Thursday, December 3, 2009

And the winner is….

Last night the Canadian Investment Awards Gala took place at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. The awards recognize leading investment products and firms who demonstrate a commitment to excellence within the Canadian financial services industry. The investment categories have grown over time, and in addition to the standard fund types and the SRI award, a set of awards for hedge funds was added this year.

The Socially Responsible Investment Fund Award was won by the Inhance Monthly Income Fund. Steve MacInnes, the Chief Investment Officer at Inhance, was on hand to accept the award. “It’s a compliment to myself and the team we have at Inhance. The Monthly Income Fund is a fund for the times we went through. It’s very well balanced, no crazy bets and diversified across all yield asset classes. It outperformed it’s balanced fund peer group. We had a shot at winning the whole category”

The runner up was the Ethical Balanced Fund. Both funds are in the top quartile based on Globefund rankings of 3 year performance of the Canadian Equity Balanced Peer Group. Perhaps we can now put an end to the pervasive myth of SRI underperformance.

Glorianne Stromberg was the winner of this year’s Career Achievement Award. This award is well deserved, and a courageous choice given the mutual fund industry’s reluctant acceptance of many of her much needed reforms.

The second annual Green Company Award for Environmental Leadership went to TD Bank. Peter Love, the former Chief Energy Conservation Office with the Ontario Power Authority, when presenting the award, asked a question that goes to the heart of SRI, ‘What good is prosperity if it cannot be sustained?”.

Unfortunately, Thomas Dyck in his acceptance speech spoke about the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a wonderful initiative, but neglected to mention the impact of TD’s Sustainable Investing Policy introduced earlier this year which now takes ESG factors into consideration when managing their 53 billion dollar mutual fund portfolio.

The CIA Gala is itself committed to going green. The event was powered with renewable energy by Bullfrog Power, and the program was printed by Informco on ‘100% recycled paper with no new trees harmed, using vegetable based inks and Environment 14001 certified processes.’ Hmm, looks like the broader investment community is finally catching up to us!

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