Pyrford International appointed as new Sub-Investment Manager

Pyrford International appointed as new Sub-Investment Manager

By Nedgroup Investments, 26 Jun 2019

Background

Our letter of 1st March advised clients that George Cipolloni and Mark Saylor, the incumbent portfolio managers of the Fund, had resigned from Chartwell Investment Partners, LLC (“Chartwell”). George Cipolloni and Mark Saylor have been a core component of the investment management of the Fund since we partnered with The Killen Group as Sub-Investment Manager in March 2015 and subsequently when The Killen Group was acquired by Chartwell in early 2016.

In line with our Best of Breed™ philosophy, the resignation of George and Mark provided a catalyst for a review of fund managers from around the world, that are managing strategies aligned with the Fund objectives. It was essential to evaluate whether to retain our conviction that Chartwell offer the best option to achieve the objectives of the Fund and its investors, or to appoint a new manager of the Fund. Chartwell have continued to manage the Fund whilst we have completed this process.

Appointment of Pyrford International Limited

The Nedgroup Investments team conducted an extensive global search for the optimum partner to achieve the Fund’s mandate. This included an in-depth review of the team at Chartwell as well as alternative boutique investment firms in Seattle, Madrid, London and Montreal. Following this process, we have taken the decision to retire Chartwell and appoint Pyrford as the new sub-investment manager of the Fund.

Pyrford are an established and experienced London-based boutique investment firm that was founded in 1991. As part of the firm’s evolution, Pyrford became a 100% subsidiary of the BMO Financial Group in 2007 but remains a completely independent asset management boutique and retains full autonomy to manage the business.

Pyrford’s investment expertise

Pyrford manages a concentrated suite of global strategies that includes an active asset allocation strategy that they have managed since 1994. The Strategy objectives are closely matched to the mandate of the Global Cautious Fund and it has an impressive track record of protecting capital since its inception 24 years ago, whilst producing an annualised return in excess of 7%.

Their investment philosophy is built on the belief that equities provide the best real returns over the long term, but there can be lengthy periods where any asset class can deliver poor returns. It is a key component of their strategy to actively allocate between core asset classes to avoid market downturns and protect capital.

The firm applies a conservative, value-based investment approach and the strategy will provide investors access to a long-only portfolio of high quality global equities (subject to maximum allocation of 40%) and sovereign bonds, while actively managing currency and interest rate risk.

The investment team

The core investment team are highly experienced with an average tenure of 21 years with Pyrford. The team is led by the Chief Investment Officer, who with the assistance of three senior portfolio managers, is responsible for the strategic asset allocation of the mandate. Each senior portfolio manager is also assigned responsibility for providing investment recommendations for inclusion in the strategy’s equity portfolio and is supported by a wider team of five portfolio managers and four investment analysts.

Portfolio transition

Nedgroup Investments are working closely with Chartwell and Pyrford, to facilitate an efficient and orderly transition of the portfolio, which will be completed by June 30th, 2019. This has been agreed to accommodate regulatory approvals required by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Concluding comments

The Nedgroup Investments Best of Breed™ team remain committed to providing our investors with access to the highest quality investment managers across the globe. Pyrford has an impressive track record managing an asset allocation strategy since 1994. The experienced and stable management team has demonstrated the ability to protect capital in down markets, while producing a consistent total return over longer periods.

Pyrford offer a compelling globally diversified investment proposition for our investors in the Fund and we look forward to partnering with the Pyrford team to help our clients achieve their long-term investment objectives.

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