Quebec-centric funds: Vive la différence

Managers can take pride in stellar performance.

Yan Barcelo 9 April, 2018 | 5:00PM

A trio of Quebec-centric mutual funds -- Desjardins Quebec Balanced, Investors Quebec Enterprise and NBI Quebec Growth -- are not trendy recent additions to the Canadian investment world. Far from it. But for what they may now lack in novelty, they more than make up for with excellent track records in their respective peer groups.

Designed to appeal to the strong nationalist streak in Quebec, they've been offered since the late 1990s. Quebecers tend to identify more with Quebec-based companies than with all-Canadian ones, notes Christian Felx, portfolio manager, systematic strategy, at Desjardins Investments Inc. He oversees the $582-million Desjardins Quebec Balanced.

This sentiment was heightened in the 1980s and 1990s by the Quebec government's REA (Régime d'épargne-actions) program, which gave rebates to citizens who invested in Quebec companies, mostly start-ups. The program stimulated interest "to invest in Quebec, close to home," recalls Marc Lecavalier of Fiera Capital Corp. He is the lead manager of the $250-million NBI Quebec Growth, sponsored by National Bank Investments Inc.

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About Author

Yan Barcelo  is a veteran financial and economic journalist with more than 30 years of experience, writing for many publications in Toronto and in Montreal, including CPA MagazineLes Affaires and Commerce.

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