AIMCo PE investments outperform benchmark in 2015

The C$90bn investment management firm’s investments delivered a 10.1% return to investors last year.

The Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) has reported a 10.1 percent rate of return on behalf of its balanced fund clients for 2015, according to a statement from the firm.

AIMCo said its investment teams in private equity, infrastructure, real estate and public equities all “significantly outperformed their market benchmarks”, while money market & fixed income, mortgages, and private debt & loan “performed equally well, providing stable value-add through difficult market conditions”.

A detailed breakdown of the performance of each strategy will be included in AIMCo’s Annual Report to be released in June.

AIMCo’s chief executive officer Kevin Uebelein said he was very pleased with its overall “terrific” performance, “especially against a backdrop of change and extreme volatility across the markets”.

The firm said it had earned more than C$1.5 billion ($1.1 billion; €1 billion) of active value-add return above benchmark, its strongest performance since its creation in 2008, and overall investment income of C$7.5 billion on total assets under management of C$90.2 billion.

AIMCo’s balanced fund clients account for C$75.9 billion of its assets under management and “utilise the full range of the organisation’s asset and style capabilities”, making them “most representative of AIMCo’s overall performance”.

Including the impact on returns of the C$14.3 billion of government and specialty fund clients – who largely look to AIMCo to manage short and mid-duration fixed income assets and liquidity management – a rate of return of 9.1 percent was earned on AIMCo’s total assets under management.

“AIMCo’s investment teams remained disciplined and focused on the long term, taking well-measured active risk positions, in-line with our investment strategies and our clients’ established needs,” he said. “That steady hand approach, and the support of the entire organisation, allowed us to identify, and act upon, value-generating opportunities across all major asset classes.”

Ueblein added that last year’s results are “further evidence that the ‘Canadian Model’ of public asset management is one that very well serves the needs of the public”.

AIMCo said it has generated a four year annualised net return of 11.8 percent on behalf of its balanced fund clients. Since 2009, it has earned more than C$4 billion in value added return above benchmark on total AUM, representing all 26 of AIMCo’s pension, endowment, government, and specialty fund clients, the firm said.

In January 2015 AIMCo appointed a new chief investment officer. Dale MacMaster replaced Leo de Bever, who retired as CIO and CEO in December 2014. Uebelein came on board as CEO to share de Bever’s responsibilities with MacMaster, as reported by Private Equity International. MacMaster was previously the executive vice president of public markets investments.

Last June the firm teamed up with OMERS Private Equity, the private equity arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System, to acquire Environmental Resources Management from London-headquartered Charterhouse Capital Partners in a deal valuing the company at $1.7 billion.

This was the firm’s second investment alongside OPE, following its £935 million ($1.45 billion; €1.3 billion) buyout of the UK’s Vue Cinemas in 2013.