A message from our CEO and CIO

 

April 20, 2020

Update to message dated March 19, 2020


In a period marked by unprecedented market volatility and tremendous personal and professional stress, we remain focused on providing the best possible stewardship of the investments entrusted to our care. AGF’s disciplined investment approach and commitment to providing an exceptional client experience has prepared us well to deliver in difficult times like these.

To this end, I am pleased to report that since mid-February, AGF’s strategies have performed very well. The majority of our equity mandates have outperformed their peers, with approximately one-third sitting in the top performance quartile1. In addition, four of our five Elements balanced solutions have outperformed their respective benchmarks, while seven out of 10 AGFiQ ETFs listed in Canada outperformed their benchmarks net of fees2, benefitting from more defensive positioning and an emphasis on companies with high quality and low price volatility.

Our fixed income and equity teams are taking a two-pronged approach to their current mandates. First, the teams are ensuring that holdings are sustainable in the current environment; the fixed income team is gradually shortening duration while also stressing their mandates for adverse credit events while the equity team is analyzing the strength of balance sheet and dividend sustainability, focusing on resilient industries and sectors while reducing exposure to more impaired ones. Second, the investment teams are combining AGF’s quantitative tools and fundamental analysis to identify companies that are positioned to succeed once business returns to a more normalized environment.

I’m also pleased to report that these efforts and results were achieved at a time when nearly all of our global staff were working from home. With the health and safety of our employees, clients and communities as our top priority, we were among the very first firms to transition to having staff work remotely more than one month ago – and with minimal to no interruption to business operations. (See our COVID-19 preparedness statement here.)

To ensure our clients, partners and shareholders remain informed, engaged and disciplined during the downturn, we have made a number of resources available, including a dedicated COVID-19 page on AGF.com featuring regular investment commentary and market updates as well as resources related to managing volatility. Additionally, we have been hosting weekly conference calls for clients featuring one or more of our experts providing updates on the latest market developments. The calls take place every Wednesday at 10:00 am ET and we encourage you to register and participate if you have not already done so.

At the same time, we understand that we’re all in this situation together and that we can help the vulnerable members of our communities get the support they need during the COVID-19 crisis. That's why AGF is proud to support the United Way's Local Love Fund as it provides urgent assistance to community agencies across Canada. This month, we're matching our employees' contributions to this important cause.

At AGF, we understand that our efforts to safeguard and support our employees, clients and communities – in addition to the performance we deliver during the downturn – will determine our standing in your eyes both now and when the recovery takes hold. We’re proud of our team’s efforts in support of all our stakeholders and remain committed to delivering for you when you need us most.

Sincerely,

Kevin McCreadie signature

 

Kevin McCreadie
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer
AGF Management Limited

 

 

1 Based on Series MF (net of fees). As of April 6, 2020.
2 As of April 6, 2020. Excludes Funds with less than one year since inception.

 

 

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