Friday, January 12, 2007

RBC CM Financial Services Conference

RBC Capital Markets, 12 January 2007

Canadian Financial Services Conference Primer – January 17-18, 2007


On January 17 & 18, 2007, the RBC Capital Markets Canadian Financial Services Conference is scheduled to take place in Toronto. This conference follows RBC Capital Markets' preferred format “In Conversation” bank and insurer CEO interviews and panels, with minimal or no formal presentations. Six panel discussions will key on the pivotal themes of: (i) leveraging independent distribution; (ii) survival in wealth management; (iii) the future of bancassurance; (iv) group retirement – a new wave in the demographic surge; (v) the threat of the direct insurance model; and (vi) specialty mortgage providers.

Conference Highlights

• “In Conversation” Interviews: Discussions will be focused on this year’s theme “Models for Sustainable Growth”. Each of the banks, lifecos and P&C insurance companies continue to aim for 10%+ EPS growth. However, this comes after four successive years of earnings growth of more than 20%. In the case of banks, for example, results were boosted by benign loan losses and/or recoveries. Lifeco earnings were helped by hitching up to the wealth cycle and by Manulife’s transformational Hancock deal, while P&C earnings were influenced by prior-year accident reserve redundancies. Our questions will be probing for new or renewed revenue sources and techniques for sustainable operating leverage gains.

• Panel No. 1: Leveraging Independent Distribution. Roughly 70% of life & wealth products are sold through independent agents. This panel will explore the critical success factors in the symbiotic relationship between manufacturer and distributor. Participants include: John Lutrin (Chief Marketing Officer) of HUB Financial, the country’s largest Managing General Agency (MGA); Paul Rooney (EVP, Individual Insurance & Canadian Division CFO) of Manulife, Canada’s leading supplier to independent channels; and John Hamilton, Vice-President, RBC Investments, Canada’s leader in the high-growth national accounts channel.

• Panel No. 2: Survival Techniques in Wealth Management. This panel features three of Canada’s best-regarded executives, collectively responsible for a large portion of industry innovation: CI Financial’s CEO Bill Holland; Dundee’s President & CEO Ned Goodman; and Ira Gluskin, President & CIO of Gluskin Sheff.

• Panel No. 3: Bancassurance. Canada is the planet’s last bastion of segregated bank branch and insurance distribution, yet two banks have still become pivotal players. Neil Skelding, Head of Insurance at RBC, and Bernie Dorval, Group Head, Business Banking & Insurance and Co-Chair TD Canada Trust will discuss the potential for bancassurance in Canada.

• Panel No. 4: Group Retirement and Benefits. Group RRSP roll-overs will be the next big demographic event in retirement. Also, sponsor cutbacks for employee benefits will create a huge need for personal benefit programs. Hear how two experts are planning to harness these opportunities: Sun Life’s Mary De Paoli, Senior Vice-President, Group Retirement Services, and Brigitte Parent, Senior Vice-President, Group Benefits.

• Panel No. 5: Direct Insurance – Lower Rates, Better Value? CEOs of the three leading direct insurers review the value proposition and growth outlook: Brian Young of Canadian Direct; Denis Guertin of belairdirect; and Alain Thibault of TD Meloche Monnex.

• Panel No. 6: Specialty Mortgage Providers. Despite a massive push by banks to dominate the residential mortgage market, specialty players thrive, and banks are taking note with investments by BNS and others. This panel will feature First National Financial’s President, Stephen Smith; Home Capital’s CEO, Gerry Soloway; Invis’ President, Andrew Moor; and Maple Trust’s CEO, John Webster.