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Financial News

Sep 2009 Financial News

Scotia DBG, rocked by resignations, revamps team

Sep 25, 2009

Scotia DBG Investments has revamped its manage-ment team, creating a new unit in a restructuring exercise slated to be completed by the end of this year, the investment house has reported.

"By year end we will have our entire executive team in place, completing the final stage of our restructuring exercise which started in August this year," said Anya Schnoor, chief executive officer, downplaying the role a recent spate of resignations of top officials is playing in the reshuffle.

"The restructuring exercise is aimed at enhancing customer service levels, improving operational efficiencies and providing clients with products which meet their individual needs," said Schnoor.

During August and September, Scotia DBG lost three of its senior managers but has since promoted two of its team members, creating new posts and a new unit in the process.

The Treasury and brokerage units, formerly standalone units, have now been merged to create a treasury and trading division.

The newly created unit will be responsible for all trading activities in the key areas of brokerage, investments and foreign exchange trading, according to Scotia DBG.

Prior to the merger, the brokerage unit was headed by Christopher Chin-Loy, who resigned on August 27, with Clay Moodie as assistant vice-president for Treasury. This latter position has since been made redundant.

Assuming full responsibility

Lissant Mitchell, senior vice-president, Treasury and capital markets, who joined Scotia DBG in October 2007 with over 15 years' experience in investment, Treasury and the banking industry, it emerged, will assume full responsibility for the merged Treasury and trading unit.

A new position which is geared towards aligning Scotia DBG Investments' key priorities and improving operational efficiencies has been created for Johann Heaven.

Heaven's new post is vice-president, strategic planning, projects and product development, the company announced.

In the meantime, Scotia DBG will also be expanding its pension and unit trust division.

"The pensions and unit trusts unit will be expanded to include responsibilities for the management of all off-balance sheet products - unit trusts, mutual funds, trust services and pensions," according to information out of the investment and finance house.

Brian Fraser, assistant vice-president, currently heads pensions and is also general manager of Scotia DBG Fund Managers Ltd.

Like its parent company, Scotiabank, Scotia DBG is among the more profitable investment houses, reporting net profit for the quarter of $486 million in its latest unaudited financial results, a 62 per cent increase over the $299 million it earned in the comparative period the previous year.

Robust Performance

Performance for the nine-month period was just as robust, with a 49 per cent increase in net income compared to the same period last year.

But Scotia DBG, at the same time, suffered a $69-million impairment on its investment portfolio owing to a repurchase agreement held with collapsed international house Lehman Brothers in September last year just now being reflected on the company's accounts.

With continued sluggishness on the bond and equity markets, gains from securities trading were down for both the quarter and nine-month periods.

Gains from foreign exchange trading, on the other hand, showed some improvements, amounting to $39.6 million and $159.7 million for the quarter and nine-month periods, respectively.

Scotia DBG Fund Managers Limited manages funds, on a non-recourse basis, on behalf of investors to which the group has no legal or equitable right or interest and thus they have been excluded from the financial statements balance sheet.

As at July 2009, these funds according to the notes to Scotia DBG's financial statements, aggregated $5.8 billion, a slight drop from the $5.9 billion at October last year.

On balance sheet, Scotia DBG Investments' total assets stand at $72.2 billion, with a capital base of $7 billion.

Jamaica Gleaner
Friday September 25, 2009