Innovative Index-Only Segregated Fund Portfolios to Challenge Mutual Fund

Pro-Financial Asset Management and SSQ Investment and Retirement launch suite of Segregated Fund Portfolios with same costs as mutual funds but with principal guarantees, death benefit guarantees and other insurance-only benefits. Targets $100 billion mutual fund portfolio program assets.

OAKVILLE, ON, Jan. 12 /CNW/ - An innovative suite of segregated fund portfolios now available to Canadian investors offer principal guarantees and other benefits for same costs as most mutual fund portfolio programs. Already available, the PRO-SSQ Guaranteed Investment Portfolios offer conservative to aggressive investors the benefits of segregated funds at mutual fund prices.

"Pro-Financial has been a leader in the distribution of Fundamental Index(R) mutual funds in Canada for almost three years. Now we are offering principal guarantees, and the taxation benefits of segregated funds to our line-up" says Stuart McKinnon, President and CEO of Pro-Financial Asset Management. "We are pleased to be partnering with SSQ Financial Group on this endeavour. SSQ has been providing insurance services in Canada since 1946 and we are excited to be offering the investment management services for all equity exposure on these new portfolios."

There will be four portfolio choices available, all of which offer one-stop investment choices with quarterly rebalancing, complete global exposure, and varying degrees of equity exposure to suit the main investor risk profiles: Conservative, Balanced, Growth and Aggressive.

Adds McKinnon, "The primary advantages of segregated funds over mutual funds are as follows: segregated funds offer principal protection, death benefit guarantees, they can provide possible creditor-protection, and can bypass probate. This normally comes with a premium price over mutual funds, but since our portfolios are 100% indexed you'll note that the all-in MERs on these segregated fund portfolios are in the range of traditional mutual fund portfolio programs. Essentially, for the same costs, investors can now get these added benefits over their mutual fund portfolio funds."

Preet Banerjee, Senior Vice President adds, "We feel that the specific type of index we track, the Fundamental Index, is more investor friendly too. The Fundamental Index avoids the return drag of a cap-weighted index which will assign the most weight to the highest priced stocks - best exemplified by what is commonly referred to as the 'Nortel Effect' in the Canadian indexing world. The Fundamental Index methodology selects and weight securities based on four fundamental factors of company size; Sales, Dividends, Cash Flow and Book Value. Unlike a cap-weighted index, you won't find companies dominating a Fundamental Index based on hype and pure speculation. For the 2009 calendar year, the PRO FTSE RAFI Canadian Index Fund (Class F Units) returned 42.86% while the S&P/TSX Composite (Total Return) Index returned 35.05%. That represents an outperformance of 7.81%."

The following four portfolio segregated funds are now available, MERs included for reference:

    PRO-SSQ Conservative Fundamental Equity GIF Portfolio
    2.47% MER, 60% Fixed Income/40% Equity Exposure

    PRO-SSQ Balanced Fundamental Equity GIF Portfolio
    2.52% MER, 40% Fixed Income/60% Equity Exposure

    PRO-SSQ Growth Fundamental Equity GIF Portfolio
    2.57% MER, 30% Fixed Income/70% Equity Exposure

    PRO-SSQ Aggressive Fundamental Equity GIF Portfolio
    2.63% MER, 20% Fixed Income/80% Equity Exposure

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About Pro-Financial Asset Management

Pro-Financial Asset Management was founded in 2002 in response to the rapidly changing needs of Canadian investors and the industry professionals who service them. Located on the grounds of the Glen Abbey Golf Course, Pro-Financial was established first as an industry leader in providing Canadians access to alternative investment strategies and solutions, before successfully expanding its investment line up to include the revolutionary FTSE RAFI Fundamental Index mutual funds.

About SSQ

SSQ Financial Group is one of Canada's leading financial institutions with over one million clients, more than 1,500 employees and $4 billion in assets under management. SSQ Financial Group is renowned for its expertise, with over 30 years of experience in the field of investment and retirement products.

About FTSE Group

FTSE Group ("FTSE") is a world-leader in the creation and management of indexes. With offices in Boston, Beijing, London, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Madrid, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Sydney, Shanghai and Tokyo, FTSE works with investors in 77 countries globally. It calculates and manages a comprehensive range of equity, fixed income, real estate and investment strategy indices, on both a standard and custom basis. The company has collaborative arrangements with a number of stock exchanges, trade bodies and asset class specialists around the world.

FTSE indexes are used extensively by investors world-wide for investment analysis, performance measurement, asset allocation, portfolio hedging and for creating a wide range of index tracking funds.

The FTSE RAFI(R) Index Series is calculated by FTSE International Limited ("FTSE") in conjunction with Research Affiliates LLC ("RA"). Neither FTSE nor RA sponsor, endorse or promote this product and are not in any way connected to it, and do not accept any liability in relation to its issue, operation and trading. All intellectual property rights in the index values and constituent list vest in FTSE.

Fundamental Index(R) and RAFI(R) trade names and patent concept are the exclusive property of Research Affiliates(R), LLC. Fundamental Index(R) and RAFI(R) trade names, patented and patent-pending concepts are the exclusive property of Research Affiliates, LLC. US Patent Number 7,620,577. Patent pending: US-20050171884-A1, US-2006-0149645-A1, US-2007-0055598-A1.

Pro-Financial Asset Management has obtained full licence from FTSE to use such intellectual property rights in the creation of this product.


For further information: For further information: Preet Banerjee, Senior Vice President, Tel: (647) 224-0623,

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