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Field
Aim True.
Field
 

Aim True

True to the principles that govern our investment decisions and to the values that define us as an organization.


True to our clients, all Albertans and to our talented employees who deliver on our promises.

True to the AIMCo vision to be among the best institutional investment managers and to inspire the confidence of Albertans.

For five years we have operated at arms-length from government, as a crown corporation. In that time, AIMCo has demonstrated that it is an Albertan success story—a global investment manager with a proven track record on the world stage. Our economies of scale, governance model, and strong performance managing a wide range of asset classes are our strength. With our sights set on the future, we are modernizing our systems and refining our business processes, all with the aim of improving performance for our clients.

We are a long-term investor with patient capital and work positively alongside the firms in which we invest. With our history rooted firmly in Alberta, AIMCo turns confidently towards tomorrow and the promise it provides for our clients.

Kelly Featherstone

Analyst, External Funds

AIMCo’s only Fellow with the Society of Actuaries, Kelly balances the joy of motherhood with a passion for numbers that she uses to incorporate niche investment strategies that will earn the best risk-adjusted returns for our clients.

Man and Dog

Core Values

Bringing our aspirational culture and AIMCo’s core values to life is one of our most important priorities.

Values Chart

Core Values

Bringing our aspirational culture and AIMCo’s core values to life is one of our most important priorities.

Values Chart

Vision

To be among the best institutional investment managers and inspire the confidence of Albertans.

Mission

Establish the framework for a center of excellence, dedicated to delivering superior performance.

  • +

    Canada

    $48.6

    Billion

  • +

    US

    $10.7

    Billion

  • +

    UK

    $1.9

    Billion

  • +

    Japan

    $1.2

    Billion

  • +

    China

    $1

    Billion

Global Operator.
Local Champion.

We target the best investment opportunities wherever they might be.

From infrastructure in South America and real estate in Europe to positions on every global exchange, AIMCo invests internationally on behalf of our clients.


Investment Performance Highlights

(as at December 31, 2012)

1.6

billion

Gross of Fees Value Added

6.9

billion

Gross Investment Income

68.6

billion

Assets Under Management

10.8

Total AIMCo
Gross Investment Return

12.6

Balanced Funds Gross Investment Return

3.1

Government Funds Gross Investment Return


2012 Total AIMCo
2012 Balanced Funds
2012 Government Funds
  • Money Market and Fixed Income

  • Equities

  • Inflation Sensitve

 

Chair
Message

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Alberta Investment Management Corporation, I am pleased to report yet another year of attractive investment returns.


For calendar 2012, AIMCo earned a gross return of 10.8% and a net after cost return of 10.2% on $70 billion of assets. $1.6 billion or 2.6% of that return represented value-added in excess of our market benchmark.

Five years ago, the Province of Alberta took the decision to establish AIMCo as an independent investment management corporation with the goal of ranking among the best, acting as a catalyst for growth in the financial industry in the Province and becoming a source of pride for Albertans. Results to date suggest that AIMCo is indeed earning those challenging value-added returns that the Provincial Government envisaged at the time of AIMCo’s creation.

Achieving these strong 2012 results required the combined effort of the AIMCo team and demonstrate what is possible when one is able to attract top talent throughout the organization by offering the opportunity to seek out new investment ideas and approaches.

The existence of this pool of expertise adds value to the Alberta financial landscape beyond investment returns. AIMCo is implementing leading edge investment techniques, and sharing them with our clients through seminars and white papers. We are also part of the broader Alberta community, and our team members are increasingly sought after as expert resources.

The Board of Directors commends the Province of Alberta for having the vision and foresight to establish AIMCo. The pensions, endowments and government funds that comprise AIMCo’s clients benefit not only from the economies of scale afforded by asset size, but increasingly from our investment discipline and our world-class investment team.

Our clients’ continued support is critical as we navigate the future. We are acutely aware of the unique and significant issues they face. AIMCo will strive to provide client-specific solutions and bring our expertise to bear as a readily accessible tool to address their needs.

Finally, I want to thank Leo de Bever and the entire AIMCo team for their unrelenting pursuit of sound investment opportunities and above-market returns, but more importantly for building an organization positioned for the future. The Board recognizes that no investment can consistently outperform the market in the short term, but we do believe that AIMCo’s disciplined approach to investing will produce superior long-term results.

The AIMCo team captures the uniquely Alberta can-do spirit; set a challenging target, and Aim True.

