Pension Collaboration…and Voltron Force
I was describing the benefits of pension fund collaboration to a buddy from college, and he looked at me and says, “Oh, so kinda like Voltron? You know, ‘Voltron Force!” And he sort of punched the air...
As frequent readers of this blog know, I tend to go on and on about pension fund collaboration, cooperation and co-investment. Perhaps you’ll be interested to learn that I also subject my friends and family to these ramblings. But, as it turns out, there’s good reason! Sometimes I get some deep insights from these non-experts. Consider this: I was describing the benefits of pension fund collaboration to a buddy from college, and he looked at me and says, “Oh, so kinda like Voltron? You know, ‘Voltron Force!” And he sort of punched the air. I had absolutely no clue what Voltron was until I put it in the Google Machine. As it turns, out...this is exactly like Voltron! Here’s what I found:
Two quick thoughts: First, I apparently hang out with nerds. Second, Voltron Force is a fantastic metaphor for the benefits of pension fund collaboration. Think of it this way: we’re bringing pensions together to form a giant super pension that can defend the galaxy from evil...err, I mean leverage off each others’ competitive advantages with a view to making direct investments in big, chunky assets around the world (among other things).
And, interestingly, Michael Sabia, who’s the Chief Executive of the Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, also seems to really get what I’m talking about:
OK, OK. Sabia didn’t say that last bit. (Apologies) But he did say the first part, which pretty much gets at the same idea: Together, pensions can do things that they could never do alone. Moreover, I’d also flag the issues of local knowledge and asymmetric information that comes from partnering with like-minded peers (not to mention access to other funds’ skill-sets, deal pipelines, and networks of elites). All this can have real commercial impacts for those funds that are taking on the challenging world of global finance.