2020

February 10, 2020

MFS Organizational Changes

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).

MFS recently issued a series of announcements affecting the management of their funds on Sun Life’s Core investment platform. Here is a description of the changes brought by these announcements:

 

  1. Effective March 1, 2020, MFS will create a new regional, co-CIO leadership structure to lead the equity teams in Asia, Europe and the Americas.

The team will consist of:

Asia - Simon Gresham and Jeanine Thompson

Europe - Christopher Jennings and David Shindler

Americas - Kevin Beatty and Alison O'Neill

All six individuals are currently leaders within MFS’ Equity Division. They will all report to Ted Maloney, MFS’ Chief Investment Officer. They will retain their current portfolio management responsibilities.

 

  1. Portfolio Manager David Antonelli has announced his retirement effective April 15, 2021. Mr. Antonelli is currently a co-portfolio manager on the Sun Life MFS International Growth and Sun Life MFS Global Growth The other co-portfolio managers on the funds will continue their duties and work with Mr. Antonelli during the transition as outlined below.

Sun Life MFS International Growth Fund – Co-portfolio managers Kevin Dwan and Matthew Barrett will continue in their roles. They’ll work with Mr. Antonelli during the transition. Mr. Barrett was added to the portfolio management team in 2015 and Mr. Dwan in 2012.

Sun Life MFS Global Growth Fund – Co-portfolio managers Jeffrey Constantino and Joseph Skorski will continue in their roles and work with Mr. Antonelli during the transition. Mr. Constantino was added to the portfolio management team in 2008 and Mr. Skorski in 2018.

There will be no changes to the investment approach of the funds as a result of Mr. Antonelli’s retirement. 

 

  1. Portfolio managers Steve Gorham and Nevin Chitkara will be transitioning off the Sun Life MFS U.S. Value and Sun Life MFS Global Value funds, respectively. They will focus on other strategies.

Sun Life MFS U.S. Value Fund:

  • Steve Gorham will relinquish his portfolio management responsibilities on the strategy, effective December 31, 2020.
  • Gorham will focus on the firm's Global Value Equity strategy (see below).
  • Katherine Cannan, an MFS Equity Research Analyst, has more than 10 years of experience. Ms. Cannan joined the portfolio management team in December 2019. She will work alongside Nevin Chitkara.

Sun Life MFS Global Value Fund:

  • Nevin Chitkara will relinquish his responsibilities on the Global Value Equity strategy, effective December 31, 2020.
  • Current portfolio management team members Steve Gorham and Vipin Narula will subsequently manage the strategy.
  • Chitkara will focus on his portfolio management responsibilities on the US Value Equity strategy (see above.)

 

  1. On December 31, 2019, Joseph MacDougall transitioned off the portfolio management team of the MFS Global Research Akira Fuse, who joins current co-portfolio manager Jamie Keating on the strategy, replaced Mr. MacDougall. Mr. Fuse joined MFS in 2019 and has 25 years of investment experience. Sector analysts are responsible for stock picking in their respective sectors in the MFS Global Research strategy. Mr. Keating and Mr. Fuse have responsibility for overall portfolio construction.

 

  1. In January 2020, Pablo de la Mata announced his decision to depart from MFS on April 15, 2022. Mr. de la Mata is currently co-portfolio manager on the Sun Life MFS International Value Fund, along with Benjamin Stone. He has been portfolio manager on the strategy since 2014. Stone has been in the position since 2008. In advance of Mr. de la Mata’s departure, MFS has announced the addition of Philip Evans as an additional portfolio manager on the fund, effective February 1, 2020. Mr. Evans joined MFS in 2011 as an Equity Research Analyst covering the consumer cyclicals, health care and capital goods sectors.

 

Sun Life Global Investments (SLGI) manages, and MFS currently sub-advises, several of the above-named funds (underlined). SLGI have communicated that they remain comfortable with MFS’ team approach to investment management, their disciplined investment process, and the significant transition period communicated for the continuity of management on these strategies. 

The GRS Investment Solutions Team is comfortable with each of these changes. We will monitor the implementation of the co-CIO structure, as well as of the portfolio management team transitions as they occur.

Questions?

Please contact your Sun Life Group Retirement Services representative.