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OceanRock Investments Inc. Announces Fund Mergers, Proposed Fixed Administration Fees and Other Changes to its Mutual Fund Lineup

Zoltan Tundik

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TORONTO, July 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OceanRock Investments Inc. (the “Manager”), the manager of the OceanRock and Meritas SRI Funds (collectively, the “Funds”), today announced proposals to merge a number of its Funds, to change the method of charging operating expenses to a number of Funds to increase fee predictability and transparency, and certain other changes, all described below.  A special meeting of unitholders (the “Special Meeting”) will be held in Vancouver on or about August 31, 2018 to consider certain of the proposed changes.

“With the formation of Aviso Wealth, our goal is to always offer advisors and investors compelling and competitive investment solutions under the NEI name”, said Fred Pinto, SVP, Head of Asset Management at Aviso Wealth. “These proposed mergers will help us meet that objective and strengthen NEI’s position as Canada’s leading provider of responsible investment solutions.”

In addition, effective July 12, 2018, the management fee charged to Series A of Meritas International Equity Fund will be reduced from 2.25% to 1.95%.

Fund Mergers

Provided the mergers receive the required unitholder and regulatory approvals, each Terminating Fund will merge into the corresponding Continuing Fund (as listed below). Northwest & Ethical Investments L.P. (“NEI”), an affiliate of the Manager, is the manager of each Continuing Fund other than Meritas International Equity Fund and, in the case of Meritas International Equity Fund, NEI will, subject to unitholder and regulatory approval, become the manager of that Fund (as described in more detail below).  The proposed fund mergers are outlined in the table below:

Terminating Fund Continuing Fund
OceanRock Canadian Equity Fund NEI Canadian Equity Fund
OceanRock Growth Portfolio NEI Select Growth Portfolio
OceanRock Income & Growth Portfolio NEI Select Income & Growth Portfolio
OceanRock International Equity Fund Meritas International Equity Fund
OceanRock Maximum Growth Portfolio NEI Select Maximum Growth Portfolio
Meritas Canadian Bond Fund NEI Canadian Bond Fund
Meritas Growth Portfolio NEI Select Growth RS Portfolio
Meritas Income Portfolio NEI Select Income RS Portfolio
Meritas Income & Growth Portfolio NEI Select Income & Growth RS Portfolio
Meritas Strategic Income Fund NEI Conservative Yield Portfolio
Meritas U.S. Equity Fund NEI U.S. Equity RS Fund
OceanRock Balanced Portfolio NEI Select Balanced Portfolio
Meritas Balanced Portfolio NEI Select Balanced RS Portfolio
Meritas Monthly Dividend and Income Fund NEI Canadian Equity RS Fund

The Independent Review Committee for the Terminating Funds will consider the mergers and the result of their assessment as well as full details about the proposed merger will be set out in the Management Information Circular that will be sent in July to unitholders of record as at July 13, 2018.  If approved, it is anticipated that each proposed merger will be implemented on or about October 26, 2018.  All costs and expenses associated with the mergers will be borne by the Manager.

Suspension of New Purchases

New purchases of securities of a Terminating Fund will be suspended effective September 1, 2018.  In most cases, pre-authorized contribution plans and automatic withdrawal plans which have been established with respect to a Terminating Fund will be re-established with respect to the corresponding Continuing Fund following the mergers.  More particulars regarding these matters will be set out in the Management Information Circular.

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES, FUND NAME & MANAGER CHANGES

As well, the Manager today announced, with respect to the funds listed in the chart below (the “Selected Funds”), proposals to: (i) replace the Manager of the Selected Funds with NEI; (ii) modify the language in the investment objectives of the Selected Funds; and (iii) rename the Selected Funds.  The first two proposals will be considered at the Special Meeting.  If the first two proposals are approved at the Special Meeting then all three proposals will be implemented effective on or about October 26, 2018.  The Manager believes that the interests of unitholders of the Selected Funds will be better served by modifying the language in the investment objectives of those Selected Funds.  Appendix A contains a summary of the current proposed modifications to the investment objectives of the Selected Funds.  The proposed name changes of the Selected Funds are as follows:

Current Name of Selected Fund Proposed Name of Selected Fund
Meritas Jantzi Social Index® Fund NEI Jantzi Social Index® Fund
Meritas International Equity Fund NEI International Equity Fund
OceanRock Growth & Income Portfolio NEI Select Growth & Income Portfolio
OceanRock US Equity Fund NEI U.S. Equity Fund
Meritas Growth & Income Portfolio NEI Select Growth & Income RS Portfolio
Meritas Maximum Growth Portfolio NEI Select Maximum Growth RS Portfolio
OceanRock Income Portfolio NEI Select Income Portfolio

Full details about these proposals will be set out in the Management Information Circular that will be sent in July to unitholders of record.

