This content is from: Corner Office
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...
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: were 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, whos the Chief Executive of the Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, also seems to really get what Im talking about:
Voltron is the eponymous super robot...that features a team of Earth humans, known as the Voltron Force. The teams individual vehicles join together to form the giant super robot, with which they defend the galaxy from evil.
Nobody wants to deal with a fund that says, 'Well, I'm in for 25 million...You've got to be in for 250, 500, 600 million dollars...Listen, this is all about Voltron Force!
OK, OK. Sabia didnt 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, Id 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.