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June 1, 2016

An Advocacy for a Chief Performance Officer (CPO)

This article is forthcoming in The Journal of Performance Measurement (Summer 2016) Introduction The performance industry has evolved considerably over the past decades. Concepts such as performance calculation, presentation, evaluation and attribution have become more complicated than ever. This is due to a changing investment industry, which has evolved from one mostly focused on traditional
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
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
January 7, 2014

Operational Due Diligence: The Forgotten Part of Due Diligence

The evaluation and selection of investment managers is dominated by an Investment Due Diligence process focused on strategy, performance, and client objectives. Often overlooked and considerably undervalued, is the Operational Due Diligence process which looks into the quality of a firm’s operations. As a necessary component of a complete due diligence process, it can be
November 5, 2013

Missing Out On Performance Measures

There is a differing opinion on the use of IRR (Internal Rate of Return) or TWR (Time Weighted Return) in performance measurement of investment firms, individuals and their portfolios. Some investors and firms prefer the IRR as it is viewed as a more complete return measure while others prefer the TWR, which focuses on the
June 5, 2012


While the world economies are still trying to recover from the global financial crisis of 2007-08, much discussion has been spent on the causes behind the crisis. Among others, there were significant failures in risk management, regulatory oversight, in the Fed’s mortgage lending standards, and in the valuation policies and processes of investors. The importance
March 16, 2012

The Bridge Competition

On March 6th, 2012, former Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford was convicted of pilfering $7 billion of investors’ money through a Ponzi scheme. In my beloved city of Montreal, victims of another Ponzi scheme run by Earl Jones reached a $17 million settlement agreement with the Royal Bank of Canada. The victims contended that the
December 21, 2011

Going Beyond GIPS

 Introduction Global Investment Performance Standards, better known as GIPS, are a voluntary set of standards established to create transparency in the calculation and presentation of performance. From improving the credibility of compliant investment firms to providing clients the ability to fairly evaluate the performance of these firms, GIPS has arguably become the gold standard in
October 31, 2011

Why Fund Sponsors Are Failing

Introduction I was in the process of working on a blog about why fund sponsors were failing the funds and their pension beneficiaries. The blog was going to focus on the role sponsors take in the management of the fund, identify their shortcomings and propose solutions. On Monday the 17th of October, as is my