FIXED RATE ADMINISTRATION FEE

In addition to the proposals outlined above, the Manager today also announced a proposal to change the method of charging operating expenses to the Selected Funds to increase fee predictability and transparency.  If the proposal is approved by unitholders of a Selected Fund then effective on or about October 26, 2018 NEI will pay for all of the operating expenses of the Selected Fund other than those operating expenses listed below. In return for paying the operating expenses, NEI will receive a fixed rate administration fee from the Selected Fund. The operating expenses that each Selected Fund will continue to pay are costs and expenses relating to the independent review committee of the Selected Fund, new government or regulatory requirements, taxes, borrowing and interest and portfolio transaction costs.

Currently, each Selected Fund pays all of its own operating expenses, which comprise a portion of the management expense ratio of the Selected Fund.  This change will provide investors with increased predictability and transparency in fees as components of the management expense ratio for the Selected Funds will become fixed rather than varying from year to year as they do presently.

Under the proposal, the fixed rate administration fee will range from 0.20% to 0.40% of the respective Selected Fund’s assets under management, depending on the Selected Fund. The fixed rate administration fee for each series of a Selected Fund will be lower than or equal to the actual operating expenses paid by such series of the Selected Fund during its most recently completed financial year on a pre-absorption basis. Similar fixed rate administrative fee proposals have been adopted by unitholders at a number of Canada’s largest mutual fund companies, including NEI.

Full details about this proposal will be set out in the Management Information Circular that will be sent in July to unitholders of record.

About OceanRock Investments Inc.

OceanRock Investments Inc. is a Canadian Responsible Investment leader, managing $2 billion on behalf of Canadian investors. OceanRock offers a comprehensive range of managed portfolio solutions and individual funds to meet the needs of individual and institutional investors. OceanRock is dedicated to offering disciplined, risk-controlled and diversified investment solutions to Canadian individual and institutional investors and has a core commitment to Responsible Investing through its Meritas SRI Funds. OceanRock Investments Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aviso Wealth Inc.

Media Contact

Connie Burke
infinitycomm
connie@infinitycomm.ca
Office: 905-257-5555

Appendix A

Meritas Jantzi Social Index® Fund (to be renamed NEI Jantzi Social Index® Fund)
Current Fundamental Investment Objective Proposed Fundamental Investment Objective
The fundamental investment objective of the Meritas Jantzi Social Index® Fund (the “JSI®”) is to seek capital appreciation with current income being a secondary investment objective. The Fund will invest primarily in Canadian equity securities which comprise the JSI®. The Fund may not track the returns of the JSI® perfectly as we have implemented certain additional features which will affect the Fund’s performance relative to the JSI®.

  • The JSI® does not currently screen out companies involved in the following areas: alcohol, gambling and pornography. We have chosen to overlay these screens on the companies in the index.
  • The JSI® is a market-weight index and we have chosen to cap the individual weighting of any one company at 10% of the value of the Fund based on a market test.
  • We will also be committing up to 2% of the assets of the Fund towards “Impact Investing” which are outlined on page 25 of its prospectus.
  • Where a security is eliminated from the portfolio or reduced based on the above guidelines, we will redistribute the assets that would have been in that security on a pro rata basis to the remaining securities in relation to the representation on the index.

Should the additional screens mentioned above result in the removal of more than five securities from the portfolio, we will be required to change the name of the Fund.

As this Fund invests in a socially responsible manner, it must adhere to the “Criteria for Responsible Investing” outlined on page 23 of its prospectus. For the Fund to change its investment objectives, the change must be approved by a majority of votes at a unitholders’ meeting called specifically for that purpose.

The investment objective of the Fund is to achieve long-term capital growth by investing primarily in equity and equity related securities of companies in Canada.

The Fund follows a responsible approach to investing, as described in this prospectus.

