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Institutional portfolio management

Management of managers

The mission of the Management of Managers team is to provide our partners with professional assistance in selecting and monitoring the managers who handle the mandates of their respective fund families.

Our philosophy is to provide a personalized approach designed to match the specific requirements of each of our partners. Such an approach requires us to maintain a thorough understanding of our partners' needs in terms of risk tolerance, management fees and information.

The team's combined expertise fosters favourable relationships with external portfolio managers, makes it possible to keep a better eye on legal and compliance issues and allows us to better serve our partners. Among the many benefits of this service offering are an improved consistency in the governance of external managers and a potential reduction in management fees by establishing a common basis for fees.

By monitoring the asset classes that may affect our partners and overseeing quality to detect potential issues with a mandate, we have developed a proactive approach with recommendations made based on well-informed decisions.

The experienced professionals who make up the Management of Managers team focus on establishing long-term partnerships in response to our clients' specific criteria for the selection and hiring of portfolio managers.

The development of investment policies that factor in risk tolerance, performance measurement and portfolio analysis require rigorous follow-up. Our team has developed and implemented a set of sophisticated analysis tools to make this process both very transparent and effective.

To ensure the accountability of external managers, monitoring legal and compliance issues, as well as reporting, is essential to a good supervision program. Consequently, our team pays very close attention to these aspects.

The current mandates assigned to the Management of Managers team mainly focus on traditional mandates, both for fixed-income and global equity.

Geographical area Mandate Category/Description
Canada Money market  
Canadian bonds Short term, universe
Canadian equity
  • Large and small cap
  • Value and growth
Outside Canada Bonds
  • Global inflation-linked
  • High yield
U.S. equity Growth, value
  • International equity
  • Global equity
  • Growth, value
  • Large and small cap
  • Multi-management
  • Large and small cap
Emerging markets equity
  • Growth, value
  • Multi-management
Specialty mandates Global REITs, global infrastructures

To serve its partners and clients, the Management of Managers team is composed of a group of nearly 10 specialists.

Michel Lessard, MSc Finance
Management of Managers
Contact by email
514-350-8686, ext. 5573126

Michel Lessard manages multi-management funds and is responsible for the selection and follow-up of managers of various fund families, namely the Desjardins Funds.

Mr. Lessard began his career in 1990 as a financial analyst for a management firm. He then went on to occupy different functions at Elantis Investment Management, a securities advisor (1993 to 2000), and to specialize in the management of investment funds and managers, first with Desjardins Investment Management (2001 to 2005), then with Desjardins Global Asset Management, which he joined in 2005 as Vice-President, Management of Managers.

Michel Lessard holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Université du Québec en Outaouais (1987) and a master's degree in Finance from HEC Montréal (1990).

Marc Cohen, CA, CFA
Management of Managers
Contact by email
514-350-8686, ext. 5573127

Marc Cohen is responsible for the supervision and selection of portfolio managers for Desjardins Funds.

Prior to joining Desjardins Group in 2003, Mr. Cohen was head of investments at Anglo Irish Bank Corporation in Geneva, Switzerland. He was appointed Director, Management of Managers at Desjardins Global Asset Management in 2005.

He is a chartered accountant and a chartered financial analyst (CFA), and holds a bachelor's degree in Commerce with a major in accounting from McGill University.