Social Good Pays Off in Many Ways for Canadian Financial Advisor

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There are many choices when it comes to who is going to manage your investment portfolio. For some, the deciding factor may be price or expertise. But for many Canadians, choosing Mackenzie Investments is more than just a wise decision—it’s a choice that brings many benefits to the community as well.

Mackenzie Investments has been helping Canadians since 1967 when they started with one person managing one investor’s portfolio. Since then, they have grown into a trusted organization that employs 14 investment teams, 65 investment professionals, and has $65.61 billion mutual fund assets under management. RewardExpert recently had the pleasure of speaking with Court Elliot, VP Corporate & Community Engagement for IGM Financial, Mackenzie Investments’ parent company.

Helping Canadians Reach Their Financial Goals

Mackenzie Investments offers a variety of investment products, which are ultimately designed to help Canadians reach their financial goals. “We partner with advisors and the investors they work with by bringing them innovative investment solutions, excellent asset management and superb service,” said Elliot. “Our team delivers innovation and expertise through mutual funds, ETFs, alternative investments, Private Wealth Pools and managed solutions. We strive to bring insights, data and tools to advisors to help them support their clients.”

But perhaps more noteworthy is the amount of time and effort they put in to helping their community. “We also offer a charitable giving program and solutions for saving for a child’s education and giving financial assistance to people with disabilities.”

Giving Back

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In 1999, the Mackenzie Investments Charitable Foundation was established with a gift of $2.3 million from Mackenzie Financial Corporation. This foundation is an employee-driven, non-profit organization that coordinates community giving donation activities on behalf of Mackenzie Investments.

“Our mission is to invest in organizations and programs aimed at helping communities in Canada,” explained Elliot. “We do this by furthering our leadership among Canadian companies in community involvement and charitable giving, and providing volunteer opportunities to our employees in the community.”

As decided by their employees, the foundation strives to promote social well-being and welfare in Canada, particularly for the benefit of underprivileged, challenged and sick children, youth and young adults, with a special focus on children and youth at risk.

Encouraging Volunteerism

But for this Canadian organization, their efforts and commitment to giving back to their community do not end with the Mackenzie Investments Charitable Foundation. In addition, the company also strongly encourages its employees to volunteer in the community.

“Every employee receives one paid volunteer day per year,” said Elliot. “Several programs allow the most dedicated volunteers to augment the time they volunteer with financial contributions from Mackenzie to their selected charities and not-for-profit organizations.”

“Additionally, all employee volunteers who are recognized by their peers during the year are invited to attend an event hosted by the President and CEO at National Volunteer Week to be recognized for their volunteering efforts.”

The Future Ahead

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So what is the next great thing that Mackenzie is working on? “We are always working on innovative product solutions that will help investors,” said Elliot.

“Our most recent announcement was that we are the first Canadian independent asset management firm to bring the innovation of an absolute return fund to Canadian retail investors, based on the regulators’ alternative framework proposal for conventional mutual funds. The Mackenzie Multi-Strategy Absolute Return Fund will deliver innovative strategies that seek a positive total return over a market cycle, regardless of the ups and downs.”

“Absolute return mutual funds challenge the conventional approach to investing, and Mackenzie is proud to be the first to bring this non-traditional solution to Canadian retail investors,” said Michael Schnitman, Senior Vice-President, Product at Mackenzie Investments. “The new fund has the added benefits of being transparent, highly liquid and closely regulated under National Instrument 81-102.”

Until now, most alternative investments in the Canadian market were limited to high net worth and institutional investors through select advisors. Because of those limitations, the majority of retail investors were unable to access absolute return strategies and the benefits of investing in them to complement their traditional portfolios. This fund is for sale to the IIROC distribution channel.