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Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund reaches investment agreement with AIMCo

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CALGARY — The Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund (ATRF) has reached an Investment Management Agreement with the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo).

“The agreement ensures that the board of ATRF maintains full control over the strategic investment policy for the pension plans’ assets and that AIMCo must implement that policy,” read a release from ARTF.

“It further governs how AIMCo will fulfill its responsibility in implementing that policy. The agreement provides meaningful accountability measures, and a commitment to collaboration and transparency regarding how our plans’ assets are managed.”

The agreement also ensures fiduciary responsibility is enshrined in the plan, said ATRF board chair Sandra Johnston.

“It has the right mechanisms for accountability within our new legal framework, and includes protections and remedies that ATRF will use if needed,” she said.

Negotiations between the two sides went on for the past year.

“This IMA documents a solid arrangement with AIMCo and puts appropriate guardrails in place to govern their management of our plans’ assets. It contains provisions designed to provide alignment between AIMCo’s management of ATRF’s assets and the best interests of our plans,” said ATRF CEO Rod Matheson.

“Our team has kept the best interests of our plans paramount throughout these many months and I’m very pleased with the terms we have formalized in the IMA.” 

Finance Minister Travis Toews issued a ministerial order on Jan. 4 setting the terms and conditions of the relationship between ATRF and AIMCo, which was to stay in place until an agreement was reached.

NDP Labour Critic Christina Gray issued a statement calling it “an important win” for teachers and the ATRF but said public servants should be to choose their own management firms.

“Until that time, the UCP has created a forced monopoly that gives AIMCo ‘hostage’ clients, regardless of their performance. This isn’t fair,” she said.

“Albertans expect their government to fund classrooms, not spend money fighting teachers in court. They shouldn’t have to fight to have a say in how their retirement funds are used and managed.”