Happy Holidays - Joyeuses Fêtes!

To all my readers, I am taking a couple of weeks off and will return on January 4th.

I wish everyone a Happy & Healthy Holiday Season, please stay safe.

Those of you you want to track the latest news on Canada's large pensions, you can do so via the links below:

  • AIMCo latest news here
  • BCI latest news here
  • CAAT Pension latest news here
  • CDPQ latest news here
  • CPP Investments latest news here
  • HOOPP latest news here
  • IMCO latest news here
  • Ontario Teachers' latest news here
  • OPTrust latest news here
  • OMERS latest news here
  • Vestcor latest news here

I think I got them all, at least the public ones.

You can also track general pension news on Google here

Some of the big stories that hit the news wire last week:

  • Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) said on Friday it would invest $1 billion in Invenergy Renewables LLC, the largest private developer, owner and operator of wind and solar projects in North America. Read the article here and press release here.
  • Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) and its partners AustralianSuper and UniSuper, will acquire 50% of Transurban Chesapeake, a toll-road business comprising the 495, 95 and 395 Express Lanes located in the Greater Washington Area in the United States. CPP Investments will hold a 15% interest in Transurban Chesapeake with an initial investment of US$624 million, plus a potential earn-out payment to Transurban over the next five years of up to US$21 million. Transurban will retain a 50% stake in the business. Read the press release here.

I also want to congratulate CAAT Plan’s Julie Cays for being awarded CIO of the year

In December 2020, Julie Cays was named CIO of the Year by the Canadian Investment Review. The award is presented to a leader in pension investing who has demonstrated significant improvements to her organization’s investment processes. This award takes a comprehensive view of success and considers environmental, social and governance factors to determine the deserving award recipient 

“I am immensely proud of Julie. This is a recognition that is well deserved. She is an exceptional CIO and leader, a valued colleague, and a friend. I couldn’t be more delighted for Julie,” says Derek W. Dobson, CEO of the CAAT Plan.

Julie Cays joined CAAT in 2006 and has led the CAAT fund in transitioning from a traditional asset mix with $5.3 billion of assets under management to a highly diversified portfolio with more than $13.5 billion under management, including alternative assets. The CAAT plan’s investment performance has seen a 10-year annualized rate of return of 10 per cent. Julie also oversaw the implementation of CAAT’s private market fund and co-investment programs in private equity, infrastructure, and real estate. Further, in December 2019, her team allocated an approximately $1 billion in pension asset transfers following the pension mergers with Torstar Corporation and the Canadian Press.

As CIO at CAAT, Julie has been an integral part of shaping and delivering all aspects of the organization’s strategic plan. She has also been active in industry associations, assuming leadership roles with the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG) and Pension Investment Association of Canada (PIAC).

Julie is a wonderful  person, a great leader and CIO and she has announced she will be retiring this upcoming year (not sure exactly when). Under her watch, CAAT's pension investments have really performed exceptionally well. I wish her all the best, she really deserved this award.

Alright, that's all from me, remember to watch all the cheesy Christmas movies on Netflix. My wife and I have seen many of them and plan on watching a few more over the holidays but our favorite Christmas movie of all time is The Sound of Music (PG). For laughs, nothing beats Bad Santa 1 & 2 (these aren’t PG and not fit for everyone).

Lastly, on a more somber note, many people have lost a loved one to COVID-19 and will be missing their loved ones either because they died or are unable to be with the family yet.

Also, over the weekend, we learned that Bridgewater's founder, Ray Dalio, lost his 42-year-old son Devon in a tragic car accident late last week:

Along with many others, I'd like to publicly express my deep condolences to Ray, his wife Barbara and the entire Dalio family for their loss. I know I speak for everyone reading this that our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

Below, Nana Mouskouri singing Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht (Silent Night in German). Stay safe everyone, wish you a Happy & Healthy Holiday Season.