CI revamps small-cap line-up

The giant CI organization has made two major moves in an effort to revitalize some of its underperforming small-cap funds.

Step one was the appointment of high-profile manager John Sartz to the helm of the CI Explorer Fund (formerly the Signature Explorer Fund). The fund, which had been managed by Robert Lyon, has been a chronic underachiever for many years, with below-average results over all time frames and a higher-than-average risk rating. Sartz will bring his value approach to stock selection to the fund. He’s well-known and widely respected in the industry, although his last managerial gig as the head of the now defunct Global Strategy Canadian Small-Cap Fund was unimpressive. I suggest adopting a wait-and-see approach here.

I’m more enthusiastic about the appointment of Ted Whitehead as manager of the Clarica Growth Fund and the Clarica Alpine Growth Equity Fund. Like CI Explorer, both these funds have been unimpressive. Whitehead has done an amazing job with the Elliott & Page Growth Opportunities Fund, a small-cap entry which he will continue to run. This fund shows a three-year average annual compound ratof return of 18.8%, compared to less than 3% for the category. Moreover, those results were achieved with below-average risk. If he can work the same magic for the Clarica entries, investors will be delighted.

Adapted from an article that originally appeared in Mutual Funds Update, a monthly electronic newsletter of common sense mutual fund advice edited by Gordon Pape. To take advantage of a three-month trial subscription available to users for just $9.97 plus tax!