The Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board is withdrawing its membership from the Principles of Responsible Investing Secretariat as it transfers responsibility for asset management to the Alberta Investment Management Corp.
In a press release, the ATRF said its withdrawal from the United Nations-supported investor network would allow it to respect “the spirit of its responsible investing policy” while fulfilling its legal obligation to transfer asset management to the AIMCo, as part of a ministerial order enacted after 2020 deadlines for investment management agreements passed with no result.
The ATRF said ongoing membership in the PRI would also require the reassignment of resources from the asset transfer process to the secretariat’s annual reporting process, which it said would disrupt efforts to develop the best possible structure for ATRF pension plans and members. Upon completion of the asset transfer, ATRF assets will be included in the AIMCo’s regular PRI reporting process.
Last month, the Alberta Teachers’ Association took legal action against the ministerial order, arguing that the terms and conditions imposed by Alberta’s Finance Minister Travis Toews are inconsistent with the province’s Teachers’ Pension Plans Act and constitute a breach of duty of procedural fairness owed to the ATA. The order allows the AIMCo to bypass a pension’s investment policy should it threaten to compromise the AIMCo’s economies of scale or operational efficiencies, according to a previous ATRF press release.