BMO Investments Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of Montreal and the manager of BMO Mutual Funds, has received approval from the securities regulatory authorities, on behalf of certain mutual funds it manages, to invest in common shares of Bank of Montreal.
As a leader in mutual fund governance, all BMO Mutual Funds, since their inception, have had an independent board of trustees/directors with ultimate authority over the funds’ assets and affairs and whose members have always had a responsibility to act in the best interest of security holders. These trustees, namely Peter Greer Beattie, Q.C., Carol Mary Lascelles Gault, Kenneth Whyte McArthur, Charles William White, Q.C., Rafe Jamie Plant and Louise Vaillancourt-Châtillon, have agreed to act as an independent committee to review the funds’ purchases, sales and continued holdings of common shares of Bank of Montreal. All of these individuals are independent from and are not employees, directors, officers or associates of Bank of Montreal, BMO Investments Inc., Jones Heward Investment Counsel Inc., any other portfolio manager of the funds or any associate or affiliate of those listed above.
The mandate of the trustees acting as the independent committee is to review, at least quarterly, decisions made on behalf of the funds with respect to common shares of Bank of Montreal in order to be satisfied that the decisions to buy, sell or hold common shares of Bank of Montreal were and continue to be in the best interests of the funds, were made free from any influence by Bank of Montreal and without taking into account any consideration relevant to Bank of Montreal or its associates or affiliates, and that the funds’ holdings of Bank of Montreal common shares do not exceed the limitations of applicable legislation. The board of trustees will report the results of their review to BMO Investments Inc. at least quarterly and will advise the securities regulatory authorities if they determine that a decision was not made in accordance with the foregoing requirements or if any condition of the approval has not been satisfied.
Each trustee will receive a fee plus expenses for each meeting of the independent committee that the trustee attends. This fee will be allocated among the funds in a manner that is considered by the trustees to be fair and reasonable to the funds.
BMO Investments Inc. is a member of BMO Financial Group and part of the organization’s Private Client Group. The Private Client Group provides integrated wealth management services in Canada and the United States and has total assets under management and administration and term investments of $270 billion at October 31, 2002.
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group (NYSE, TSX: BMO) is a highly diversified financial services organization. It includes BMO Bank of Montreal, its Canadian retail arm, Chicago-based Harris Bank, a major Midwest financial services provider, and BMO Nesbitt Burns, one of Canada’s largest full-service investment firms.