Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, the pension-fund manager that posted a record loss in 2008, has five of the top 50 equity managers in Canada this year, according to a study by Brendan Wood International.
The Caisse’s Jean-Frederic Berard, Jean-Francois Jolicoeur, Stephen Kibsey, Francois Lebel and Louis-Phillipe Thibodeau were among the top vote-getters in the poll of analysts obtained by Bloomberg News. It’s the second annual study by Brendan Wood International, a provider of information used by capital markets businesses.
In the past 16 months, Canada’s biggest pension-fund manager has cut jobs, scaled back the use of derivatives and exited businesses after reporting a C$39.8 billion ($38.3 billion) loss in 2008 on asset sales and writedowns tied to insolvent Canadian commercial paper.
The Montreal-based Caisse, which managed C$131.6 billion in net assets at year-end including C$46.4 billion in equities, hired former BCE Inc. Chief Executive Officer Michael Sabia as CEO in March 2009. The Caisse posted a 10 percent return on investments last year.
“We invest a lot in research and market analysis, and it’s gratifying to see that our efforts are recognized by the industry,” Jean-Luc Gravel, executive vice-president of equities at Caisse, said in a statement.
Canadian equities returned 37 percent last year for the Caisse, compared with a 31 percent return for the S&P/TSX Composite Index. At year-end, the Caisse held Canadian stocks valued at C$17.1 billion.
RBC Tops List
Royal Bank of Canada’s RBC Asset Management unit topped the list for the second year with six money managers, including Stuart Kedwell and Doug Raymond. Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management, a unit of RBC, has two investors on the list.
There were 19 new managers on the list this year, including Norm Lamarche of Front Street Capital Inc. and the Caisse’s Berard.
“The Caisse is one of those pension funds with a complicated and politically demanding mandate,” Brendan Wood, chairman of Brendan Wood International, said yesterday in an interview at Bloomberg’s Toronto office. “They’re responsible for the pension funds of the public-service employees of Quebec. It’s an immense responsibility.”
Surveyed 400 Analysts
The research company, founded in 1970 to investigate performance in capital markets, surveyed 400 analysts at 65 firms, with about half of those polled in Canada. The analysts were asked to name their top equity-portfolio managers based on their insight, knowledge and influence in the Canadian stock markets.
Brendan Wood International compiled the top-50 list based on the number of votes they received. It didn’t release the vote tally for each money manager.
The following is a list of Brendan Wood International’s 50 TopGun Canadian Portfolio Managers:
Name Asset Management Firm Gary Baker Connor, Clark & Lunn Chris Beer RBC Asset Management Oscar Belaiche Goodman & Co. James Black Beutel Goodman & Co. Claude Boulos Selexia Investment Benoit Brillon Selexia Investment Stephane Champagne CI Investments Robert Cohen Goodman & Co. Robert Decker Aurion Capital Management Britt Doherty Scotia Asset Management Martin Dufresne Fiera Capital Jean-Frederic Berard Caisse de Depot Benoit Gervais Mackenzie Financial Kevin Hall Guardian Capital LP Jamie Horvat Sprott Asset Management Inc. Miranda Hubbs McLean Budden David Jiles Leith Wheeler Investment Jean-Francois Jolicoeur Caisse de Depot Stuart Kedwell RBC Asset Management Stephen Kibsey Caisse de Depot Norm Lamarche Front Street Capital Francois Lebel Caisse de Depot Ari Levy TD Asset Management Robert Lyon AGF Funds Inc. Scott Lysakowski Phillips, Hager & North Craig MacAdam Aurion Capital Management Kevin MacLean Sentry Select Capital Hugh McCauley Acuity Funds Ltd. Jennifer McClelland RBC Asset Management Sandy McIntyre Sentry Select Capital Keith McLean GMP Investment Management Dennis Mitchell Sentry Select Capital Marcello Montanari RBC Asset Management Margot Naudie CPP Investment Board John Novak Connor, Clark & Lunn Charles Oliver Sprott Asset Management Inc. John Priestman Guardian Capital LP Doug Raymond RBC Asset Management Jacqueline Ricci J. Zechner Associates Inc. Rohit Sehgal Goodman & Co. Mike Simpson Sentry Select Capital John Smolinski TD Asset Management Brahm Spilfogel RBC Asset Management Doug Stadelman Phillips, Hager & North John Stephenson First Asset Management Andrew Taylor Goodman & Co. Louis-Phillipe Thibodeau Caisse de Depot Scott Vali CI Investments Steven Vertes Connor, Clark & Lunn Malcolm White CI Investments