Look who’s leading the way

From left: Patricia Nesbitt, Natalie Laden, Brenda Nicholls, Sally Guarino and Alexa Richardson. Photo by Darcy Finley. Published by the Winnipeg Free Press.Opens a new website in a new window

At the top of their game.

The women of GLC Asset Management Group are leading Winnipeg's financial services industry.

Starting out in her career, Patricia Nesbitt was one of the few female portfolio managers in the investment industry. Today, she is Senior Vice-President, Equities, and leads a team of investment professionals. She has direct oversight of $11.2 billion in assets under management (AUM) for GLC Asset Management Group Ltd. (GLC). She’s also the lead portfolio manager for the GWLIM Canadian All Cap Growth equity mandate and chairs the GLC Asset Mix Committee, which oversees all of GLC’s balanced portfolios. GLC is a subsidiary of Great-West Life and manages more than $50 billion in AUM across a broad range of fixed income, domestic and global equity, balanced and asset allocation mandates. Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life now market themselves under the Canada Life brand.

Patricia has broken down barriers throughout her career and was also recognized with the 2008 ‘Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada’ award. “GLC is exceptional in that we have many women in senior roles, not only on the investment teams, but in other business areas as well,” she says. “At the heart of GLC’s investment management teams are talented and experienced professionals who are passionate about delivering strong investment results.” “I’ve been fortunate to have built my career in portfolio management right here in Winnipeg, and I’m incredibly proud of our track record and the team of professionals that I lead. This business is dynamic, exciting, competitive, fast paced — there’s never a dull moment.”

Once offered a senior role in Toronto, Sally Guarino, Assistant Vice-President, Finance and Operations, knew she wouldn’t have to move to add more industry breadth to her experience and advance her career. When she joined Great-West Life in 2012, part of the appeal was the fact that Great-West Life is a Canadian-owned company, based in Winnipeg. In 2013, Sally was offered a role to lead the finance department at GLC. “I was excited with the possibilities and opportunity it offered. I knew I would be working with some of Canada’s most talented professionals.”

Natalie Laden, Vice-President, Fixed Income, is the lead portfolio manager responsible for several of GLC’s specialty fixed-income mandates, including the Canadian Long, Ultra Long and Socially Responsible bond funds. Having spent her entire career at Great West Life and GLC, she says it’s rewarding to know her company’s strength is improving the financial well-being of clients, whether they are institutional clients, endowment funds or individual investors. “We believe in the value of personalized advice from financial advisors, and in the critical role an active portfolio manager plays in helping clients’ reach their investment goals. I love what I do all the more because I know it’s delivering on those clients’ goals.”

In university, Brenda Nicholls, Vice President, Equities, was fascinated by the markets and wanted to know what made them tick. Today, she is lead portfolio manager of the London Capital U.S. mid-cap equity portfolio and co-manages the London Capital U.S. equity mandate. She’s also a member of the GLC Asset Mix Committee. “The markets are challenging, fascinating, frustrating and ever-changing. I’m engaged every day and I’m really lucky to get to do what I do.”

Alexa Richardson, Associate Manager, Fixed Income, is the lead portfolio manager for GLC’s Real Return bond mandates and the fixed-income components of several of GLC’s balanced mandates. She also assists in the management of the Core bond mandate. Alexa says that while relatively small in size compared to other cities with a large financial presence, Winnipeg should not be underestimated as a financial centre. “There are many seasoned and talented financial experts available right in your own neck of the woods! It’s a great place to grow your career in investments and I wouldn’t have wanted to do that anywhere else.”