May 11, 2020

CC&L Personnel Update to Fixed Income Team

Plan sponsors may wish to consider if this investment news has implications for the investment options in their plans. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada purchases units of the fund listed below. The fund is established as a segregated fund in accordance with the Insurance Companies Act (Canada).

Effective December 31, 2019, David George received a promotion to co-head of the fixed income team.

Mr. George has been a partner and head of the fixed income credit team at CC&L for ten years. The credit team has expanded significantly with three additional team members since 2017.

In his new role, Mr. George will expand his leadership to the entire fixed income team. The fixed income team will return to the co-lead model they had before Chris Kalbfleisch left in September 2019. Brian Eby will keep overall responsibility for investment decision-making as the team’s CIO.

Mr. George will also continue as head of the fixed income credit team. He is also now a member of the Asset Allocation Committee.

In addition, effective December 31, 2019, Crista Caughlin left the firm to join a competitor.

Ms. Caughlin was a partner at CC&L for two years. Most recently she focused on macro research, alongside Brian Eby and Carolyn Kwan. With her departure, Mr. Eby and Ms. Kwan continue to be responsible for macro fixed income decisions.

CC&L have begun a search for an investment professional with experience in fixed income macro research and strategy.

Our View

David George has an established track record in fixed income investing and a long tenure with CC&L. He has been with the firm and a portfolio manager for fixed income since 2006. He also has 22 years of industry experience in high yield/corporate bond research across asset management firms. These include Scotia Capital Markets (USA) Inc., Goldman, Sach & Co., Merrill Lynch & Co. and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

We view the promotion as a positive change. Re-introducing a co-leadership model for fixed income should reduce portfolio management distractions. It will also address key person risk concerns relating to Brian Eby, following Chris Kalbfleisch’s departure. The co-leadership structure is also an indication of CC&L’s intent to re-establish a long-term succession plan. This aligns with the firm’s philosophy to develop leadership internally. 

Crista Caughlin was a long-tenured member of the fixed income team. Ms. Caughlin began her career at CC&L as a fixed income trade support in 2001. She moved into the analyst/senior analyst roles from 2004 to 2018. Ms. Caughlin became responsible for macroeconomic research in 2018. She was a supporting member contributing macro research insights to the Asset Allocation Committee.

Ms. Caughlin’s departure comes shortly after Mr. Kalbfleisch’s. Mr. Kalbfleisch was also a member of the Asset Allocation Committee. While the macroeconomic research function employs a team approach, there is a short-term loss of experience. We recognize Ms. Caughlin’s long tenure and years of experience with CC&L. It may take some time to find a replacement with a similar level of competence and cultural compatibility.


Please contact your Sun Life Group Retirement Services representative.