London Inc. Weekly 09 • 27 • 2019

City of London maintains Aaa credit rating

Photo: Moody’s has maintained the City of London’s Aaa credit rating

MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE, a leading provider of credit ratings, research and risk analysis, has maintained the City of London’s Aaa credit rating and stable outlook, the highest rating possible.

“I was very pleased to receive this news. The City of London has a long, proud history of financial stability and prudent fiscal management, and we’re committed to continuing that tradition under the current term of Council,” commented Mayor Ed Holder. “This rating serves as an ongoing testament to London’s standalone credit strength and should also give Londoners a high level of confidence that tax-dollars are being handled in an extremely responsible manner.”

Moody’s cited the city’s fiscal plan and strong governance and management practices, including its multi-year budget, as contributing factors. The company also pointed to London’s recent history of positive operating results, application of strict controls on issuing debt and a conservative approach in the city’s debt and investment policies as factors in the Aaa credit rating.

“The city’s achievement of the Aaa credit rating for the 43rd consecutive year is a reflection of the city’s sound financial policies and prudent financial planning”, said Anna Lisa Barbon, the city’s CFO and managing director, corporate services and city treasurer. “As we embark on the 2020-2023 multi-year budget process later this year, we will continue to focus on maintaining the City’s areas of financial strength and healthy credit profile as highlighted by Moody’s.”

Moody’s typically reviews the city’s credit worthiness annually, then assigns it a credit rating. This year’s rating included a review of the city’s 2018 audited financial statements, its 2019 budget update, forecasts, a site visit to the city and other independent research.


The Original Cakerie announces plant expansion 

Photo: The Original Cakerie will begin its expansion this fall 

THE ORIGINAL CAKERIE has announced it will begin a major expansion of its 2825 Innovation Drive plant later this fall.

The project will consist of adding a new building onto the existing structure as well as investments in new production lines. The expansion will add increased manufacturing capacity for all of its existing product lines.

Construction is expected to be completed by fall of 2020, and The Original Cakerie says it expects to hire approximately 100 additional workers over the next year.

“In the last four years, we have experienced sizeable growth as demand for our premium, innovative products remains strong with our existing customers and we continue to add new customers as well,” said Paul Lapadat, CEO of parent company Dessert Holdings, based in St. Paul, Minnesota. “We have made significant investments over the last three years, which have allowed us to meet this demand, and this additional capacity will enable us to continue doing so in a category that is expected to maintain strong growth.”

The Original Cakerie produces more than 350 frozen dessert products at the London plant and an additional manufacturing facility in Delta, B.C.


Partnership brings clinical research facility to city

Photo: Dr. Paul Marotta and LMC Manna Research will partner to open London clinic

LMC MANNA RESEARCH, the largest network of fully-owned and integrated clinical research sites in Canada providing Phase I-IV clinical trial services, has announced the opening of a London location.

Located at 230 Victoria Street, the new clinic will specialize in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NASH/NAFLD) and liver disease research.

The clinic is being established through a partnership with leading hepatologist and London Health Sciences Centre director of liver transplantation, Dr. Paul Marotta. With decades of clinical trial experiences in the areas of liver transplantation, viral liver disease and immune-based diseases across all phases of research in an academic setting, Dr. Marotta and LMC Manna are bringing the first hepatology community based clinical research program to Southwestern Ontario.

“After years of leading clinical research trials in the academic environment, it is very exciting to bring clinical trials closer to patients in the community,” said Dr. Marotta. “Patients in Southwestern Ontario will be able to gain early access to next generation therapies for common, and/or severe liver diseases. Working with LMC Manna to bring this unique opportunity directly to patients is exciting to me and for my patients.”

It is estimated that NASH/NAFLD disease affects possibly more than 30% of patients with existing metabolic and liver disorders.  Left untreated, the disease could lead to severe liver cirrhosis and ultimately death. With no known treatments currently available, pharmaceutical companies are in a race to develop therapies to treat and cure the disease.

“Dr. Marotta is a key opinion leader and leading researcher in this field, and we are very excited to be partnering with him,” said Karri Venn, president of research with LMC Manna Research. “His expertise and experience not only expand our therapeutic reach into hepatology, but also solidify us as Canada’s leading NASH/NAFLD integrated clinical research organization.”


Fanshawe College tops graduate employment survey 

Photo: Reg Ash, CEO Western Fair Association, Ed Verkley, chair PIC, and Cheryl Curtis, Western Fair Association director of shows and sales 

ACCORDING TO RECENTLY released key performance indicators (KPI) survey results, Fanshawe College graduates rank first in the province for finding employment.

Survey results indicate 90.3 per cent of Fanshawe alumni find jobs within six months of graduating, exceeding the provincial average of all Ontario colleges by more than four per cent.

The survey, which has been conducted annually since 1998, is sponsored by Colleges Ontario, an association representing the province’s 24 public colleges. Survey data was gathered by an independent research firm and reports on performance in five areas: graduate satisfaction, student satisfaction, employer satisfaction, the employment rate and the graduation rate.

With a student satisfaction rate of 77.8 per cent, the results also indicate Fanshawe is providing exceptional on campus experiences to students, exceeding the provincial average of 75.7 per cent.

“We are very proud of this year’s survey results,” said Fanshawe president, Peter Devlin. “They are a testament to the hard work of our faculty and staff who prepare our students for careers upon graduation.”

The College also exceeded the provincial average and led all large colleges in Ontario in the following categories:

  • When surveyed six months after graduation, 81.2 per cent of Fanshawe alumni report being pleased with their college education;
  • Fanshawe’s overall graduation rate of 69.5 per cent is two per cent above the provincial average of 67.2 per cent. The graduation rates for three- and four- year programs also ranked first among large colleges.
  • Employers who hire Fanshawe graduates a satisfaction rate of 85.8 per cent.

“While these results show Fanshawe is a leader among large colleges in Ontario, we continue to look for ways to improve our services to students and alumni and providing leading-edge programming to meet the needs of our employers,” added Devlin.


Featured Business Event

Manufacturing Matters 2019 | October 3, 2019, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The London Economic Development Corporation in partnership with the London Region Manufacturing Council hosts Manufacturing Matters 2019, a half-day conference for manufacturers and service providers. Delegates will learn valuable information from industry leaders, keynote speakers and peer-to-peer networking. The conference will deliver essential advice applicable to all manufacturers in the London region.

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