Adroit Investment Management
Adroit Investment Management (Adroit) provides money management and investment solutions to Canadians primarily in Edmonton and Western Canada. Founded in Edmonton in 1993, Adroit saw a niche in Edmonton’s underserved investment market. The firm’s disciplined investment strategies grew a firm that started with two Portfolio Managers and zero assets 20 years ago to one of 12 employees, $1.1 billion in assets, and 350 clients, with the largest client worth over $100 million (as per the company report of November 30, 2013).
Adroit has been delivering strong and consistent investment performance through adherence to sound investment strategies, with risk management always serving as the core of the firm’s philosophy and investment approach. While capital preservation remains paramount, the firm builds customized, well diversified, risk-adjusted portfolios.
Adroit Investment Management’s clientele consists of high net worth individuals with a pool of capital they wish to invest in a disciplined manner. For example, business owners who seek investment advice, persons requiring investment advice for lump sum monies (such as settlement proceeds from insurance, inheritance, etc.), and pension funds, foundations, endowment funds, charities, and non-profit organizations.
The firm works with clients on an individual basis, developing individual “Investment Policy Guidelines” that will guide the management of the portfolio, outlining long term goals, client’s risk adversity, etc. This allows Adroit to make sound investment decisions as they pertain to each client’s portfolio. For clients with assets in excess of $1 million portfolios are managed in segregated accounts, while clients with assets between $100,000 and $1 million are managed internally through Adroit Funds.
“We offer our service to those who want their assets managed in a very disciplined and professional manner,” says Maria Holowinsky, President and Chief Investment Officer of Adroit Investment Management. “We are highly personalized and specialized. As an investment counselling firm, we offer a high degree of training and expertise in the marketplace. In terms of client service, we are at the extremely high level of the investment service spectrum. Each of our Portfolio Managers holds the CFA [Chartered Financial Analyst] designation, and has an average experience of 15 to 20 years in the industry,” says Holowinsky.
Professional Portfolio Management
Successful investing has always been about discipline. That is why Adroit’s Portfolio Managers offer a high level of education and specific registrations that allow them to manage funds for clients on a discretionary basis in an effort to promote each client’s investment goals, ideas, and philosophy.
Adroit also developed its own proven proprietary investment model that has been effective for Adroit clients. Perfected over the decades, the model looks at various characteristics, emphasizing favourable characteristics and minimizing characteristics that are deterrent to portfolio performance.
“We have a very rigorous quantitative methodology that we adhere to, but with a very human overlay. We are not a quantitative shop where you push a button and a computer gives the result. Yes, we track the data, but we look at the data from a human perspective, seeking hidden strengths and weaknesses of the data that we generated,” explains Holowinsky.
Professional investing takes a very special person who is not just able to see through the data, but also has the ability to make the right decision, make that decision at the right time, and is able to withdraw emotions from the decision-making process.
“Investment management is a demanding business, and making good investment decisions is often counterintuitive to human nature. The natural propensity is to sell when markets go down to lessen the emotional pain of continuing losses. Then as markets rebound, people suffer disappointment on ‘missing out’. The rational thing to do is to buy low and sell high – the psychological challenge is to take the emotion out of our investing behaviour.
“We have learned as a group, that using our tested methodology and working as a team in an environment of respect, both help us to counter these emotions and get through the anxieties of volatile markets,” explains Holowinsky.
The team environment is paramount to Adroit’s success. That is why the firm seeks the right people to fit its culture. Due to this thoroughness, Holowinsky says that not one Portfolio Manager has left the firm, other than to retire. “I joined the firm 18 years ago, and at that time the firm’s culture was already about integrity, trust, and risk management. The hiring process reflected that, and we continue on this path,” recalls Holowinsky.
The Adroit Method works. Investing on the basis of thorough data analysis and team collaboration, the firm’s strategies have been delivering higher return with lower risk for the past 20 years. The Adroit Equity Fund provided a 10-year average annual return of 7.6 per cent (to September, 2013). For the year ending September, 2013, the typical Adroit balanced client saw a return of 21.9 per cent.
Adroit’s plan for the future is to build the in-house investment expertise and increase the depth of the Adroit’s service. Since 2009, Adroit has been majority-owned operating company of Canadian Western Bank (CWB), the largest publicly traded Canadian bank headquartered in Western Canada, and Adroit is very excited to be part of CWB’s wealth management strategic plan. “Our collaboration with CWB has been wonderful. The bank very much shares the same values as we do, and their management is very supportive of us in terms of regulations, human resources, and accounting. CWB supporting these aspects of our operation frees us to focus on what we do best: take care of our clients and their investments,” says Holowinsky.
When it comes to finances, people seek a relationship they can trust. “The trust is hard to earn and easy to lose. The investor’s job is never done, and we plan to continue to deliver on our promise of solid and safe returns,” concludes Holowinsky.