Friday, February 22, 2008

Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management to be acquired by Royal Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management Ltd (PH&N), according to a 21 February press release.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close on or about 30 April 2008.
Under the terms of the agreement, PH&N shareholders will receive 27m RBC common shares, with a portion deferred until three years after closing. The transaction is not expected to have a material impact on earnings per share in the near term.
"We've chosen to join forces with RBC because of the many benefits it affords PH&N clients, especially with respect to the kinds of investment opportunities they will need to be successful over the long term," said John Montalbano, the president of PH&N. "RBC has the commitment and resources to leverage our strengths with institutional, private client and mutual fund clients. In all, it's a great result for our clients, for the two companies, and for our people who have made PH&N the success it is today."
"Success in our business is always driven by the quality of our people. We are thrilled that such a talented and committed team is joining us at RBC," said Gord Nixon, the chief executive officer of RBC.
"Together, our vision is to be a clear leader among Canadian-based asset management companies, and to continue to grow our global capabilities in investment management for institutional, retail and high net worth clients," said George Lewis, the group head of RBC Wealth Management and currently CEO of RBC Asset Management.
Third-party rankings and surveys position PH&N highly for both performance and client service - two competitive strengths shared by RBC. "This transaction leverages the respective strengths and growth opportunities of two leading asset management companies," said Lewis. "We are extremely proud of the success of RBC's industry leading investment performance, most recently reflected in our receipt of the 2007 'Best Overall Fund Group' award in Canada from Lipper Inc., for delivering consistently strong risk-adjusted performance relative to peers."
With combined assets under management in Canada exceeding $160bn (based on RBC's and PH&N's respective year-ends), the two businesses will form one of the largest private sector asset managers in Canada. Specifically, the transaction:
- Will create one of the largest private client investment counselling businesses in Canada with market strengths coast-to-coast, and notably in Western Canada;
- Will make RBC one of the top five managers in the Canadian institutional market for defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans;
- Will significantly extend RBC's existing leadership in the Canadian retail mutual fund market; and
- Is expected to be seamless for clients, and create significant benefits in terms of advice, expertise and investment options.
Said Lewis: "We want to be the first choice for every client in Canada with asset management needs. With this announcement, we have an even stronger team, a larger playing field, and a well diversified, stable business mix, with strengths and talent across all asset classes, client segments and distribution channels of asset management."
Montalbano will become the CEO of the combined organization comprising PH&N and RBC's asset management business. Upon closing, PH&N will become part of RBC Wealth Management. In the new organization, Brenda Vince, the president of RBC Asset Management, will lead the combined mutual fund and high net worth businesses. Dan Chornous, currently CIO of RBC Asset Management, will be the CIO of both PH&N and RBC Asset Management. PH&N's Hanif Mamdani will be head of alternative investments for both PH&N and RBC Asset Management. Damon Williams will continue to be head of institutional management at PH&N, which will remain headquartered in Vancouver.

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