February 10, 2020

MFS Fixed Income Portfolio Manager Retirement

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).

In November 2019, MFS announced the planned retirement of Peter Kotsopoulos. Mr. Kotsopoulos is co-lead portfolio manager for the MFS Canadian Fixed Income and MFS Responsible Canadian Fixed Income strategies. His retirement will be effective March 2020. In addition to his portfolio management role, he has also been a part of the Asset Mix team that makes tactical asset mix decisions for the multi-asset class strategies.

Saomi Kohly joined Mr. Kotsopoulos as co-portfolio manager on Canadian Fixed Income in 2014. Mr. Kohly will continue to work on this strategy. He joined the Asset Mix team on December 1, 2019, and will work alongside current members Robert Spector and Jeffrey Morrison. Mr. Kotsopoulos stepped down from his position on the committee on December 31, 2019. Co-portfolio manager Joshua Marston replaces Mr. Kotsopoulos on Canadian Fixed Income strategy and will work alongside Mr. Kohly.

Mr. Kotsopoulos’ retirement was not a surprise given his age and long tenure at MFS (formerly McLean Budden). Mr. Kotsopoulos joined McLean Budden 25 years ago and spent many years leading the flagship fixed income strategy. Soami Kohly joined the MFS Canadian Fixed Income portfolio management team in 2014. He was the likely eventual successor to Mr. Kotsopoulos, after Paul Marcogliese left the firm. Mr. Kohly joined MFS in 2009 and has 25 year of fixed income experience. He has been handling much of the client facing responsibilities for the Canadian Fixed Income team in recent years. Joshua Marston is Director of Fixed Income, North America. He is based is in Boston, where he is a portfolio manager for MFS’ U.S. Aggregate strategies and MFS Canadian Fixed Income Plus, among others. He has 20 years of tenure at MFS.

We met with MFS in December 2019 to assess the changes and new team structure. Given his tenure and experience, Mr. Kotsopoulos’ departure is a loss for the strategy. However, we are comfortable with Mr. Marston’s experience and familiarity with the Canadian fixed income landscape. Mr. Kohly will offer continuity and Canadian-based expertise to the strategy. Mr. Kohly and Mr. Marston already work together on the Canadian Fixed Income Plus strategy. Therefore, there are few concerns about the transition. The lack of a clear Canadian-based back-up for Mr. Kohly is a small concern from a succession planning perspective. The firm is not planning any more hires at this time. We will monitor the new team over upcoming quarters.


Please contact your Sun Life Group Retirement Services representative.