About Us blue_square_70

Why Genus?

It’s a new world with new possibilities, where change and complexity are both accelerating. Over the decades, globalization has expanded and we’ve experienced an information explosion. Genus has always taken a global perspective and been a leader in leveraging data technology to gain investment insights. We continually evaluate global investment markets quickly and efficiently to look for hidden opportunities and better manage risk. We are champions of innovation, always looking to the future to provide our clients with improved solutions and better ways to invest.

Our Philosophy on Investing

Every money manager has a philosophy that shapes their approach. At Genus, we take a global view and employ dynamic asset allocation with smart security selection to ensure all investments are strong across the board. Our securities are selected by specialist teams with in-depth expertise in each asset class. And each of these teams employs a clearly defined process with proven results. With Canada representing only 5% of world stock markets, we believe that having a wide perspective is essential to success. Not only are most of the best opportunities outside of Canada, but diversifying geographically helps lower risk.  To expand your portfolio globally, we employ a unique approach called “best of best.” While many managers prefer country “baskets” that are blind to each other, our methodology aims to add returns by ensuring you own the leading companies each region has to offer.  For instance, while Canada has some of the top banks and the US is strong in technology, Europe is well-known for its pharmaceuticals. This “best of best” approach offers safety advantages as well.  By optimizing holdings of Canadian stocks with those from around the world, we are able to find lower correlations and create better diversification for less risk. We know that cookie-cutter portfolios aren’t of real value to anyone. Ultimately, the most important thing is that your holdings are ideally positioned to meet your objectives. We ensure this happens by gaining a deep understanding of your goals and designing a customized strategy specifically for your needs. And to deliver the best results, we continually look for innovative ways to strengthen our technology, data analysis and investment process.

Unbiased Advice

As a Vancouver, B.C. firm established in 1989, we remain independently owned by our partners. We are proud to be one of the few investment management companies who can offer advice that is free from outside business influences. As a Genus client, it’s also nice to know that our portfolio managers earn no more or less based on the recommendations they make. In other words, your success is our success and you can be certain we will always put your interests first.

Nothing Beats Experience

When you hire Genus you benefit from the insights, wisdom and judgment that only experience can bring. You will receive counsel and service from one of our Senior Portfolio Managers, each of whom brings over twenty years of investment know-how. By navigating large portfolios through multiple market cycles, we’ve gained a valuable perspective that allows us to deliver prudent money management.

Your Money is Secure

When Genus acts as your manager, we never hold any of your cash or securities. Our clients’ savings and investments are always held in trust, safeguarded by an independent custodian. RBC Investor Services Trust acts as our fund custodian. RBC is among the top 10 global custodians in the world and the leading provider of investor services in Canada.

Our Values Shape our Culture

Our values shape our culture and reflect who we are in the world. We are passionate about client success and each member of our team is committed to the following principles:

Innovation — Driven by a desire to find better ways to serve our clients, we focus on developing new ideas rather than limiting ourselves to conventional thinking.

Customization — We embrace flexibility to create the best possible fit and better meet the needs of our partners and clients.

Excellence — We take great pride in our professional performance. We pursue best practices and relentlessly strive to achieve excellence in all of our business activities.

Collaboration — The collective strength and intelligence of many is greater than that of one. We work together as a team to expand our capabilities and better serve our business partners and clients.

Our Team blue_square_70

  • Wayne Wachell, MBA CFA
    Wayne Wachell, MBA CFA
Wayne Wachell, MBA CFA

CEO & Chief Investment Officer (Founding Partner)

Wayne co-founded Genus in 1989 and is the architect of the firm’s investment process. He directs our research and investment operations and the development of new products.

Wayne grew up in northern Manitoba, attended the University of Alberta, and first entered the investment field as a portfolio analyst with Alberta Treasury in 1980.

Wayne is a past president of the Vancouver Society of Financial Analysts and has appeared as a market commentator on CBC Newsworld. Wayne serves on the Board of the Bill Reid Foundation and also mentors students in  the University of British Columbia Portfolio Management Foundation program.

  • Leslie G. Cliff, BSc CFA OC
    Leslie G. Cliff, BSc CFA OC
Leslie G. Cliff, BSc CFA OC

Director of Wealth Management (Founding Partner)

A founding partner of the firm, Leslie is responsible for directing Wealth Management marketing and sales initiatives and overseeing client relationships. She also serves as Chair of the Genus Board. Born and raised in Vancouver, she has a finance degree from Arizona State University. Leslie has worked in the portfolio management and client service area of the investment business since 1986. She currently serves on the board of Swimming Canada and is a past President of the Estate Planning Council of Vancouver, and a past Chair of the ICBC Investment Committee. Leslie is an Olympic medalist, an Honorary Chartered Accountant, and an Officer of the Order of Canada.

