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IA Clarington taps former star Dynamic fund manager Add to ...

David Taylor, a star manager who left the Dynamic fund family last October, will resurface soon to run money for rival fund company IA Clarington Investments Inc.

Mr. Taylor’s newly created firm, Taylor Asset Management Inc., has been hired as an external manager to run Canadian equity and Canadian balanced mutual funds, IA Clarington said Wednesday.

The contrarian value manager is the first member of the Dynamic team to leave after Bank of Nova Scotia bought parent company DundeeWealth Inc. last year.

After the acquisition, Mr. Taylor had embarked on the idea of starting his own money management firm to run some Dynamic funds as an external adviser, but could not reach a deal with the bank.

Mr. Taylor, whose non-compete clause in his employment contract ended recently, ran $8-billion in Dynamic assets. Along with other high-profile managers like Rohit Sehgal and Noah Blackstein, he helped build Dynamic funds into one of Canada’s largest independent fund companies.

IA Clarington “reminds me very much of Dynamic 10 years ago,” he said in an interview. “When I joined Dynamic, there was only $10-billion in assets…We were able to build a full management team, and then take it from $10-billion to $36-billion in assets before we got taken out.”

Mr. Taylor said he had discussions with large and smaller players in the Canadian investment industry before opting to sign up with IA Clarington, a unit of Quebec City-based insurer Industrial Alliance and Financial Services Inc. The fund arm has about 20 wholesalers who market the products to financial advisers.

“They are very excited to grow,” said Mr. Taylor, who will run mutual funds exclusively for that firm. Taylor Asset Management may also launch a closed-end fund soon.

Mr. Taylor joined DundeeWealth’s Goodman & Co. Investment Counsel Ltd. (now renamed GCIC Ltd.) in 2003 after a stint at Altamira Investment Services Inc. It was bought by National Bank of Canada a year earlier.

“There was a lot of fun in my early days there [at Dynamic] it was about being a little guy up against the big banks, us against them, David vs. Goliath,” he recalled in an interview with ROB Magazine last fall. “But we ended up selling to a bank. That feeling was lost.”

Mr. Taylor’s new Canadian equity fund will be run similarly to his old Dynamic Value Fund of Canada. His new balanced fund will be co-managed with IA Clarington’s fixed-income manager Dan Bastasic, who jumped ship last year from Mackenzie Financial Corp.

Mr. Taylor had a strong track record during his time with Dynamic until last year when his funds began to stumble. Fund analyst Dan Hallett suggested that a problem was likely the sheer size of the assets handed to him.

“If you are going to invest like a contrarian and do that in the Canadian market with billions of dollars, it gets tougher and tougher,” Mr. Hallett said.

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