Mackenzie breaks silence over Morgan departure

By Vikram Barhat | April 20, 2010 | Last updated on April 20, 2010
2 min read

Mackenzie Financial Corp. is defending its handling of the “undisclosed departure” of George Morgan, who ran Mackenzie Cundill American Class.

A statement obtained by from Mackenzie confirms the company and Morgan have indeed parted ways. The disclosure comes on the heels of media reports that Morgan “quietly slipped away at the end of December after less than a year on the fund.”

“We confirm that on December 31, 2009, George Morgan left to pursue other personal interests after one year with the investment team at Mackenzie Cundill,” says the company.

Mackenzie defends its decision to remain quiet about Morgan’s departure saying “at the time of his departure, we decided his departure did not warrant a public announcement due to the tenured management continuity with the investment team assigned to the Mackenzie Cundill American Class.”

Mackenzie goes on to explain that “the continuity in management of this fund is with Lawrence Chin who has been a manager of the fund since its inception in 2003; he continued on with the fund during George’s tenure and he continues today.”

“David Slater also worked on the fund prior to and during 2009 and remains active on the fund today,” says Mackenzie.

Mackenzie asserts the fund’s objectives and management approach have not changed since its launch in 2003.

It was reported in the mainstream media that unit holders were upset “that Mackenzie made no announcement like when it trumpeted Mr. Morgan joining the company on Jan. 12, 2009, in a press release.”

Mackenzie explains that the news of George Morgan joining the Cundill team was announced publicly because he was new to the company. It says the decision to not make his departure public was based on the conclusion “that there was sufficient continuity of portfolio management on the fund and the change did not warrant a general public release.”

Mackenzie says advisors were notified of the change through wholesaler updates and ‘Mackenzie Express’, their product booklet, which was mailed to advisors three times since December. They also updated profile pages on their web site.

The statement also addresses allegations of lack of “transparency from a firm whose parent (IGM Financial Inc) is Canada’s largest publicly traded fund company.”

Mackenzie states that it “continues to communicate all meaningful news and events related to our business and investment products to our investment advisor partners and clients through methods and in forms considered appropriate in the individual circumstances.”

Vikram Barhat