WHO WE ARE

Vantage is a Toronto-based investment manager focused on opportunities in the Canadian equity market. We manage capital on behalf of families, charities, trusts, pensions, and institutional investors – both domestically and internationally. Vantage was founded by two experienced professionals, Darren Gottlieb and Mark Tredgett. Our investment strategy has been successfully managed since 2005 and is available to qualified investors through onshore and offshore vehicles.

Vantage Asset Management is registered with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) as a Portfolio Manager, Investment Fund Manager and Exempt Market Dealer.

WHAT WE DO

Vantage’s investment resources are dedicated to a single fund – the Vantage Protected Performance Fund. We believe focusing our research and analysis efforts is a key contributor to our success.

Vantage has a clearly defined investment objective – to provide investors with double-digit long term returns, but importantly, to accomplish the returns with significantly lower risk as compared to the Canadian equity market. We believe attractive returns, when achieved with a lower risk profile, will always appeal to sophisticated investors.

HOW WE DO IT

Vantage’s investment process is disciplined, fundamental and value-based. We are selective investors who believe compelling investment opportunities are difficult to find. As a result, our portfolio is typically comprised of 20-25 heavily researched ideas.

The historical success of our investment strategy is the result of two key factors:

The ability to identify compelling investments – both long and short

A commitment to maintaining a well-hedged, protected portfolio

Vantage’s commitment to hedging helps insulate the portfolio from fluctuations in the broader market and underlying sectors. When properly implemented, hedges isolate stock-specific opportunities while minimizing the potential impact of unforeseeable events in the market.

The figure below illustrates the historical exposure profile of our strategy. On average, only $30 of our clients’ capital has been exposed to the market for every $100 invested. The low net exposure is a cornerstone of Vantage’s lower-risk investment strategy.
 

Historical Exposures

Historical Exposure

WHY VANTAGE?

Vantage’s strategy has provided investors with an attractive long-term return. Importantly, the returns have been accomplished with lower volatility and fewer drawdowns than the Canadian equity market. Given the risk-return profile of the strategy, we believe the Vantage Protected Performance Fund is an excellent complement to any diversified portfolio. The fund can be used as either a core hedge fund allocation or as a lower-risk replacement for directional equity funds.
PROTECTION

bear


PERFORMANCE

bull


  • When an investor focuses on short-term investments, he or she is observing the variability of the portfolio, not the returns – in short, being fooled by randomness.

    Nassim Taleb
  • All intelligent investing is value investing — acquiring more than you are paying for.

    Charlie Munger
  • The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.

    Sir John Templeton
  • Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.

    Andy Grove
  • Know what you own, and know why you own it.

    Peter Lynch  
     
     
     
     

PROTECTION

Vantage’s fund was named the Vantage Protected Performance Fund to emphasize the importance of capital protection. The lower-risk profile of the strategy is best represented by two distinct characteristics:

1) A volatility profile considerably below the fund’s target market; and
2) Outperformance in down markets.

To ensure Vantage’s strategy maintains a lower-risk profile, we take a disciplined approach to stock selection and portfolio structure. Short positions are used to protect (hedge) core long investments in the portfolio. In addition, short investments are used to generate incremental return (alpha) for the portfolio.

The charts below illustrate the two primary risk measures relevant to Vantage’s investment strategy:

*The Portfolio is comprised of the portfolio at Royal Capital Management (April 1st 2005 – September 30th 2009) and the portfolio at Vantage (March 1st 2010 onward).
**The Benchmark (TSX All Cap Index) is an equal weighted index comprised of the S&P/TSX Composite Index and the S&P/TSX Small Cap Index. All index data is inclusive of dividends (“total return”) and all comparisons reflect comparable investment periods.View Disclaimer

PERFORMANCE

Vantage’s investment strategy has materially outperformed the all-cap Canadian equity market since inception. The fund’s relative outperformance has been largely accomplished during periods when the broader equity market has struggled.

