Tom and Salman

by Tom Bradley

We announced to clients earlier this week that we have appointed Salman Ahmed as our Chief Investment Officer (CIO). Previously, he and I were sharing the role as co-CIOs. I'm delighted to publicize the transition as Salman is more than ready to manage our investment operations and has our team’s full support and confidence.

After receiving a business degree from Concordia University, Salman started his career at Mercer (an investment consulting firm) where he worked primarily with pension clients. He then moved to Morningstar Canada to do manager research – the same type we do at Steadyhand – and ultimately headed up the research team there. Salman is a CFA charterholder and currently serves as a Director on the CFA Society Vancouver board.

Since joining Steadyhand more than seven years ago, Salman and I have been joined at the hip, sharing not only the day-to-day responsibilities related to our investment managers and fund lineup, but also our investing knowledge, experiences, and networks. We’ve challenged each other every step of the way.

This announcement will yield very little change for our clients. Salman will be the prime decision maker relating to our funds, managers, and asset mix strategy. Our investment philosophy and partnership with specialist asset managers (a key feature of our offering) will not change. We have been patient, disciplined, and decisive in our investment approach over the past 15 years, and you can expect the same going forward.

What will I be doing? Well, I look forward to focusing on research, writing, and communicating sound investment principles to our growing stable of clients (and Canadians at large through my Financial Post column). I’m as turned on as ever about investing and the firm that I co-founded. In fact, it’s times like these (high volatility and shaky sentiment) that get my juices flowing, as opportunities tend to be plentiful, and a steady hand is crucial.

For the next year or so, I will continue to manage my favourite fund, the Founders Fund. We expect, however, that sometime in 2023, Salman and my roles will be reversed. Salman will take over the decision-making responsibility and I will become his collaborator and backup. The objectives of the fund, and the process we use in making asset mix decisions, will not change.

As the company’s Chair and largest shareholder, I will provide input on many issues, particularly strategic ones, and continue to work on special projects.

This change is something we have been working towards for years and is part of our succession planning. As I noted in my letter to clients in our Q1 Report, a lot has changed since we opened our doors 15 years ago, yet much has stayed the same — namely, our business model. We remain long-term focused, aligned with our clients, and uniquely transparent.

On this last note, if you have any questions about this announcement, I encourage you to contact us at 1-888-888-3147.

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