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February 27, 2012 by Stephen Applebaum

On the surface, the U.S. property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry received good news on Valentine’s Day, during Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United States. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden announced the “Joint Fact Sheet on Strengthening U.S-China Economic Relations,” under which China agreed to open up its US$65 billion auto insurance market to foreign competition.

February 24, 2012 by Sophie Schmitt

Constituting roughly 80 million individuals born in the 1980s and 1990s, the Generation Y population is estimated to be as large as that of the baby-boom generation. Of Gen Yers, approximately 50 million are of investing age. Capturing this large group is critical for wealth management firms that want to see assets continue to grow once their baby-boomer clients hit retirement. What characterizes these young investors? A December 2011 Aite Group survey of 1,000 investors (240 Gen Y investors) that hold a minimum of US$25,000 in investable assets reveals the following:

February 21, 2012 by Christine Barry

The years immediately following the financial crisis were extremely challenging ones for the financial services industry. For the last few years, most bank IT budgets have been monopolized by regulatory compliance, matters related to running the bank, and cost-cutting initiatives, with little to no focus on growth. Further, many of the growth initiatives banks planned for 2011 were put on a back burner or never came to fruition.

February 17, 2012 by John Jay

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that subprime mortgages, a distressed sector of the securitized debt market, have been smartly rallying in value since late 2011, as measured by the 2006 AAA slice of the ABX index. Currently, the index stands at about 50% -- almost twice the value at its all-time low in early 2009. Does this mean that the party is getting started again? Well, it depends on your perspective.

February 15, 2012 by Philip Lawton

Last week, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) opened for comment the latest in its series of consultation papers on the regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. CP 91-404 explores issues, considers alternative solutions, and sets out proposals for the segregation and portability of customer accounts and collateral associated with OTC derivatives transactions cleared through a central counterparty (CCP).