Altamira Preferred Equity Fund Launches Quietly

Many will remember that when Omega Preferred Equity Fund was closed to new investors, it was also announced that National Bank would be starting a new fund with in-house management.

It’s here, but it seems to be operating very quietly!

The portfolio management firm is Fiera Sceptre Inc., which has a “strategic alliance” with and is partly owned by National Bank, as announced in February. The portfolio manager is Catherine Payne:

Catherine Payne is a member of the Active Fixed Income team and is responsible for managing certain corporate bond, high yield bond, preferred share and convertible bond portfolios.

Ms. Payne has 19 years of industry experience and has been with the firm and a predecessor since 2003. Prior experiences include positions as Portfolio Manager, Senior Credit Analyst, and Assistant Vice President at major Canadian investment management, credit rating and brokerage firms.

Ms. Payne graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Commerce (BComm). She later received the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

As is usually the case, there is lots of chatter about experience and not a line about performance.

There are four classes to the fund, three of them with an estimated MER of 1.50%, the F-Class with an estimate of 50bp. I am fascinated to see that NBC510, the Deferred Sales Charge option, pays the salesman a 5% commission on the sale with a trailer to follow. I’m in the wrong business!

According to the Globe and Mail Fund Quote the fund was 64% in cash on October 31, which I presume had more to do with start-up frictions than long-term asset allocation goals.

I’ll keep an eye on the fund and report its performance together with those of my other competitors.

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