Showing posts from March, 2024

On Corporate America's Pension Windfall

Marion Halftermeyer of Bloomberg reports Kodak’s pension windfall points to $137 billion opportunity: Inside Eastman Kodak Co., the once-iconic camera maker, a small pension investment team reaped such large gains in recent years that they windfalled themselves out of a job. The group, managing a pool of retirement assets for more than 37,000 people, poured money into hedge funds and private equity and, in seven years, turned a $255 million deficit into a $1.1 billion surplus. That represents a potential fortune for a company that spent the past decade stumbling to find a post-bankruptcy direction, lurching from crypto to Covid vaccines and back to a niche resurgence in film. Earlier this month, Kodak said it was moving management of the pension to an outside firm while it weighed how best to utilize the extra assets, which amount to almost triple the company’s market value. The photography pioneer isn’t alone. Across corporate America, buoyant markets and rising rates have

Understanding CPP Investments' Total Portfolio Investment Framework

Earlier today, I watched a panel discussion on Total Portfolio Approach (TPA) posted on LinkedIn featuring Derek Walker, Managing Director, Head of Portfolio Design & Construction, Total Fund Management and Global Leadership Team at CPP Investments. I embedded the discussion below and it's well worth watching it all. Derek and Geoffrey Rubin, Senior Managing Director & Chief Investment Strategist, Total Portfolio Management, shared insights into CPP Investments' Total Portfolio Investment Framework in “Innovation Unleashed: The Rise of the Total Portfolio Approach”, published by the CAIA Association.  You can download this important and detailed paper here and it's definitely well worth reading. In this post, I will focus on Derek and Geoffrey's contribution but have a look here as there are other valuable contributions: So what is Total Portfolio Approach (TPA) and why should we care? In short, and these are my expert (or non-expert) opinions, TPA is th

UPP Invests in Angel Trains, Expands Its Infrastructure Program

Earlier today, UPP issued a press release stating it has invested in Angel Trains and expanded its infrastructure program through partnership with Arjun Infrastructure Partners: Toronto / London – March 26, 2024 – Arjun Infrastructure Partners (Arjun) and University Pension Plan Ontario (UPP) are pleased to announce an investment in Angel Trains, as well as the establishment of a partnership to pursue further infrastructure investments in OECD countries. UPP’s investment includes a meaningful commitment to Arjun’s current Infrastructure Alliance Europe fund along with acquiring an interest in Angel Trains, the UK’s leading rolling stock company. This initial investment is a testament to the partnership, laying the groundwork for future co-investments. Angel Trains is the largest rolling stock company in the UK, serving the passenger rail sector with a diversified fleet of circa 4,400 vehicles, the majority of which are electric multiple units. Angel Trains, as an Investor

Canada Growth Fund to Invest $50-Million in Idealist Capital

Jeffrey Jones of the Globe and Mail reports Canada Growth Fund to invest $50-million in Montreal’s Idealist Capital: The federal government’s new cleantech funding agency is investing $50-million in Montreal’s Idealist Capital, an impact fund that concentrates on commercial-scale technology developers focused on the shift to a low-carbon economy. The investment in Idealist marks the third by Canada Growth Fund, a $15-billion pool set up by Ottawa to help direct private-sector capital to Canadian technologies that help meet its commitments to reduce emissions. It is managed by PSP Investments, a public-sector pension-fund manager. Last year, CGF plowed $90-million into Eavor Technologies , a Calgary-based geothermal energy developer, and struck a deal to backstop carbon pricing and provide debt financing for Entropy Inc. , a unit of Advantage Energy Ltd. that is developing a carbon-capture plant in Alberta. CGF said on Monday the Idealist transaction is the first step in its

CDPQ Appoints Rana Ghorayeb as EVP and Head of Real Estate

Today, CDPQ announced the appointment of Rana Ghorayeb as Executive Vice-President and Head of Real Estate: CDPQ today announced the appointment of Rana Ghorayeb as Executive Vice-President and Head of Real Estate. In her new role, she will be responsible for leading the overall Ivanhoé Cambridge portfolio and investment team, which has assets of over $77 billion . Rana Ghorayeb has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Otéra Capital, a CDPQ subsidiary specialized in real estate lending, for nearly five years. Before joining CDPQ in 2012, Rana Ghorayeb already had an impressive track record in real estate in renowned institutions. She served as Vice-President of Acquisitions at JP Morgan Asset Management in London, England , where she was in charge of real estate investments in several European countries. Previously, she worked in New York , where she led real estate transactions as Senior Partner at TIAA, a major U.S. pension fund. "Rana's career at C

Daniel Brosseau on Why Canada's Pensions Need to Be Part of the Solution

Daniel Brosseau of LetkoBrosseau Global Investment Management sent me their analysis of arguments for and against investing in Canada: Since the publication of the Open Letter signed by more than 90 business and union leaders in Canada addressing the role of pension funds in the Canadian economy, a much-needed debate has arisen on how Canada can reverse its declining prosperity. We welcome such an important conversation and kindly thank all the signatories for helping to start it. The document presents the arguments that are being made and analyzes their basis. Some of the analysis is simple fact checking of claims that are being put forth (returns, failure of dual mandates, ...). Other analysis discusses commonly accepted precepts and their application (linking allocation to size of market, government regulatory role, ...). Finally there are novel concepts that appear not yet well understood (role of domestic investment, how the pension manager perspective is severely limited compar