The fixed income space has represented a significant challenge for many Canadian investment firms in recent times, so when Fiera Capital
announced the arrival of three seasoned fixed income portfolio managers it was rightly recognized as a signal of intent. By bringing on Charles Lefebvre, Luc Bergeron and Tan Vu Nguyen, the firm added close to 80 years of industry experience in one fell swoop.
“Fixed income is a key asset class, and an area in which we have invested a lot of time and energy,” says Jean-Philippe Lemay, President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Fiera Capital's Canadian Division. “It was an opportunity to onboard very good talent on the active side. They will play an important role in a team that is diversified in terms of the types of strategies it can build. The team will focus on traditional active approaches as well as more systematic and strategic approaches, which are more absolute return oriented.”
The addition of the three new portfolio managers will assist Fiera in designing and structuring new and innovative solutions for institutional, high-net-worth and retail investors.
“We want the ability to build solutions and strategies that are geared toward a certain outcome and this team will be able to cater to that,” Lemay says. “Given our outlook on interest rates, broadening the tool kit and creating a team that adds value and increases investment opportunities was a key priority when we made these appointments.”
Despite the continued challenges in fixed income, Lemay expects government interest rates to normalize over the next 5 – 7 years. During that period, his aim is for Fiera to become more adaptive and flexible enough to allocate funds to the various different credit spectrums and deliver value through synthetic opportunities on the derivative side.
“There are still ways to still create value, even in the current environment, but we really need to broaden the toolkit and think outside the box,” Lemay says. “Having said that, we feel there is value to be found on the corporate credit and provincial sides."
"For us, the product design phase is on the radar and will likely begin in the next few months. That will include continuing to develop core-plus products on the fixed income side and absolute return strategies with unconstrained bond mandates.”
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