Our Story

Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management (PH&N) has been providing Canadian-based organizations with excellence in investment management and service for over half a century. We invite you to read our story....

Today

PH&N is among Canada's most respected institutional managers, offering customized solutions for a wide range of institutional investment objectives and managing more than $90 billion in assets (at June 30, 2016).

2014

In 2014, the Global Equity team from First State Investments (UK) Limited joined RBC GAM. The team was officially established in August 2006 and its investment approach and process has remained consistent since inception.

2010s

In order to help institutional clients in their search for yield, PH&N began offering innovative, alternative strategies: market neutral and active extension equity strategies (2011), direct lending (2012), and diversified absolute return strategies (2013).

2010

PH&N was amalgamated with RBC Asset Management Inc. to form the Canadian asset management division of RBC, known as RBC Global Asset Management (RBC GAM).

In addition, BlueBay Asset Management LLP (BlueBay) of the U.K. was acquired by RBC and joined RBC GAM, expanding the latter's global presence. BlueBay's expertise in highly specialized asset classes is reflected in their more than 10 years of steady growth through a range of markets. This acquisition provided a significant competitive advantage to PH&N's global fixed income offering.

2008

PH&N was acquired by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), a widely held financial services company (RY) listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. By that time, PH&N had become one of Canada's leading independent investment management firms, with about $70 billion in assets under management for institutions, non-profit organizations, private clients, and mutual fund investors.

2000s

PH&N 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. Socially responsible strategies were implemented in 2002, and emerging markets equities were added to the firm's offerings in 2009.

1990s

Transparency – a hallmark of the firm – means understanding and explaining why and how developments happen. PH&N was among the first managers in Canada to invest 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 investment (LDI) approaches in 1992, and services dedicated to Aboriginal communities in 1996.

1980s

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 fixed income investing, then further demonstrated leadership in understanding and redefining "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.

1970s

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 and transparency. With below-average fees and above-average performance, the firm grew 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 fixed-income accounts, helping us control the quality of the mortgages sourced for our clients.

1960s

PH&N broadened its strategy offering to include Canadian equities in 1967, adhering to a GARP (growth at a reasonable price) approach.

1964

Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management (PH&N IM) was founded in Vancouver by Art Phillips, Bob Hager and Rudy North, and soon joined by Dick Bradshaw. The 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.

Global Expertise

Bringing the world to Canadian institutional portfolios

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Looking Back, Looking Forward

A reflection on PH&N’s golden anniversary

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Investment Insights

Explore our commitment to innovation, education, and thought leadership

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