CI Investments announced a series of changes at Cambridge Global Asset Management this week. Neal Kerr, senior up of investment management at CI, clarified that this was some overdue housekeeping. “I wouldn’t call it a shuffle. It’s recognition of what has developed over the past year,” said Kerr on the phone from a client event.
The most significant news is that Brandon Snow has been named Co-Chief Investment Officer alongside Alan Radlo. The two are already co-managing the funds. The thinking there is that this is recognition of Brandon’s capabilities and contributions. “They split the equity strategy between them. That’s been the case for years. This is recognition of that,” says Kerr. “There is a bit of a demographic story here as well. One is in his late ‘30s; one is in his ‘50s. They’ll work together for years. There’s no timeline on this. But this paves the way for the future of the team.”
Cambridge was founded in 2008 with three funds under the leadership of CIO Alan Radlo. Cambridge is a wholly owned subsidiary of CI, one of the four internal manager teams. CI has a “multi manager model” at the core of its business. “In certain cases compete the teams compete …in other instances they offer complementary approaches,” says Kerr. In the case of Cambridge, in 2011, CI expanded the team with the addition of Robert Swanson, Brandon Snow, Greg Dean and Stephen Groff. At the time, Cambridge managed $2 billion in assets. Today, the team manages $13 billion and has offices in Boston and Toronto. Research and portfolio work is done out of the Boston office in the case of Cambridge.
Another change will see Bob Swanson, an experienced portfolio, named Chief Market Strategist. “That is something he’s done for some time. But his title has been portfolio manager. Now he’s taking on both titles,” says Kerr. Talking on the phone from a leadership forum conference in Las Vegas where 1300 advisors and clients had gathered, he said the mood was “good”, even in a week that has seen some large sell-offs on the Toronto and New York exchanges. “Business has been good. It’s Las Vegas…I’d say the mood is positive. A lot of our products are balanced in nature….There’s an element of defensiveness in them. Even if markets are choppy, most people are going to be good. These are not the type of products that ‘round trip’ the client,” he said. Going on, he put this week’s stock market volatility in perspective. “There hasn’t been ten percent correction for three years. That’s a long time. I guess it’s time,” said Kerr.
Markets have been hitting record highs. It’s October, the traditional month for stock market sell-offs, so perhaps the volatility is no surprise.