Changes at Alberta may boost commitment pace

A change in the corporate governance structure of Alberta Finance’s investment management arm may open the door for the limited partner to expand its exposure to private equity funds.

For buyout firms, the change could mean greater access to the roughly $74 billion the Canadian province has under management. Currently, about 4%, or nearly $3 billion, is allocated to private equity. The wheels were set in motion in March when Alberta Finance decided to consolidate the province’s savings, investment and retirement funds, and restructure them under an independent corporation known as Alberta Investment Management Corp., a.k.a. AIM Corp.

The new venture will manage a variety of investment funds, including the $16 billion Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund, the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research and the province’s public sector pension funds, such as the $13 billion Local Authorities Pension Plan, the less than $6 billion Public Service Pension Plan and the $1.5 billion Special Forces Pension Plan, among others.

A recently appointed six-member board of directors from the private sector will oversee AIM Corp., appointing a CEO, setting bylaws and determining compensation for investment officers.

When the change becomes official, on Jan. 1, AIM will manage the fifth largest investment capital pool in Canada behind Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ontario Teachers Pension Fund and British Columbia Investment Management Corp. —Joshua Payne