A. Charles Baillie, O.C.

CEO
Message

We set out to build an organization that could deliver superior investment returns at low cost.


With $70 billion of endowment and pension assets, we have been able to attract strong internal expertise. We work hard to make performance persistent, but it is best to stay humble in the face of both successes and setbacks as past investment outcomes are rarely a reliable predictor of future results.

Calendar 2012 was very good to our clients. We have no control over market returns, and the future is so opaque that it is rare that most efforts to outguess markets pay off. Our balanced clients earned 11.9%, 2.3% more than a policy market return and far above its long-term norm. Our Government clients earned 2.9%, 1.1% more than markets alone would have given them. The total $1.6 billion of incremental return over market is the largest in AIMCo’s five-year history. We celebrated, and then turned to trying to do it again in a new year.

We always look for where opportunity will be next. Bond markets may be reversing a long period of good returns, so we are trying to find bond substitutes less sensitive to interest rate risk. Stocks are not cheap, but return on stock risk will likely be higher than on bond risk over the next five to ten years. We are putting more assets in private investments. With good selection we should earn higher net returns than we can get from listed assets. However, the popularity of some private assets has lowered expected returns. Delivering superior returns will depend on being agile in finding new niches.

Our aim is to be strong investment partners for our clients, for the companies we invest in and for the pension and endowment peers investing alongside us. AIMCo is a long-term investor with patient capital. When we take significant positions in companies, we work with management to increase value for all shareholders. I am particularly proud that our team has forged strong relationships with peers and other institutional investors to pursue private opportunities that can create strong long-term value for AIMCo clients.

Superior asset management increasingly depends on having good business information systems to better measure and monitor changes to investments and risk. We started planning the introduction of a completely new set of best in breed tools four years ago, and expect to complete that effort in 2013.

We remind ourselves daily that what we do affects real people: the retirement security of firefighters, policemen, civil servants, judges, and in the case of the Heritage Fund, all Albertans. Many thanks to our client Boards, the Province of Alberta and the many individuals who work alongside our team to support us in meeting our objectives.

It is my good fortune to lead a team of highly motivated yet down-to-earth professionals. I want to thank the entire AIMCo team for always working to push the boundaries of the possible, and for what that allowed us to accomplish for our clients last year.

Leo de Bever

 
 

Building a Culture
of Success

Alberta has a can-do spirit, great career possibilities, and excellent access to quality education and healthcare.


The global market for talent is exceptionally competitive, and AIMCo continues to source top talent from within Alberta, and around the world.

The diversity of our employees is rivaled only by the diversification of our investments. Our team brings relevant experience from multiple disciplines with experience in established and emerging markets.

Organizational culture matters. We align our Core Values in day-to-day decision making, knowing that a meaningful organizational culture will enable us to attract and retain top quartile talent. This all translates into a high performing workplace, with solid business results.

Justin Lord

Equity Trader, Public Equities

Departing Eastern Canada for life on the prairies, Justin brought considerable expertise and a growing family to Alberta where he keeps his eye on global market movements to execute trades and formulate investment strategies for our clients.

The AIMCo Executive Team

  1. Leo de Bever

    Chief Executive Officer

  2. Dale MacMaster

    Executive Vice President,
    Public Market Investments

  3. Jagdeep Singh Bachher

    Executive Vice President,
    Venture and Innovation

  4. Robert Mah

    Executive Vice President,
    Private Market Investments

  5. David Goerz

    Executive Vice President,
    Investment Strategy and Risk Management

  6. Angela Fong

    Chief Corporate and
    Human Resources Officer

  7. Jacquelyn Colville

    Chief Financial Officer

  8. John Osborne

    Chief Risk Officer

  9. Michael Baker

    Senior Vice President,
    Investment Operations

  10. Darren Baccus

    Associate General Counsel

Leo De Bever 1
Dale MacMaster 2
Jagdeep Bachher 3
Robert Mah 4
David Goerz 5
Angela Fong 6
Jacquelyn Colville 7
John Osborne 8
 
Michael Baker 9
Darren Baccus 10

Focused on
Our Clients

We aim for strong returns so AIMCo’s 27 clients can better meet their obligations.


We work hard to be a valued service provider and a trusted advisor, and to better understand the unique needs of our pension, endowment and government funds.

