Fiscal 2020 Annual Report

Letter from the Executive Chairman

As I reflect on fiscal 2020, I see the culmination of many initiatives that we embarked on in recent years to strengthen our business, and better insulate from factors beyond our control.

We took steps to eliminate any barriers that were preventing us from leading in our core focus areas, and we adjusted our business mix towards activities which contribute to a more stable earnings foundation. By refocusing and aligning our operations, we have been able to strengthen our operating leverage and maintain ample liquidity and financial flexibility. Perhaps most importantly, we achieved a firm-wide culture of partnership and accountability, where actions and decisions at every level are guided by our commitment to creating enduring value for our shareholders.

While implementing these changes was uncomfortable at times, and certain benefits were not immediately visible, the abrupt market downturn in March served as a bold endorsement of the value of our efforts.

Today, Canaccord Genuity is a much stronger business. This is the third consecutive year that more than 50% of our adjusted earnings per share has been contributed by our wealth management businesses, reflecting our commitment to deriving a greater portion of our earnings from stable and recurring revenue sources. Our refocusing and alignment efforts have also made us more productive across businesses and geographies, and firm-wide revenue per employee has increased by 21% since fiscal 2016.

Underscoring our commitment to enhancing shareholder returns, we returned $80 million to our shareholders during fiscal 2020. In addition to increasing our regular quarterly common share dividends, we have reduced our common shares outstanding by 7% since the end of fiscal 2019 through share buyback activity, which we will continue to pursue as excess capital is available.

The stability that we achieved from growing our wealth management businesses and increasing contributions from higher margin capital markets activities, in addition to the advancements to our technological and systems infrastructure, has been critical as we navigate the unprecedented period of volatility and market turmoil driven by the Covid-19 crisis. As a result of these efforts, we have been able to focus on helping our clients navigate a difficult environment while creating new opportunities for them.

I am immensely proud of our employees across the organization for their collective efforts during a period where we have been asked to put the welfare of many before any individual. Our resilience has been tested in prior downturns, and I am confident that we will emerge from this one in a position of even greater strength.

On behalf of my fellow directors, I would also like to thank Dan and our Global Operating Committee for their leadership and steadfast commitment to creating the stable and resilient business that Canaccord Genuity has become. We know we have a long and difficult road before us, but I am confident that our defensive business mix, scale and financial position will protect our capacity to provide continuous service for our clients as we strive to increase the value of our Company.

I believe our business is advantageously positioned to capture market share as we continue guiding our clients through a rapidly changing market backdrop. Throughout the organization, we have a robust set of assets to draw upon, and we are immensely differentiated by our deep cross-border capabilities and entrepreneurial agility.

As we continue to advance our business goals, we are also committed to fostering an inclusive environment where all employees and clients can thrive. We have made steady progress on embedding this into our firm-wide culture, and while our organization intuitively feels inclusive to people from all backgrounds, we also recognize that there is a profound difference between intention and action. We know we have more work to do, and we are committed to continuous education and advancement of the policies and processes that address inequality, as they relate to both the employee and client experience.

And finally, the Board remains committed to ensuring strong corporate governance with the benefit of diverse experience and perspectives, as we continually strive to advance the best interests of our shareholders. We will be nominating two additional directors at our upcoming Annual General Meeting, to continue our tradition of strong oversight and governance. Jill Denham will be nominated as Lead Independent Director. Jill brings more than two decades of North American and European financial services experience, her expertise spanning investment banking, retail banking and private equity, and more recently she has been active in the financial technology segment. Eric Rosenfeld will be nominated as an Independent Director. Eric is an accomplished professional investor and director with experience spanning multiple industries, and we look forward to his perspectives.

And to my fellow shareholders, we begin fiscal 2021 more focused and determined than ever to be an outstanding business for our employees and clients and in doing so, creating lasting value for our investors.

Thank you for your continued support.

David Kassie
Executive Chairman
Canaccord Genuity Group Inc.