  • John-Paul (J.P.) Harrison, MBA
    John-Paul (J.P.) Harrison, MBA
John-Paul (J.P.) Harrison, MBA

President (Partner)

J.P. joined the investment industry in 1995 as an Investment Advisor and has additional experience as a business consultant, mutual fund company National Sales Manager and Regional Vice President. With respect to education, he has completed an Executive MBA and holds a B.A. with an Economics Major. His role with Genus covers three main areas: first, he is responsible for creating and executing our firm’s strategic plan; second, he supports our Client Service Group to ensure we continue to offer industry leading solutions to the families and institutions we serve; and third, he provides direct client service to fund companies, insurers, investment dealers, and the socially responsible investment community. Away from work, J.P. enjoys traveling, reading, playing sports, and exploring the outdoors with friends and family.

  • Margaret Lanthier, BA BEd CIF
    Margaret Lanthier, BA BEd CIF
Margaret Lanthier, BA BEd CIF

Director of Non-Profit Investments (Partner)

Margaret Lanthier serves private clients, foundations and non-profit organizations. She spent her childhood in Montreal, graduated from Queen’s University and has been in the investment business since 1980. Margaret has extensive experience serving the non-profit sector. She has spoken at industry seminars on the challenges facing this sector and is Chair of the Board of Music in the Morning and former Vice Chair of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater  Vancouver. Margaret joined Genus in 1996.

  • Mary Lou Miles, CFA TEP
    Mary Lou Miles, CFA TEP
Mary Lou Miles, CFA TEP

Portfolio Manager (Partner)

Mary Lou specializes in serving individuals and families with substantial assets by creating customized investment portfolios.  She has been in the investment and banking business since 1976. She grew up in Vancouver and graduated from the University of British Columbia. Mary Lou holds a BA in Economics, the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and the Fellowship of Canadian Bankers (FICB) designation. She joined Genus from Maxima Investment Management, and has held senior positions with the Bank of British Columbia and HSBC. Mary Lou, a past President of CFUW-Richmond (Canadian Federation of University Women), is Membership Chair of the Richmond Sunrise Rotary Club and a member of the Estate Planning Council of Vancouver.

  • Sue-May Talbot, CIM
    Sue-May Talbot, CIM
Sue-May Talbot, CIM

Portfolio Manager & Director of Client Service (Partner)

Sue-May has been with Genus since day one and the founding of the firm in 1989. In addition to being a registered Portfolio Manager, Sue is also Director of Client Service. She holds the Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) designation and has a Diploma in Business Management from Simon Fraser University. In her role as Portfolio Manager, Sue works with individuals and families to create and manage their custom portfolios. In her role as Director of Client Service she is responsible for developing and implementing the direction of client servicing and administrative support for our entire team of Portfolio Managers. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Nanaimo and Vancouver, Sue worked in the sales and marketing department of a major private investment counseling firm prior to joining Genus, initially as Manager of Administration.


  • Lisa Zhang, M.Sc., MA, CFA
    Lisa Zhang, M.Sc., MA, CFA
Lisa Zhang, M.Sc., MA, CFA

Director of Equity Investments (Partner)

Lisa Zhang is responsible for managing our day-to-day equity investment strategies and oversees our rebalancing, portfolio construction and trading process. She also leads the team involved with data analysis, strategy testing and quantitative equity research. Lisa joined Genus in July 2007 after completing a Masters of Science degree in Finance from the University of British Columbia. Lisa also has a Masters of Arts degree in Economics from York University and received her CFA designation in 2011.

  • Stephen Au, BComm MBA CGA
    Stephen Au, BComm MBA CGA
Stephen Au, BComm MBA CGA

Chief Financial Officer (Partner)

As Chief Financial Officer, Steve is responsible for client record keeping and maintaining the accounts for the Genus pooled fund components. He also serves as the firm’s Chief Compliance Officer, Privacy Officer, and Internal Auditor. Steve joined Genus in 2001 and has been a partner since 2007. He was born in Vancouver, and graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2001 with a Bachelor of Commerce. He obtained his Certified General Accountant (CGA) designation in 2007 and completed an Executive MBA at Simon Fraser University in 2013.