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Showing posts from June, 2020

AIMCo's First Vol Casualties Emerge?

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Last week, Andrew Willis of the Globe and Mail reported that AIMCo parts with executives who oversaw $2.1-billion investing loss:
Alberta’s government-owned investment fund parted company this week with executives responsible for a $2.1-billion loss on trades linked to market volatility, as its board of directors completes an audit and brings in an outside leader.

Alberta Investment Management Corp., known as AIMCo, oversees $119-billion on behalf of 31 clients, including pension plans for health care workers and police officers and the Heritage Savings Trust Fund. In an e-mail to clients on Wednesday, chief executive officer Kevin Uebelein said executive vice-president of public equities Peter Pontikes “is no longer employed with AIMCo.” Separately, AIMCo said portfolio manager David Triska, who ran the volatility-based strategies, also left the Edmonton-based fund manager.

AIMCo did not tell its clients why Mr. Pontikes left after spending 19 years at the Edmonton-based fund manage…

CDPQ Infra Derailed in Auckland?

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David Burroughs of the International Railway Journal reports the New Zealand government has dropped plans for a two-line light rail network in Auckland after the cabinet could not agree on how the project should be implemented:
The project to open a line between the city centre and Mount Roskill by 2021 was a major promise made by the Labour party before it won the 2017 general election.

Two competing proposals were put forward to construct the City – Mangere and City – North West lines. The first, developed by the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, was followed by an unsolicited proposal from NZ Infra, a joint venture between the NZ Super Fund and CDPQ Infra, an arm of a Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

“Either would have created hundreds of jobs and resulted in an Auckland metro that offered Aucklanders a 30 minute trip from the central business district (CBD) to the airport,” transport minister, Mr Phil Twyford, says.

The Ministry of Transport was taske…

Operation Warp Speed Hits a Roadblock?

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Fred Imbert and Thomas Franck of CNBC report the Dow drops 700 points to end the week as coronavirus spike raises concern over the economy:
Stocks fell sharply on Friday amid concerns over the rising number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. and its impact on the economic recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 730 points, or 2.8%. The S&P 500 slid 4.2% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.6%.

Those losses led to the major averages’ second weekly drop in three weeks. The Dow and S&P 500 fell 3.3% and 2.9%, respectively, for the week and the Nasdaq lost 1.9% in that time period.

“Coronavirus cases are spiking and reopenings are being delayed, which at a minimum will impact earnings,” said Tom Essaye, founder of The Sevens Report. “The resurgence in coronavirus cases is raising concerns that the rebound may be short-lived as voluntary or potentially more government mandated economic shutdowns are becoming increasingly likely.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday the stat…

A Webcast With CalPERS' CIO Ben Meng

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This afternoon, I spoke with CalPERS's CIO Ben Meng for almost an hour. It was the second time we spoke except this time, we did it through Webex, which was pretty cool as we finally met over the web. It was once again an incredible conversation full of great insights.

Let me begin by thanking Ben Meng for taking the time to speak with me and Wayne Davis, Chief, Office of Public Affairs, for setting this up. Both of them are very busy so I do appreciate it.

It was the first time I used Cisco's Webex and for some reason, I had audio issues even though I can see them, so I dialed in to chat using my cell (technology is amazing but annoying sometimes).

You'll forgive me, I took a screenshot to remember the moment as I was feverishly scribbling down notes and caught Ben looking a bit surprised.

Anyway, to situate my audience, I recommend you read my recent comment on CalPERS's $80 billion leverage plan.

I wish I had spoken to Ben before publishing that comment because t…