As I look back I can hardly believe that it has only been 10 months since we started at Wellington West. So much has happened that it seems like a couple of years and we are very well settled in. We were very pleased in the past month to have our former associate Barlow Asset Management from Victoria join Wellington West (Link to news article). This will mean that assets under administration by the Roberts Group and Wellington West have moved from $204,000,000 in December 2004 to $225,000,000 as of January 2006 with $135,000,000 administered directly and another $90,000,000 indirectly through Barlow Capital (renamed Wellington West Asset Management). Over the next month we will be rolling out our London office discretionary management platform, as I assume the role of Associate Portfolio Manager. And just last month, we finally signed the contract for Portfolio Management Software that will help us to provide superior Asset Allocation and Return Reporting going forward. This is a huge step for us, giving us the ability to delve into portfolio return and attribution analysis, not possible in any previous system. I have been an important part of the Asset Allocation Committee, the Wellington West Advisor Committee to Management, and trade calls regularly with our Chairman and President as we discuss the direction of the firm.
When we joined this branch there were just 2 teams, the Cohen Group and ourselves. Since our move, the London branch has grown with additions of Alan Kemp from Wood Gundy, and Doug Weber and Doug MacDonald from Nesbitt Burns.
As a firm we have doubled in assets under administration over the last year and are close to $7 billion at this time. In 2005 Wellington West was named the top firm by advisors for the second year in a row. Just last week, in a report by Hewitt Associates for the Report on Business Magazine, we were Ranked #1 in the 50 Best Employers (employee count between 300-1499) and #2 overall in all categories Canada's Best Employers. In summary, we believe the move was a tremendous success. I would like to extend my sincere thanks for all your support and confidence.
** I have prepared this commentary to give you my thoughts on various investment alternatives and considerations which may be relevant to your portfolio. This commentary reflects my opinions alone, and may not reflect the views of National Bank Financial Group. In expressing these opinions, I bring my best judgment and professional experience from the perspective of someone who surveys a broad range of investments. Therefore, this report should be viewed as a reflection of my informed opinions rather than analyses produced by the Research Department of National Bank Financial **