Wealth Professional 6.05

Page 26


LEADING PORTFOLIO MANAGERS REBECCA HORWOOD Firm: The Horwood Team, Richardson GMP Position: Director, wealth management Years in wealth management: 38 Years as a portfolio manager: 6 Certifications: CIM

THERE ARE few portfolio managers in Canada who are as synonymous with their firm’s success as Rebecca Horwood. Horwood made her start in wealth management in 1980, becoming the first investment advisor at Toronto-based Richardson Securities. She has remained at the same firm ever since, through various takeovers and mergers, and was a founding partner of Richardson GMP. Now managing $30 billion in assets, Richardson GMP is the largest independently owned wealth management firm in Canada, and Horwood credits that to its approach with clients. What that means is detailed financial planning that goes far beyond stock-picking or product selection. Tax and estate planning is a major focus of the Horwood Team, and it’s only after those particulars receive due attention that the markets become a priority. Now in her sixth year as a discretionary manager, Horwood outlines her central philosophy of portfolio construction. “It’s important to have a portion of our model portfolio invested in high-quality Canadian companies,” she says. “Investing in Canada carries inherent risks – cripplingly high taxation, high exposure to cyclical commodities and a potential housing bubble. I believe that there is risk in having overexposure to any one country in particular – that’s why diversification is so important.” For that reason, the Horwood Team takes a global view when it comes to investing. That approach doesn’t mean using index-tracking ETFs, however. “My goal is for my clients to participate in the upside market and to be protected from market risk – ETFs will not achieve that goal,” Horwood says. “Clients feel all the upside and the downside of the market fluctuations, which can be painful and very volatile. We achieve our goal by having active money management with a brain.”


That active management gives clients market access they otherwise wouldn’t have. “In the early days, we were concerned about liquidity and transparency in corporate governance,” Horwood says. “Since then, emerging markets have matured to the point where they may have some of the best corporate governance in the world and growth projecting 40% from Asia. We like to have active money management on the ground, making decisions for our valued clients.” Another important piece of the Horwood Team’s value proposition is in alternative strategies. It’s a side of the market that investors might be interested in but don’t have the resources to explore themselves. “Portfolios are dynamic, not static,” Horwood says. “We monitor the asset allocation of the major endowments and pension funds, and since we started Richardson GMP, we have full access to the entire universe of investment options. We started with private equity 15 years ago, then moved to real estate, hedge funds and now have a significant investment in private lending.” Responsible investing is another increas-

“My goal is for my clients to participate in the upside market and to be protected from market risk – ETFs will not achieve that goal ... We achieve our goal by having active money management with a brain” ingly popular area where Horwood’s clients can direct their money in 2018. “We also have access to invest in interesting ‘change the world’ impact investments,” she says, “such as private and healthcare companies, Silicon Valley success stories and flow-through shares to lower our clients’ tax bill.”


22-39_Portfolio Managers 2018-SUBBED.indd 24

4/05/2018 10:41:30 AM