Colin Moore, Columbia CIO for nearly 20 years, retired at the end of 2021; William Davies, who had been CIO of global equities, replaced him. Moore had worked over the past several years to promote collaboration across his investment teams, including compelling his portfolio managers to work with a centralized research pool and to act within consistent risk guardrails. The firm also made moves in recent years to streamline its product offerings, including merging or liquidating 28 strategies from January 2020 through March 2022.
These are sensible efforts, though there remain ongoing areas of uncertainty for Davies and CEO Ted Truscott to navigate. Though the firm's fixed-income team is mostly stable, its domestic-equity team has struggled for years with elevated turnover. Adding to this complexity, Columbia closed on its acquisition of Bank of Montreal's European investment business in November 2021, gaining numerous new U.S., U.K., and European-domiciled equity strategies, a compelling environmental, social, and governance capability, and a staff of 700 people. Though there are opportunities for Columbia to draw additional resources and capabilities from BMO, including specialists such as Pyrford International, it will take time to assess how these two firms mesh as a combined entity.