The chart below shows the absolute and relative performance of the investment strategy since inception.

Annualized Return

Annualized Return

*The Portfolio is comprised of the portfolio at Royal Capital Management (April 1st 2005 – September 30th 2009) and the portfolio at Vantage (March 1st 2010 onward).
**The Benchmark (TSX All Cap Index) is an equal weighted index comprised of the S&P/TSX Composite Index and the S&P/TSX Small Cap Index. All index data is inclusive of dividends (“total return”) and all comparisons reflect comparable investment periods.View Disclaimer

TEAM

Darren Gottlieb – Managing Partner

Darren co-founded Vantage Asset Management with Mark Tredgett in 2009. Prior to co-founding the company, Darren successfully managed Vantage’s investment strategy for 4½ years at Royal Capital Management, a boutique investment company based in Toronto.

Prior to Vantage and Royal Capital Management, Darren was a member of the Alternative Strategies Group at TD Bank – more commonly known as TD Proprietary Trading. The Alternative Strategies Group was responsible for managing a portion of the bank’s internal capital. While at TD, Darren focused on long/short investment strategies and also published a number of investment opinions broadly distributed to the bank’s institutional clientele.

Darren started his professional career in the late 1990’s in the investment banking groups at two firms, BMO Nesbitt Burns and Research Capital. Darren’s focus during his investment banking years was on mergers and acquisitions and raising capital for mid-sized Canadian companies across a variety of industries.

Darren holds an MBA and LLB from the Schulich School of Business and Osgoode Hall Law School.

Darren is an active skier and tennis player and an avid follower of Middle Eastern geopolitical affairs. He brings discipline, experience and leadership as head of Vantage’s investment team – however, nobody at Vantage is inclined to follow his self-proclaimed “fashion forward” dress code. Darren lives in Toronto with his wife, Sara, and two boys, Koby and Cooper.

Mark Tredgett – Managing Partner

Mark Tredgett co-founded Vantage Asset Management with Darren Gottlieb in 2009. Prior to Vantage, Mark was Managing Director of a boutique alternative investment manager based in Toronto – JCM. Prior to this role, Mark managed the institutional hedge fund team at National Bank Financial (NBF), the wholly-owned investment banking subsidiary of the National Bank of Canada. While at NBF, Mark headed a team responsible for building the bank’s institutional equity business with alternative investment managers in North America.

Mark’s capital markets career began in 1998 in London, England where he spent six years working within the institutional equity divisions of Credit-Suisse First Boston and Robertson Stephens as a Vice President of Equities.

Mark holds a degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario (1991) and a Masters degree from the London School of Economics (1998).

Mark is an avid sports fan and former competitive squash and tennis player. He was a member of the University of Western Ontario squash team during his undergraduate years. Mark has lost a half step (or more) since his university days, however, he manages to stay reasonably active chasing his four children around the west end of Toronto where he lives with his wife and family.

Francis Lau – Portfolio Manager

Francis Lau is a member of Vantage’s investment team and responsible for multiple aspects of the firm’s research process, including: idea generation, industry analysis, security analysis and financial modelling.

Prior to joining Vantage in 2010, Francis worked at BMO Capital Markets as an investment banker. Prior to this role, Francis was an investment analyst with Jaguar Financial, a Toronto-based merchant bank. Francis brings a diverse background and unique skill set which complements Vantage’s investment team.

Francis is a graduate of the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and a double major in Computer Science and Economics. Francis is also a CFA Charterholder and is currently a Director of the Toronto CFA Society’s Mentorship Committee.

Francis represents a small subset of the global population who can function effectively with little-to-no sleep – a character trait which is particularly useful during earnings season.

Max Mausner – Senior Analyst

Max Mausner is a member of Vantage’s investment team and supports multiple aspects of the firm’s research process, including: idea generation, industry analysis, security analysis and financial modelling.

