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Investment Philosophy


Excel Investment Counsel Inc. (“EIC”) manages and oversees our entire emerging markets platform. It acts as a portfolio manager, and actively manages our network of global sub-advisors.

Christine Image

Senior Portfolio Manager and Chief Chief Investment Officer, Christine Tan has been in the investment industry since 2001. Prior to joining Excel, was a portfolio manager at a well-known wealth management firm, where she co-managed a C$1 billion portfolio of high net worth and institutional assets. Christine holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, a BSc from the University of Alberta, and has held the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation since 2006. She is frequently quoted in Canadian media outlets on emerging markets investing.

Greg ImageSenior Portfolio Manager, Greg Placidi is an accomplished professional with over 25 years of financial services experience, including evaluating and dissecting companies and financial markets around the world while working as an equity portfolio manager, strategist, and company executive in North America, Europe and Asia. Greg has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Queens University, an MBA from the University of Toronto and has held the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation since 1989.

Greg’s investment style combines the tenets of both value and growth investing while his investment methodology utilizes a top-down/bottom-up approach which is backed by a rigorous and disciplined research process which ensures focus, objectivity and keeps emotions out of investment decisions. His preferred equity investments are companies, which are domiciled in growing economies, are in expanding industries, have proven management track records, have consistently displayed earnings growth and are underpriced by the market relative to their long-term fundamentals.

Our investment philosophy produces superior growth, without undue risk. We take a disciplined, long-term view to realize full value from our investments, and use the hybrid Quality Growth at Reasonable Price (Q-GARP) approach, which avoids the extremes found in both growth and value investing. Although every emerging market has its own unique characteristics, globally competitive companies share common characteristics, such as sustainable growth potential, visionary corporate management, and fundamentally good corporate governance.

For individual security selection, we concentrate on bottom-up company research to select well managed, well-capitalized companies with sustainable, above-average growth, trading at relatively low valuations. This provides growth, while carefully managing price risk under all market conditions. We prefer concentrated portfolios of leading companies with competitive advantages, secular growth prospects, visionary management, and strong balance sheets.

For determining optimal country and currency allocations, we use a macro approach. We also employ sell disciplines and currency overlays to carefully manage client risk.