Breadth of high-performing solutions
Our clients have access to a full spectrum of asset classes and investment strategies managed across RBC GAM’s network of 18 specialized investment teams supported by global resources, spanning equities, fixed income, and alternatives.
Our commitment to excellence in client service has long been a hallmark of our firm, and we have been named a Greenwich Leader in Overall Canadian Institutional Investment Management Service Quality each of the past nine years, which distinguishes us for providing the industry’s highest-quality service as determined by Canadian institutional investors.
Custom portfolio solutions
Working collaboratively with our clients and their consultants, we design highly relevant portfolios of pooled funds tailored to their specific needs. In particular, our Investment Portfolio Solutions (IPS) group is dedicated to providing our clients with investment ideas and advice – informed by rigorous analytical capabilities and careful consideration of their specific objectives – that support the design and implementation of tailored portfolio solutions.
Universities & endowments
We invite you to read our story over the years…
PH&N Institutional has been serving Canadian institutional investors for over half a century.
PH&N Institutional is among Canada’s most established institutional asset managers
PH&N Institutional is among Canada’s most established institutional asset managers, and has a long-standing reputation for distinctive active management and industry-leading service1.
Further expansion in a challenging time
The decade began with the onset of global pandemic-induced lockdowns. PH&N Institutional moved its operations online without missing a beat, seamlessly continuing to manage accounts, trade securities, and navigate volatile markets, while maintaining a steadfast focus on client service.
In 2021 and 2022, we expanded our suite of fossil fuel free strategies to include Canadian and emerging markets equities, as well as domestic fixed income offerings. In 2022, we also launched our global infrastructure strategy, providing Canadian institutional investors with further access to opportunities in private markets.
PH&N Institutional began offering innovative, alternative strategies
In order to help institutional clients in their search for yield, PH&N Institutional began offering innovative, alternative strategies: market neutral and active extension equity strategies (2011), direct lending (2012), diversified absolute return strategies (2013), and Canadian core real estate strategies (2019).
Over this decade, the firm also launched its first fossil fuel free strategy, a suite of core and low volatility quantitative equity strategies, and a range of target date strategies aimed at producing inflation-adjusted income for plan members in retirement.
RBC GAM’s growing global presence leads to greater offering for clients
PH&N was amalgamated with RBC Asset Management Inc. and subsequently joined affiliates in the UK and US to form the asset management division of RBC, known as RBC Global Asset Management (RBC GAM). The PH&N institutional business – later renamed PH&N Institutional – retained its exclusive focus on Canadian institutional clients and became a division within RBC GAM’s Canadian company.
PH&N Institutional’s global fixed income offering gained a significant competitive advantage that same year with RBC’s acquisition of BlueBay Asset Management LLP (BlueBay), a specialist fixed income investor across seven long-only and alternative strategies.
PH&N acquired by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
PH&N was acquired by RBC, a widely held financial services company (RY) listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. By this time, PH&N had become one of Canada's most established independent investment management firms, with about $70 billion in assets under management for institutions, non-profit organizations, private clients, and mutual fund investors.
Acquired global equity markets expertise
PH&N Institutional launched into the 21st century with enthusiasm, demonstrating a renewed commitment to delivering relevant investment solutions to clients. The firm acquired new expertise in global equity markets when it helped found Sky Investment Counsel Inc. in 2004 and, a year later, acquired BonaVista Asset Management Ltd. Responsible investment strategies were implemented in 2002, and emerging markets equities were added to the firm's offerings in 2009.
Investment in new systems, new strategies, and new services
Transparency – a hallmark of the firm – means understanding and explaining why and how portfolio developments happen. PH&N invested heavily in investment performance attribution analysis – computerized systems that clearly attributed sources of successes and failures in investment portfolios and whether those developments were random or generated by specific manager behaviours.
PH&N began offering long bond strategies and liability-driven investing (LDI) approaches in 1992, and services dedicated to Indigenous communities and organizations in 1996.
Fixed Income desk formally established
PH&N formally established the PH&N Fixed Income desk in 1984. Through the use of the latest academic research to identify relatively undervalued bonds among a massive universe of seemingly generic fixed income securities, PH&N redefined its approach to fixed income investing, then further demonstrated leadership in understanding "risk" in the realm of high-yield bonds and other forms of non-traditional investments.
The use of cutting-edge technology helped define PH&N’s approach. In the 1980s, PH&N was one of the first money managers in Canada to employ desktop or personal computers (powered by Intel 186 chips – state of the art at the time!) to screen for emerging investment opportunities. When the tools didn't exist, PH&N built them in house, and employing distinctive investment techniques became a hallmark of the firm.
Fixed income strategies introduced
The founding partners were pioneers, putting Western Canada on the map for independent investment management. When it came to investing on its clients' behalf, PH&N favoured growth companies when value investing was the accepted norm among the investment elite. Indeed, PH&N was an early adopter of utilizing earnings momentum, earnings surprise, and relative strength to uncover successful companies that could also become successful investments. While building its investment reputation, PH&N also became known for its ethics, transparency, and lower fees, and the firm found itself growing at an enviable pace. Protecting itself from hubris was rooted deep within the culture from day one, a culture based on humility with an unwavering focus on operating in the best interest of clients.
In the 1970s, PH&N began to offer fixed income strategies and also began to develop a specialization in mortgage investing. The firm was instrumental in helping found a commercial mortgage intermediary to act as a direct lender for PH&N’s fixed-income accounts, helping us control the quality of the mortgages sourced for our clients.
PH&N broadened its strategy offering to include Canadian equities in 1967, adhering to a GARP (growth at a reasonable price) approach.
A different kind of investment firm is founded
The investment firm known as Phillips, Hager & North (PH&N) was founded in Vancouver by Art Phillips, Bob Hager and Rudy North, who were soon joined by Dick Bradshaw. The four founding partners set out to create a different kind of investment firm. In those days, investment management was primarily the domain of insurance companies and brokerage firms. The former offered limited investment options and with the latter, clients could face high commission costs generated through unnecessary portfolio turnover. PH&N offered a somewhat different approach: active investment management, transparency, and modest fees based on portfolio assets, so clients knew what they were paying for in their portfolio. The first strategy offered was U.S. equities. From the beginning, PH&N clients included institutional and individual investors.
1PH&N Institutional was named a 2022 Greenwich Leader in Overall Canadian Institutional Investment Management Service Quality (details available here). Greenwich Quality Leaders are distinguished for providing the industry’s highest-quality service as determined by Canadian institutional investors. We have been recognized as a Greenwich Quality Leader for the past nine years.