Active Canadian equity managers found a more favourable environment for investing in the first quarter compared to the last couple of years, says Russell Investments Canada.

Its 1st Quarter 2007 Active Management report found that 65% of large cap equity managers in Canada outperformed the S&P/TSX Composite Index—the highest proportion if almost three years.

“That was up from the fourth quarter of 2006 when just 51% beat the benchmark,” says the company’s senior research analyst, Kathleen Wylie.

The media large cap manager posted a return of 3% in Q1, which was ahead of the index’s return of 2.6%.

There was more breadth in the market in the first quarter, with five of the 10 sectors outperforming the index and a narrower gap between the best and worst performing sectors.

Telecom had the highest return, up 7.9% compared to the utilities—the lowest performing sector—which fell 5.8%.

“Active managers generally were positioned favourably in both those sectors with the average large cap manager slightly overweight telecommunications and underweight utilities.”

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