What Is the Alberta Investment Management Corporation?

The Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) is a government-owned investment-management corporation headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta. AIMCo has approximately CAD $119 billion in assets under management as of 2019, making it one of Canada's largest institutional money-management firms. AIMCo focuses on public and private equity funds, private debt, and fixed income securities. As one of the largest institutional investors in the world, AIMCo manages a wide range of public sector pension funds, government funds, and endowments. It is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Understanding AIMCo

AIMCo was founded on Jan. 1, 2008, with a staff of 137. By Jan. 1, 2017, it had grown to 425 people. The organization is operated on a cost-recovery model, with expenses averaging about $0.46 per $100 of invested assets as of March 2014. As of 2012, AIMCo began internalizing the management of more assets in order to further slash operating costs by about $45 million a year, beginning in 2012.

Important Clients

AIMCo manages a variety of different funds, including the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund and Alberta government funds used to pay for public services such as infrastructure, health care, social programs, and education. As of 2018, AIMCo manages numerous pension funds on behalf of approximately 368,000 public sector employees. Pension funds managed by AIMCo include but are not limited to the Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP), the Management Employees Pension Plan (MEPP), the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP), and the Provincial Judges and Masters in Chambers Pension Plan. The corporation is meant to provide independent investment management services to the province.

AIMCo’s Investment Strategy

AIMCo makes its investments in three categories: equities, fixed income, and illiquid securities. The fund’s equity holdings, which constitute 39% of its holdings, encompass public equity funds, including co-venture deals. Illiquid investments, which make up 27% of its investments, include holdings in timberland, real estate, private equity, and infrastructure. Fixed income portfolios, which comprise 34% of AIMCo’s holdings, are managed with the goals of liquidity, risk control, and capital preservation in mind.

AIMCo seeks to maximize returns and minimize risk by using proxy voting rights on behalf of its clients; prioritizing the creation of positive changes in an asset corporation rather than immediately divesting of holdings; and publishing its Responsible Investment policies, including proxy voting record, activities, and guiding documents, online. AIMCo has also signed the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the Canadian Coalition of Good Governance (CCGG), and the Responsible Investment Association.