Senior vice-president and portfolio manager

Years in the industry: 25
Years as a PM: 9
Industry accreditations: CA, CPA, CFP
Typical clients: Business owners and their families, private institutions

More so than many other professional relationships, the arrangement between a portfolio manager and a client is built on trust. Fiduciary responsibility is the central plank of being a PM, but as Mark O’Reilly of Raymond James outlines, keeping clients on an even keel can be difficult. “They spend more time thinking about risks than thinking about return,” he says. “At the same time, they’re demanding much more convenience and simplicity from us. I find I’m becoming more like a financial therapist, helping them with their individual financial concerns.”

While information on investments has never been more accessible for the general public, that doesn’t mean they necessarily understand the process. It’s an extra consideration for PMs, but in O’Reilly’s view, the job hasn’t changed that much since he started nine years ago. It’s still about protecting capital and generating returns, which he achieves by using what he dubs “skills-based funds” – products that have been deliberately enhanced through design to meet a client’s specific criteria – in his portfolios.

If those returns are generated, then the PM has proven his worth and should be paid accordingly, O’Reilly believes. “The model needs to be tweaked so there is a direct correlation between the portfolio manager’s long-term performance on a client’s portfolio and the PM’s compensation,” he says. “If the client wins, the PM wins.”

“I find I’m becoming more like a financial therapist, helping clients with their individual financial concerns”

Company Information

  • Raymond James
  • 40 King Street West, Suite 5300, P.O. Box 415 Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3H 3Y2

Contact Information