QV Investors is an independent Calgary-based asset and wealth management firm founded in 1996. QV stands for quality and value, which reflects our approach to investment.
Our mission is to grow income and capital while minimizing the risk of loss in our investment portfolios.
We currently manage $4.8 billion in balanced equity and fixed-income portfolios for individuals, corporations, pensions, insurance, foundations, endowments, and mutual funds.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m the CEO of QV Investors. I’m also a portfolio manager for our Canadian Equity Strategy, and I still spend time researching mid to large-cap Canadian businesses.
I joined QV Investors in 2006 as a research analyst. I’ve worked at QV since. Last September, I moved into the role of Chief Executive Officer, so now I help lead the firm.
I have a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Finance from the University of Alberta, and I am a CFA charter holder. My interest in portfolio management began at university. I am particularly interested in the people behind each business and the effectiveness of the decisions they make.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Embrace the evolution of technology. There are so many new ways of doing business. I would tell myself to invest more time in keeping pace with how technologies are reshaping our industry.
What problem does your business solve?
We help private and institutional clients achieve important financial goals by striving to grow their assets while controlling investment risk. Maybe that is too simplistic an explanation, but there is a lot to unpack in explaining our approach. What’s important is our risk-managed approach to investing has resulted in strong, long-term returns with less valuation and balance sheet risk compared to our funds’ benchmarks.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Our vision is to provide excellence in investment management and client service. In our industry, we see a great deal of speculation and emotion-driven decision-making. This is where people constantly shift strategies as they chase better returns. They often pay too much, take on too much risk, and reduce their returns in the process.
Our approach is to take a more strategic and longer-term view. Focusing on quality and value builds confidence. Confidence helps people stick with a strategy over the long term. The goal is less downside risk, lower costs, and solid returns.
What is your magic sauce?
In many ways, our collaborative and fully committed culture is our secret sauce.
We’re a 100 per cent employee-owned business. Most of our staff are owners and heavily invested in our own pooled funds. When we say we’re fully committed, that’s no exaggeration.
What makes it all work is our commitment to our collaborative, team-based approach and our long-term risk-managed strategy.
We are fully aligned with the needs of our clients because we’re all clients too.
We think our approach to portfolio risk management is our firm’s strongest differentiating attribute. Risks in our portfolios are measured and audited monthly.
We define “risk” as any fundamental factor or combination of factors able to precipitate capital losses.
Consequently, in portfolio management and security selection, we consistently work to reduce these risks and to build a “margin of safety”.
What is the plan for the next 5 years?
Over the next five years, QV will continue investing in its people and building up its client base.
We’ve never focused on gathering assets. We’re looking for people and organizations where there is good strategic alignment in goals and approach.
We have also been spending a lot of time upgrading our technology and marketing platform. In the next few months, we will roll out a new website and communication program to better assist potential clients in evaluating our mutual fit.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
There have been several times over the last 26 years when our style of investing has fallen out of favour.
During periods of growth and exuberance, “the tide tends to raise all boats”. What follows is rampant speculation and extremely high-risk behaviours. Returns can be high, and people ride a wave of optimism, often to their detriment.
These bubbles inevitably break, and people retreat to less speculative investments. In these sober periods, people flock to safety and risk-managed offerings. Then boom, we’re back in favour.
Navigating market cycles is always challenging. Being safe, secure, and reliable is not always the most exciting proposition.
We’ve weathered these cycles by sticking to our approach and continuously improving our practice.
It’s taught us to focus on long-term fit in client selection. We’ve become much more attuned to what constitutes a good fit between our clients and us.
The opportunity for steady growth and a risk-managed approach is key.
How can people get involved?
The surprising reality in Canada is that the majority of financial advisors are salespeople, not fiduciaries. A fiduciary is someone who must legally act in the best interests of their clients. A salesperson, on the other hand, might be operating purely for their own self-interest; you never know.
QV Investors is a registered portfolio manager and investment fund manager, and our relationship managers are advisers who are required to act in your best interest.
Another challenge for investors is dealing with investment minimums. Many of the best financial firms set investment minimums way out of reach for most Canadians.
Our approach is to look for fit and alignment more than investment minimums. We have practical minimums, too. However, we treat them more as guidelines than rules. The result is we take on a much wider range of clients than our peers.
The easiest way to engage with us is to visit our website at www.QVInvestors.com.
If you represent a pension fund, endowment, foundation, family office, or similar, reach out to either Kathleen Wylie or Darren Dansereau to schedule a conversation. We’d be happy to discuss your needs and objectives.