Private Wealth Management

Pembroke Private Wealth Management works to secure your financial future.

An investment management firm responsible for managing Canadian pension funds, foundations, endowments, wealthy families and individuals, Pembroke originally began as the Great Britain and Canada (GBC) Investment Corp., incorporated in 1929 and managed by Pembroke Management Ltd. since 1968.

Today, few independent investment managers exist with such a storied history and stable foundation. It is these characteristics that have allowed Pembroke to focus on identifying high quality companies with compelling growth prospects. Put simply, Pembroke is different than your original investment manager, in that the company believes strongly in aligning its own interests with those of its clients. It’s a core philosophy that has allowed Pembroke to build more than $660 million in assets under management.

The Pembroke advantage

Jack Mayer, Toronto Branch Manager with Pembroke, discussed how the company has developed its strong foothold in the diverse financial sector.

“Since 1968, the firm has offered specialized portfolio management services that focus primarily on international, U.S. and Canadian entrepreneurial growth equities and corporate bonds,” Mayer explained. “Accredited investors can access our portfolio managers through Separately Managed Accounts (SMA), Pooled Funds, as well as the GBC Family (Pembroke) of Mutual Funds.”

Pembroke’s focus on long-term entrepreneurial growth is unique in many forms.

“We seek a thorough understanding of every business we consider for an investment, and we aim to develop a direct relationship with the management of each company we invest in,” Mayer elaborated. “Our intention is not to hold short-term speculative positions, but to be long-term investors in real companies with compelling growth prospects.”

Being a privately owned firm has also presented Pembroke with its advantages as well. Not publically owned or traded, Pembroke is not constrained by quarterly corporate revenue targets, or other external influences, which allows Pembroke to focus on having its clients as front and centre.

“As a privately owned and operated firm, we have the privilege of considering long-term objectives and always acting in the best interest of investors,” Mayer summarized.

The company’s website elaborates further on its focus on the future. “The key ingredients to Pembroke’s long-term success have been its people and operating philosophy. Six experienced portfolio managers and three long-tenured analysts direct investment policy from Pembroke’s headquarters in Montreal,” reads the website. “The firm is independent and entirely employee owned. All members of the investment team, as well as the CFO, are significant investors alongside our clients. This alignment of interests ensures that the partners of Pembroke are focused on the long-term success of the firm and its clients and the multi-generational partnership structure ensures continuity of investment philosophy and organizational stability.”

Pembroke’s team-first philosophy is evident throughout its organizational structure, including its approach toward portfolio management. This means that, unlike a typical investment management firm, Pembroke’s portfolios receive due attention from its entire team of financial experts, rather than just one individual.

Pembroke also attributes its “alignment of interests” to the company’s success. As Mayer stated, “Partners and Portfolio Managers of Pembroke are significant investors in the same funds our clients invest in. And, because our investment mandates are entrepreneurial growth focused, the managers of the companies we invest in tend to be significant shareholders of the companies they operate.

We believe the collective participation between our firm, the companies we invest in, and our clients, creates a powerful alignment of interests that is ideal for achieving superior long-term results.”

Recession impact

Tied to small companies, Pembroke was very much aware of the effects caused by the recent economic downturn. Just when Pembroke thought it had seen the lasts of the recession, recent market volatility, in addition to poor economic data, had “reawakened the ghosts of the 2008 financial crisis”, renewing concerns of an economic recession.

“Despite these concerns, Pembroke continues to identify companies that are performing well in the current environment,” Mayer explained, elaborating on how the firm successfully navigated the most damaging times of the recession.

Highlighting Pembroke’s focus on entrepreneurial growth, Mayer rejected the notion that all small-sized businesses struggle during a recessionary period.

“Innovative and entrepreneurial companies are often able to grow during difficult economic times, and their healthy balance sheets help to reduce overall risk,” Mayer explained. “While reaction to recent news headlines has invoked panicked indiscriminate selling across global markets, and the shares of healthy companies have succumbed to short-term volatility, many of these same companies continue to report more than satisfactory results and they are using the current weakness to repurchase their shares.

“Periods of dislocation create opportunities for astute, well informed investors. That is why we remain focused on the performance of our individual holdings.”
Mayer returned to a core philosophy of Pembroke, “Rebalancing a diversified portfolio of equity and fixed income holdings to a suitable target asset allocation is a discipline that has produced positive outcomes more consistently than trying to time the markets.”