Media Coverage

IIAC Media Coverage Specific to SAID

The IIAC leverages its strong media profile to raise awareness of, and shape the discussion around, the plight of Canada’s Small and Independent Dealers (SAID).  The following is a collection of the IIAC’s recent SAID-specific media commentary:


Financial Post
– October 9, 2014 –
E.F. Hutton quietly shelves plans to open brokerage in Canada

Key passages:

• It comes a short time after the Investment Industry Association of Canada released its update on the financial condition of the industry participants.

• That seven-page report painted a bleak picture for the already existing boutique firms despite the rebound over the past two years.

• “The boutique firms, battered by the extended weakness in retail and institutional market conditions and the relentless cost increases from technology outlays and compliance requirements, welcomed the recent earnings rebound. But doubts remain about their long-term future,” said the report that was written by Ian Russell, IIAC’s chief executive.

• How large are those doubts? In his report, Russell said that based on IIAC’s projections, operating profit of the boutique firms, “even with the positive results this year, will still remain well below 2006-07 profit levels.”

• And that outlook continues a recent trend: Russell noted that in the past two years that 23 boutiques have disappeared through wind-up, mergers or acquisitions. The integrated firms, a number of which are bank owned “provide them with a competitive edge in the markets.”


Globeandmail.com
– October 6, 2014 –
Why boutique dealers are still struggling

Key passages:

• Canada’s boutique investment dealers can’t catch a break. This is the best year for equity and acquisition fees since 2007, yet many of the country’s smaller investment banks are still struggling to scrape by.

• The situation is so severe that the Investment Industry Association of Canada recently suggested between 30 and 40 smaller dealers could vanish in the next two years by either closing or merging.

• There are the obvious reasons for the sustained struggle. Deal flow in key sectors such as mining is still weak. Many of the smaller players rely on financing resource-related companies listed on the Venture Exchange.

• IIAC head Ian Russell also told The Globe and Mail that regulatory costs keep rising, and that puts pressure on smaller dealers who are already suffering from soft revenues.


Finance et Investissement
– September 25, 2014 –
Le secteur des valeurs mobilières n’en a pas fini avec les fusions et acquisitions

Key passages:

• « Le rythme des regroupements de sociétés spécialisées (en valeurs mobilières) se poursuivra et même augmentera », selon le président et chef de la direction de l’Association canadienne du commerce des valeurs mobilières (ACCVM), Ian C. W. Russell.


Globeandmail.com
(subscription required) – September 24, 2014 –
Boutique investment firms feel the pressure even as markets rebound

Key passages:

• The strong are getting stronger in Canada’s investment industry as the benefits of rebounding markets flow increasingly to the largest firms. The result is that firms that are left behind will continue to vanish.

• Projections from the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) show that profits are on the rise across the brokerage and securities industry. But it is very much a business of haves and have-nots.

• Said Ian Russell, IIAC president and CEO: “The better boutiques will get bigger and they are also getting better. We’ll have a stronger boutique sector but a smaller one.”


Financialpost.com
– September 24, 2014 –
Canadian investment dealers rebound from financial crisis, but boutique firms fall behind

Key passages:

• Things are looking up for Canada’s investment dealers, with integrated firms on track to exceed pre-crisis earnings this year for the second year in a row. Returns are also improving for boutique dealers, but they still trail far below pre-crisis levels, according to the Investment Industry Association of Canada.

• “The boutique firms, battered by the extended weakness in retail and institutional market conditions and the relentless cost increases from technology outlays and compliance requirements, welcomed the recent earnings rebound. But doubts remain about their long-term future,” said Ian Russell, the chief executive of the IIAC, in a letter to the association’s members on Wednesday.


investmentexecutive.com
– September 24, 2014 –
Boutique firms still struggling

Key passages:

• Investment industry performance improves, but the outlook for smaller firms remains uncertain.

• Operating profits in the Canadian brokerage industry are forecast to rise by more than 30% this year, but many boutique firms are still struggling, according to the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC).

• It has advice for both firms and regulators to shore up the boutique end of the business.


Advisor.ca
– September 24, 2014 –
Salman Partners acquires Woodstone Capital

Key passages:

• Boutique firms should buy out their integrated competitors or poach independent competitors’ customers, writes IIAC President and CEO Ian Russell.

