SPOTLIGHT: The Uproar over Contingency
Has U.S. Insurance Business Changed for Good?
Their names seem innocuous enough: placement service agreements,
market service agreements or contingency fees. But U.S. federal and state
regulators argue that these arrangements are little
more than kickbacks -- secret rewards for steering business to a particular
insurer. Barrie McKenna looks at the background to the current
Insurers Bow to Pressure to Disclose Commissions
The property and casualty insurance industry has agreed, at the urging of the
Ontario government, to disclose commission compensation to the public in the
wake of a controversy over hidden payments to brokers. Karen Howlett
and Paul Waldie have the scoop.
Insurers Getting Dragged out of Disclosure Stone Age
Will Eliot Spitzer Trigger Takeovers?
Maybe Canadian life insurers have got it all wrong. Maybe they should be
thanking Eliot Spitzer rather than berating him under their breath as a
scandal-mongering politician bent solely on attaining higher office. Sinclair
Stewart looks on the bright side.
Wise Contrarians Often Look Beyond Scandal
Before anyone had heard of Eliot Spitzer, before Enron,
before Bre-X, there was the great salad oil scandal of 1963. Anthony De Angelis had a plan to make money by exporting
vegetable oil to
a New Jersey warehouse that happened to be owned by a subsidiary of American
Express. Derek DeCloet takes us down memory lane.
Making Amends, Attracting The Right Clients
Fund Firms, OSC in Talks for Group Deal
Four mutual fund companies targeted for potential
enforcement action over alleged market-timing violations are in talks with
securities regulators aimed at a group settlement that would include
restitution to investors. Karen Howlett, Paul Waldie and Keith Damsell look
at the details.
MFDA Inches Toward Shield
A fund to protect the interests of mutual fund unitholders
is expected to finally see the light of day in April next year, almost three
years later than planned. ''It has taken longer than I think all of us
expected,'' said Larry Waite, president and chief executive officer of the
Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada. Read Keith Damsell's report.
A recent Advocis poll reveals that more than 70 percent of advisors polled are against disclosing what they are paid. More recently, a
consulting firm uncovered that advisors are having difficulty attracting
and retaining high net worth clients. Dan Hallett sees a connection.
FINANCIAL ADVICE 101: What Your
Clients Are Reading
A Word of Advice: Get Some
"Most mutual funds Canadians buy are called A-class funds (the ''A'' is for
''adviser''), in which the dealer who sells the fund is paid for his or her
services by the fund itself, in the form of continuing commissions known as
trailer fees." David Parkinson gives a quick overview of financial advisers
and their services.
How To Find a Money Guru
a paid-off house, lucrative jobs and $170,000 in cash to invest, Ashley and
her husband, Brent, decided recently that they needed a financial adviser.
Being engineers with MBAs, they created a list of precise questions and went
to work. Rob Carrick describes their search and what happened next.
The Trick is to Pay as Little Tax as Possible, Legally
Someone once said that paying tax was a good problem to
have-- it means you're earning money. But it's not what you make that counts. Rather, it's how
much you keep that ultimately determines your success. Jim Yih has more.