BMO Announces Agreement to Purchase London, UK-Based Institutional Asset Manager

    BMO's proposed acquisition of Pyrford International will provide clients
    with access to more international investment opportunities

    TORONTO, Nov. 2 /CNW/ - In response to increasing interest from
institutional and retail investors for international investment opportunities,
BMO Financial Group today announced that it has signed an agreement to
purchase Pyrford International plc, a London, UK-based institutional asset
manager. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
    Pyrford has been providing international asset management services for
pension funds, charities, endowments, foundations and high net worth
individuals since 1987. It had approximately US$3 billion (CDN$3 billion)
assets under management (AUM) as at September 30, 2007 and client
relationships in Canada, the United States, UK, Europe and the Middle East.
North American clients currently account for more than 65 per cent of
Pyrford's AUM.
    "Today's announcement marks an important move for BMO into the
international money management space as we continue to expand our internal
investment management capabilities outside of North America," said Gilles
Ouellette, President and Chief Executive Officer, Private Client Group, BMO
Financial Group. "The acquisition of Pyrford will provide us with investment
expertise in a number of regions that complement our current wealth management
presence in Canada, the U.S. and in China with our stake in Fullgoal Fund
    "BMO has an established reputation for managing money in Canada and the
U.S. and we're pleased to have Pyrford join the group of companies that make
up BMO Asset Management to add an important international scope to our
investment management talent," said Harold Hillier, Head of BMO Asset
    "Pyrford and BMO share a commitment to exceptional client service and a
reputation for delivering strong performance. By leveraging BMO's extensive
experience in investment management, product manufacturing and distribution,
we are confident we will continue to grow our business," said Bruce Campbell,
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Pyrford International.
    Subject to regulatory approval, the acquisition is expected to close in
December, 2007. It is intended that Pyrford International will retain its name
and will be part of BMO Asset Management when the acquisition is approved. The
transaction will not have a material impact on BMO Financial Group's earnings
per share.

    About Pyrford International

    Pyrford International has been operating from its base in London since
1987. The company focuses on fundamental long-term analysis of markets and
stocks and delivers products ranging from International Equity to Absolute
Return, Shariah Compliant and various Regional mandates. Pyrford's niche has
been its concentration on value and low absolute volatility together with a
very personal level of client service. Pyrford's three senior investment
professionals have worked together for over 18 years.

    About BMO Asset Management

    BMO Asset Management offers a range of investment management products and
services to clients in North America through the following investment
managers, which are wholly owned by BMO Financial Group: Guardian Group of
Funds, a Canadian mutual fund company; Jones Heward Investment Counsel Inc., a
Canadian institutional money manager; Harris Investment Management, a
U.S.-based institutional asset manager and HIM Monegy, its high yield manager
subsidiary. Pyrford International will be part of BMO Asset Management when
the acquisition is approved.
    BMO Asset Management is part of BMO Financial Group's Private Client
Group. The Private Client Group provides integrated wealth management services
in Canada and the United States and had total assets under management and
administration and term investments of $277 billion as at July 31, 2007, of
which $98 billion are assets under management.

For further information:

For further information: Media Relations: JoAnne Hayes, Toronto,, (416) 867-3996; Lucie Gosselin, Montreal,, (514) 877-8224; Amy Yuhn, Chicago,, (312) 461-2478; Investor Relations: Viki Lazaris,
Toronto,, (416) 867-6656; Krista White, Toronto,, (416) 867-7019; Internet:

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