McLean & Partners
“McLean & Partners was founded to offer high net worth investors 100 per cent unbiased, independent investment advice. We wanted to fill a need for our clients by providing exceptional service and performance to a specific group of investors. The focus on high net worth individuals really allowed us to concentrate on actively managing each one of their portfolios and give these portfolios the attention they deserved. 13 years later and with the evolution of the marketplace, our focus is on managing our clients’ risks while pursuing above average long-term investment returns.”
— Brent McLean, Founder and CEO
McLean & Partners focuses exclusively on high net worth individuals, and currently manages around $1 billion on behalf of 450 families. The company and its 26 employees offer a personalized approach to each portfolio. It allows them to deeply and thoroughly understand each client’s needs and goals, striving to provide worry-free investment strategies.
To build successful portfolios, the firm has an independent research team of six who are focused on select strategies with the right risk/reward trade-off. The team manages portfolios by blending bottom-up fundamental research with top-down macro analysis, supported by ongoing risk management controls. The team focuses on high quality bonds and preferred shares for the conservative portion of their strategy while the majority of their investing decisions are in large cap dividend paying stocks. Additionally, McLean & Partners believes that the volatility of the markets will continue, thus the firm is introducing a new strategy to provide higher yields with lower volatility called M&P Tactical Monthly Income Strategy. “As we grew the company, I knew we needed to invest in our business where all stakeholders would benefit — the in-house research. Today I’m proud of the team we have assembled, as we have the depth and breadth to succeed as global managers. In addition, our risk management process is tighter than ever, and we are seeing it in our performance results this year, says McLean.
According to McLean, during the past four years of global economic downturn and struggling economies, the publics’ views on investing have changed profoundly. The biggest change that occurred was the shift in risk tolerance, primarily due to the aging demographics. This fact has become much more pronounced since the financial crisis. “In 2008, our portfolios dropped for the first time with the market. While we worked with our clients through this – and solid relationships with our clients had been of utmost importance during this time – the crisis forced us to re-evaluate how things are done in the industry and rethink our approaches.”
“After all the volatility of the past four years, investors are distrustful of the stock market. Today’s investors are far more focused on preservation of capital and less focused on returns. The major problem facing investors today is that the 10-year government bond yields are only 1.75 per cent, so after tax and inflation we are looking at a yield of negative 1.5 per cent.”
McLean expresses that the market is also much more competitive than ever, and clients are becoming overwhelmed and confused by the plethora of new investment products and offerings. At the same time, hedge funds and high frequency trading has changed the equity investment landscape on a day-to-day basis, significantly increasing volatility of the markets.
McLean & Partners modeled its long-term strategy to include global equities, dividend paying stocks, fixed income, and international investing. International investing started with McLean’s first visit to Asia in 1988 and the launch of the model, Global Dividend Growth Portfolio, in 1992. “I realized the world would look dramatically different in the future than it did back then. I also firmly believed then, as I do today, that stocks which consistently pay and increase their dividends will outperform the broader market over time. Today, our client portfolios own some of the best dividend growth stocks the world has to offer.
Nobody spoke of dividends in the 1990’s, however over the past five years dividends have become the flavour of the day as bond yields have declined to historic lows. Our goal is to capture at least 80 per cent of the upside, while participating in less than 50 per cent of the downside. This approach provides better than average investment results over time, and more importantly, gives clients the peace of mind they are looking for.”
Money managers worldwide have had to rethink their strategies while investor psychology and sentiment shifted with the economic downturn. Investors have become more skeptical and cautious when it comes to equity investing. To mitigate the adverse market conditions, McLean & Partners has reorganized its way of finding suitable investment strategies, and significantly enhanced its risk management process. The Portfolio Managers travel around the world; following the happenings in the global markets, keeping the finger on the pulse of global economies, and seeking the right investment strategies accordingly.
Tactical Monthly Income Strategy
The company is preparing to introduce its newest investment strategy which it began incubating in June, M&P Tactical Monthly Income Strategy. “We have combined seven different yield-oriented asset classes together into a single private pool structure, which offers clients a source of monthly income with significantly less risk than the market.” Led by Jamie Robertson, the company’s Chief Investment Officer, the experienced team of Portfolio Managers tactically manages this newest investment strategy; a portfolio of 70 securities that currently generates an annualized yield of over five per cent, while targeting less than 50 per cent of the market volatility.
Today at the age of 59, McLean is focused on his role as CEO. “We as a company are in an enviable position as we have a strong balance sheet with significant excess capital to allow us to continue to invest and grow our business. I have great people around me who I respect and I have confidence that we can continue to build Canada’s most respected wealth management company.”