professional engagement and mutual respect really replace the conventional
isolated committee and silo approaches.
aiCIO: How does AGF Investments maintain a competitive
advantage in the sovereign wealth space?
Badun: At the forefront of our competitive advantage is our diverse suite of core
global equity strategies that are of particular appeal right now within the sovereign
wealth space. These strategies are complemented further by some very strong
regional strategies. I also think our sovereign wealth clients appreciate the global
reach of AGF Investments and the fact that we have regional offices where our
investment management and service teams can build solid relationships with
our clients and gain first-hand knowledge about their unique needs. Additionally,
because we are independently owned, we are seen as being more nimble and
flexible than some of our larger competitors.
aiCIO: How have sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) evolved in recent
A Global Reach for
Sovereign Wealth Funds
Badun: We have been providing investment management expertise to SWFs
for more than five years and have witnessed first-hand their evolution toward
becoming more sophisticated and selective investors. Recently, SWFs have
been turning to asset classes beyond traditional debt securities, adopting bolder
investment approaches and taking on more exposure to global equities. Investment
professionals within each of the organizations that we speak to are also increasingly
conscious of risk management and governance and are putting more scrutiny
around tracking error for their long-only investments. We see that they also are
becoming more selective in their preferred asset classes and are narrowing down
their investment universe.
forefront of our
suite of core
that are of
aiCIO: Can you provide an overview of AGF Investments?
Badun: AGF Investments1 (AGF) is an independent multifaceted, international
wealth management organization with $43 billion in assets under management.
We offer a broad spectrum of strategies tailored specifically to the needs of
institutional investors, including pension plans, endowments, foundations, and
corporate investors. Our institutional clients benefit from the depth and breadth of
an experienced team of multidisciplined investment managers and from our local
sales and service offices in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia.
aiCIO: What is AGF’s investment philosophy?
Badun: AGF brings together a diverse range of investment philosophies. Each
philosophy is based on a proven investment thesis. This enables us to offer a wide
spectrum of investment styles across a range of asset classes and geographies.
Each approach is articulated clearly to our clients.
I believe a key differentiator for AGF is that we embrace independence of thought
while creating a culture of collaboration and mutual respect within our investment
teams. Our teams located in Toronto, Dublin, and Singapore are brought together
through weekly investment management meetings to discuss investment ideas,
current trends, macro economic factors, and individual company analysis. It is
common to see value and growth managers test each other’s assumptions, often
about the same company, and insights are gained from this debate. At AGF,
aiCIO: What trends do you see evolving over the next few years
related to sovereign wealth funds?
Badun: There is no question that SWFs will continue to be a major force in the
global financial landscape. Throughout 2009 and into 2010, we’ve seen an evolution
in SWFs whereby several funds have joined forces to support an investment. We
expect this trend to continue and to open up new investment opportunities for
SWFs and a potential new source of global financing.
For institutional use only.
1 AGF Investments is a brand representing AGF Management Limited subsidiaries regulated
as portfolio managers in various jurisdictions. AGF Investments America Inc. and
Highstreet Asset Management Limited are registered Advisers in the U.S. AGF Investments
Inc., Highstreet Asset Management Limited, Doherty and Associates, Cypress Capital
Management, and AGFIA Limited are registered as portfolio managers across Canadian
securities commissions. AGFIA Limited also is authorized by the Financial Regulator under
the European Communities (Markets in Financial Instruments) Regulation 2007.
2 Assets are in USD as of September 30, 2010
The information contained in this article is designed to provide you with general information
related to investment alternatives and strategies and is not intended to be comprehensive
investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual. We strongly recommend
you consult with a professional advisor prior to making any investment decisions.