Fundcos celebrate strong year at investment awards show

By Steven Lamb | December 1, 2006 | Last updated on December 1, 2006
3 min read

The annual Canadian Investment Awards were handed out in Toronto last night, recognizing the best and brightest in the mutual fund industry.

The Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year went to Allan Jacobs of Sceptre Investment Counsel Limited. For the past 16 years, Jacobs has managed the Sceptre Equity Growth Fund, which was named the Canadian Equity Fund of the Year in 2005.

Though Jacobs’s fund has at times lagged — during the “small-cap bear” after the Asian meltdown and through the tech bubble — the awards committee cited him specifically for making the changes needed to get back on track and yielding a compound return of 18% since 1993. “We’ve had a lot of winners and relatively few losers over the past few years,” Jacobs says.

He adheres to “a real GARP approach” and says he can find value today “despite the fact that Canadian small-caps are very, very profitable, which has attracted a lot of takeovers.”

CI Investments was named Analysts’ Choice Fund Company of the Year. “CI is known for the diversity of its fund line-up and the array of talented in-house and external portfolio managers it has assembled under brand names such as Harbour, Signature and Synergy,” said Morningstar Canada investment funds editor Rudy Luukko in an online report.

“CI’s bench strength was evident in October, when it appointed the impressively performing Dan Bubis, president and chief investment officer of Winnipeg-based Tetrem Capital Partners, to replace the departed Kim Shannon as manager of CI Canadian Investment, its largest fund,” Luukko added.

The Advisors’ Choice Investment Fund Company award went to AGF Funds.

“It is an honour and privilege to have AGF recognized as an outstanding leader in the investment industry,” said AGF chairman and CEO Blake Goldring. “AGF is proud of its ongoing commitment to providing excellence in money management and exceptional products and services that meet the needs of our clients.”

AGF has mounted something of a turnaround recently, recovering from net redemptions to positive sales flows, and took home a number of individual awards, including: International Equity Fund Award, Financial Services Equity Fund Award, Emerging Markets Equity Fund Award, Precious Metals Equity Fund Award, and European Equity Fund Award.

Other big winners included AIM Trimark and Dynamic, each of which took home three individual fund awards.

This year’s Career Achievement Award was presented to George Frazer, chairman of Leon Frazer & Associates, the investment council firm co-founded by his father. Frazer has been in the business for over 50 years and currently manages almost $1.5 billion in assets, in 12 portfolios.

Dundee Financial Group’s Kym Anthony was named Person of Influence of the Year. Anthony, a former chair of the board of directors of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada, until June 2005 was CEO of National Bank Financial. He joined Dundee when that firm bought KL Nova Financial Ltd., a manufacturer of structured products and market linked notes, which he co-founded.

A complete list of winners and finalists can be found at

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Steven Lamb