• The suggestions are part of a list of ideas for strengthening boutique investment firms published by the Investment Industry Association of Canada in a letter from the president.


investmentexecutive.com
– September 23, 2014 –
Tempest Capital to resign from IIROC

Key passages:

• The Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) has warned that the small cap market generally, and the resource sector in particular, is suffering from an increasingly severe shortage of equity capital; and, that this is impacting the brokerage firms that focus on this market segment.

• The IIAC has repeatedly called on the federal government to help stimulate the flow of start-up capital through targeted tax measures.


Globeandmail.com
(subscription required) – July 29, 2014 –
Salman Partners acquires Woodstone Capital

Key passages:

• Two struggling independent broker-dealers have merged, joining forces to compete with larger firms in a challenging market for boutique shops.

• The head of the Investment Industry Association of Canada said in January that boutique dealers face an “existential” crisis. Salman Partners is no exception. Several senior staff have resigned over the past year as revenues across the industry have been squeezed.


Globeandmail.com
 (subscription required) – July 29, 2014 – 
Salman Partners acquires Woodstone Capital

Key passages: 

• Two struggling independent broker-dealers have merged, joining forces to compete with larger firms in a challenging market for boutique shops.

• The head of the Investment Industry Association of Canada said in January that boutique dealers face an “existential” crisis. Salman Partners is no exception. Several senior staff have resigned over the past year as revenues across the industry have been squeezed.


Globeandmail.com
 (subscription required) – February 7, 2014 – At Jennings, a boutique is rebuilt for the times

Key passages:

• The trials of small resource-focused boutiques have been well documented.

• The head of the industry association for securities dealers recently termed it an “existential” struggle for firms in Jennings’ line of work. Some rivals of Jennings have already closed up shop.


Business in Vancouver
 – January 28, 2014 –  Regulatory burden sinking junior capital market; Better enforcement of existing regulations rather than new rules needed, brokers say

Key passage:

• According to Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) data, retail investment brokerage firms in the country have continued to lose money.


Financial Post
 – January 27, 2014 – Boutique investment dealers in Canada struggle to survive

Key passages:

• The IIAC and other industry watchers have been warning for a couple of years that many of Canada’s smaller firms are on precarious ground and many could cease to exist without a significant recovery in the small-cap trading and underwriting business.

• In a report last week, IIAC described the divide between the large and small players as a “feast or famine” situation.


Wall Street Journal
 – January 27, 2014 – Canada’s Small Investment Banks Struggle, Spurring Consolidation

Key passage:

• Over the last five years, profit for Canada’s 58 small institutional Canadian investment banks fell 67% as many investors sought safety from market volatility in larger-cap stocks and yield products, according to industry group Investment Industry Association of Canada. 


Globeandmail.com
 (subscription required) – January 27, 2014 – Edgecrest acquires Stonecap, adds 10 to boutique team

Key passage:

• Many boutique dealers are struggling for survival after a third straight year of declining profits, with the head of the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) saying the sector is facing an “existential” crisis.


Wall Street Journal
 (subscription required) – January 27, 2014 – Canada’s Edgecrest Capital to Acquire Stonecap Securities; Deal Comes as Canada’s Smaller Dealers Face Increasing Pressure to Consolidate

Key passages:

• Canada’s big integrated dealers, most of which are owned by the country’s large banks, increased operating profit 43% on average over the past five years.

• But for the 58 small institutional Canadian investment banks, profit fell 67% over that period as many investors sought safety from market volatility in larger-cap stocks and yield products, according to industry group Investment Industry Association of Canada.


Bloomberg
 – January 27, 2014 – Edgecrest Buys Stonecap to Expand Mining and Energy Banking

Key passage:

• Boutique securities firms in Canada are facing a downturn as chronic weak business, increased regulation, and rising competition weakened earnings, according to a Jan. 23 note from IIAC.

Financial Post – January 23, 2014 – ‘Feast or famine’ for Canada’s investment firms: IIAC

Key passage:

• But Canada’s roughly 180 boutique firms remained “saddled with chronic weak business conditions and poor earnings” as well as a “tough competitive landscape and heavy, accumulating regulatory burden,” Ian Russell, president of the Investment Industry Association of Canada, said in a letter to members


Globeandmail.com
 (subscribers only) – January 23, 2014 –  Small Canadian investment dealers face ‘existential’ crisis

Key passage: 

• Small brokerage firms in Canada face a struggle for survival after a third straight year of falling earnings, says the head of the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC).


