Let’s Hear It for the Maple Revolutionaries

maple cookieThe Economist has only good words to say about Canada’s biggest public pension plans. With $640 billion in assets under management, Canada’s top 40 funds aren’t just big — they’re leading innovators. Here’s what The Economist had to say:

Unlike those in charge of public pension funds elsewhere, the Canadians prefer to run their portfolios internally and invest directly. They put more of their money into buy-outs, infrastructure and property, believing that these produce higher returns than publicly traded stocks and bonds. They are in some ways like depoliticised sovereign-wealth funds. Jim Leech, the boss of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, calls them a “new brand of financial institution”. And as public pensions around the world cope with painfully low yields on their assets, many see them as a template. Michael Bloomberg, New York City’s mayor, is among the model’s admirers.