Featured Projects

Mutual Fund Fee Research [OSC/CSA]

We carried out an extensive review of both academic literature and relevant public sector reports to assess the extent to which commission-based versus fee-based compensation changes the nature of advice and outcomes for investors. The study draws clear conclusions about the impact of embedded commissions.

Identifying International Banking Opportunities [Global bank – EU HQ]

We used the regional commercial banking database of the bank combined with our knowledge of international services to develop a model that tiered clients based on their probability of using international banking services. Using game theory methods, we also created a suggested calling program detailing the best sectors and areas to mine. We also provided scripts for sales to use when prospecting for these services that help them identify the best opportunities.

Financial Life Stages of Older Canadians [Investor Education Fund/OSC]

This research develops an evidence-based segmentation of older Canadians based on their financial profile, their attitudes, their top concerns, and how they manage their risks. The research points to the need for changes in financial planning and follow-through.

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Behavioral Segmentation of Investment Advisors [Canadian Mutual Fund Company]

Sophisticated analytical methods were used to identify the attitudes and behaviours that distinguish top investment advisors from their colleagues. The study was based on an amalgamation of several internal databases relating to thousands of advisors. Initial analysis was guided by suggestions from an executive brainstorming session and then advanced further as initial findings pointed to new directions. The study also identified the best methods for supporting top advisors, as well as information needed to identify “rising stars”.

The Financial Services Sector Ecosystem in the Toronto Region [CoE]

Using a variety of primary and secondary information sources, we created a comprehensive model of the Financial Services Sector (FSS) in the Greater Toronto Area. This paper presents the model and explains the nature of each sector and some of the sub-sectors. This model will be used to assess gaps in the supply and demand for talent in the FSS.

Helping Advisors to Help Top Clients [Mutual Fund Company]

Using methods akin to a therapeutic interview, a select group of top mutual fund clients were interviewed about their advisor relationships. The aim was learning what our client could do to help good advisors improve their sales and service. The in-depth personal discussions identified what key investors wanted from their advisors but didn’t get, as well as identifying the ‘secrets’ they were reluctant to share with their advisors. The selection of clients for the interview was based on an extensive analysis of unitholders and their buying patterns based on data drawn from several unitholder databases.

Long-Term Issues Affecting Client-Advisor Relationships [CSI Research Foundation]

This is an assessment of the key long-term issues that affect the relationships between investment advisor, client, firm and regulator including suitability of advice, client communications, advisor qualifications and oversight. Using a combination of secondary research and interviews with business opinion leaders, we identify both the salient issues and the people/information most capable of helping to deal with the issues.

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Client Experience Study – Institutional Asset Management [Big Five Bank]

We developed a set of questions to better understand the client experience of institutional clients, taking into account the mandates involved and larger issues in the market. Through a combination of personal and telephone interviews executed by experienced professionals, we set a baseline for gauging performance in years to come.

Strategy for Investor Outreach [FAIR Canada]

The aim of this study is to support FAIR’s policy initiatives by helping to improve its investor outreach. The study was not aiming to build a strategic plan for FAIR Canada as a whole, but it did confirm the value of FAIR Canada’s role in critiquing securities policy and regulation. Using a mixture of secondary research and interviews with appropriate experts, we developed a phased strategy to help FAIR reach more of the right audiences with its messages.

Assessment of Preparation of Licensed Public Accountants [Public Accountants Council]

Following a process designed by The Brondesbury Group, we are involved in an ongoing assessment of the suitability of preparation of licensed public accountants in Ontario. One of the projects recently led to approval of an additional accounting body in Ontario, while a more recent project focuses on reviewing an existing provider. Our work focuses on both examinations, and the integration of information related to education and work experience with exams. This is a team project involving the use of many outside experts identified by our firm.

Review of Bankruptcy Trustee Activity and Compensation [CAIRP]

Beginning with a detailed database describing over 600,000 personal bankruptcies, we identified the changing nature and demands of personal bankruptcies in Canada since 1998. This was supplemented with two trustee surveys: one focusing on work activities and the other on changes in revenue and expenses. The implications of the findings for trustee work demands and compensation were identified.

Opportunities to Spur SME Investment in the Exempt Market [OSC/CMA]

The Exempt Market for securities is an investment market where businesses can be funded without a prospectus if they meet regulatory criteria. With the rise of crowdfunding and the need for capital in the SME market, this study looks at the strategies that can be used to spur investment in SME while still ensuring investors are adequately protected.

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