Unitholder approval (by a majority of votes cast at a meeting of unitholders) is required prior to a fundamental change of investment objectives.

OceanRock Growth & Income Portfolio (to be renamed NEI Select Growth & Income Portfolio)
Current Fundamental Investment Objective Proposed Fundamental Investment Objective
The fundamental investment objective of the OceanRock Growth & Income Portfolio is to achieve long term capital growth along with preservation of capital while providing for current income by investing primarily in a combination of OceanRock Mutual Funds (the “underlying funds”).

For the Fund to change its investment objectives, the change must be approved by a majority of votes at a unitholders’ meeting called specifically for that purpose.

The Portfolio’s investment objective is to provide long-term capital growth, and generate some income by investing primarily through exposure to equity and fixed income securities.

To achieve its objective, the Portfolio will invest in underlying mutual funds, which may be managed by NEI Investments.

Unitholder approval (by a majority of votes cast at a meeting of unitholders) is required prior to a fundamental change of investment objectives.

OceanRock U.S. Equity Fund (to be renamed NEI U.S. Equity Fund)
Current Fundamental Investment Objective Proposed Fundamental Investment Objective
The fundamental investment objective of the OceanRock U.S. Equity Fund is to achieve long-term capital growth primarily through investing directly or indirectly in equity securities, ETFs and mutual funds with exposure to U.S. equity markets.

For the Fund to change its investment objectives, the change must be approved by a majority of votes at a unitholders’ meeting called specifically for that purpose.

The investment objective of the Fund is to achieve long-term capital growth by investing primarily in equity and equity related securities of companies in the United States.

Unitholder approval (by a majority of votes cast at a meeting of unitholders) is required prior to a fundamental change of investment objectives.

Meritas Growth & Income Portfolio (to be renamed NEI Select Growth & Income RS Portfolio)
Current Fundamental Investment Objective Proposed Fundamental Investment Objective
The fundamental investment objective of the Meritas Growth & Income Portfolio is to seek capital appreciation with some emphasis on current income. The Fund will invest primarily in units of other Meritas SRI funds (“underlying funds”).

As this Fund invests in a socially responsible manner, it must adhere to the “Criteria for Responsible Investing” outlined on page 23 of its prospectus. For the Fund to change its investment objectives, the change must be approved by a majority of votes at a unitholders’ meeting called specifically for that purpose.

The Portfolio’s investment objective is to provide long-term capital growth, and generate some income by investing primarily through exposure to equity and fixed income securities.

To achieve its objective, the Portfolio will invest in underlying mutual funds, which may be managed by NEI Investments.

The Portfolio follows a responsible approach to investing, as described in this prospectus.

Unitholder approval (by a majority of votes cast at a meeting of unitholders) is required prior to a fundamental change of investment objectives.

Meritas Maximum Growth Portfolio (to be renamed NEI Select Maximum Growth RS Portfolio)
Current Fundamental Investment Objective Proposed Fundamental Investment Objective
The fundamental investment objective of the Meritas Maximum Growth Portfolio is to seek strong growth and capital appreciation. The Fund will invest primarily in units of other Meritas SRI Funds, but also may invest in units of other socially responsible investing funds managed by the Manager (“underlying funds”).

As this Fund invests in a socially responsible manner, it must adhere to the “Criteria for Responsible Investing” outlined on page 23 of its prospectus. For the Fund to change its investment objectives, the change must be approved by a majority of votes at a unitholders’ meeting called specifically for that purpose.

The Portfolio’s investment objective is to provide long-term capital growth by investing primarily through exposure to equity securities.

To achieve its objective, the Portfolio will invest in underlying mutual funds, which may be managed by NEI Investments.

The Portfolio follows a responsible approach to investing, as described in this prospectus.

Unitholder approval (by a majority of votes cast at a meeting of unitholders) is required prior to a fundamental change of investment objectives.

OceanRock Income Portfolio (to be renamed NEI Select Income Portfolio)
Current Fundamental Investment Objective Proposed Fundamental Investment Objective
The fundamental investment objective of the OceanRock Income Portfolio is to seek current income with a small emphasis on capital appreciation. The Fund will invest primarily in units of other OceanRock Mutual Funds and Meritas SRI Funds (the “underlying funds”).

