After a downturn due to economics, there was a need for a Business strategy & in investment management became the first point to focus for Goldring. He started off with cutting staff and hiring new managers, selling the mortgage underwriting businesses, pricing was re-evaluated. Clients with high potential and worth were targeted and partnered in investments where AGF had less experience. Retails and Institutional management were also relooked into. Blake Golding was instrumental enough to work towards several of these requirements and helped AGF become a known name, globally.
New hierarchy was recruited: the first step taken
Kevin Mc Creadie for example, was appointed as Chief Investment officer who set the goals to increase the funds by 60% in 3 years by introducing new risk management processes to get to generate returns. He also finds growth in areas like infrastructure and alternatives management. Apart from this,
Asset Management and Risk management:
In a recent talk, Blake says that there is no focus on risk management and growing the funds, but Asset managers are more responsible and accountable for the poor performance. This shows that there is a cultural change at AGF.
According to Blake, it is important to grow assets under management to improve profitability. He also speaks about alternatives space of having the Toronto Island’s Billy Bishop airport terminal as an asset which was bought by AGF which says will be a good contributor to AGF. This was possible after the launch of alternatives fund, InstarAGF Asset Management Inc. after teaming with Gregory Smith, an infrastructure investment company. He wants to promote the funds with greatest opportunity for short term net sales under mutual funds to turn net redemptions into net sales.
He points at introduction of new products to meet client’s needs to minimize tax and low volatility. Also that the growth of Exchange Traded funds that were introduced by other companies has been noticed at AGF and AGF is planning to introduce ETFS along with its mutual funds to the Canadian Market. He says, right product mix is required to acquire the market and you need to be responsive to it as well by which he means offering mutual funds and ETFs together. But not plain ETFs, he is aiming at targeting low volatility and defensive strategies. He points at the sudden entry of AGF into market that brought a good stake in asset management and ETFs.
Blake Golding also speaks that he has no interest on the fee cut on some funds to win the market. He added by saying that there will always be a human element added to all their ways of increasing business.
Combining Expertise, knowledge and creativity:
In order to develop products, he is looking to draw upon the expertise ideas from Highstreet Asset Management Inc., an investment counseling firm within the empire of AGF, based in London that designs processes for a better performance in long term. He likes to combine Highstreet’s expertise with FFCM’s thoughts to create interesting products for Canadian market.