Harbourfront names president for fund manager arm

Leonard Trigg to continue CTO role as he takes the reins at Willoughby Asset Management

Harbourfront names president for fund manager arm

The Harbourfront Group is taking another step on its path of growth with the appointment of a new leader for its investment fund manager arm.

After playing an instrumental role as chief technology officer at Harbourfront Wealth Management, Leonard Trigg has been given an expanded mandate as president of Willoughby Asset Management.

The announcement today comes on the heels of Kim Thompson’s recent promotion to chief of staff at Harbourfront Wealth Management. She joined the BC-based independent last September as senior vice president of Strategy and Advisor Services.

“Leonard is the right person to step into the role of President of Willoughby,” Danny Popescu, chief executive officer of the Harbourfront Group, said in a statement. “His exceptional knowledge of the asset management industry and impressive experience will continue building on the momentum of the successes of our innovative asset allocation solutions.”

As a veteran of the industry, Trigg draws from a deep well of experience in financial services. His record stretches back more than 20 years, which includes consulting work with wealth firms in the U.S. and in Switzerland. Prior to joining Harbourfront almost three years ago, he served as COO and director at Vertex One Asset Management.

“When I was hired at Harbourfront, one of the key things Danny imprinted on me was the growth of the firm, and how it's a very advisor- and client-first firm,” Trigg told Wealth Professional. “In some places, it’s about the institution, and then the experience for the advisor.”

Since then, he has made several key contributions to Harbourfront Group’s growth. Aside from driving the development of the group’s tech platforms, he took charge of the operations and transitions departments at Harbourfront Wealth Management, its IIROC dealer arm, last year.

Shortly after, he stepped in as COO at Willoughby, and has now stepped up as president of the fund manager business. He will continue serving as a member of Harbourfront Wealth Management’s executive leadership team as its CTO.

“There’s a lot of overlap, and a lot of shared vision and resources between Willoughby and Harbourfront Wealth,” Trigg says. “We have an exceptional team on both sides, so it’s not going to be overwhelming for me.”

Willoughby’s product shelf consists of 10 funds, with more on the way. Its current shelf includes three primary strategies that span private real estate, private credit, and private equity, which Trigg says has undergone “tremendous growth” especially in the last year.

“These solutions we offer are not typically available to advisors. They’re more of an institutional and endowment-type strategy than a retail strategy,” he says. “When we look at our growth and assets in Willoughby, we’re continuing on an exponential run, which means these products are helping more people.

“Supporting that growth is probably the biggest challenge – making sure you have the right people and teams in place,” he continued. “Supporting the investment committee and helping them bring new products to work is also a lot of work, but it’s exciting.”

Like countless other firms, Harbourfront is seeing an evolution from the traditional 60-40 asset allocation to portfolios that include more private securities and alternative solutions. That sea change, Trigg says, will be driven by advisors’ conversations with clients around their risk tolerance, liquidity needs, and other facets of KYC.

“What we've seen in the last couple of years, is the expansion of privates and alternatives into the different model mandates,” he says. “That helps create a bit of an uncorrelated return and risk to the general public markets.

“We want to provide advisors with an unconstrained toolbox. We don’t incentivize one or the other … the advisors can reach for anything they want from the public markets or from other providers,” Trigg says. “We want to provide unique alternative and private solutions to expand advisors’ offerings to clients, which I think gets them closer to what the clients are looking for in terms of their risk and return profile.”