Our clients play important roles in the lives of Albertans:

  • In 2012 our pension funds made nearly $1.3 billion in pension payments to meet the retirement needs of over 310,000 active and retired public sector employees.
  • The Alberta Heritage endowment fund system is the largest of its kind in Canada.
  • The government funds we manage are used for Albertans’ priorities such as health care, education, infrastructure and social programs.

We take pride in the responsibility we have to our clients.

Yu Ding

Analyst, Client Relations

Moving to Alberta from half-way around the world, Yu is the newest member of AIMCo’s Client Relations team and focused on building strong relationships with our clients through high engagement and thorough reporting.

 
 

Investment
Performance

AIMCo earned a total fund net return of 10.2% in 2012, $1.3 billion more than our market benchmarks. The net return was 11.9% for pension and endowments clients, and 2.9% for our special purpose government funds clients.


AIMCo, Balanced and Short-Term Government Composite Investment Performance

  • AIMCo Total Fund

  • Balanced Funds

  • Short-Term Government Funds

  • Benchmarks

RETURNS FROM ACTIVE MANAGEMENT

In 2012, we achieved more than double our active return target. Active management added $1.6 billion to gross return. Net of fees, active return was $1.3 billion.

Public equities contributed $878 million, fixed income added $438 million, and real estate generated $115 million. Efforts to add value by underweighting or overweighting asset classes resulted in a gain of $141 million of value add.

Geoffrey Mwangi

Director, Investment Valuations

Bringing a unique international perspective, Geoffrey uses his multi-disciplinary expertise as a Chartered Business Valuator to ensure all of AIMCo’s investments are accurately valued for our clients in accordance with the latest fair value guidance.

Managing
Costs

The easiest return we can earn for our clients is the dollar that we do not spend.


Managing costs in an evolving portfolio

AIMCo’s scale and capacity enables us to add value through cost savings beyond the returns earned from our investment strategy.

According to the latest CEM Benchmarking survey, AIMCo continues to be a low-cost manager compared to peers with similar asset mix and implementation style, a clear advantage for our clients.

However, total operating costs have increased over the last four years. The increase in expenses resulted from four key business drivers all of which contributed significantly to AIMCo’s strong returns and value-add for our clients:

  1. We manage more assets internally at a fraction of the external cost which required an investment in people, process and technology.
  2. We manage more pension assets with a higher allocation to equities, which are more expensive to manage than bonds.
  3. Our clients are asking us to hold more high-cost private assets.
  4. Our success in adding value with active management has increased performance fees.

Lorraine Mastre

Executive Assistant, CFO’s Office

With a positive attitude and willingness to help, Lorraine embodies AIMCo’s Core Values and together with the CFO’s Office ensures our clients have current and accurate accounting data for reporting.

 
 

Market Review and
Investment Outlook

Global markets have shown tremendous volatility over the past four years. We suspect that the next few years will not be different, so we try to anticipate where opportunity will be next.


Square Root Recovery Chart

  • The "square root" economic recovery continues with another year of moderate growth following the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC).
  • Population and productivity are fundamental drivers of real economic growth. We see a new era of heightened productivity emerging and we are positioning ourselves to benefit from this trend.
  • Due to extraordinary central bank policy intervention and investor risk aversion, U.S. long-term government bonds, priced at negative real yields, appear significantly overvalued.

Given current global economic conditions, corporate profitability, and relative asset class valuations, our long-term investment outlook favors equities over the next decade. We see equities earning a risk premium over cash greater than 5%. Moderate but stable economic growth, low inflation, expanding credit, housing recovery, re-stocking of inventories, and overall earnings growth are the key drivers for our preference for equities.

Sandra Lau

Senior Vice President, Fixed Income

Long term and patient, Sandra joined AIMCo as an intern and through her commitment to AIMCo’s Core Values and meeting the return requirements of our fixed income clients now leads the investment activities of AIMCo’s $26 billion Fixed Income portfolio.

Risk
Management

The better we collectively understand how risks affect our portfolios, the more we can turn our analytical resources toward improving long-term return.


Risk management is an integral part of furthering the financial stability of AIMCo’s clients.

The most basic investment risk is “total risk” which is the variation in total asset value over time due to volatility of asset prices.

Another way of looking at risk is “active risk” which is the change in asset value of the plan relative to passive investment alternatives such as a benchmark blended of equity and fixed income indices.

We carefully allocate an acceptable level of active risk in accordance with our clients’ investment guidelines. In 2012 this generated value add in excess of $1.3 billion above market benchmark alternatives for our clients.

