Mawer’s Cooper-Key relinquishes management duties

By Mark Noble | September 29, 2009 | Last updated on September 29, 2009
2 min read

Star fund manager, Gerald Cooper-Key, is giving up his day-to-day activities as the co-manager of the Mawer World Investment Fund effective March 31, 2010.

Cooper-Key, the 2007 Morningstar fund manager of the year, is not leaving Mawer. The decision reflects his desire to “change his focus at this stage of his career.” Cooper-Key will continue to have an active role in the firm providing input into all of Mawer’s global/international asset management as the chair of Mawer’s Global Equity working group.

The Global Equity working group is being formed in conjunction with an upcoming launch of Mawer’s Global Equity mandate. Under Cooper-Key’s guidance, the group will provide co-ordination and input across Mawer’s global/international large and small cap mandates.

In addition, Cooper-Key will continue as an owner, director and honorary chairman of the Calgary-based firm.

David Ragan will continue as co-manager of the Mawer World Investment Fund. David has been working closely with Cooper-Key on Mawer’s international equity mandates including the World Investment Fund since joining Mawer in 2004.

Jim Hall, Mawer’s director of research, is joining Ragan as co-manager of the World Investment Fund. Hall has been director of research since 2004. Ragan and Hall will continue to be supported by a team of 15 portfolio managers and analysts in Mawer’s Research department.

According to a report prepared by TD Investment Management Services, Cooper-Key’s departure from the World Investment Fund was not unexpected. He had been expected to relinquish his management duties for some time after Ragan had been announced co-manager of the fund in 2007.

“The departure of by Cooper-Key is significant one for the fund as he has navigated the Mawer World Investment Fund for over 20 years with an exceptional risk-adjusted track record, with impressive portfolio construction and special focus to absolute returns. Cooper-Key was also a standout in the annual Canadian Investment Awards, where he won the top award for best International Equity Fund manager in five of the past seven years,” the report says.

The loss of Cooper-Key’s two decades of experience is of some concern the report’s authors.

“While Mawer has provided support to David on the Fund with co-manager Jim Hall as well as the recent addition of two analysts — Peter Lampert and Kara Lilly — the direct input of Cooper-Key in the decision making for the fund will undoubtedly be missed. Hall brings more a Canadian equity expertise to the international fund and Ragan clearly does not have the expansive proven experience of Cooper-Key.

Mawer says Jim Hall has actually has a strong accumen for researching international equities. The company has been building a Global Equity product for the last six months. Hall is the co-manager of this product, which is slated to be launched at the end of next month. Hall has been spending a lot of time researching global equities, includes international equities. Mawer did expand its Canadian equity team to five people to allow Hall to spend more time covering global equities.


Mark Noble