Burlington, Ont.-based Portland Investment Counsel Inc. plans to re-enter the mutual fund business this fall, says Michael Lee-Chin, executive chairman.

Lee-Chin says he’s excited about the future prospects for Portland as its non-compete obligations to Manulife Financial Corp. end September 30.

“While we have had a long standing and effective relationship with Manulife Financial” Lee-Chin said in a release, “our sub-advisory services to Manulife Mutual Funds comes to an end on July 2. We wish them continued success.”

Last month, Manulife Mutual Funds proposed to replace Portland with teams from Manulife Asset Management.

For more than 25 years Portland Holdings Inc. and its subsidiaries have been committed to creating wealth for all Canadians and this commitment will continue.

“In 1987 we came to the market with an innovative approach to building wealth for Canadians and that passion has not dissipated,” Lee-Chin said. “Since 2002, we have also invested in private equity and direct business investments.

“What made the global economic crisis less harsh for Portland were the income flows generated from our private equity and direct business investments; this is something institutional investors have been exposed to for many years. This experience really highlighted the inherent structural flaws of retail portfolios and we aim to bring these institutional quality investments to the retail market,” Lee-Chin said.

“We firmly believe that, if the needs of institutional and retail investors are the same, the asset mix should also be the same,” he concluded.

Portland plans on leveraging its experience in public, private and direct investing to better serve both advisors and investors across Canada.