IGM Financial is one of Canada’s premier financial services companies, and one of the country’s largest managers and distributors of mutual funds and other managed asset products. It trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: IGM) and has a market capitalisation of approximately €8bn as at October 31 2011. As such, it is the fourth-largest publicly traded asset manager in the world. Its majority shareholder is Power Financial Corporation.
IGM Financial builds its business through a strategic focus on multiple distribution opportunities delivering high-quality advice, innovative investment and service solutions for investors. Strong relationships are at the core of the company’s philosophy. At a time when Canadians are weathering market uncertainty, these relationships, combined with the company’s commitment to providing quality investment advice and financial products, have placed it in a position of leadership and strength in the financial services industry. The company had more than €85bn in total assets under management at October 31, 2011.
Investors Group Inc. and Mackenzie Financial Corporation, the company’s principal businesses, each operate distinctly, with their own leadership, products and brands.
In 1926, Investors Syndicate, a forerunner to Investors Group, opened its first office in Vancouver and began pioneering the concept of financial planning in Canada. The company’s product and service offerings now include a full range of planning options including investment management, securities, insurance, and other financial services, which are offered through a network of approximately 4,600 consultants to nearly one million Canadians.
Mackenzie Financial got its start in 1967 as a private investment advisory firm. The strength of Mackenzie’s retail distribution network is built on its long-standing relationships with financial advisors and representatives, as well as its partnerships with retail brokers, insurance agents, banks, and financial institutions. Its products are offered through approximately 30,000 third-party advisors to millions of clients.
Investing in communities
Investors Group is committed to supporting the communities in which its employees, advisors, and clients live and work. In 2010, contributions totalled more than $6.3m, with over 2,500 donations going to more than 1,400 organisations.
Mackenzie’s community investment focuses primarily on small social service organisations across Canada, particularly those with a focus on families and children at risk, and financial literacy. The Mackenzie Financial Charitable Foundation, which provides grants to 30 charities, provides a vehicle for employees to become active donors and volunteers.
The company believes in the importance of good corporate governance. It is the company’s view that a financially strong, long-term oriented controlling shareholder can have a significant positive impact on a company’s long-term returns. The benefits include the ability to support management in the pursuit of long-term strategies and the provision of directors who are experienced and knowledgeable about the company’s business. In the case of IGM, these attributes are provided through a governance model developed over many years, which includes a group of directors who are also officers of the controlling shareholder.
Effective structures and procedures exist to ensure the board’s independence from management and to ensure that conflicts of interest between the company and its related parties, including Power Financial, are dealt with appropriately. Conflicts of interest are resolved through the Related Party and Conduct Review Committee, comprised of directors who are independent of the controlling shareholder. The committee approves only those transactions that it deems appropriate, and most committees of the board are composed entirely of directors who are independent of management.
Reflecting its commitment to good governance, IGM has adopted an extensive written code of conduct that governs its directors, officers and employees. This code of conduct covers all applicable policies and is reviewed annually with all individuals to whom it applies.
The board believes that the company’s governance system is effective and is appropriate to its circumstances. IGM’s governance practices consider the long-term returns to the company’s shareholders and its responsibilities to its clients – important indicators of the effectiveness of a governance system.