CI Financial posts net sales of $1.8 billion in 2008



    TSX Symbol: CIX

    TORONTO, Jan. 5 /CNW/ - CI Financial Corp. ("CI") today reported gross
sales of $11.6 billion and net sales of $1.8 billion for the calendar year
2008. For the month of December 2008, CI had gross sales of $827 million and
net sales of $142 million. Assets under management grew 1.8% over the month to
$54.6 billion at December 31, 2008. CI's total fee-earning assets at the end
of the year were $80.0 billion.
    "In spite of extremely volatile market conditions in 2008, CI achieved
positive net sales over the course of the year and one of the highest levels
of net sales in the industry," said Stephen A. MacPhail, CI President. "In
fact, net sales of long-term funds of $2.1 billion were comparable to the
previous year's. Our positive sales can be attributed to the diversity and
strength of our lineup of products and portfolio managers, and to the success
of last year's product launches."
    CI's top-selling products in 2008 included SunWise Elite Plus Segregated
Funds, Harbour funds, Cambridge funds, and Portfolio Series. New products
during the year included the addition of a guaranteed income for life option
to the SunWise Elite Plus funds, the Cambridge funds managed by Alan Radlo,
Evolution Private Managed Accounts offered by United Financial, and tax-free
savings accounts, which are now available for investment.
    "While 2008 was a very difficult year, we are starting the new year in a
strong competitive position," said Mr. MacPhail.
    CI's funds continue to be highly ranked, with 62 mutual and segregated
funds offered by CI Investments holding the top five-star rating from
Morningstar Canada and another 172 having a four-star rating (as of November
30, 2008). At the 2008 Canadian Investment Awards, CI Investments and its
portfolio managers received six awards, including the prestigious Fund Manager
of the Year award for Gerry Coleman, head of Harbour Advisors.
    In December, total net sales by CI subsidiaries CI Investments Inc. and
United Financial Corporation consisted of net sales of long-term funds of $116
million and net sales of money market funds of $44 million. In addition, there
were $18 million in net redemptions related to deposit notes, which use asset
allocation strategies in which money is moved out of mutual funds when markets
are declining. These institutional transactions reflect a rebalancing of the
deposit notes and not a redemption by clients from the product.
    Assets under management at December 31, 2008 consisted of investment
funds at CI Investments and United Financial of $50.4 billion, institutional
assets of $3.8 billion and structured product assets of $368 million. CI also
reported assets under administration of $24.4 billion, consisting of $18.2
billion at Assante Wealth Management (Canada) Ltd. and $6.2 billion at
Blackmont Capital Inc. Other fee-earning assets totalled $1.1 billion.
    In other recent developments, CI completed its conversion from an income
trust to a corporation effective January 1, 2009. Units of CI Financial Income
Fund were exchanged for common shares on a one-for-one basis. CI common shares
are now trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "CIX."
    CI expects to release its financial results for the fourth quarter and
the year ending December 31, 2008 on February 24, 2009.
    Additional information about CI's sales, assets and financial position
can be found below in the tables of preliminary statistics and on its website,
www.ci.com/cix, in the Statistics section. The sales and assets reported in
this release are the only statistics authorized by CI and CI takes no
responsibility for reporting by any external sources.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           CI FINANCIAL INCOME FUND
                              December 31, 2008
                             MONTH-END STATISTICS
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MONTHLY SALES DATA              GROSS SALES    REDEMPTIONS     NET SALES
    RETAIL MANAGED FUNDS             (millions)     (millions)     (millions)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Long-term funds                       $687          $571           $116
    Short-term funds                      $140           $96            $44
    Sales related to deposit
     notes                                  $0           $18           -$18
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL RETAIL FUNDS                    $827          $685           $142
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    FEE-EARNING ASSETS             November 30/08  December 31/08       %
                                     (millions)     (millions)       Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Retail managed funds               $49,645       $50,449           1.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Structured products                    402           368          -8.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL retail assets under
     management                        $50,047       $50,817           1.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Institutional managed assets         3,580         3,753           4.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL assets under management      $53,627       $54,570           1.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Assante assets under
     administration(*)                  18,057        18,238           1.0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Blackmont assets under
     administration                      6,189         6,174          -0.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL assets under administration  $24,246       $24,412           0.7%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CI other fee-earning assets          1,048         1,053           0.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL FEE-EARNING ASSETS           $78,921       $80,035           1.4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    AVERAGE RETAIL ASSETS          November 30/08  December 31/08       %
    UNDER MANAGEMENT                 (millions)     (millions)       Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Monthly                            $49,723       $48,994          -1.5%
    Quarter-to-date                    $51,084       $50,380          -1.4%
    Fiscal year-to-date                $61,246       $60,208          -1.7%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    FISCAL AVERAGE RETAIL ASSETS    Fiscal 2007    Fiscal 2008          %
    UNDER MANAGEMENT                 (millions)     (millions)       Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fiscal year average retail assets  $64,958       $60,208          -7.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EQUITY                              FINANCIAL POSITION