Prior to joining Vantage in 2014, Max worked at TD Securities as an investment banker in the Media, Communications and Technology Group and in the Equity Capital Markets Group.

Max graduated with First Class Honours from the Queen’s School of Business Commerce Program and is a CFA Charterholder. He served as an Analyst and Portfolio Manager for the Queen’s University Investment Counsel (QUIC) and remains involved as an Alumni Mentor for current Counsel Members.

Max is an active athlete, with a particular interest in running, cycling and racquet sports. He is a former nationally ranked badminton player; but unfortunately, as we like to remind Max, badminton doesn’t count!

Mike Yerashotis – Senior Analyst

Mike Yerashotis is a Senior Analyst on Vantage’s investment team. In this capacity, Mike is involved in all aspects of the firm’s research process, including idea generation, company analysis, industry analysis and financial modelling.

Prior to joining Vantage, Mike was a Senior Special Situations Analyst and Head of Accounting Research at Veritas Investment Research – one of Canada’s leading independent equity research companies. Mike is a former corporate auditor with Ernst & Young, forensic accountant, and periodic lecturer at the Schulich School of Business, at York University.

Mike graduated on the Dean’s Honour List from the Schulich School of Business and holds the CPA, CA and Chartered Business Valuator designations.

Mike is a basketball enthusiast and enjoys reading about geopolitical issues.

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ADVISORY BOARD

Vantage is fortunate to benefit from an external advisory board of experienced business and industry executives. The advisory board has over 100 years of combined experience in Canada’s capital markets, investment management and real estate industries.

The board is an important resource for Vantage’s senior management team – providing independent, external advice on a variety of business considerations, including: corporate strategy, business development, team development, branding and corporate philanthropy. The board does not advise on portfolio management or risk management functions. These important responsibilities reside with Vantage’s Lead Portfolio Manager and Chief Compliance Officer.

Andrew Hoffman

Mr. Hoffman has over 25 years of experience in the real estate development industry. He has been directly involved in some of Toronto’s major real estate projects, including the Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences – and numerous other residential, office, industrial and mixed use projects in the Greater Toronto Area. Prior to founding CentreCourt Developments in 2010, Mr. Hoffman was the Chief Operating Officer of Menkes Developments Ltd, a leading real estate developer in Toronto where he worked for over 20 years (1989 – 2010).

Mr. Hoffman holds an LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, and prior to joining Menkes Developments in 1989 he practiced law at Goodmans, LLP, a leading Canadian law firm.

Mr. Hoffman is also a Director of Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust, a major diversified REIT listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

In addition to real estate interests, Mr. Hoffman is an active participant in a number of charitable and community organizations, including board participation at Ronald McDonald House, Mount Sinai Foundation and the Hold’em for Life Charity Challenge. Mr. Hoffman founded Hold’em for Life, a charitable organization which has raised in excess of $17 million for cancer research and other worthwhile initiatives.

John O’Sullivan

Mr. O’Sullivan has been actively involved in Canada’s capital markets and investment management industry for 30 years. Mr. O’Sullivan was a key member of the leadership team at Gordon Capital for over 10 years (1981 – 1992) where he served as Managing Director, Partner, and Head of Trading. Mr. O’Sullivan`s primary responsibility during this period was managing Gordon Capital’s liability trading operation.

Between January 1993 and September 1995, Mr. O’Sullivan was employed as Vice President and Director, Co-Head of Trading at BMO Nesbitt Thompson Inc. (now BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc.). Mr. O’Sullivan’s primary responsibility at BMO was liability trading.

In September 1995, Mr. O’Sullivan became one of the founding partners of Newcrest Capital Inc., a company which grew to become one of Canada`s premier boutique institutional brokerage and investment banks. Mr. O’Sullivan was Partner, Director, and Co-Head of Trading at Newcrest. Along with other partners, Mr. O’Sullivan managed Newcrest`s invested capital and liability trading operation.

