CI Financial to acquire The Hartford's Canadian mutual funds business

Oct 21, 2010, 10:55 ET from CI Investments Inc.

HARTFORD, CT., and TORONTO, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: HIG), CI Financial Corp. (TSX: CIX) and Hartford Investments Canada Corp. ("Hartford Investments") today announced an agreement in which CI will acquire Hartford Investments, The Hartford's Canadian mutual funds business.

Under the agreement, CI will purchase Hartford Investments, manager of 18 mutual funds with approximately C$1.75 billion in assets. The transaction is expected to close in December 2010, subject to approval of Canadian securities regulatory authorities. The terms were not disclosed.

"We are pleased to acquire Hartford's high-quality suite of funds," said Stephen A. MacPhail, CI President and Chief Executive Officer. "Hartford Investments has been one of Canada's fastest-growing mutual fund companies over the past five years, having developed a strong lineup of portfolio managers and excellent relationships with dealers and advisors."

David N. Levenson, President of The Hartford's Wealth Management business, added, "We believe Hartford Investments Canada will continue to thrive with a new Canadian parent.  At the same time, this divestiture will allow The Hartford to focus our energies and investment on core U.S. operations while generating additional capital flexibility and shareholder value." 

"We intend to build on the success of The Hartford's Canadian mutual funds and, with the backing of CI's resources in operations, sales and marketing, and our highly regarded investment management capabilities, achieve continued growth in this business," Mr. MacPhail said.

Mr. MacPhail said the transaction is part of CI's long-term strategy to increase the scale of its asset management business through organic growth and acquisitions and enhance the diversity of its distribution channels. The addition of Hartford's Canadian mutual funds will increase CI's retail assets under management to approximately C$68.4 billion.

For investors in The Hartford's Canadian mutual funds, CI offers a comprehensive selection of investment funds and services, one of Canada's largest client services teams, a commitment to excellence in fund administration and operations and a strong overall track record of investment performance. CI and its portfolio managers have received 32 Canadian Investment Awards over the past nine years, including Analysts' Choice Investment Fund Company of the Year for subsidiary CI Investments Inc. in 2006, 2007 and 2009. CI funds have received 19 Lipper Fund Awards in the past four years. CI also places in the top ranks of the Canadian industry for Morningstar ratings, with 79 mutual and segregated funds holding the top five-star rating as of August 31, 2010.

About Hartford Investments

Hartford Investments, founded in 2000, is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.  With approximately C$1.75 billion in assets under management as of June 2010, Hartford Investments offers a diversified family of 18 mutual funds to Canadian investors through financial professionals across Canada.

About The Hartford

Celebrating 200 years of helping its customers achieve what's ahead, The Hartford (NYSE: HIG) is an insurance and wealth management company. Through its unique focus on customer needs, the company serves businesses and consumers by providing the products and solutions they need to protect their assets and income from risks and manage their wealth and retirement needs. A Fortune 100 company, The Hartford is recognized widely for its service expertise and as one of the world's most ethical companies. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at href="http://cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thehartford.com&esheet=6472081&lan=en-US&anchor=www.thehartford.com&index=1&md5=feb19945e7bf460ed4315cdb82907857">www.thehartford.com.

About CI Financial Corp.

CI Financial Corp. (TSX: CIX) is an independent, Canadian-owned wealth management company with approximately C$91.5 billion in fee-earning assets as of September 30, 2010. CI offers a broad range of investment products and services, 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.

SOURCE CI Investments Inc.