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. They are established as segregated funds under the Insurance Companies Act (Canada).

Beutel Goodman (BG) has announced retirement plans for two portfolio managers. These changes affect BG’s Canadian equity funds (BG Canadian Equity, BG Fundamental Canadian Equity), fixed income fund (BG Income), and balanced fund (BG Balanced).

Canadian Equity Team

In the first quarter of 2023, BG announced the planned retirement of Pat Palozzi on January 31, 2024. Palozzi is the co-lead Portfolio Manager (PM) on BG Canadian Equity and BG Fundamental Canadian Equity (the Funds). He has 35 years of investment experience and 18 years of tenure at BG. He was named a co-lead PM along side Mark Thomson in 2019 in preparation for Thomson’s retirement in 2020.

James Black will continue in his role as co-lead PM on the Funds and Director of Research. Black has 29 years of industry experience and tenure at BG of 15 years. He became Director of Research and a co-lead PM on the Funds in 2020.

Vim Thasan will join Black on the portfolio management team when Palozzi retires. Thasan joined BG in January 2020 and has over twenty years of investment experience.

BG also announced the hire of Sara Shahram, effective May 2023. She will join BG’s Canadian equity team with 20 years of investment experience, most recently on the Canadian equity team at Empire Life investments.

Palozzi’s research responsibilities included consumer staples, industrials and retailers. This research coverage will be assumed by Mary Crowe and Vim Thasan.

Fixed Income Team

In August 2022, BG announced that David Gregoris would retire in June 2023. He is Managing Director, Fixed Income, and co-lead PM on BG Income. Gregoris has the most experience (37 yrs) and the longest tenure (31 yrs) at BG among the fixed income team.

Derek Brown is currently co-head of Fixed Income and co-lead PM. As part of the changes, Brown will become sole Head of Fixed Income following Gregoris’ retirement. He will remain co-lead PM on the BG Income fund. Brown has 19 years of investment experience and joined BG seven years ago. Brown is focused on macro-economic research and portfolio positioning.

Sue McNamara will also remain as a portfolio manager on BG Income. McNamara is SVP Fixed Income. She focuses on credit and has 31 years of investment experience and 17 years of tenure at BG. McNamara was appointed as Head of Credit and Head of Responsible Investing as part of the changes. The latter role will now consume roughly half of McNamara’s time.

BG has added resources to the fixed income team in the last few years – Neil McCabe (VP), Chris Mudie (AVP), Ryan Laird (analyst) and Uwani Fernando (analyst). Collectively, they average over 10 years of industry experience. Only Mary Crowe and Daniel Miles have left the team over the same period. Crowe moved over to BG’s Canadian Equity team. Miles was a trader who left for other opportunities.

Sun Life GRS Investment Solutions’ view

We view Pat Palozzi’s retirement as a loss for the Funds, given his leadership role, experience and tenure. However, James Black provides continuity and strong experience. Vim Thasan is newer to BG but has solid experience. BG indicated that Pat Palozzi and James Black worked collaboratively to make portfolio management decisions. They expect that to continue with Black and Thasan in 2024.

BG’s Canadian Equity team has traditionally featured a number of long-tenured professionals that included Mark Thomson, Pat Palozzi, Bill Otton, Steve Arpin, and James Black. Palozzi’s retirement can be viewed as the next chapter in a “changing of the guard” that began with Mark Thomson’s retirement in 2020. BG has added bench strength to the Canadian equity team by adding Vim Thasan, Sara Shahram, Mary Crowe, and Dora Ho in recent years.

David Gregoris joined the BG fixed income team in the early 1990s and assumed the role of Head of Fixed Income when Bruce Corneil retired in 2015. His retirement will be a significant loss for the team. Mitigating the impact of the loss is the experience of Sue McNamara, Derek Brown, and John Fuca (AVP). Brown’s focus on macro issues and the allocation of portfolio risk mirrors that of Gregoris, and he will be asked to assume the most additional responsibility. McNamara will continue to complement Gregoris and Brown’s strengths with her focus on credit. Her responsible investing role will take up a significant amount of her time, however. She will need to rely more upon the other members of the credit team. BG has indicated they will make an additional hire if she feels stretched.

We have placed BG Canadian Equity, BG Fundamental Canadian Equity, BG Income and BG Balanced under Additional Monitoring as we monitor the transition. Additional Monitoring is the least severe category on our Watch List. We have no significant concerns with the changes as the transitions appear to be well-managed. BG has a strong culture and a disciplined approach to value investing that is not expected to change with the retirements. We’ll evaluate any additional hires to the teams as they occur and will continue to monitor the teams through the transition.


Please contact your Sun Life Group Retirement Services representative.