rare bottles can sell for more than a million dollars.

Comparing Luxury Investment Between North America and Asia

Below, we’ve compared the rankings of Asia and North America to get a better idea of how preferences can vary.

The biggest differences here are watches, which ranked first in Asia but fourth in North America, and classic cars, which ranked second in North America but fifth in Asia. The remaining eight categories took similar spots across the two regions.

Rank Asia Popularity North America Popularity
1 Watches Art
2 Art Classic cars
3 Jewelry Wine
4 Wine Watches
5 Classic cars Jewelry
6 Rare whiskey Rare whiskey
7 Handbags Furniture
8 Furniture Handbags
9 Colored diamonds Coins (tied for 8th place)
10 Coins Colored diamonds

Asia’s stronger preference for watches was likely driven by Chinese consumers, who are now the biggest buyers of luxury watches globally. Demand throughout the COVID-19 pandemic proved resilient, with exports of Swiss watches to China increasing by 17.1% between January and November 2020.

Classic cars, on the other hand, may be more popular in North America due to the region’s longer automotive history. Two of America’s most iconic automakers, Ford and General Motors, have both been around for over a century!

The Biggest Sales of 2020

Here were some of the most extravagant and noteworthy luxury sales from 2020.


Francis Bacon’s 1981 Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus was sold by Sotheby’s for $84.6 million in June 2020. A triptych is an artwork that is divided into three sections but displayed as a single piece.

Other paintings by Francis Bacon have sold for even larger amounts. In 2013, Three Studies of Lucian Freud was sold by Christie’s auction house for $142 million.

Classic Cars

A 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport Roadster sold for $7.1 million in March 2020, making it one of the biggest classic car sales of the year.

Founded in 1909, Bugatti has produced some of the world’s most sought-after cars. The French brand was acquired by the Volkswagen Group in 1998, and since then, has released numerous special edition cars with price tags reaching well into the millions.


An Hermès Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Retourné Kelly 25 sold for $437,330 in November 2020, becoming the most expensive handbag ever sold at an auction. Founded in 1837, Hermès is commonly regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious makers of handbags.

COVID-19 Dampens Luxury Investment

When compared to 2019, total sales for Sotheby’s declined 16% in 2020, while Christie’s, another leading auction house, reported a 25% decline. Despite these decreases, executives remain optimistic.

“The art and luxury markets have proven to be incredibly resilient, and demand for quality across categories is unabated.”
– Charles Stewart, CEO, Sotheby’s

The industry has been largely successful in transitioning to online operations, with Sotheby’s reporting that 70% of its auctions in 2020 were held online, up from 30% in the previous year.

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Investment advisor at Canaccord Genuity charged in Vancouver pizzeria confrontation – CTV News Vancouver



One of the men charged following a heated confrontation over masks at a Vancouver pizza restaurant is an investment advisor at Canaccord Genuity.

The company issued a statement to CTV News on Friday saying the employee has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

“We are incredibly disappointed to learn of a shameful incident of inexcusable behaviour involving one of our employees,” a spokesperson for Canaccord Genuity said in an email.

“Canaccord Genuity rejects the disgraceful behaviours, opinions and actions of the individuals involved. They are in no way representative of our firm’s values.”

Vancouver police confirmed this week that assault charges have been approved against James Henry Davidson and Brenton Thomas Woyat.

Profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn identified Woyat as an investment advisor at Canaccord Genuity as recently as Thursday, though both pages appear to have been deactivated.

The allegations stem from a late-night altercation at the Pizza Pizza location in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood on Feb. 20.

Video shows two men confronting staff in an apparent dispute over the restaurant’s mask policy. The pizzeria requires everyone capable of wearing a mask to do so, in accordance with the province’s mask mandate.

“You guys are complete morons. COVID is a joke. You are completely brainwashed,” one man yells in the video.

The recording later shows a teenager who was waiting outside the pizzeria getting roughed up.

Police said the men drove away from the scene, but that officers pulled over two suspects minutes later. Const. Tania Visintin said one of them is facing a possible charge of impaired driving as well, but she could not specify which one.

Visintin described the behaviour captured in the video as “ridiculous” and “embarrassing.”

“This young man was just outside a pizza joint trying to eat pizza and he gets assaulted by two grownups,” Visintin said Thursday.

Police said they’ve seen a growing number of incidents involving customers who become belligerent when asked to abide by provincial guidelines in businesses.

“It’s unfortunate because these shop owners or store employees are just doing their job, they’re just making a living and following the rules,” Visintin said.

Woyat is scheduled to appear in court on March 17, while Davidson is due to appear on April 9.

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Allison Hurst

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LETTER: New multi-use Sydney library wise investment –



If the past year has taught us anything, it is the value of libraries in our communities. The time confined to our homes and limited in-person interactions would have taken a much higher toll without access to books.

Libraries provide a central hub for connecting people, sharing information and building stronger communities. The inclusiveness of libraries provides the sense of belonging needed by all citizens. An investment in people will require prioritizing these types of services. A new library should come high on this list simply because it can be used by every citizen for multiple purposes, books being but only one aspect of it. Modern libraries fulfill roles in society previously held by churches and community groups that grew from them. Communities that have made the choice to invest in new, modern library buildings are proud of their accomplishment and the positive response from their communities.

Living in rural Cape Breton means that many of the municipal services citizens have come to expect as normal are not available to us, such as central water and sanitation systems. What we do have and value is a branch of the local library. The sense of belonging is even more critical in small rural communities such as Main-a-Dieu.

We will all benefit in more ways than can be listed if we as a community support the investment required to bring Sydney and area into the 21st century with a new, multi-use library. Libraries have become the new meeting place for our social, cultural and intellectual development.

We need to believe in our potential but also support and encourage it by providing the means to achieve our goals. A new library can do this for our community as it has done for so many others across Canada. It would be an investment in people of all ages.

The pandemic had shown us we are a strong, resilient community that can make tough choices. Building a new library is something we can and must do for not only our current residents, but also our future generations.

Pauline Mesher


President, Main-a-Dieu Community Development Association


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