Protecting your hard-earned savings is the top priority of all investors. Unfortunately, there have been a number of situations in the last few years that have made this concern all the more real. Various investment schemes perpetrated on investors in Canada and the US, the most infamous being the high profile fraud committed by Bernie Madoff, make many investors ask the question, are my investments safe? Beyond criminal activity, we have also observed the bankruptcy of two large US Brokers, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns.
As a result, investors will often turn to large financial organizations such as Canada’s Banks when seeking to protect their investments. While the size of Canada’s Banks does provide the security that investors are looking for, they may not provide the level of service and tailored solutions that affluent investors need and deserve.
At Bellwether Investment Management, we realize the importance of safety of capital to our clients and thus have taken every precaution to ensure their investments are protected. The most important means of protecting a client’s investments is to have a third party custodian hold them, who in turn segregates the investments from their own assets. There are several custodians to choose from with most being subsidiaries of Canadian Banks. While we can work with any custodian a client may choose, we have partnered with National Bank Correspondent Network, Fidelity Clearing Canada ULC. and Raymond James Ltd. as our preferred custodial partners. National Bank Correspondent Network is a subsidiary of National Bank of Canada. In the unlikely event of the bankruptcy of National Bank Correspondent Network, the outstanding liabilities to clients (after CIPF coverage) are guaranteed by National Bank of Canada. Fidelity Clearing Canada ULC is a Canadian subsidiary of Fidelity Investments, one of the most diversified financial service companies in the United States. Raymond James Ltd. is the Canadian subsidiary of Raymond James Financial Inc., a publicly traded US securities dealer. Accounts held by Fidelity Clearing Canada and Raymond James are also protected by CIPF coverage.
Our partnership with these custodians provides our clients with secure systems, data storage, and state-of-the-art Business Recovery Facilities as well as access to National Bank, Fidelity Investments and Raymond James products and services.
In addition to the third party custody of our clients’ investments, we believe in the tenets of openness and transparency, and have gone to great lengths to ensure a system of controls is in place to protect our clients.
These controls include:
- Mandated disclosure and reporting under our funds’ offering memorandums.
- Independent audit ( BDO Canada LLP )
- Compliance with provincial securities regulations, specifically the Ontario Securities Commission monthly guidelines.
- Our conduct is governed by the Asset Managers Code of Professional Conduct as defined by the CFA Institute.