3 Canadian Female Portfolio Managers to Invest with Now

These fabulous female managers are worth your money.

Danielle LeClair 7 March, 2023 | 3:19AM
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Female fund managers remain a notable minority in the Canadian market. According to the latest Morningstar Direct data as of January 31, 2023, of the 1872 Canadian mutual fund managers in our database, only 234 are women, meaning only 12% of funds have at least one named portfolio manager that is female.

Although this is a relatively strong representation relative to global peers, in Morningstar’s view, room for improvement is unquestionable. Analysts on our Manager Research team explicitly consider diversity and diversity of thought as a key attribute of successful teams.

Despite their underrepresentation, Canadian women portfolio managers have made their mark. Heather Peirce, Hilda Applbaum and Erin Browne are three examples of women who lead or play leading roles on top performing funds, each earning Bronze, Silver or Gold Morningstar Analyst or Morningstar Quantitative Ratings. Let’s look at why we like these funds – and their managers.

A Manager with a High Conviction Process, and Exceptional Results

Heather Peirce, Black Creek Investment Management

Exhibit 1

Heather Peirce is an accomplished portfolio manager with an impressive career spanning over 30 years in global equities. For the past decade, she has been with Black Creek Investment Management, where she is the co-lead on the silver-rated CI Global Leaders Fund.

Prior to joining Black Creek, Peirce held key portfolio management roles at Gryphon International, Invesco Trimark, and RBC Asset Management. During her tenure as lead manager of various global funds, Peirce developed a keen eye for identifying quality businesses with clear competitive advantages. Her high conviction process and strong commitment to delivering exceptional results for her clients sets her apart.

A Manager Focused on Dividend-Paying Equities

Hilda Applbaum, Capital Group

Exhibit 2

Hilda Applbaum has had a long and distinguished investing career at one of the world’s largest asset managers, Capital Group. She joined the firm over 28 years ago and soon was named a portfolio manager at two funds that she still helps run today – the American Funds American Balanced and American Funds Income Fund of America, as well as two Canadian vehicles Capital Group Global Balanced Canada and Capital Group Monthly Income (Canada).

She invests in stocks at both funds, though she also has the flexibility to invest substantially in bonds at the latter. She has served as the principal investment officer at Income Fund of America since 2005 and both Canadian funds since their launch in 2015 and 2020.

Given the funds’ mandates, Applbaum focuses on dividend-paying equities in both portfolios. Income Fund aims for a higher payout to investors and Applbaum structures her portfolio accordingly, but she avoids troubled firms with lofty yields. She tends to hang on to her picks for very long periods and tries to limit the risk of permanent capital losses. She also tries to cap downside risk by maintaining her valuation discipline, selling holdings when valuations appear full.

A Manager with a Multi-Faceted Perspective

Erin Browne, PIMCO

Exhibit 3

Since joining the firm in 2019, Erin Browne has reinvigorated bond giant PIMCO’s multi-asset efforts. She is head of the firm’s asset allocation group and lead manager of the US-listed PIMCO RealPath Blend target-date series, which earns a Gold-rating. In Canada, Browne provides oversight and ensures the firm’s investment committee views are appropriately reflected across the PIMCO Managed Bond Pools.

Prior to joining PIMCO, Browne’s roles included head of asset allocation at UBS and as a global macro portfolio manager at high-profile hedge fund Point72 Asset Management.

Browne now oversees PIMCO’s asset-allocation funds and target-date series while serving as a rotating member of the firm’s investment committee. Her multi-faceted perspective has helped both the PIMCO Managed Conservative Bond Pool and PIMCO Managed Core Bond Pool outpace peers, landing in the top quartile of their category. Both funds earn a Morningstar Quantitative Rating of Bronze.

Other Female Fund Managers to Watch

Canada is fortunate to have a few other funds managed by high-achieving female portfolio managers. Below is a list of strategies that have earned either a High or Above Average Morningstar Quantitative People Pillar Rating:

Exhibit 4

Morningstar Manager Research Analysts Abdulai Mohamed, Greg Carlson and Megan Pacholok also contributed to this report.


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About Author

Danielle LeClair  Danielle LeClair is Director of Manager Research for Morningstar Canada

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