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. The Insurance Companies Act (Canada) establishes this fund as a segregated fund.
This update impacts the Sun Life Schroder Global Mid-Cap fund available on our core platform. SLGI Asset Management Inc. (“SLGI”) is the manager of the fund and Schroder Investment Management (“Schroders”) is the sub-advisor. Schroders announced that Matthew Dobbs, head of global and international small cap and co-portfolio manager for Sun Life Schroder Global Mid-Cap (“Schroder Global Mid Cap”), is retiring by the end of 2021. Richard Sennitt, co-portfolio manager for Schroder Global Mid Cap, will also leave the strategy. As a result, Sennitt will take over some of Dobbs’ other small cap mandates. Dobbs transitioned his role as head of global and international small cap to Chris Taylor in January 2021. He will stay on in an advisory role until his retirement.
Schroders announced that they will transition portfolio manager duties to Bob Kaynor and Luke Biermann over Q1 2021. Bob Kaynor has 26 years of investment experience, including seven at Schroders. Luke Biermann has 13 years of investment experience, all at Schroders. Both have focused on small- and mid-cap stock research throughout their careers. Kaynor and Biermann will also continue in their small cap specialist roles for North America and Pan Europe, respectively. Chris Taylor will focus on product and strategic management.
We have some concerns with both portfolio managers departing the strategy at the same time. The size of the team and regional sub-portfolio structure ease the impact of the departures.
In addition, Kaynor's and Biermann's experience on the strategy give us some comfort. Schroders believe that Kaynor’s close working relationship with Biermann will ensure a continuity of process in managing the fund. We also note that there was higher analyst turnover in the strategy in 2019. However, this did not carry over into 2020.
We placed Schroder Global Mid Cap on our Watch List (Additional Monitoring). We continue to watch the change of leadership on the strategy. We will give further updates as necessary.
SLGI believe the announcement provides ample warning, supporting an orderly transition to the new key decision makers. Kaynor and Biermann are seasoned investment professionals with long track records with the firm and team. In addition, extensive, dedicated resources aid them across regions. Given these facts, SLGI do not expect any material changes to the investment strategy and its implementation.
Please contact your Sun Life Group Retirement Services representative.