A letter from our CEO: A plan for the unprecedented

Insights
October 2020

With cooler temperatures descending and the leaves beginning to change colour, I hope you, your families and loved ones continue to remain safe and healthy. As daily case counts continue to rise, our federal and provincial governments continue to take unprecedented measures to stabilize the economy and help Canadians weather a public health crisis.

 

As a result, the parliamentary budget office (PBO) disclosed in September the 2020 federal deficit is on track to hit $328.5 billion—or 15% of Canada’s gross domestic product—which will represent the largest deficit in the more than 50 years of recorded comparable data. There will be a “permanent impact” to Canada’s economy, the PBO stated, and we agree with their assessment the effects will be long felt.

 

Our collective fiscal and monetary uncertainty, coupled with the destabilizing and unpredictable U.S. political landscape, means there is no better time for investors to reassess risk tolerance and prepare for the likelihood of taxation changes as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, is set to table her first federal budget. As such, it’s an excellent time to review your long-term financial goals and ensure your objectives are on track and your family is well prepared for any new measures that may come.

 

Our Onex advantage

 

Our partners at Onex continue to support our growth and transition and our deepening integration means more opportunities for our clients. Head of Asset Allocation, Matthew Lehmann, has been building out the firm’s strategic asset allocation discipline in response to an ever-shifting investment landscape. We are cognizant of the potentially profound implications the current landscape could have on asset allocation and how investors think about risk in their portfolio. Our holistic, goals-based approach to wealth management, coupled with our risk-driven allocation model, will enable us to further tailor our investment portfolios to client needs and current market realities.

 

With all the uncertainty 2020 has brought, we continue to offer attractive solutions within a low-rate environment. Our Chief Investment Officer Peter Zaltz and his team have collectively managed well through the quarter as markets continue to rebound off of March lows. Under the co-leadership of CEOs Stuart Kovensky and Jason New, the Onex Credit team also had a successful quarter as confidence in a recovery began to return to the market.

 

As we enter into a period of heightened volatility and an asymmetric risk profile heading into November, we are comfortable with our portfolio holdings as we’ve been active over the quarter. In partnership with Onex, we will continue to seek new opportunities as they arise and position ourselves to take advantage of the economic dislocation caused by COVID-19.

 

The majority of our employees, and our Onex colleagues, continue to work remotely as a result of the significant investments we have made in technology. We continue to closely monitor the advice of public health officials and will continue to reframe our internal policies to ensure the safety of our teams is maintained, allowing us to continue to serve our clients.

 

From all of us at Gluskin Sheff, I hope you, your families and your loved ones are able to enter this new season with health and optimism.

 

Sincerely yours,

Jeff Moody
President & Chief Executive Officer

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