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David Franklin has been named chief executive officer of Sprott Private Wealth, a division of Sprott Inc. that caters to high net-worth individuals.

Mr. Franklin joined Sprott in 2008 as a research analyst and was most recently a market strategist, assessing the macro-economic environment.

High net-worth clients have been a key focus for key asset managers and the big banks coming out of the financial crisis. Asset management operations allow these firms to earn commissions without having to put up any of their own capital.

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But there is tough competition in the space because the field is so crowded. Sprott acknowledges this and said it is trying to differentiate itself by getting involved in private placements in the resource sector that nobody else is around.

Sprott's stock has been on a tear over the past seven months because commodity prices have taken off. On the back of strong year-end earnings last week the stock came ever so close to its $10 initial public offering price, but has since fallen back to the $9 level.

Sprott Asset Management has also hired Paul Wong as a portfolio manager from Natcan Investment Management, where he managed natural resource-related funds.

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