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CEO Message

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CEO Message - Progress with Purpose  


Our mission: To continue building and growing a top-tier wealth management business that becomes a fully integrated financial services firm, with Richardson GMP being the foundational centrepiece, to provide a comprehensive suite of client solutions across the entire family household balance sheet.

Dear Shareholders,
It is truly a privilege to lead GMP at such a critical time in its history. Although impacted by the severe global health crisis, we have made great strides in preparing our Company for the future. We sold our capital markets franchise in December 2019, unlocking significant capital that had been dedicated to that business. We also mapped out a strategy to leverage our ownership interest in Richardson GMP to create long-term value by pursuing opportunities in the growing wealth management industry in Canada.


Our ambition remains a bold one: to be the destination of choice for Canada’s top advisors who share our entrepreneurial spirit, independent culture and philosophy to deliver unparalleled face-to-face advice to Canadians opting for non-bank points of access for wealth management advice. To achieve this, we believe our best opportunity is to build on the success of Richardson GMP, a company we created with Richardson Financial, the leadership team and talented investment advisors at Richardson GMP more than a decade ago.

In this environment of uncertainty and changing demographics, where good advice is in increasing demand, we are confident that, together with Richardson GMP, we have the right strategy and the key ingredients necessary to succeed. We have a strong balance sheet; a proven national brand in Richardson GMP; and we have amongst the best investment and wealth management professionals in the industry who care deeply about the well-being of our growing base of high net worth clients across Canada.

Our strategy for the future of Richardson GMP wasn’t formed in isolation. We engaged outside experts, we assessed opportunities for independents in a wealth management market dominated by the banks, and we sought feedback from shareholders. Together with Andrew Marsh, Richardson GMP’s CEO, we held town hall meetings with Richardson GMP’s investment and wealth professionals and those who support them across Canada. We also hosted several client events and recruiting meetings across Canada to hear directly from our key target market on what is and isn’t important in a wealth management firm of the future. Armed with this knowledge, I am proud to share in my inaugural letter to you how far we have come in the last year, where we are now, where we are headed and the path that will lead us there.

A YEAR OF CHANGE

2019 was a pivotal year for GMP. Bluntly, after a nearly decade-long challenging landscape for independent investment banks focused on niche markets in Canada, the Company was struggling to attract investors to its story. We experienced disappointing share price declines year after year. It was abundantly clear we needed to change course to redeploy our cash resources toward a segment of the market that held far greater promise. And so, after careful deliberation, the Board announced the sale of the capital markets business to Stifel Nicolaus Canada Inc. (Stifel) on June 17, 2019 and we completed the transaction on December 6, 2019.

The sale transaction was a lengthy process due to a variety of factors including securing complex regulatory approvals. These unavoidable delays had a significant impact on our operating results for the year. Our capital markets revenues were $59.5 million in 2019 compared with $165.8 million in the prior year, and we reported a consolidated loss of $53.2 million compared with net income of $2.5 million in 2018. This year’s loss included large one-time impairment charges, restructuring, severance and professional fees incurred to transform the business.

At Richardson GMP, assets under administration at the end of June were $28.3 billion, recovering most of the short-term losses from the sharp drop caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This highlights the stability and resilience of their business driven by strong demand for face-to-face wealth management advice and a long-term investment strategy. On another front, the appeal of our go-forward plan continues with our partners at Richardson GMP adding six advisory teams and expected client assets of over $1 billion since August 2019, with many more in discussion with Richardson GMP across the country. Today, GMP’s remaining assets are cash, a carrying broker business and an approximate 34.1% interest in Richardson GMP. 

OUR PATH FORWARD

While pursuing the sale of the capital markets business, the Board formed a Special Committee, comprised solely of independent directors excluding management and representatives of RFGL to consider, among other things, the potential consolidation of the ownership of Richardson GMP under GMP. In late 2019, the Special Committee began exploratory discussions with RFGL and the investment advisor representatives on Richardson GMP’s board to acquire the remaining interest in Richardson GMP not owned by GMP in exchange for common shares in GMP.

In pursuing a potential transaction with Richardson GMP, the objective is to own 100% of a business that has a proven brand and strong record of performance. It is one of the largest independent wealth management firms in Canada that has the scale and national platform to gain a greater share of the Canadian wealth management market that is expected to grow to $7.7 trillion by 2028 (Source: Investor Economics). While this market is dominated by the six major chartered banks, we believe strong independents like Richardson GMP with considerable scale and strong brand recognition will continue to play a pivotal role in attracting investment professionals and high net worth clients who value independence, choice and highly personalized service.

At the end of 2019, Richardson GMP had just under $29 billion in assets under administration, 162 investment advisory teams, nearly 900 employees operating out of 19 locations across Canada, over $272 million in annual revenues (74% recurring) and $50 million in adjusted EBITDA. Richardson GMP’s investment advisory teams, our partners in this exciting journey, are among the top in the industry with an average practice size of approximately $176 million in client assets.

A key draw for Richardson GMP’s investment professionals and others looking to join them (including their client base of high net worth clients) is the rich 90-year history of the Richardson brand in financial services and their success in creating wealth over more than five generations. For the second consecutive year, Richardson GMP was recognized as a Great Place to Work® by its employees, with 91% of investment advisors saying, “I am proud to tell others I work at Richardson GMP” and “Taking everything into account, I would say this is a great place to work.” Some of Richardson GMP’s leaders are profiled in this year’s Annual Report, and we look forward to highlighting more in future reports.

These and other factors afford us a unique opportunity to capitalize on our investment in Richardson GMP to drive future success including a strong balance sheet, an opportunity to continue to own a meaningful portion of the business through GMP and gain access to public markets for liquidity and capital for accelerated growth.

THE IMPORTANCE OF CULTURE



RICHARDSON GMP ENTERS INTO STRATEGIC ALLIANCE WITH CORMARK SECURITIES

In June 2020, Richardson GMP announced a strategic alliance with Cormark Securities Inc., one of Canada’s premier independent investment dealers, that will result in Richardson GMP’s advisors and their extensive high net worth clientele having preferred access to Cormark’s industry-leading research and new investment issues and ideas; and Cormark’s marquee issuer clients and institutional investors benefiting from close collaboration with Richardson GMP’s growing network of professional, experienced and knowledgeable investment advisors who are some of the best in the country.


A NEW NAME

At our upcoming annual and special meeting of shareholders, shareholders will be asked to approve changing the name of GMP Capital Inc. to RF Capital Group, which we believe will be better aligned with the firm’s wealth management-focused growth strategy.

Later this year, Richardson GMP, conditional upon the approval of the RGMP Transaction, will also change its name for the Anglophone and Francophone markets, respectively, to:


CLOSING THOUGHTS

After a multi-year process to transform GMP, we can begin to focus our resources on capitalizing on the considerable opportunities in the multi-trillion-dollar wealth management industry. Our franchise remains strong and resilient, with considerable net working capital at both GMP and Richardson GMP. I would like to thank our shareholders, clients and our partners at Richardson GMP for your patience and continued trust as we execute our transformation.

I would also like to thank the members of our Board for your bold decision-making, vision and wise counsel. Tomorrow will assuredly look different from yesterday; but the journey promises to be exciting.


Sincerely,

KISH KAPOOR
Interim President and Chief Executive Officer

 

 

KISH KAPOOR
Interim President and Chief Executive Officer

KISH KAPOOR