Value is more than a number … Learn More


1. What is the Background, Location & Ownership of Setanta Asset Management?
2. How is Setanta different to other asset managers?

1. What is the Background, Location & Ownership of Setanta Asset Management?

Company Background

Setanta is a dedicated value manager, investing in attractively valued companies within a global sector framework. Setanta has built a strong track record in global equity management delivering out performance in nine of the ten calendar years since we were appointed manager of the Global Equity Fund in June 2000. The Global Equity strategy is the research engine at Setanta. The majority of Setanta’s regional and specialist strategies’ holdings are selected from the stocks held in the Global Equity strategy, which is also part of many of Setanta’s balanced strategies.

Setanta has been managing Global Equities along sector sleeves as part of a larger balanced portfolio since its inception in 1998.


Setanta is based in Dublin, Ireland and the portfolio management and investment decisions for all products and the Global Equity strategy are made and implemented by the investment team in Dublin. The client servicing team is also based in the same office.


Setanta was established in 1998 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canada Life Irish Holding Company Limited. The Great-West Life Assurance Company acquired Canada Life in 2003.  The Great-West Life Assurance Company is a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco Inc., a member of the Power Financial Corporation group of companies.  

Great-West Life Inc. is a leading Canadian insurer, with interests in the life and health insurance, investment, retirement savings and reinsurance businesses, primarily in Canada and Europe. Great-West Life has more than C$1,4billion* in assets under administration.

For current information on Great-West Life’s and Canada Life’s rating and financial strength, see the Corporate Information section on

* As of 30th June 2018

2. How is Setanta different to other asset managers?

We are dedicated value managers

Because of many factors, fund managers generally revert to portfolios which do not differ significantly from the index.  In many cases investment horizons are short and fund managers often make decisions based on their expectation about the future. At Setanta we seek to calculate the difference between price and value through fundamental research and then take a long term view. We are investors, not traders.

In contrast to many of our peers who manage money within regional sector sleeves, Setanta have consistently focused on Global sectors.

We are not afraid to be contrary. We have always taken a global view of the world. Companies are global and where they are listed is becoming significantly less relevant. Our Global equity Fund has no geographic or market capitalisation restrictions.

We look at risk as the “risk of permanent impairment”

We believe that the risk for any investment is that the value becomes permanently impaired. We seek to mitigate this risk through thorough research. Our research focuses on three risks – financial, operation and valuation risk, with primary focus on the valuation as the risk of permanent impairment is increased if you pay too much for an investment. We invest conservatively looking for a good “margin of safety” and a strong balance sheet; the latter being one of a number of quality attributes that we look for. 

Challenge Culture is key to investment decisions

At Setanta we foster a culture of challenge. The investment case for buying or selling a stock is presented to the investment team who act as ‘devils advocate’ by rigorously questioning assumptions and crucially, questioning the valuation case. This feedback from other Portfolio Managers with a different perspective and experience is extremely valuable to the investment process.

Clear accountability of Portfolio Manager sharpens the decision making process

Setanta is somewhat unique in that each Portfolio Manager finds, researches, selects and presents each investment case (to buy or sell a stock) from the global sector they manage. That is, the Portfolio Manager and Analyst role are combined. This clear responsibility leads to better learning for the individual and a sharper investment decision making process.