* DundeeWealth on the hunt for U.S. deals small and large
* U.S. unit boasts No. 1 performing U.S. fund year-to-date
* CEO hosts annual charity gig "Stand Up for Kids" in Oct
(Recasts first three paragraphs)
By John McCrank
OTTAWA, Oct 1 You heard the one about the
Canadian broker who took his loonie ideas to the United States,
and laughed all the way to the bank?
When David Goodman isn't telling jokes at the local comedy
club, the chief executive of DundeeWealth (DW.TO) is doing just
Goodman, who heads one of Canada's largest independent
wealth management firms, with about C$40 billion ($39 billion)
in assets under management, is looking U.S. deals to expand his
firm's U.S. presence.
"We think the average U.S. investor has been under-served
by the product offerings they have available to them," he said
in an interview, using the S&P 500 exchange traded fund as an
"If you'd put $100,000 into the S&P500 (ETF) 10 years ago,
today, I think it would be worth around $65,000. If you put
that money into Citigroup (C.N), Merrill Lynch (BAC.N), Lehman
Brothers LEHMQ.PK, Bear Stearns, or other financial services
stocks, as many people did in the U.S., you're going to have
very little of that $100,000 left."
Had that money been put into one of several of
DundeeWealth's stronger-performing Dynamic Funds, Goodman said,
it would have grown to between $200,000 and $1 million.
DundeeWealth U.S. unit's gold and precious metals fund,
launched last winter, is the No. 1 performing U.S. fund
year-to-date, he added. It was up 34.1 percent as of Aug. 1.
Toronto-based DundeeWealth moved into the U.S. market in
2008 when it bought a controlling stake in BHR Fund Advisors,
based in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. The deal wasn't all that big in
terms of numbers, at a little more than $3.2 million, but it
gave the firm a solid toe-hold in the lucrative U.S. market.
Now the 46-year-old Goodman thinks the time is right to
make some more acquisitions, probably in the $10 million to $25
million range, though bigger or smaller deals aren't out of the
question if they jibe with the firm's strategic objectives.
STANDING UP FOR CHARITY
Goodman knows a few things about timing. After he gave a
speech at his brother's wedding about six years ago that left
the crowd in stitches, the former litigation lawyer took an
intro-to-comedy class at a local Toronto college.
In the years that followed, he hit every open-mike night
stage he could get himself onto, developing his shtick until he
started getting gigs at some top comedy clubs.
What he found along the way was that the business world and
the stand-up world are more alike than most people realize.
"As a CEO you have to stand up for your company, and as a
comic you've got to stand up and do your act. It's quite
similar. The spotlight is on you and you have to perform."
These days, Goodman hosts an annual charity event called
Stand Up for Kids. Last year, with the help of some
internationally renowned funnymen, it raised C$130,000 for
charities that help children.
This year's event is scheduled for Oct. 26 and features
comics Demetri Martin, from Comedy Central and The Daily Show,
and "king of deadpan" Steven Wright, along with a other
GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS
Back at the office, the focus moves from the punch line to
the bottom line.
DundeeWealth is made up of an investment management unit,
which includes Dynamic Funds and a private wealth business
aimed at wealthy clients, as well as investment banking unit
Dundee Capital Markets, and its financial advisery division.
There has long been speculation on the street that the firm
would itself be a takeover target, especially after the Bank of
Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) took a minority stake in the company a few
years ago, which now stands at a little under 20 percent.
When asked if Scotiabank, Canada's No. 3, bank, might seal
the deal and boost its interest to a controlling stake, Goodman
had no comment, but a bank spokesman said Scotiabank "is always
considering various options for growth and expansion".
Aside from its Canadian and U.S. operations, the firm has a
European investment management unit that offers access to
Goodman joined DundeeWealth in 1994, became CEO of the
mutual fund division in 2001, and head of the company in 2007.
In his time there, the father of four has watched the firm
build its assets from C$5 billion to C$40 billion, tripling the
industry's growth average in recent years. That's no joke.
For tickets and more information on Stand Up for Kids, see
(Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Peter Galloway)