Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel Inc Launched

Michael Sprung Launches Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel Inc

THE FINANCIAL POST, OCTOBER 19, 2005
Off The Record – by Barry Critchley

If the dream of every money manager is to end up owning his or her own operation, then Michael Sprung has achieved success. Sprung, who has spent almost three decades in the money management business, has set up Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel Inc., a Toronto-based firm that will focus on meeting the investment needs of high net-worth individuals.

Sprung Investment value

Value investing shifts our portfolio management focus away from speculative profits, market trends and the frequently changing opinions of experts, focusing instead on company and market “fundamentals.”

And with good reason: Pension fund sponsors and consultants are not much inclined to award mandates to new managers. The working rule is that a three- to four-year track record is required.

“The idea is to create a firm that will excel on client service while giving clients direct access to the key decision-makers,” said Sprung, who describes his investment style as “a value manager with some elements of growth. “But value is the key consideration. And our overriding emphasis is on capital preservation while meeting, indeed exceeding, clients’ objectives.”

Sprung has worked with a number of firms, including the former Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board; Ontario Hydro; Goodman & Co. and YMG Capital Management. Most recently he was with GlobeInvest Capital Management, whose major shareholder is B.C.-based Graydon Elliott. His new business will be seeded with the assets of some long-time private clients. Sprung said there are about $15-million of such assets.

Sprung plans to offer segregated investment management – meaning that clients’ assets won’t be tossed into pools. In this way, each client has, in effect, a customized portfolio.

“The idea is to tailor the management of the assets to their circumstances and goals.” Sprung plans to invest in all asset classes, including fixed income. “The asset mix [the split between asset classes] will be driven by the value investment discipline,” said Sprung, who expects that a typical, individual account will be split 60/40 between equities and fixed income.

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