What Happened to the Independents?

Independent, privately held investment management firms have become a rare breed in Canada. After the last decade’s wave of industry consolidation, the Big Six banks now control about half of the industry’s long-term assets.1 They offer a convenient way for today’s time-strapped investors to access a wide range of investment solutions. So the big get bigger – but there’s a risk that investors are shut out of the benefits offered by independents.

Here’s why we believe the Canadian investment landscape needs both bank-owned and independent firms: investors must be able to select the most suitable partner for their needs.

Independent Asset Management

Investing as a core strength and singular focus

Truly active management, with distinct, well-defined and repeatable investment processes within high-conviction portfolios

Nimbleness and investment flexibility are integral aspects of company structure and processes

Ownership cultures that align employee and investor interests, foster personal accountability, and directly link employee actions to client satisfaction and business outcomes

Client partnership, characterized by high-touch customer service and engaged, long-term relationships based on an intimate understanding of client needs. A level of care that treats clients like friends or family, and provides more than just a return on their money

No conflicts of interest: distribution isn’t typically tilted to favour their products and serve shareholder interests

Edge: a unique origin story, a visionary founder or timeless investment philosophy, with independent thinking as another hallmark and means to generate index-beating investment performance

Bank-Owned Asset Management

Solutions designed to meet a broad range of financial needs

A high level of expedience but resulting potential for “cookie-cutter” investment products and closet indexing

Security, stability and infrastructure for enhanced financial reporting and operational risk management

Customer service focus and ease of use

Proudly independent

While asset managers attached to larger financial institutions have advantages of scale and distribution over most independents, when it comes to servicing your clients these attributes can work against their long-term success as investors.

Stone is independent. We have no competing priorities that may unduly influence how we conduct business or manage our funds. We develop and evolve our product lineup based solely on meeting client needs. Our goal is to rise above by standing apart – so that you and your clients sleep better as a result.


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