Castlerock Investments announces special meetings of unitholders

TORONTO, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - Castlerock Investments Inc. ("Castlerock"), the manager of Castlerock mutual funds, announced today that it is calling special meetings of unitholders for its funds for April 28, 2011.

Castlerock, formerly known as Hartford Investments Canada Corp., was acquired by CI Financial Corp. on December 15, 2010 and has been operating as a separate entity since then. The company was renamed in January 2011.

A key proposal to be considered at the special meetings of unitholders concerns the introduction of fixed annual administration fees in place of charging variable operating expenses to the funds. Fixed administration fees provide investors with increased predictability and transparency in the costs of investing.

"With Castlerock, we are providing investors with a strong and diversified lineup of 21 core mutual funds representing the investment expertise of some of the country's finest portfolio management teams," said Derek J. Green, Castlerock President. "The proposals announced today represent important steps in our longer-term plans to enhance the administrative operations of the funds."

Under the fixed fee proposal, Castlerock will implement fixed administration fees on all series of all funds (other than Series I) in return for bearing all of the operating expenses of the funds, excluding certain taxes and other costs. After the change, the management expense ratios (MERs) of the funds will consist of the management fee, the fixed administration fee and certain taxes. Unitholders will know the pre-tax MERs of their funds ahead of time, as opposed to only on a historical basis.

"CI Financial pioneered the fixed administration fee structure in 2005 and its benefits to investors have included greater certainty and transparency, allowing for more accurate comparisons of the costs of investing between funds," said Mr. Green.

The proposals to be considered at the special meetings of unitholders are:

  • A proposal to amalgamate Castlerock with CI Investments Inc. ("CI"). It is a regulatory requirement to seek unitholders' approval for this corporate amalgamation as it is considered a change of manager for the funds for regulatory purposes. Following the amalgamation, Castlerock will continue to operate under the Castlerock name as a division of CI, and the names of the Castlerock funds will not change. If approved, the amalgamation will take effect on or about June 30, 2011.
  • A proposal to change the fee structures of certain series of Castlerock Canadian Bond Fund, Castlerock Canadian Money Market Fund, Castlerock Capital Appreciation Fund, Castlerock Global Leaders Fund, Castlerock Canadian Stock Fund and Castlerock Canadian Balanced Fund, which currently have capped aggregate annual management fees and expenses ("Maximum MERs"). Castlerock's proposal includes the removal of Maximum MERs on certain series of each of these six funds and the implementation of fixed administration fees. If approved, the removal of the Maximum MERs will take place on or about April 28, 2011.
  • A proposal to set fixed administration fees for the other series of those six funds and for all series (except Series I) of the other Castlerock mutual funds: Castlerock Growth Portfolio, Castlerock Balanced Growth Portfolio, Castlerock Balanced Portfolio, Castlerock Conservative Portfolio, Castlerock International Equity Fund, Castlerock U.S. Dividend Growth Fund, Castlerock Canadian Dividend Fund, Castlerock Canadian Dividend Growth Fund, Castlerock Canadian Value Fund, Castlerock Global Balanced Fund and Castlerock Global High Income Fund. If approved, the fixed administration fee for all funds will be implemented on or before December 31, 2012.

Castlerock's proposals have been approved by the Independent Review Committee of the Castlerock funds. Castlerock expects to mail a circular and proxy to unitholders in March 2011. At that time, Castlerock will provide the levels at which it expects to set the fixed administration fees. Unitholders of the four Castlerock funds launched on February 14, 2011 will not be required to vote on these proposals as the simplified prospectuses for those funds already allow for these changes.

Castlerock provides Canadians with leading portfolio management expertise and a focused lineup of core investment solutions. Castlerock is a subsidiary of CI Financial Corp. (TSX: CIX), an independent, Canadian-owned wealth management firm with $96.3 billion in fee-earning assets as of January 31, 2011. For more information about Castlerock and its funds, investors may contact their financial advisor or visit www.castlerockinvestments.ca.

SOURCE Castlerock Investments Inc.

For further information:

Murray Oxby
Director, Communications
(416) 681-3254
moxby@ci.com

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Castlerock Investments Inc.

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CI FINANCIAL CORP.

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