For the Fund to change its investment objectives, the change must be approved by a majority of votes at a unitholders’ meeting called specifically for that purpose.

Investment Objectives 

The Portfolio’s investment objective is to generate income, and provide some long-term capital growth by investing primarily through exposure to equity and fixed income securities.

To achieve its objective, the Portfolio will invest in underlying mutual funds, which may be managed by NEI Investments.

Unitholder approval (by a majority of votes cast at a meeting of unitholders) is required prior to a fundamental change of investment objectives.

Meritas International Equity Fund (to be renamed NEI International Equity Fund)
Current Fundamental Investment Objective Proposed Fundamental Investment Objective
The fundamental investment objective of the Meritas International Equity Fund is to seek capital appreciation with current income as a secondary objective. The Fund will invest primarily in equity securities of companies outside North America.

As this Fund invests in a socially responsible manner, it must adhere to the “Criteria for Responsible Investing” outlined on page 23 of its prospectus. For the Fund to change its investment objectives, the change must be approved by a majority of votes at a unitholders’ meeting called specifically for that purpose.

The investment objective of the Fund is to achieve long-term capital growth by investing primarily in equity and equity related securities of companies outside of Canada and the United States.

Unitholder approval (by a majority of votes cast at a meeting of unitholders) is required prior to a fundamental change of investment objectives.

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

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Daily Fantasy Sports

Scout Gaming launching record €100,000 Fantasy tournament

George Miller

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Scout Gaming launching record €100,000 Fantasy tournament
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Scout Gaming has for the upcoming English Premier League launched a fantasy tournament with a minimum guaranteed prize pool of €100,000. The tournament is available via partners on the Scout Gaming Network and is the highest ever prize pool on European Fantasy Football. It’s the first time participants will be able to win as much as 1000 times their entry fee, with one lucky winner being able to take home €20,000.

”We are offering our partners an opportunity to be the first in the world to offer six digit prize pots on Fantasy Premier League. Increased interest in our product as well as upcoming clients launches has made this a possibility”, comments Product Operations Officer, Bjorn Fjellby of Scout Gaming

In connection to World Cup, Scout Gaming offered a 30,000 prize on the season game, a record at the time. Increased momentum and client activity during the World Cup has generated the possibility to increase the prize pots.

“Bethard has high hopes for our new Fantasy Sports Product from Scout. For sport fans, it is a great way of proving your knowledge about the game that excites you. We are very happy to be included in the record breaking guaranteed tournament going on for the entire 18/19 Premier League season” comments Frederik Iversen, Product Manager of Bethard”.

 

About Scout Gaming Group:

Scout Gaming Group is a licensed and regulated provider of B2B Daily Fantasy Sports and pool betting. The company offers a flexible and customizable network based Fantasy Sports solution with support for most sports and leagues through an in-house StatCenter which also provides real-time information to players. Local sports can be provided on request. The Group has approximately 60 staff and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden with development and operations in Bergen, Norway and Lviv, Ukraine. Sales, support and product management is handled from the office in Malta.

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Asia

ASTRI and Cyberport partnership seeks to facilitate unleash great potential for AI and Blockchain start-ups

George Miller

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ASTRI and Cyberport partnership seeks to facilitate unleash great potential for AI and Blockchain start-ups
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HONG KONG, July 17, 2018 – Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) and Cyberport, the digital tech community comprising over 1,000 technology companies, partnered for the ‘ASTRI Technovation Day’ — aiming to introduce ASTRI to the Cyberport tenant companies, particularly the technology start-ups in FinTech, Blockchain, HealthTech and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Through events like this, ASTRI hopes to develop the connection with the technology start-up community and provide necessary support to them. Held yesterday at Cyberport, the ASTRI Technovation Day had a clear mission of fostering collaborations, boosting technological capabilities, sharing useful information about funding resources, and updating participants on ASTRI’s technology partnership models. Over 40 start-ups took part in the event which also included insightful sessions on Blockchain Applications, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Analytics, along with a facilitated business matching session for AI and Blockchain stream start-ups.

