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Showing posts from July, 2019

Growing Frustration With Canada Infrastructure Bank

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Bill Curry of the Globe and Mail reports that Canada Infrastructure Bank executive Nicholas Hann resigned amid growing industry frustration with pace of project approvals:
The head of investments at the Canada Infrastructure Bank has resigned after just 10 months on the job amid criticism the Crown corporation has been slow in reviewing and approving projects.

Nicholas Hann, who was responsible for the bank’s investment strategy, departed from his role in mid-July. He was appointed last October by Pierre Lavallée, a former Canada Pension Plan Investment Board executive who was named the bank’s first chief executive in May, 2018.

The Liberal Party promised in the 2015 election campaign to spend billions on infrastructure and said a new bank would be a key element of that plan. The bank launched in late 2017 with $35-billion in funding from the federal government and the chair of the bank’s board said then that projects would likely start to be approved by late 2018.

The bank only made o…

Did Canada's PM Direct CPPIB to Invest in India?

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Louis Baudoin-Laarman of AFP Canada reports that Justin Trudeau did not direct Canada’s pension fund investments to India:
A post claims that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “took” two billion dollars from Canada’s retirement fund in order to give it to housing projects in India. This is false. The independent Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has invested more than $8 billion in Indian ventures since 2009, but the Canadian prime minister plays no role in deciding how Canada Pension Plan funds are invested.

A three year-old YouTube video resurfaced on July 25, when the Facebook page “Justin Trudeau Not” posted it alongside the caption: “Trudeau directs 2 billion from Canada Pension Fund to Mumbai.”


The video was also shared thousands of times via this 2016 article from the Cultural Action Party of Canada. According to data from CrowdTangle, that article was reposted in multiple Canadian Facebook groups in July 2019.


In the video, a man donning a t-shirt supporting a Conserva…

CPPIB, CDPQ Vying for GIP's HC1 Portfolio

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Swaraj Singh Dhanjal of Mint reports that two Canadian pension funds are left in the race for GIP’s roads portfolio:
Pension funds Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) are competing to acquire Highway Concessions One, a roads portfolio owned by infrastructure fund manager Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), two people aware of the development said.

“The two Canadian funds are the only suitors left in the race. They are locked in a close battle to buy these roads," said the first of the two people cited above, both of whom spoke under condition of anonymity.

The two pension funds have bid at around ₹3,200 crore in enterprise valuation for the roads portfolio, he said, adding that the final value at which the roads get sold might be higher as the funds continue to be engaged in negotiations with GIP.

Mint first reported in December 2018 that GIP had started a formal process to find buyers for the Highway Concessions One (HC1…

A Summer Melt-Up in Stocks?

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Fred Imbert of CNBC reports that the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit fresh record high as Alphabet and Twitter gain on earnings:
Stocks rose on Friday after strong earnings from big tech companies such as Alphabet and Intel while the U.S. economy grew at a better-than-expected clip in the second quarter.

The S&P 500 gained 0.6% while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1%. Both indexes reached all-time highs around midday Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 27 points higher.

The major indexes briefly pared gains after National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street ” he would not expect a “grand deal ” to come out of next week’s U.S.-China trade talks.

For the week, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were headed for solid gains. The two indexes were up 1.6% and 2.2% week to date, respectively. The Dow is up 0.1% this week.

Alphabet reported better-than-expected earnings Thursday and announced a massive $25 billion share repurchase program. The result…

What Makes a Good Risk Manager?

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Mark Hughes, Retired Group Chief Risk Officer at the Royal Bank of Canada, wrote a nice white paper for the Global Risk Institute on what makes a good risk manager:
The scope of the “risk manager” role has increased considerably over the last 20 years. The global financial crisis shone a spot light on the importance of sound risk management practices and as a result, risk managers have become an even more critical business partner. Today, traditional risk capabilities such as credit and market risk are still necessary, but with increasing regulatory demands, changes in technology and the ever changing needs of clients, risk managers are expected to bring to bear experience within compliance, AML, regulatory (FBO, CCAR, etc.) and operational risk, data management and analysis, stress testing, business experience and much more. With the required skills and capabilities of risk managers changing at an ever quickening pace, how are organizations like RBC training, developing and recruiti…

More on IMCO's Board Shakeup

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Robert Benzie of the Toronto Star reports that Ford’s chief of staff orchestrated pension board shakeup the day before he resigned:
The day before he resigned as Premier Doug Ford’s chief of staff amid a cronyism scandal, Dean French orchestrated the dismissal of the chair of a $60-billion public pension's board and appointed three new members, the Star has learned.

On June 20, David Leith, the chair of the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario, was advised in writing that his services would no longer be required even though the respected Bay St. veteran had been expected to be reappointed to the $150,000-a-year post when his term expired June 30.

In what ended up being his penultimate day as Ford’s chief of staff, French decreed that Neil Selfe, Brian Gibson, and Geoffrey Belsher would be joining the board that manages assets on behalf of the Ontario Pension Board and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

Reached by the Star on Friday, French hung up the phone when a …

OMERS Scouting India's Clean Energy Sector

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Utpal Bhaskar of Mint reports Canada’s pension fund OMERS seeks new green energy deals:
Canadian pension fund Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (OMERS) is scouting for acquisition opportunities in India, in an affirmation of the country’s position as a green energy hot-spot.

With net assets of more than $100 billion under management, OMERS has been attracted by the presence of other Canadian investors in India such as Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Brookfield Asset Management.

This comes at a time when India’s emerging green economy is expected to require investments of around $80 billion till 2022, growing more than three-fold to $250 billion during 2023-30.

“The next big play is expected from OMERS which is actively scouting for acquisitions in India’s clean energy sector. The investment thesis about India being an attractive investment destination continues for them," said a person aware of the develop…

CalPERS Strikes Gold in Gatwick Airport

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Randy Diamond of Chief Investment Officer reports that CalPERS strikes gold in Gatwick Airport investment:
The value of the 10% investment the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) made in London’s Gatwick Airport nine years ago has skyrocketed, turning an initial $155 million investment into a stake worth more than $1.24 billion.

The disclosure came during the pension system’s semiannual retreat meeting in Santa Rosa, California, last week, during a panel highlighting the importance of infrastructure investments to the $356.6 billion retirement plan.

Small changes at the airport like giant luggage trays designed to help travelers get through airport security faster have meant the airport can accommodate more travelers, increasing landings, departures, and profits, said Adebayo “Bayo” Ogunlesi, chairman and managing partner, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP). The firm runs the investment consortium that manages Gatwick.

Speaking before a panel, chaired by Paul…