CI Financial reports net sales of $1.5 billion in 2009

TSX Symbol: CIX

TORONTO, Jan. 4 /CNW/ - CI Financial Corp. ("CI") today reported net sales of $1.5 billion and growth in assets under management of $12.1 billion or 22.1% for calendar year 2009.

CI posted gross retail sales of $8.5 billion for the year, with net sales consisting of $1.6 billion in net sales of long-term funds and $71 million in net redemptions of money market funds. CI recorded positive net sales in 11 of 12 months in 2009. CI also ranked fourth in the industry for net sales for the year-to-date (as of November 30, 2009).

"In a year that started out with extreme challenges for financial markets, CI finished with growth in assets under management of 22% and continued as one of the top-selling fund companies in Canada," said Stephen A. MacPhail, CI President. "Our tremendous lineup of funds and portfolio managers, with award-winning industry leaders such as Eric Bushell and Gerry Coleman, has put us in a very strong competitive position."

At the 2009 Canadian Investment Awards, Eric Bushell, Chief Investment Officer of Signature Global Advisors, was named Morningstar Equity Fund Manager of the Year, and three Signature funds were winners in their categories. In total, CI Investments Inc. received seven awards, including Analysts' Choice Investment Fund Company of the Year - the third time in four years that CI Investments has won this prestigious award. Meanwhile, Portfolio Manager Gerry Coleman, head of CI's Harbour Advisors, was named Fund Manager of the Decade by The Globe and Mail newspaper. In addition, at November 30, 2009, CI Investments had 85 mutual and segregated funds with Morningstar Canada's top five-star ranking.

CI's successful product launches in 2009 included Signature Diversified Yield Fund and Signature Diversified Yield Corporate Class, which provide investors with exposure to high-yield asset classes. The funds were launched in mid-November and have already attracted $100 million in assets.

For the month of December, CI had gross sales of $808 million and net sales of $100 million, consisting of net sales of $81 million in long-term funds and $19 million in money market funds.

At December 31, 2009, CI had total fee-earning assets of $88.8 billion, an increase of $14.7 billion or 19.8% over the year. Assets under management consisted of investment funds of $62.7 billion, which increased 23.4% in 2009, and institutional managed assets of $4.0 billion. CI also had assets under administration at Assante Wealth Management (Canada) Ltd. of $21.4 billion and other fee-earning assets of $741 million.

In other recent developments, CI completed the sale of Blackmont Capital Inc. to Macquarie Group, effective December 31, 2009. At the same time, Blackmont's capital markets operations were transferred to CI Capital Markets, a newly created subsidiary. The statistics in this press release have been adjusted to reflect this change.

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.

    
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                              CI FINANCIAL CORP.
                              December 31, 2009
                             MONTH-END STATISTICS
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    MONTHLY SALES DATA               GROSS SALES    REDEMPTIONS    NET SALES
    RETAIL MANAGED FUNDS              (millions)     (millions)    (millions)
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    Long-term funds                        $715           $634          $81
    Short-term funds                        $93            $74          $19
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    TOTAL RETAIL FUNDS                     $808           $708         $100
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    FEE-EARNING ASSETS                Nov. 30/09     Dec. 31/09         %
                                      (millions)     (millions)      Change
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    Retail assets under management      $61,460        $62,704         2.0%
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    Institutional managed assets          4,039          3,958        -2.0%
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    TOTAL assets under management       $65,499        $66,662         1.8%
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    Assante assets under
     administration*                   20,996         21,356         1.7%
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    CI other fee-earning assets             743            741        -0.3%
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    TOTAL FEE-EARNING ASSETS            $87,238        $88,759         1.7%
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    MONTHLY AVERAGE RETAIL            Nov. 30/09     Dec. 31/09         %
    ASSETS UNDER MANAGEMENT           (millions)     (millions)      Change
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    Monthly average retail assets       $61,139        $62,005         1.4%
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    QUARTERLY AVERAGE RETAIL         Sept. 30/09     Dec. 31/09         %
    ASSETS UNDER MANAGEMENT           (millions)     (millions)      Change
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    Quarterly average retail assets     $57,963        $61,186         5.6%
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    FISCAL AVERAGE RETAIL ASSETS     Fiscal 2008    Fiscal 2009         %
    UNDER MANAGEMENT                  (millions)     (millions)      Change
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    Fiscal year average retail assets   $60,208        $55,430        -7.9%
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    EQUITY                               FINANCIAL POSITION
                                         (millions)
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    Total outstanding                    Bank debt                      $679
     shares                 291,835,002  Cash and marketable
    QTD weighted avg.                     securities                     (75)
     shares                 291,913,153 -------------------------------------
    Yield at $22.00                3.3%  Net debt outstanding           $604
    In-the-money                        -------------------------------------
     options                  6,389,942  In-the-money option
    Percentage of all                     liability (net of tax)         $23
     options                        99%  Terminal redemption
    All options % of shares        2.2%   value of funds                $803
                                         Quarter-to-date equity-based
                                          compensation(xx)               $12
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    *  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 share price and vesting from last quarter-end
         ($20.59) to December 31, 2009 ($22.00)

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    GEOGRAPHIC EXPOSURE OF AUM
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    Canada                         51%   Asia                             3%
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    United States                  22%   Other                            3%
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    Europe                         10%   Cash                            11%
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                              CI FINANCIAL CORP.
                              December 31, 2009
                             YEAR-END STATISTICS
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    YEAR-END                         GROSS SALES    REDEMPTIONS    NET SALES
    SALES DATA                        (millions)     (millions)    (millions)
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    Long-term funds                      $7,494         $5,913       $1,581
    Short-term funds                     $1,028         $1,099         -$71
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    TOTAL RETAIL FUNDS                   $8,522         $7,012       $1,510
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    FEE-EARNING ASSETS                Dec. 31/08     Dec. 31/09         %
                                      (millions)     (millions)      Change
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    Retail managed funds                $50,820        $62,704        23.4%
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    Institutional managed assets          3,765          3,958         5.1%
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    TOTAL assets under management       $54,585        $66,662        22.1%
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    Assante assets under
     administration*                   18,449         21,356        15.8%
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    CI other fee-earning assets           1,053            741       -29.6%
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    TOTAL FEE-EARNING ASSETS            $74,087        $88,759        19.8%
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                              CI FINANCIAL CORP.
                          2009 MONTHLY SALES SUMMARY
                                 ($ millions)
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                                                                         NET
    MONTHLY SALES DATA          GROSS                              LONG-TERM
    RETAIL MANAGED FUNDS        SALES     REDEMPTIONS   NET SALES      SALES
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    January                      $638         $735         -$97         -$99
    February                     $792         $575         $217         $181
    March                        $702         $644          $58          $73
    April                        $575         $516          $59          $82
    May                          $649         $514         $135         $148
    June                       $1,056         $584         $472         $500
    July                         $624         $465         $159         $149
    August                       $534         $469          $65          $75
    September                    $654         $619          $35          $64
    October                      $771         $581         $190         $196
    November                     $719         $603         $116         $131
    December                     $808         $707         $101          $81
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    TOTAL RETAIL FUNDS         $8,522       $7,012       $1,510       $1,581
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    * Includes CI and United Financial investment fund assets administered
        by Assante advisors.
    

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. CI 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.

SOURCE CI Investments Inc.

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


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