I think the Alberta Investment Management Corporation is a
truly remarkable organization.
But before I explain why I think that, let me first disclose
that I am an Advisor at AIMCo. Moreover, as an
Edmonton native, Im quite proud to be a part of the Crown
Corporation that Alberta set up in 2008 to professionalize
investment management services for its public pension funds,
endowments and sovereign fund. And that means you should take
any and all effusive language I may write over the next few
paragraphs and run it through a heavy bias filter.
Anyway, as I was saying, AIMCo is truly a remarkable
organization. Im not just saying this because the fund is
coming off an astoundingly good year the funds
balanced portfolio beat the average Canadian pension fund by 5%
and even topped the venerable Canada Pension Plan by 1.5%.
Thats definitely impressive, but its just one year
for a fund with an inter-generational time horizon.
No, in my view, AIMCo is remarkable because its trying
to sidestep the traditional financial institutions and norms to
add persistent value for clients in non-traditional ways (and
in non-traditional markets). Thanks to its strong governance
and business-minded Board, its literally rethinking the
business of institutional investment. Heres some
blurbage from the annual report that explains what I mean:
We use our expertise to find opportunities that do
not fit in conventional boxes. Some of our best investments are
those we find in between the cracks
opportunities that are hidden unless, guided by information,
insight and experience, you know what you are looking
have been realized by combining expertise in timberlands and
real estate, and by amalgamating aspects of our private equity,
real estate and Infrastructure expertise. We have built an
extensive relationship Investment portfolio by applying private
equity strategies to public markets.
In a market place
crowded with capital looking for secure investments and strong,
steady returns, many still choose to follow the crowd and fight
it out over every opportunity. At AIMCo, we decided that
wed rather take our own path; its allowed us to
find opportunities that others have overlooked or havent
And if thats not a clear enough explanation for what
AIMCo is up to, this Canadian fund knows that it can always
fall back on something every Canadian understands: hockey.
Heres a section from the annual report:
I skate to where the
puck is going to be, not where it has been. Wayne
We apply the same
wisdom to investing on behalf of our clients. We invest where
the opportunity is next, not where it has been. When the right
opportunity arises, we can act decisively to lock in the value
for our clients.
I love it!
And thats why I work for this public fund
its nurturing a creative and innovative environment with
total focus on investing in and building businesses and assets.
This is a place where a wild idea can be white
boarded, analyzed, pressed, stressed, vetted and, ultimately,
executed. Ive literally seen it happen. And it is a lot
of fun to be a part of it. But its also been very
rewarding not just because Im giving back to my
Province, but also because what were doing in Edmonton
may have implications that go far beyond Alberta. For example,
if AIMCo can show through example an innovative and successful
way to deploy capital, it will have knock-on effects for
institutional investors around the world.
And that would be a positive thing for all those communities
and institutions that rely on institutional investors for their
wellbeing, such as the elderly (pensions), schools
(endowments), charities (foundations), governments (sovereign
funds), families (family offices), etc.