Rob Schwartz (past director of Alberta Surface Rights Group):
Posted on ASRG because pensions are private property. Over the past several years AIMCo has been the go to lender for small underfinanced companies proposing to buy depleted oil & gas wells from major producers. The track record of these smaller companies long term survival regardless of oil prices has not been great. AIMCo has bet the farm on several of these now bankrupt newly minted juniors which has resulted in temporarily keeping some depleted wells from showing up on the orphan well list. Albertans may have serious cause for concern about the futures of their pensions given that recent operational changes to AIMCo allow for the fund to take direct instruction from govt.
University teachers pension plan pulls out billions in assets from AIMCo management by Lisa Johnson, May 10, 2021
A pension fund for academics and professional staff at universities has dumped Alberta’s government-owned investment manager from control of $2.7 billion of its assets.
The board of the Universities Academics Pension Plan (UAPP) agreed in December to move its public equities portfolio, and has since withdrawn those assets from the the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) while it searches for a new manager.
The move comes after AIMCo reported a $2.1-billion loss last April due to a volatile investment strategy that has since been scrapped, and as other Alberta teachers are set to see their public pensions move under AIMCo management.
UAPP board chair Geoffrey Hale said Monday some of the board’s concerns with AIMCo’s management have been addressed, but the board was not entirely satisfied with responses to what they see as problematic issues.
“While no one likes to see an investment manager blow 10 years of value-added as a result of poor oversight over a strategy, it went beyond that,” said Hale.
The total value of UAPP’s public equities fund was $2.7 billion — or about 46 per cent of a total $5.8 billion in assets — as of the end of last year, according to its annual 2020 report.
AIMCo chief executive officer Kevin Uebelein told a legislature committee meeting Friday that withdrawing assets from AIMCo is well within UAPP’s purview, but he disagreed with the strategy.
“The last time they did that, it did not serve them well … while I truly wish UAPP all the best in the decisions that they’re making, it is a well founded principle that chasing performance by moving from asset manager to asset manager rarely works,” said Uebelein.
Hale called that statement presumptuous and the board has done its due diligence.
“We have seen an adaptation on our fixed-income managers that has served us well,” said Hale.
Last year, the vast majority — or 77.5 per cent — of UAPP’s investments were managed by AIMCo, which includes separate portfolios that continue to be managed by AIMCo, including alternative investments.
Legislation passed in late 2019 made changes to the oversight of public sector pension funds, and required that teachers’ pension assets be moved under AIMCo management from the Alberta Teachers Retirement Fund by December 2021. After the government imposed an investment management agreement in January, the Alberta Teachers’ Association filed a legal challenge.
However, the UAPP is governed under different legislation than most other public sector plans, and has been jointly governed since 2001. It counts about 16,500 members who either contribute or are pensioners.
Kassandra Kitz, press secretary to Finance Minister Travis Toews, said in a statement Monday the government has no plans to change the legislation and regulations in place surrounding UAPP’s agreement.
“We are confident that public sector workers will continue to benefit from efficiencies achieved through AIMCo’s investment management,” Kitz said.
NDP Opposition labour critic Christina Gray said the UAPP’s ability to move its pensions to another manager put the hypocrisy of Bill 22 on full display.
“If you’re a university teacher, you get control, if you’re a K-12 teacher, (Premier) Jason Kenney gets control of your pension,” said Gray in a statement Friday.
In April, AIMCo announced a new CEO, Evan Siddall, will replace Uebelein in July.
With assets under management reaching $118.6 billion, AIMCo noted a 2.5 per cent overall return in 2020 — 5.4 per cent below its performance benchmark — and a 7.7 per cent annualized return over the last 10 years.
Refer also to:
AIMCo’s new CEO: Evan Siddall, lawyer with Irving Oil history! Stealing from pensioners to finance friends of Jason Kenney & Steve Harper, flailing frac’ers, polluting big oil (that investors are fleeing) and Small Nukes for big oil?
Frac Tank Reality Show: “Debt, Debt and Debt” and more debt; Judge-gifted bankruptcies to keep companies frac’ing & polluting and con investors into losing more money; Abandon thousands of frac harmed families; And intentionally dump pollution and clean-up on taxpayers. In the USA, “explorers burned through some $342 billion of cash since 2010, leaving little in the way of returns for investors.” In Alberta, AIMCo took $100s of millions (under Kenney & Harper, will likely take $billions more) from pensioners years ago to give to “quite leveraged” frac’ers already then.
Alberta picks yet another hanky panky “Dickhead.” Blackrock (lost $90 Billion in fossil fuel investments last 10 years) rule breaker Mark Wiseman to chair AIMCo (money-losing launderer of funds from pensioners to bankrupt frac firms).
“Polluter” Shell & “Penny Stock” Pieridae to retry their sour gas marriage, coached by AER, funded by “Loser” AIMCo. Stewart Shields: “Alberta Conservative gov’ts becoming recognized as the worst petroleum managers in the free world—as this story by the famous Andrew Nikiforuk describes so pointedly!!”
BlackRock Takes Command; “Literacy is Power,” meanwhile Alberta’s AIMCo Loses $4 Billion on bet gone wrong. Bet gone wrong or laundering (aka stealing) more money from ordinary citizens and pensioners to give to the rich?
Brilliant damning MUST READ by Joyce Nelson, notably on Environmental Defense Fund’s greenwashing for frac industry and stinky dots between BC Supreme Court Injunction against Wet’suwet’en (hold title on lands where Coastal GasLink, “CGL” and RCMP are trespassing, thanks to the court), mega rich Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., “KKR” and (pension-thieving to give to bankrupting frac’ers) AIMCo buying 65% of CGL.
Look out Albertans whose pensions Kenney gave to AIMCo. Crazy Days in Alberta: The Poison Wells File. The province let oil and gas firms create a $100-billion disaster. New example? Shell Pieridae Briko Ikkuma Alberta Foothills Sour Gas Marriage financed by AIMCo and about $10Billion in liabilities.
If AIMCo were independent, trustworthy and believable would its CEO need to boast so loudly and dishonestly in the media? Will King Kenney fire Mr. Uebelein if he refuses to give bankrupting oil and gas frac’ers a billion more dollars here and a billion more dollars there?
Energy A YEAR BEFORE COVID-19!: The Losing Sector in the Junk Bond Rally. This year, high yield corporate bond market produced best returns since 2016. Despite this strong performance, Energy sector, which makes up 11% of the HY bond universe, produced **negative returns.** Jason Kenney and AIMCo: Keep your grubby greedy mits off our pensions, including our CPP!~
“Impeach a Premier?” Jason Kenney & his UCP’s Omnibus Bill fires Election Commissioner investigating Kenney, transfers teachers’ pension funds **without their approval** to underperforming AIMCo. Kenney trying to turf RCMP too because they’re also invesigating him?
“Effectively, the shale boom is over.” Colorado’s 8 largest public oil & gas producers spent $27 Billion more than they made in past 5 years. Is that why Alberta gov’t wants our pensions? To feed the bleed via AIMCo?