Banks Are the Beatles and Lifecos Nickelback for New Analyst

Canadian rock band Nickelback deserves more respect, and so do the country’s life-insurance companies -- at least according to Meny Grauman.

While banks in Canada get as much appreciation as the Beatles, a group long loved by music fans and writers alike, life insurers are treated more like a band that’s done fine financially but never received much critical acclaim, said Grauman, Bank of Nova Scotia’s new financial-services analyst.

“While the Beatles are typically held up as the gold standard of rock bands, Nickelback is subject to an almost irrational level of ridicule, despite achieving amazing commercial success and having sold more than 50 million albums worldwide,” Grauman said Tuesday in his initiation report on the industry. He called Canadian life insurers “woefully underrated and undervalued” despite their “strong and consistent financial performance.”

Still, Canada’s four large life insurers are likely to post an average 20% decline in per-share adjusted earnings when they report second-quarter results starting Thursday, according to Grauman, who joined Scotiabank last month from Cormark Securities Inc.

Such results would hardly be the companies’ “Abbey Road.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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