Our Passion

The Auspice Philosophy

Markets are not efficient. Emotions and cognitive biases lead to poor investment decisions which contribute to these inefficiencies. We employ a process driven approach to bypass emotions, identify inefficiencies and design strategies to capture returns. There are multiple drivers of returns and we believe the most resilient investments are built from combinations of non-correlated return sources. We also understand that markets change. We continually evolve our research to identify new sources of returns and seek to improve how we capture them.

Our Mission

We are here to challenge the status quo. A diverse combination of the best stocks and fixed income investments does not mean low risk. Our mission is to transform the investment conversation away from fear and towards opportunity. We believe that non-correlated alternative investments will be a core holding in all portfolios. We partner with investors who become the inspiration to create products that include other sources of returns. These products are uncorrelated, make their portfolios more resilient to adverse events in the market, and improve their risk adjusted returns overall.

How We Invest

Emotions, like fear and greed, create stress, drive markets and influence poor decision-making.

The flip side of this is that they also create opportunities for those that have mastered investing without emotion. This is our passion. We employ a scientific research process to create rules-based investment strategies that puts the volatility created by human behavior to good use.

We have a suite of liquid alternative investment strategies that can be tailored to suit different investors.

We believe that the addition of the right investment strategy can improve the risk adjusted performance of a traditional portfolio while making it more resilient to adverse market movements.

Auspice manages active long/short strategies that are designed to be efficient, scalable and provide a low risk profile. Auspice utilizes a disciplined rules-based approach to global commodity and financial sectors which produces superior risk adjusted returns that are non-correlated to traditional equity and bond portfolios.

The Auspice Brand

 
 

The word ‘auspice’, is the root of auspicious, which means: 
1. A sign of good things to come  
2. Protection or support

To us, Auspice reflects the positive impacts that we can bring to our clients' investment portfolios while preserving capital and managing risk.

The Auspice logo (an endless knot) is derived from one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Tibetan mythology and symbolizes the Union of Wisdom and Method.

This captures the essence of the Auspice philosophy, which combines the wisdom that markets are inefficient and are driven by emotion, together with the application of rules-based methods to identify and capture these inefficiencies.

 

Team

Principals

Tim Pickering

Lead Portfolio Manager, CIO

Tim Pickering is Founder, President and CIO of Auspice. Tim leads strategic decision making and the vision for Auspice’s diverse suite of award winning rules-based quantitative investment strategies. Tim believes that in the future, non-correlated alternative investments will be a core holding in all portfolios, regardless of investor size or sophistication. Alternatives will no longer be viewed as risky, but as conservative and prudent, given the measurable value to investment portfolios.  He is passionate about creating innovative investment strategies and products that the market needs with distribution through reputable partners at a fair price. In 2015, Tim was selected by Alberta Venture Magazine, one of Alberta’s most widely respected business publications, as one of Alberta’s 50 most influential people. In 2017, Tim was named to the University of Calgary Accounting and Finance Advisory Council at the Haskayne School of Business.

Prior to forming Auspice, Tim was VP of Trading at Shell (North America). He began his career at TD Securities (Toronto) in their elite trading development program ultimately holding the Senior PM position for the Energy Derivatives portfolio. Outside of Auspice, Tim has been involved in grain farming in Western Canada. Through the founding of Auspice, Tim ties together a career in commodity and financial risk and portfolio management that has spanned institutional experience along with entrepreneurial vision.  

 

Ken Corner

Portfolio Manager, Director of Research and Operations 

Ken is a Co-founder of Auspice, and he leads the Research and Operations groups at Auspice. His educational background is in Mechanical Engineering and he is passionate about applying a scientific approach to the emotionally driven world of trading. Prior to founding Auspice with Tim, Ken worked as design engineer for the ATCO group of companies and from there moved into financial modeling and commodity trading. Following his time with ATCO, Ken traded natural gas derivatives for Shell, and then went on to become the Vice President of Options Trading for TD Securities in Calgary.

Ken is an avid skier and cyclist and is currently obsessed with river surfing!


Senior Professionals

Arthur Chan

Director of Finance, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer

Arthur has over 20 years of experience in accounting and fund administration. Prior to joining Auspice, Arthur was a VP of Fund Administration and Investor Relations with Citco Fund Services in Toronto.

From 2000 to 2009, Arthur worked in Bermuda with Citi Fund Services, including two years as VP of Fund Administration.  Arthur started his career working for a number of private Canadian corporations.


Kevin Malenfant

Director of Quantitative Research

Passionate about quantitative modeling and mathematics, Kevin is the lead quantitative researcher and plays a strategic role in research and strategy development, testing, and managing the operational back-end at Auspice. Concentrating in both cryptography and mathematical finance, Kevin holds a Bachelors of Science in Pure/Applied Mathematics and a Master's of Science in Applied Mathematics from the University of Calgary. Areas of study included: Energy market modeling, model calibration and efficient hedging strategies. Along this theme, Levy based models were explored and, with the influence of supervisor's past research, Kevin completed his master's thesis: "Variance Swaps for Local Levy based Stochastic Volatility with Delay". Outside of Math Finance, Kevin has a continued general interest in Machine Learning, Cryptography, information theory, and programming.


Hussein Al-kaf

Software Developer

Hussein started with Auspice as an intern prior to taking a full time role as a software developer in 2017. He holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Calgary.

Hussein is passionate about front end web development, machine learning and artificial intelligence. He enjoys the sport of running and is an advocate of Effective Altruism, donating a portion of his income to effective charities following the earn to give concept. 

Awards

We believe in being a pioneer. It is how our country and North America developed. It is not an easy task, it may create waves, but it is the right thing to do. Our list of innovative products is growing and we are dedicated to elevating the investment world. Our achievements have been recognized and we are committed to this goal .

