Executives at some of the largest Canadian pension fund managers say their funds are doing OK during the market turmoil, although theyre light on specifics.
Officials at the Caisse de Dépôt et placement du Québec, Montreal, one of Canadas largest institutional funds with net assets totaling C$155.4 billion (US$158.4) as of Dec. 31, 2007, have been tight-lipped in recent weeks about performance. While rumors had the fund losing as much as 24% in the markets sell-off this year, officials say only that the Caisse is in good shape to weather the storm, with some C$20 billion in liquid assets. Executives have rejected calls to provide a status update before the traditional annual report in February or March.
It is not in the interest of the Caisse, or its depositors, Pierre Brunet, Caisse chairman, said in a statement issued on Nov. 21, to take action that could deviate from the rules that have always governed it, including in a period as turbulent as the one we are experiencing.
Moreover, the Caisse has always published complete, audited figures.
A significant portion of the Caisses investments, such as its real estate and private equity holdings are subject to year-end valuation by independent committees, in a highly regulated process that ensures the integrity thereof, he continued, to publish interim data would therefore mean publishing incomplete, unaudited figures.