Investment Executive
 – January 23, 2014 –  Boutique dealers still struggling: IIAC; Overall industry profits up 27% in 2013

Key passage:

• The Canadian securities industry banked an estimated $4.8 billion in operating profits last year, up about 27% from 2012, but the vast majority of those profits are going to the large, integrated dealers. The industry’s boutiques are still struggling to get by.


Advisor.ca
 – January 23, 2014 –  Big firms shine as boutiques suffer: IIAC

Key passage:

• Highlights of the letter include:

  1. Integrated firm operating profit rose on average 43% in the last five years, with steady gains for most of the period.
  2. Operating profit in the retail sector declined 39% in the same period, with steep losses in 2012 accounting for much of the earnings fall-off.
  3. Causes of the earnings collapse in the boutique sector include: depressed market conditions; cautious investors; predatory algorithmic trading; compliance costs of the mounting regulatory burden; and rising costs of technology and systems for securities execution and clearing/settlement.


Canadianinvestor.com
 – November 19, 2013 –   Independent brokers squeezed

Key passages:

• Canada’s securities industry is shrinking. Consolidation – as a result of over-regulation and escalating operating costs, is especially squeezing small dealerships as their margins are tighter. That means fewer choices for Canadian investors and entrepreneurs seeking capital.

• As of 2012, operating cost per dollar value has sky rocketed to 61 per cent for independent brokerages as opposed to 18 per cent for integrated firms. And small firms that generate most of their revenue from advising retail investors collectively lost $99 million last year. Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) estimates suggest about 30 small-and mid-sized dealers have disappeared over the last four years since the financial crisis.


Canadianinvestor.com
 – November 18, 2013 – Overregulation crushing brokerages?

Key passages:

• According to estimates from the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC), about 30 small-and mid-sized dealers have disappeared over the years since the financial crisis of 2008. And a number of firms have handed in their resignations with the industry’s self-regulator. In recent years, that has averaged about 10 a year. In 2013, there were 11 in the first quarter.

• If independent firms continue to die, there will be less financing opportunities for entrepreneurs in Canada looking to set-up small and mid-sized businesses. This is particularly relevant to B.C.’s junior mining companies that have traditionally relied on independent brokerages to raise capital.


Vancouver Sun
 – October 27, 2013 – Opinion: Red tape bleeding life from B.C.’s resource opportunities; Cost of compliance: Growing regulatory burden is moving the industry unnecessarily toward a bleak future

Key passages:

• According to the Investment Industry Association Of Canada, as of 2012, operating cost per dollar for service offerings at boutique firms has skyrocketed by more than 60 per cent to 61 cents over the last several years. By comparison, the overall operating cost per dollar for big banks, subsidized by more profitable and diversified business streams, has risen 18 per cent to 41 cents.

• This trend is spelling the end of the independent brokerage that has historically served B.C.’s 800-plus junior mining companies. The loss of independent brokerage firms that have built substantial managerial expertise and operations infrastructure to advise retail and institutional investors will be a blow to investors, regional economies and venture markets. If independent firms continue to close down, there will be fewer financing avenues for entrepreneurs in Canada looking to set up small to mid-sized businesses.


Wealth Professional 
– September 10, 2013 –   Consolidation continues as Richardson GMP buys Macquarie Canada

Key passage:

• Quote from IIAC President and CEO Ian Russell: “These were two dynamic mid-sized firms in the retail space and they contributed to a good competitive tone in the market and to consumer choice and pricing in the marketplace. So, when you see one of those firms go, this is not a good thing for the market.”


The Globe and Mail 
– September 9, 2013 –  Richardson GMP buys Macquarie’s Canadian wealth management unit

Key passage:

• “The takeover comes at a time when independent retail brokerages are battling against the big Canadian banks for business. The small firms that rely on advising retail investors for most of their income lost a collective $99-million last year, Investment Industry Association of Canada data suggest.” 


Advisor.ca 
– September 9, 2013 – Richardson GMP buys Macquarie Private Wealth

Key passage:

• “Since 2006/2007, boutique firm revenues have fallen about a third, or $1.7 billion, says a March 2013 report from IIAC. Most of that loss happened in the last two years. ‘The viability of the smaller boutique firms is threatened,’ wrote CEO Ian Russell, ‘unless a market turnaround occurs in the near term.’”