Between November 2000 and May 2008, when he retired, Mr. O’Sullivan was a Managing Director and Head of Proprietary Trading at TD Securities Inc. As Head of Proprietary Trading, Mr. O’Sullivan directly managed and supervised a portion of the bank`s investment portfolio on a discretionary basis. More specifically, Mr. O’Sullivan personally managed the proprietary trading group’s risk arbitrage portfolio, the long/short portfolio, the market neutral portfolio and the small cap/special situations portfolio. Mr. O’Sullivan also supervised the activities of four other portfolio managers and the group’s analyst team.

Frank L. Peters

Mr. Peters has over 30 years of experience in the Canadian capital markets and investment management industry. Mr. Peters’ career started in 1983 upon joining the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) as a Performance Measurement Analyst. Over the ensuing 25 years, Mr. Peters successfully executed a number of leadership roles within UBS Canada, including building and managing an international equity team as Head of Institutional Equity Sales. By 2004 Mr. Peters was a Managing Director and the Head of Proprietary Trading at UBS. In this capacity, Mr. Peters was responsible for managing the bank’s long/short equity and risk arbitrage portfolios. Throughout Mr. Peters 25 year career at UBS Canada he was involved in the senior management and direction of the firm’s Canadian business, serving on the Equity Division Management Committee and both the domestic and international boards of the company.

In 2010 Mr. Peters founded Seven Seas Capital Management Inc., a market-neutral long/short North American focused equity fund. The fund operated successfully for a number of years, producing a good record of positive returns while maintaining an emphasis on low volatility, drawdown protection and capital preservation.

Mr. Peters remains an active investor today through his affiliation with Hydra Capital Partners – a Toronto investment boutique comprised of experienced investment professionals. Hydra Capital Partners provides capital markets expertise and capital to public and private companies.

Mr. Peters has a Bachelors of Commerce degree from the University of Ottawa (1981) and has been a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) since 1986.

Harold M. Wolkin

Mr. Wolkin is an accomplished former Canadian investment banker and financial analyst with over 30 years of industry experience. In 1983, Mr. Wolkin joined BMO Nesbitt Burns as a senior research analyst. He went on to serve as Managing Director in BMO’s Diversified Industries Group for 25 years (1983 to 2008). During this period, Mr. Wolkin was involved as lead underwriter and strategic advisor for a number of Canada’s largest equity offerings and related transactions.

In 2008 Mr. Wolkin became Executive Vice-President and Head of Investment Banking for Dundee Capital Markets. Now retired from investment banking, Mr. Wolkin serves on a number of public company boards and not-for-profit organizations, including directorships for Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Inc. and Baylin Technologies, both of which trade on the TSX Exchange.

Mr. Wolkin has been a member of the Chartered Financial Institute since 1980 and is a certified Chartered Financial Analyst. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from York University and a Masters of Arts in Economics and Finance from the University of Toronto. Mr. Wolkin is also a graduate and a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors and has served as President of the CFA Society of Toronto.

COUNTERPARTIES

KPMG

KPMG is a global leader in audit, tax and advisory services. KPMG has audited the Fund since inception.

 

Scotiabank

Scotiabank is one of Canada’s leading financial institutions and has served as one of the fund’s prime brokers and custodians since inception.

Harmonic

Harmonic is one of the largest independently owned and operated fund administration companies in the world. They provide comprehensive fund administration services to Vantage’s offshore investment vehicle.

Common Wealth

CommonWealth Fund Services is one of Canada’s leading fund administrators for the alternative investment industry, providing critical independent oversight for the fund.

Blakes

Blakes is one of Canada’s leading corporate law firms and has provided Vantage with legal, regulatory and tax advice since inception.

FundSERV

FundServ is Canada’s leading provider of electronic business services for the investment fund industry. Authorized Investment Advisors can access the Vantage Protected Performance Fund via fund codes VAN200 and VAN100.

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