Morgan hands off Templeton Growth

By Steven Lamb | June 20, 2006 | Last updated on June 20, 2006
2 min read

One of Canada’s oldest and most recognized global equity funds is about to get a new portfolio manager, as George Morgan has announced his departure from the helm of the Templeton Growth Fund.

Morgan has been lead manager of the fund since 2000 and says he is leaving for personal reasons. Management of the fund will be taken over by Lisa Myers later this summer, making her only the fifth person to direct the fund since it was founded by American investment icon Sir John Templeton, in 1954.

“It was an honour to manage this historic fund and help Canadians reach their investment goals,” Morgan said in a press release issued by Franklin Templeton Investments late Tuesday. “I know that I leave the fund in good hands with Lisa Myers and the Templeton team as I move on to the next stage of my career. I look forward to introducing Lisa to the Growth Fund shareholders at this year’s Outlook and Opportunities Forum and Annual General Meeting.”

The fund was once one of the true titans in Canada, with total assets under management peaking at about $12 billion in 1999. The fund has struggled against a wave of redemptions since 2001 — a wave that has eroded assets down to about $4.8 billion.

Throughout this period of outflows, the fund’s performance was hit by the tech bubble, returning about 0.4% over the past five years, according to Morningstar Canada. Morgan’s consistent application of his investment strategy has delivered a far more healthy 11.5% return over a three year period, as global markets improved.

“Lisa Myers brings a wealth of experience managing global portfolios to Growth Fund,” said Don Reed, president and CEO of Franklin Templeton. “She has a strong background with more than 10-years in the investment management and equity research industry, an ideal resumé to manage Growth Fund.”

Myers is perhaps better known as the manager of the equity portion of the Templeton Global Income Fund. She will be joining Morgan’s team in Nassau over the summer to work out the transition.

“The Templeton Growth Fund’s 52-year history in global investing, started by Sir John Templeton in 1954, is virtually unmatched,” Myers said. “Strengthening this fund’s role as one of the premier global investment solutions for Canadian investors is my top priority.”

The Templeton Growth Fund’s annual and special meeting of shareholders, and the Outlook and Opportunities Forum is set for July 27, 2006 in Toronto.

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Steven Lamb