Advisor.ca
 – September 4, 2013 – What’s up in the boutique sector?

Key passage:

• “A March 2013 assessment from the IIAC paints a bleak picture. ‘While all firms face weak equity markets, the impact is keenly felt among boutique firms,’ wrote chief executive Ian Russell in a letter to members. ‘The viability of the smaller boutique firms is threatened, unless a market turnaround occurs in the near term.’”


Advisor.ca 
– August 26, 2013 – 6 ways regulators can boost the financial industry: IIAC

Key passages:

• Financial professionals likely thought their books and bottom lines couldn’t be hit harder than they were following the recession, says Ian Russell, president and CEO of IIAC in a recent letter.

• But in 2013, the “operating revenues and earnings for…domestic institutional [advisory] boutiques fell to their second lowest quarterly levels, reflecting declining equity investment banking and trading businesses.”


Calgary Herald 
– August 23, 2013 – Pipeline delays costing investment banking jobs

Key passage:

• [IIAC president and CEO Ian] Russell said his association estimates that about half to two-thirds of Canada’s small investment boutiques are losing money in today’s sluggish environment. Many are forced to choose between closing their doors or continuing to erode their capital while waiting for activity to pick up.


Globeandmail.com 
(subscription required) – August 22, 2013 – Letter from the IIAC: Why it matters when small brokers fold

Key passage:

• Ian Russell, the head of the Investment Industry Association of Canada, is calling on securities industry regulators to make changes that will reduce the stress for smaller players who face a difficult operating environment of weak resource markets and fewer new listings without the benefits of scale. Mr. Russell says these brokerages will be difficult to replace because of several barriers to entry that have fallen into place in the past few years.


The Globe and Mail 
– August 22, 2013 – Mining slowdown begins to hurt as Bay Street sheds jobs, firms

Key passage:

• “If small dealers…continue to fall away, Canadian capital markets will suffer serious consequences, both in terms of reduced competitive stimulus in retail and institutional markets, and less financing opportunities for small Canadian businesses,” said IIAC head Ian Russell in a letter to the brokerage industry.


Bloomberg 
– August 22, 2014 – Stifel Said to Plan Closing Canada Offices With About 70 Workers

Key passage:

• The number of employees at securities firms in Canada fell in the first quarter to the lowest level since 2006, according to Investment Industry Association of Canada.


St. Louis Business Journal 
– August 22, 2014 – Stifel closing Canadian operations

Key passage:

• In the first quarter, the worker head count at securities firms in Canada fell to its lowest point since 2006, according to the Investment Industry Association of Canada, the news agency reported. Financial firms that earn fees from stock sales are feeling pressure from the downturn in Canada’s mining industry.


Investment Executive 
– August 6, 2013 – IIAC calls on Ottawa to boost small business investment, assist small dealers

Key passage:

• The Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) says that government action is needed to help boost productivity and stoke investment, which would also boost the fortunes of Canada’s floundering small dealers.


The Globe and Mail 
– July 27, 2013 – How the Big Six banks won the battle for Canadians’ wealth

Key passage:

• Small firms that generate most of their revenue from advising retail investors collectively lost $99-million last year, according to the Investment Industry Association of Canada.


Bloomberg 
– July 25, 2013 – Toronto Bankers Feel Pain From Mining Slowdown: Corporate Canada

Key passages:

• “The number of employees at securities firms in Canada fell in the first quarter to its lowest level since 2006,” according to IIAC data. Ian Russell said in April that “more than a third of Canada’s 185 boutique firms had lost money in the last two years.”

• “You’ve just seen a complete collapse in expansion, project development, [and] capital raising,” Mr. Russell said.


Bloomberg 
– July 4, 2013 – Number of Canadian Securities Firms Lowest in 7 Years

Key passage:

• “The industry has gone through a period of sustained weakness, which means firms are retrenching operations or actually restructuring,” Ian Russell, the association’s chief executive officer, said today in a telephone interview. “We’re going to see a continuation of that trend, probably through much of the remainder of the year.”


Financial Post 
– July 4, 2013 – IIAC: Tough first quarter for Canada’s investment dealers

Key passages:

• Buffeted by volatile markets and a fragile economy, Canadian investment firms continued to struggle for the first three months of 2013.

• The Investment Industry Association of Canada reported that its members had a collective profit of $515-million for the first quarter, down nearly 14% from the prior quarter and down 26.5% from the same period last year.