March 29, 2018

Organizational Changes at Hexavest

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 fund listed below, which is established as a segregated fund in accordance with the Insurance Companies Act (Canada).

On January 31, 2018, Hexavest announced the departure of Jean-René Adam, Co-Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager. All of the strategies and funds on which Mr. Adam served as a portfolio manager are team-managed and will continue to be managed by existing team members without interruption.

Vital Proulx will continue to serve as Chief Investment Officer for all of Hexavest’s investment strategies. There will be no changes to investment processes as a result of Mr. Adam’s departure.

Funds Affected:

  • Hexavest Europac Segregated Fund
  • Hexavest World Segregated Fund

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Jean-René Adam’s sudden departure was a surprise to parties inside and outside of the firm. After partial owner Eaton Vance (49%) had declined its option to acquire the remaining shares of Hexavest, Mr. Adam sold half of his ownership stake back to Vital Proulx for personal reasons. Other senior members of the organization felt that this action demonstrated a lack of commitment to Hexavest. To maintain harmony within the firm, Vital Proulx eventually decided that Mr. Adam needed to depart the firm.

As co-CIO and a member of the Strategy Team, Mr. Adam was a significant contributor to the research and decision-making in all Hexavest strategies and it is a loss for the firm. However, Hexavest continues to have experienced leadership and a unique culture that retains and attracts talent. Hexavest is currently looking to hire a senior investment professional in the near future.

Mr. Adam’s remaining ownership stake will be purchased by both Mr. Proulx and the holding company which comprises the employees’ 51% ownership interest.

We will seek to assess the Hexavest team and decision-making structure in Adam’s absence and once a senior hire is made.

Please contact your Sun Life Financial Group Retirement Services representative.