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CI Financial Corporation President Stephen A. MacPhail speaks during the annual general meeting of shareholders in Toronto March 25, 2010.

Mike Cassese/Reuters/Mike Cassese/Reuters

CI Financial Corp. , which reported a marginal increase in fourth-quarter profit and rising fund net redemptions, said Thursday that it plans to hike its dividend next month.

The Toronto-based wealth management firm will raise its monthly dividend by 7 per cent to 8 cents per share starting in March for an annual payout of 96 cents.

"The growth in assets for the year-to-date, combined with our expectation for continued strong cash flow and earnings, set the stage for our decision to increase CI's dividend," Stephen MacPhail, chief executive officer of CI Financial, said in a statement.

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Rebounding global stock markets helped lift CI Financial's assets under management to $72.2-billion by Feb. 15. Assets had tumbled to $69.6-billion at the end of 2011 from $72.8-billion a year earlier.

CI Financial's fund business suffered from $360-million in net outflows in the latest quarter amid volatile stock markets triggered by investor concern over the euro-zone debt crisis and a slowing Chinese economy.

Profit in the quarter ended Dec. 31 rose to $87.8-million, or 31 cents a share, from $87.4-million, or 30 cents a year earlier. Revenue in the quarter fell to $356.7-million from $368.6-million.

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