David Taylor, the star portfolio manager of a handful of highly-regarded funds, has resigned from Dynamic. Word on the street is that he plans to open his own investment company under the named Taylor Asset Management.

DundeeWealth, the corporate parent of Dynamic Funds, says it views Taylor’s departure as a one-off event and states its other star managers are dedicated to the brand.

When DundeeWealth was taken over by Scotiabank in November 2010, many questioned the cultural fit between a big bank and the more entrepreneurial tradition DundeeWealth.

“During our July update, Taylor recalled that it was exciting being part of an independent firm on which he could see his individual contribution. He relayed the experience of seeing money flowing into his funds and being able to link that to Dundee’s success,” reads a research note from HighView Financial Group. “After Scotiabank’s acquisition of Dundee Wealth, he said he has no impact.”

The HighView note also said that Taylor had suggested it was difficult to manage roughly $7 billion in assets effectively, as smaller funds tend to be more nimble.

Effective immediately, Taylor has been replaced by Cecilia Mo on eight mandates.  Mo joins Dynamic as vice-president and portfolio manager less than a week after leaving Fidelity.

“Cecilia adds bench strength for the future and will enhance continuity as we embrace our roots as value managers,” said David Goodman, president and CEO of Dynamic Funds. “Her proven portfolio construction and risk management techniques complement our existing expertise. We are pleased that Cecilia has chosen Dynamic as her new home and plan to provide her with the optimal environment for maximizing unitholder value.”

Mo will now serve as lead manager of the following funds:

  • Dynamic Value Fund of Canada
  • Dynamic Canadian Value Class
  • DMP Canadian Value Class
  • Dynamic Dividend Value Fund
  • Dynamic Protected Dividend Value Fund
  • Dynamic Value Balanced Fund
  • Dynamic Value Balanced Class
  • DMP Value Balanced Class

DundeeWealth mutual fund analyst James Gauthier issued a research note on Taylor’s departure, confirming Dynamic Value Fund of Canada and Dynamic Canadian Value Class as recommended funds, but placing them “under review” simply as a matter of course.

“The departure of David Taylor is a big loss for Dynamic,” he wrote. “We do not believe any action is necessary on the part of investors at this time, but we will be carefully monitoring what Cecilia Mo, Goodman & Company’s newest hire and Taylor’s replacement on the majority of the funds, does with the mandates and how she contends with the new environment in which she finds herself.”

With Taylor’s departure, Dynamic also announced that David L. Fingold will take over as lead manager of Dynamic Canadian Dividend Fund, Dynamic Canadian Dividend Class and DMP Canadian Dividend Class.

“On behalf of everyone here at Dynamic, I want to thank David Taylor for nine years of good service to the firm,” Goodman said. “He has played an important role in the expansion of the Dynamic fund family and we wish him all the best in the future.”

Dynamic also announced that Adam Donsky, vice-president and portfolio manager, will assume portfolio management responsibilities for Dynamic Contrarian Fund, effective today.

He is already the lead portfolio manager of Dynamic Blue Chip Balanced Class, Dynamic Blue Chip Equity Fund and Dynamic Blue Chip Balanced Fund.

Taylor’s Dynamic Contrarian Fund has been handed over to Adam Donsky.

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