Jerry Yang

Senior Analyst, Equities Risk

Ensuring alignment of investment risks to investment goals, Jerry collaborates with AIMCo’s portfolio managers to ensure trading strategies support our ability to reduce risk and add value for our clients.

 
 

Imagining a
Better Future

A strong set of Core Values guides all AIMCo decisions in fulfilling our clients’ needs. We believe we can make a difference to the companies we partner with, and the communities we serve.


We also continue to build and refine our own organization, strengthening our systems and operational capacity under the governance of a strong and independent Board of Directors.

Responsible Investment Pillars

AIMCo’s approach to Responsible Investment (RI) is guided by our Core Values and a long-term, intergenerational investment horizon. We integrate consideration of environmental, social, governance (ESG) factors into each investment decision.

Structure

Structure

AIMCo’s RI governance structure cascades throughout the entire organization and across asset classes.

Investment Process

Investment Process

AIMCo enhances shareholder value by exercising proxy voting rights. Decisions are based on corporate governance principles outlined in AIMCo’s proxy voting guidelines.

Engagement Process

Engagement Process

AIMCo prefers engagement to divestment so as not to reduce the universe of public firms in which we invest and to contribute to companies’ ESG progress.

Reporting

Reporting

AIMCo’s RI policies, proxy voting guidelines, engagement guidelines, voting records and rationale are all posted on the AIMCo website.

Collaboration

Collaboration

AIMCo is an engaged member of the RI community, and is a signatory to a number of responsible investment initiatives.

Dénes Németh

Manager, Corporate Communication

Always up for a challenge, Dénes came to AIMCo to build out the corporate communication function and provide our clients, and all Albertans, an awareness of the positive impact we aim to have on the communities we serve.

Community
Investment

True to our aim to be an organization in which all Albertans can take pride, AIMCo is attentive of our responsibility to the community and our role as a corporate citizen.


Consistent with the numerous stakeholders our clients support and AIMCo’s business objectives, we have proudly directed our efforts to support key initiatives in our community.

Education

Youth

Seniors in Need

Amount Raised

Julia Kim

Manager, Investment Data Management

Understanding that good data drives good investment decisions, Julia works with AIMCo’s Business solutions group to ensure the quality and integrity of our data to reduce operations risk.

 
 

Governance

AIMCo is a Crown corporation of the Province of Alberta and is committed to the highest standards of corporate governance.


We believe that the policies, processes and institutions that form a robust corporate governance framework are fundamental to AIMCo’s mission to rank among the best institutional investment managers and to inspire the confidence of Albertans. AIMCo is committed to a culture of integrity and accountability in the pursuit of its goals.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Board of Directors has established five standing committees, which assist the Board in discharging its responsibilities:

  • The Investment Committee
  • The Risk Committee
  • The Audit Committee
  • The Governance Committee
  • The Human Resources and Compensation Committee

CODE OF CONDUCT

AIMCo has established the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for officers and employees. All compliance exceptions, if any, are reported to the AIMCo Board of Directors Audit Committee and dealt with as appropriate.

WHISTLEBLOWER POLICY

In accordance with governance best practices, the whistleblower policy and the accompanying reporting service provide all AIMCo employees, service providers and clients with the ability to confidentially report any failure to comply with the Code of Conduct.

Kevin Roseke

Portfolio Manager, Infrastructure & Timber

Scouring the global marketplace for unique investments that match the return profiles of our clients, Kevin has risen to the role of Portfolio Manager through a focus on new opportunities and active portfolio management.

The AIMCo Board Members

  1. A. Charles Baillie, O.C.

  2. George F. J. Gosbee

  3. Clive J. Beddoe

  4. Ross A. Grieve

  5. Virginia A. Holmes

  6. Daryl A. Katz

  7. Harold A. Roozen

  8. Andrea S. Rosen

  9. Mac H. Van Wielingen

  10. Cathy L. Williams

  11. Kurt D. Winkelmann

A. Charles Baillie, O.C. 1
George F. J. Gosbee 2
Clive J. Beddoe 3
Ross A. Grieve 4
Virginia A. Holmes 5
Daryl A. Katz 6
Harold A. Roozen 7
Andrea S. Rosen 8
Mac H. Van Wielingen 9
Cathy L. Williams 10
Kurt D. Winkelmann 11

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