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An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis, promises safety of principal and an adequate return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative.”

Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor (1949)


As a mission, Phocion sets out to elevate operating control standards within the investment industry. It accomplishes this by focusing on three core areas:

  • Performance
  • Compliance
  • Due Diligence

Phocion authors meaningful articles that enlighten and educate the investment industry. The articles influence the industry towards greater integrity and away from the “speculative” nature of operations that Ben Graham referred to in his opus magnum.

May 25, 2016

Managers Distinguish Themselves by Implementing Sound Risk Practices

The implementation of sound risk management practices can assist Investment Managers to distinguish themselves in the eyes of investors. Managers should be mindful that investors essentially want two things from them: (1) confidence that manager investment strategies are repeatable, and (2) safety of their capital. With respect to the latter point, this article touches on
February 23, 2016

CRM2: Missing the Mark

The Client Relationship Model (CRM) is coming into effect in Canada with advisors/dealers (from now on referred to as “managers”) and investors trying to digest the new retail investment industry standards. The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada’s (IIROC) previous President and CEO, Susan Wolburgh Jenah, described CRM as “a comprehensive reform package designed to
January 13, 2016

Turning a Cost Center into a Profit Center

Introduction The opportunity to change a cost center into a profit center exists for all investment management firms. Unfortunately, there is an entrenched, long held belief that the Front Office acts only as a Profit Center and the Middle and Back Office are Cost Centers. A simple approach to changing this mindset and creating an
December 1, 2015

Pension Plan Enterprise Risk Management Culture Begins at the Top

For defined benefit (“DB”) pension plans, a strong Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”) culture goes hand in hand with good governance and can yield two very important benefits: (1) the minimization of overall firm risk, and (2) an increase in firm predictability. ERM is often ignored by executives of leading DB plans when they fail to
November 4, 2015

Performance Advertising: The Right Way to Attract Capital & Benefit Investors

Performance advertising is a tool that is used by investment firm to articulate their investment strategy and performance to current clients as well as attract capital from prospective investors. The information provided in the marketing material with respect to performance is of great interest to all stakeholders in the investment management process due to the
October 1, 2015

Screening advisors for high net worth investors: A checklist provides a framework in the selection process

In today’s investment arena, high net worth (HNW) individuals are challenged to choose the best advisor to meet with their unique, individual circumstance. Several issues need to be kept in mind during the selection process. No matter whether the advisor is employed by a large or small firm, investors need to be armed with the right checklist to minimise mistakes. Large investment
August 4, 2015

Foundation Cultures Require Revamp to Achieve Best Operating Practices

Over the past century, charitable foundations have grown considerably to help meet society’s ever growing demand for assistance. From private to public, they all have one thing in common, they raise funds to support a charitable cause. Glancing through various websites of different foundations there is a common theme when reading their mission statement: “…develop
April 15, 2015

Operational Best Practices Key to Driving Emerging Managers’ AUM Higher

Entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the investment industry. Last year 84 new hedge funds running at least $50 million were launched in the United States, which is the largest total since 2006.‎ [1] ‎Many emerging managers employ seasoned professionals who are fully vested alongside their clients.‎ From the markets’ perspective, ‎these dedicated individuals augment
November 20, 2014

What Every High Net Worth Investor Needs to Know

In the world of performance returns what you don’t know can hurt you. Most High Net Worth (HNW) investors assume that the published returns on their quarterly statements are accurate. After all, who knows better about their performance than their investment managers who present it to them? The fact of the matter is that performance
February 20, 2014

Relying on GIPS Verifiers to Maintain Compliance

The decision to become GIPS compliant is a significant one in an investment firm’s progress. GIPS compliance represents an increase in transparency and fair representation of performance. The overall objective of the GIPS standards is “…to provide an ethical framework for the calculation and presentation of the investment performance history of an investment management firm.”[1] Reaching