Organizational Changes at Sentry Investments

November 16, 2015

Plan sponsors may wish to consider whether this investment news has any implications for the investment options available within their plans. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada purchases units of the funds listed below, which are established as segregated funds in accordance with the Insurance Companies Act (Canada).

Dennis Mitchell departed from Sentry Investments (Sentry) effective July 6, 2015. Mr. Mitchell was Chief Investment Officer (CIO) at the firm and was directly involved in the management of several of Sentry's foreign equity funds including: Portfolio Manager of the Sun Life Sentry Global Mid Cap Fund and Co-Portfolio Manager of the Sun Life Sentry Infrastructure Fund with Gajan Kulasingam.   

Sun Life Global Investments is the fund manager and Sentry is the sub-advisor for the following three funds which are offered on the Sun Life Financial’s (SLF) Core investment platform (CIP):

  • Sun Life Sentry Global Mid Cap Fund
  • Sun Life Sentry Infrastructure Fund
  • Sun Life Sentry Value Fund

Sandy McIntyre, Mr. Mitchell’s predecessor as Sentry CIO from 2008 to 2012, has replaced Mr. Mitchell as CIO and has assumed overall portfolio management responsibilities for Sentry’s global fund line-up.  

The Sun Life Sentry Global Mid Cap Fund, previously managed by Mr. Mitchell, has a new portfolio management team consisting of the following:

  • Sandy McIntyre, Vice-Chairman and Chief Investment Officer
  • Aubrey Hearn, Vice-President and Senior Portfolio Manager
  • Gajan Kulasingam, Senior Portfolio Manager
  • Michael Missaghie, Senior Portfolio Manager
  • Francisco Lung and Tina Hsiao will continue to work on the fund as Associate Portfolio Managers

Mr. Missaghie and Mr. Kulasingam will manage the fund on a day-to-day basis, while the other Portfolio Managers primarily provide input on names in the portfolio.

Portfolio management responsibilities on the Sun Life Sentry Infrastructure Fund will continue with previous co-manager Mr. Kulasingam who now becomes the sole, lead Portfolio Manager of the fund.

There is no change to the portfolio management structure of the Sun Life Sentry Value Fund. It will continue to be managed by Michael Simpson.

SLF has placed the Sun Life Sentry Global Mid Cap Fund and Sun Life Sentry Infrastructure Fund on the SLF Watch List.

Mr. Mitchell was a key contributor in the management and oversight of Sentry’s global equities and his departure does give us some cause for concern in regards to Sentry’s foreign equity strategies. Despite our concerns, we do take some comfort in the fact that his replacements are all senior investment professionals and have played a significant role in the management of Sentry's foreign equity funds.  

SLF has placed the Sun Life Sentry Value Fund on the SLF Additional Monitoring List. Although the management team of Sun Life Sentry Value Fund remains in place, the significance of the departure deserves an additional level of due diligence.

Sentry has informed us that there will be no change in the way the above funds are managed as a result of Mr. Mitchell’s departure. The funds will continue to be managed using Sentry’s “house style” where managers look for: positive absolute returns with low volatility, consistent income with the potential for growth, and long-term growth in asset value.

We continue to closely monitor developments at the firm - including leadership structure and investment personnel - and will provide updates as new information becomes available.

Background
Mr. McIntyre has 40 years of financial industry experience. He joined Sentry in 2000 and is the architect and original practitioner of the Sentry “house style”, which is applied consistently across Sentry's entire fund line-up.

Mr. Hearn joined Sentry in 2005. He is the lead manager of Sentry Small/Mid Cap Income Fund and Sentry U.S. Growth and Income Fund, and co-manager of Sentry U.S. Balanced Income Fund. He is also a member of the management team for the company’s flagship fund, Sentry Canadian Income Fund.

Mr. Kulasingam joined Sentry in 2011 and has more than 10 years of financial industry experience. He is co-manager of Sentry’s global platform, including Sentry Global Growth and Income Fund and also manages the Sentry Infrastructure Fund.

Mr. Missaghie joined Sentry in 2008 and has nine years of financial industry experience. He is co-manager of Sentry’s global platform, including Sentry Global Growth and Income Fund, and is lead manager of Sentry REIT Fund.

Questions?
Please contact your Sun Life Financial Group Retirement Services representative.