2017

Best Investable CTA Index
Auspice Managed Futures ER Index

2016

Best Investable CTA Index
Auspice Managed Futures ER Index

 

Winner of the best for Liquid Alternative Investment Strategies - Canada

2015

Winner of the Altegris 2014 CTA Challenge

 

2014

CTA Intelligence Awards
Nominated Best Investable CTA Index (Highly Commended)

 

International Hedge Fund Awards
Innovative Asset Manager – Canada

 

 

2011

Morningstar
Silver Medal – Best Opportunistic Hedge Fund

 

2010 & 2009

Fast Growth 50
Selected as one of Alberta’s Fastest Growing Companies in both 2009 and 2010

 

2008

Canadian HedgeWatch
Ranked as the top performing CTA in 2008

 

Advisory Committee

The Auspice Advisory Committee (AAC) provides advice and perspectives on strategic and business development initiatives and acts as a filter on the strategic direction of the company. The members may also have valuable input and advice regarding corporate governance and compliance related issues. 

The Auspice Management Team (AMT) is responsible for ensuring that an Advisory Committee is established and operated according to the mandate in the Auspice Advisory Commitee Charter.

The two core duties and roles of the AAC are:

  • First, the AAC may provide insight on markets and industry trends. This insight and feedback is of primary value to the strategic vision and direction of the business and product (fund) development.   However, asset allocation decisions are made solely by the portfolio managers of the fund(s).
  • Second, the AAC will provide an outlet for the firms Compliance and Risk Officer(s) to ask for advice and direction on these key issues should the need arise.


Ron McNeil
CEO & Co-Founder of LMS Reinforcing Steel Group.  

Starting in 1987 with a pick-up truck and 6 employees, he and his partner Ivan Harmatny have grown the company to be the largest supplier & installer of reinforcing steel in Western Canada with over 500 staff and Revenue of 150 million dollars and growing.  Ron is a past recipient of Business in Vancouver’s 40 Under 40 award as well as earning the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Real Estate / Construction category on 2008.  In addition LMS is named one of “Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies”. 

Ken Wilson
Senior Vice President, Long Range Planning and an Officer of Coril Holdings Ltd., a privately held company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Mr. Wilson has over twenty five years of experience in senior management and leadership positions of both private and publicly held corporations. Prior to joining Coril Holdings in 2005, Wilson was President and CEO of Richardson Technologies Inc., a start-up business engaged in the design, manufacturing and sales of high technology optical microscopes. Prior to 2004, Mr. Wilson operated his own management consulting firm in Toronto, Canada, where he completed various senior management assignments with diverse clients, RTI among them. 

Mr. Wilson was previously President and CEO of InQuent Technologies, a private-label web hosting company owned by SBC Communications of San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Wilson has also held senior roles at Sprint Canada, Oracle Corporation, IBM, and Amdahl Canada. He is a member of the Board of Directors of INLIV Inc., Chaordix, The Norlien Foundation and the Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre.

 

Community

We are proudly located in one of Canada’s most prosperous and innovative cities and take pride in the community that we live in. We recognize the opportunities that we have in our backyard and want to make them available to all. We support two of our greatest resources: children and water. We believe in giving back to the community and are proud to sponsor the following charities: 

The Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre (CAC) is an innovative centre where children can safely recover, heal and grow stronger in one amazing place. The CAC is taking the lead in the investigation, treatment, prevention and education of child abuse across the country.

The Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre (AARC) is a long-term treatment program for substance dependent adolescents and their families. Success at AARC is a graduate who is clean and sober, back in school or working and is reunited with their family. 

 

Charity:Water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of public donations directly fund water projects.

*Donations can be made by cheque to “Auspice Charities in Trust.” Please contact us if electronic funds transfer or wire is required.

 

Testimonials

Don’t take it from us – listen to our valued clients and partners.

In the summer of 2010 we were looking for a way for our company to hedge its risk against steel price fluctuations. My company commits to a fixed price for steel supply and install for construction projects across Western Canada. Our risk from steel price fluctuations is substantial, especially on very large multi-year projects. Auspice was able to give us the direction and advice we needed to create a hedging tool that allows us to, for the first time, remove considerable market place risk from our equation. Tim Pickering and Ken Corner impressed me throughout the process with their ability to think practically and creatively about hedging strategies that worked for my business.
— Ron McNeil - Co-Chair & Founder, LMS Reinforcing Steel Group
Commodities are well recognized for their diversification potential for a traditional basket of stocks and bonds (both from the point of view of exhibiting low correlation and as an excellent inflation hedge). Investors in passive, long-only commodities (beta products) have historically had to pay a high price for this diversification, however, in the form of large drawdowns, high volatility, and resulting low risk-adjusted returns.

The advent of alpha-driven products, that maintain the diversification benefits of beta-driven products while significantly limiting their ancillary detriments, has resulted in a `best of both worlds scenario in which investors are able to achieve both higher returns and lower risk simultaneously, often referred to as moving the efficient frontier `up and to the left`.

As a pioneer* in the realm of actively managed commodity-based products, Tim Pickering and Auspice Capital constantly strive to extract the most value out of beta-driven products while providing enhanced return and downside protection through the addition of alpha-driven strategies.
— David Kaufman – President of Westcourt Capital
*In reference to beta and enhanced beta index products
 

DISCLAIMER
Futures trading is speculative and is not suitable for all customers. Past performance may not be indicative of future results and there is no assurance that any of the fund’s investment objectives will be met. An investor could lose all or a substantial portion of their investment.

Partners

A large part of our success at Auspice is our due to our belief in creating strong partnerships. These are some of our strategic partners: