Manager Monitor: Erin Greenfield, Trimark Investments

first_img Change to Counsel Global Small Cap Fund Erin Greenfield, who took over the lead role in managing Trimark Global Balanced in mid-2013, has stayed the course with the $611-million fund by keeping the asset mix stable and portfolio turnover low.Greenfield is a vice-president and portfolio manager for Trimark Investments, a division of Invesco Canada Ltd. in Toronto. After co-managing Trimark Global Balanced since 2009, he was appointed lead manager in June 2013, and continues to work with co-manager Jeff Hyrich. Since 2008, Greenfield has also co-managed Trimark Global Endeavour with Hyrich. NEO, Invesco launch four index PTFs Keywords Fund managersCompanies Invesco Canada Ltd. Though Greenfield and Hyrich have the flexibility to vary the asset mix, the balanced fund has remained at approximately 70% equities and 30% bonds over the past five years. On the equity side of this fund, which ranges between 25 and 35 holdings, the duo has added a few more names since mid-2013. Otherwise, there have been no significant changes over the past 14 months.This is despite being given a free hand. “With a lot of the Trimark funds, there’s not many handcuffs,” says Greenfield, who joined the Trimark team in 2005 and started out in Canadian equities. “And any time you remove handcuffs from portfolio managers, you increase the chances of outperforming.”Greenfield is responsible for the overall asset allocation of Trimark Global Balanced, but the bond components are chosen by a three-member fixed-income team. “We’ve told the bond managers to be opportunists,” says Greenfield. “Use that Trimark approach of trying to find great bargains.”There is considerable overlap in stock positions between Trimark Global Balanced and Trimark Global Endeavour, but the latter does not hold any fixed-income securities.Another difference has to do with the market capitalizations of equity holdings. Trimark Global Endeavour is primarily a mid-cap fund. Trimark Global Balanced is approximately one-third large cap, one-third mid-cap and one-third small-cap.Many of the “best ideas” of the two managers have come from smaller companies. “Often smaller companies can grow faster than larger companies,” says Greenfield, “but they can certainly be more volatile.”Following a fundamentally driven, bottom-up process, the Trimark team emphasizes quality management with a strong track record. Other sought-after qualities include profitability, competitive advantage, barriers to entry, growth opportunities, balance-sheet strength and valuations.Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT), the current top holding in Trimark Global Balanced, “ticks many of the boxes,” says Greenfield. The information-technology giant has at times been unloved in the market, he says, “so it shows that we can be somewhat contrarian. It’s not a fast grower, but it does have some opportunities for growth in mobile and cloud platforms.”A top-five holding in the balanced fund and in Trimark Global Endeavour is Hyundai Mobis Co. Ltd., a South Korean auto-parts provider. The company has had very strong growth over the last 10 years, supplying parts to Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motor Corp., which make vehicles that are “really gaining in popularity,” says Greenfield. Hyundai Mobis sells globally and also handles most of the aftermarket parts. “So it’s somewhat of a royalty business for people getting their cars fixed, regardless of what’s going on in the economy.Greenfield and his Trimark colleagues don’t pay much attention to market indexes or sectors, but they aim to have a fairly diversified portfolio of separate ideas. For example, even if they consider U.S. banks to be cheap, the fund would generally include only one U.S. bank. “That way you have a portfolio of uncorrelated ideas,” says Greenfield.Currently, Trimark Global Balanced has invested close to 40% of its portfolio in the U.S., spanning both equities and fixed-income securities. The fund’s equity portion does not hold any Canadian companies. Most of the U.S. equity holdings are in companies that are global in scope.There are certain areas of the world that “we would shy away from,” says Greenfield. For example, “Russia is a place that I’ve always had a tough time with, and China I find is tough to understand at times.”When investing in China, Greenfield says he favours companies that are managed out of Hong Kong. The reason, he says, is that these companies have “a much longer history there of investor protection, better governance and more regulatory filings in English that you can review.”Greenfield, 41, received a BBA (honours) from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1996. After graduation, he joined NCR, owned by AT&T, as a cost accountant in Waterloo for about a year. He then returned to Wilfrid Laurier to take courses toward the CA designation.In September 1997, Greenfield joined KPMG in Toronto, auditing financial statements, before being transferred to the company’s Bermuda office in 1999 as a senior manager. He received the CA designation in 2001 and the CFA designation in 2002. He believes his experience in auditing a broad range of companies “is a great background to have as a portfolio manager.” Diana Cawfield center_img Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Franklin Templeton renames funds with new managers Related news Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *