by Tom Bradley

We’ve made the decision to change the manager of our Small-Cap Equity Fund. Galibier Capital Management is taking over portfolio advisor responsibilities, replacing Wutherich & Company.

Steadyhand clients received an email earlier this week with details on why we’re making the change. For investors who haven’t heard the news, we provide some context below.

Although young in its existence, Galibier is an impressive firm, led by its founding partner, Joe Sirdevan. Joe has over 20 years of investment management experience and in my view is one of Canada’s leading portfolio managers. He has a proven track record and has surrounded himself with a team of experienced investors. We’re excited to be working with Galibier and believe this change is in the best interests of our clients.

Nonetheless, this was a very difficult decision to make. Wil Wutherich has been a good partner of ours for almost 10 years and many of our clients have got to know him. Wil is a first-rate money manager and for clients who have been with us for a number of years, he’s delivered solid returns.

As we regularly point out in our writing, however, investing is all about looking forward. The next five years. Ten years. Twenty years. Some of the most fertile ground for our undexing approach in the years to come will be small and mid-sized companies in North America. By appointing Galibier, we can more fully take advantage of the opportunities, specifically by researching and owning more mid-cap stocks in Canada (medium-sized companies) and small-cap stocks in the U.S.

Salman and my biggest job at Steadyhand is evaluating and monitoring our fund managers to ensure we have the best possible team of investment professionals working for our clients. This involves looking at past performance for sure, but it also takes into account a number of other factors that we believe are more reliable predictors of future performance. In total, there are 7 P’s that we evaluate: People; Parent (ownership and company structure); Philosophy; Process (decision-making and portfolio construction); Price (fees); Performance (long term); and Passion.

Galibier checks all the boxes and I’m confident that we’re a better firm today as a result of the change.

The fund will continue to be very concentrated and look nothing like the index. There will be changes, however, to the type of companies owned (less cyclical, more growth) and the criteria used for evaluating them. For more details, I encourage you to review the materials we’ve prepared.

The website has been updated to reflect this change, including a video interview with the fund manager, Joe Sirdevan. We’ve also prepared a one-page overview of Galibier and a Q&A which hopefully covers off most or all of your questions. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to call us at 1-888-888-3147. Chris, Lori, Scott, David, Salman and I are ready to take your call.