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Showing posts from March, 2019

Jim Keohane on 20 Years at HOOPP?

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Benefits Canada reports, Jim Keohane to retire as CEO of HOOPP in 2020:
Jim Keohane is retiring from his role as president and chief executive officer of the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan in March 2020.

“Jim is well-respected around the world for his pension advocacy, investment strategy and leadership,” said Adrian Foster, chair of the HOOPP board of trustees, in a press release. “Under his leadership, he and his team have done an exemplary job of delivering on the pension promise. He’s built a strong culture and business platform to help ensure the organization will continue to meet its critically important mandate of providing pension security to members.”

Keohane’s career at the HOOPP began in 1999 when he joined as manager of equity trading. He progressed into more senior roles before becoming CEO in 2012.

“It’s an honour to be part of HOOPP and I’m very proud of the many shared achievements during my time with the organization,” said Keohane. “We’ve excelled during times of …

A Discussion With CalPERS's New CIO

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John Gittelsohn of Bloomberg reports, How Fast Can CalPERS’s $360 Billion Grow?:
In January, Ben Meng started his job as chief investment officer of a seriously big fund: the $358.4 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or CalPERS, the largest U.S. pension. But neither the scale nor the political spotlight that comes with the role seems likely to intimidate him. For the last three years, he was deputy CIO at the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), the tightly controlled $3 trillion reserve fund in China. “It’s not often that an individual has the opportunity to hold key roles for two of the largest pools of capital in the world,” wrote Stephen Schwarzman, chief executive officer of private equity giant Blackstone Group LP, in an email.

Perhaps more daunting for Meng is this figure: 7 percent. That’s CalPERS’s annual return target. It may not sound very high given that the S&P 500 returned almost an annualized 11 percent in the five years through Janu…

The Bond Market's Ominous Warning?

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Yun Li of CNBC reports, Bonds are flashing a huge recession signal — here’s what happened to stocks last time it happened:
The bond market is edging closer to signaling a recession, but don’t panic yet. Stocks could have a lot more room to run even if the feared “yield curve” inverts, history shows.

The spread between the 3-month Treasury bill and the 10-year note went into negative territory on Friday, the first time since 2007. The more widely watched part of the curve — the gap between yields on the 2-year and 10-year debt — is getting closer to inversion as well, falling to just 10 basis points, versus 60 basis points a year ago. The yield curve has been a reliable recession indicator in the past.

This occurred after the Federal Reserve this week downgraded the U.S. economic outlook and signaled no rate hikes this year, worrying bond traders that a possible recession is in the near future.

However, if history is any guide, equity investors shouldn’t worry in the near term. In fact…

Canadian Pensions Embrace New Technologies?

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Earlier this week, the Caisse put out a press release, CDPQ Expands Its Artificial Intelligence Offering:
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has announced the creation of a fund dedicated to Québec businesses with a proven track record in artificial intelligence. Funded with a $250-million envelope, the CDPQ–AI Fund aims to ramp up growth in businesses whose product offerings are based on the development of AI, and to accelerate the commercialization of artificial intelligence solutions.

This fund, managed by CDPQ’s Venture Capital and Technology team, will serve technology companies that have developed demonstrably sound business models and shown a capacity for continued strong growth. They will need to have a well-established management team as well as a dedicated team with AI experience.

Over the years, CDPQ has invested in many venture capital firms (1) that target artificial intelligence companies in the startup phase. The CDPQ-AI Fund’s objectives include supporting th…