Mr Hugh Chow — ASTRI’s Chief Executive Officer and Mr Peter Yan — Chief Executive Officer of Cyberport talked about the common goal shared by their respective organisations — enabling Blockchain and AI stream start-ups to unleash a world of potential. Commenting on the initiative, Mr Chow said, “Through this event, ASTRI seeks to provide a platform for innovation catalysts to connect with innovation drivers — helping the ecosystem to collectively maximise the impact of our endeavours.” Conscious that it is unusual for an R&D institution to disseminate to other technology developers, Mr Chow added that “ASTRI aims to act as a Technovation facilitator. As we all know, together we always achieve more.”

“I am glad that Cyberport is working closely with ASTRI on this event that aligns with Cyberport’s key cluster focus of AI, blockchain and big data. This will be highly beneficial to Cyberport’s tech community in gaining inspiration to enhance their product development. With a community of over 1,000 digital tech companies, Cyberport is keen to work with partners like ASTRI to accelerate their growth and development to create impact on our society. I look forward to more collaboration with ASTRI in the coming future,” expressed Mr Yan, CEO of Cyberport.

ASTRI remains committed to its mission of enhancing Hong Kong’s global competitiveness with the power of technology, working as an important facilitator of Hong Kong’s I&T development. Technology start-ups play a vital role in Hong Kong’s role in its global I&T aspirations. Hong Kong not only boasts one of the most vibrant start-up ecosystems in the world, but also consistently ranks at the top league of global innovation and business competitiveness rankings. ASTRI recognises its responsibility to better understand what rising technology entrepreneurs need, and to share technological and funding related information that they might find useful.

The focus of various sessions during the ASTRI Technovation Day was on Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Healthcare Technologies and Cybersecurity. The event has been a collective effort from ASTRI and Cyberport as part of their common goal to cultivate talents to help turn Hong Kong’s information technology aspirations into reality, and to help build a thriving, innovation-led economy.

 

About ASTRI:

Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) was founded by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000 with the mission of enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness in technology-based industries through applied research. ASTRI’s core R&D competencies in various areas are organised under seven Technology Divisions, namely Communications Technologies, Electronics Components, Mixed Signal Systems IC, Advanced Digital Systems, Optoelectronics, Security and Data Sciences, and Intelligent Software and Systems. Five areas of applications including financial technologies, intelligent manufacturing, next generation network, health technologies, and smart city are identified for major pursuit. For further information about ASTRI, please visit www.astri.org.

 

Source: Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI)

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Press Releases

Smarkets smashes records during World Cup

George Miller

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Smarkets smashes records during World Cup
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  • World Cup market trading of over £400m on the Smarkets exchange 
  • A record £652m site-wide transaction volume in a month period (June 14 – July 15)
  • £19.6m placed on England v Sweden – now our highest-ever traded football match
The 2018 FIFA World Cup spectacularly broke new records for trading on the Smarkets exchange.
Four years ago, Brazil 2014 proved to be a major turning point for the company and Russia 2018 has the potential to be the same.
The £415m traded on the World Cup equalled 64% of volume across the site, as a record £652m was dealt during the month period of June 14 through to July 15.
England’s quarter-final tie with Sweden became our most-traded football game ever with £19.6m in volume across our different match markets, going ahead of the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool two months ago (£18.1m). The final between France and Croatia would’ve also pipped the previous record as it saw £18.6m placed on the match.
Smarkets World Cup 2018
Smarkets CEO Jason Trost said: “The last World Cup in 2014 proved to be a real turning point for the company and we’ve come so far in that time. To see record volumes and the platform perform seamlessly was a very proud moment for me as CEO.
“Our investment in a combination of out-of-home advertising and creative customer offers had a real impact and bodes well for an exciting second half of the year, especially with club football returning in less than a month’s time.”
The success of the World Cup follows record-breaking Grand National and Cheltenham Festival events in 2018 and you can read more about the tournament in numbers here: https://smarketshq.com/in-numbers-world-cup-2018-3ebac1b7ad8c
About Smarkets
Launched in 2010, Smarkets is one of the world’s leading betting exchanges that makes trading on events secure, efficient and exciting. Headquartered in London, the company was founded by a team of finance and software engineering professionals and is backed by Passion Capital and Deutsche Telekom. The Smarkets exchange has processed over £5 billion worth of transactions for customers across the company’s licensed and regulated markets. The Smarkets group comprises of Smarkets Limited, a software development company, Smarkets Malta, operator of the Smarkets betting exchange, and Hanson Applied Sciences, a liquidity provider. For more information, visit http://www.smarkets.com
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