                                        (millions unless otherwise indicated)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    LP units                57,735,304  Bank debt                       $999
    Trust units            236,868,309  Cash & marketable securities     -75
    Total outstanding                  --------------------------------------
     units(xxx)            294,603,613  Net debt outstanding            $924
    QTD weighted avg.                  --------------------------------------
     units                 277,712,938
    Yield at $14.50               3.3%  In-the-money option liability
    In-the-money options       973,073   (net of tax)                     $1
    Percentage of all options      28%  Terminal redemption value of
    All options % of units        1.2%   funds                          $806
                                        Quarter-to-date equity-based
                                         compensation(xx)                -$1
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (*)   Includes CI and United Financial investment fund assets
          administered by Assante advisors.
    (xx)  Estimate partially based on marked-to-market pre-tax option expense
          accrual from change in unit price and vesting from last quarter-end
          ($18.00) to December 31, 2008 ($14.50).
    (xxx) Effective Jan. 1, 2009, all LP and Trust units were converted to
          common shares.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    GEOGRAPHIC EXPOSURE OF AUM
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Canada                         44%  Asia                              4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    United States                  24%  Other                             3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Europe                          9%  Cash                             16%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           CI FINANCIAL INCOME FUND
                              December 31, 2008
                             YEAR-END STATISTICS
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    YEAR-TO-DATE                    GROSS SALES    REDEMPTIONS     NET SALES
    SALES DATA                       (millions)     (millions)     (millions)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Long-term funds                     $9,583        $7,465         $2,118
    Short-term funds                    $1,603        $1,118           $485
    Sales related to
     deposit notes                        $416        $1,267          -$851
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL RETAIL FUNDS                 $11,602        $9,850         $1,752
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   December 31/07  December 31/08       %
    FEE-EARNING ASSETS               (millions)     (millions)       Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Retail managed funds               $63,626       $50,449         -20.7%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Structured products                    531           368         -30.7%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL retail assets under
     management                        $64,157       $50,817         -20.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Institutional managed assets         4,972         3,753         -24.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL assets under management      $69,129       $54,570         -21.1%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Assante assets under
     administration(*)                  25,657        18,238         -28.9%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Blackmont assets under
     administration                      9,129         6,174         -32.4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL assets under administration  $34,786       $24,412         -29.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CI other fee-earning assets          1,662         1,053         -36.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL FEE-EARNING ASSETS          $105,577       $80,035         -24.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           CI FINANCIAL INCOME FUND
                         2008 MONTHLY SALES SUMMARY
                               ($ millions)(xx)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      NET
    MONTHLY SALES DATA          GROSS                              LONG-TERM
    RETAIL MANAGED FUNDS        SALES  REDEMPTIONS    NET SALES    SALES(xxx)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    January                    $1,028       $1,518        -$490        -$222
    February                   $1,249         $735         $514         $381
    March                      $1,167         $715         $452         $441
    April                        $913         $743         $170         $113
    May                          $988         $723         $265         $201
    June                       $1,149         $707         $442         $304
    July                         $858         $662         $196         $189
    August                       $665         $550         $115          $79
    September                  $1,134         $982         $152         $380
    October                      $836       $1,176        -$340          $10
    November                     $788         $654         $134         $126
    December                     $827         $685         $142         $116
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL RETAIL FUNDS        $11,602       $9,850       $1,752       $2,118
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (*)    Includes CI and United Financial investment fund assets
           administered by Assante advisors.
    (xx)   CI is the only source of accurate sales and asset data for its
           investment funds.
    (xxx)  Net of short-term fund sales and sales related to deposit notes.
    

    CI Financial Corp. (TSX: CIX) is an independent, Canadian-owned wealth
management company. CI offers a broad range of investment products and
services, including an industry-leading selection of investment funds, and is
on the Web at www.ci.com/cix.

    This press release contains forward-looking statements with respect to CI
and its products and services, including its business operations and strategy
and financial performance and condition. Although management believes that the
expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, such
statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ
materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations
include, among other things, general economic and market factors, including
interest rates, business competition, changes in government regulations or in
tax laws, and other factors discussed in materials filed with applicable
securities regulatory authorities from time to time.




For further information:

For further information: Stephen A. MacPhail, President, (416) 364-1145


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