The 2001 Alternative Investment Conference

In search of alpha:
The pension management industry is evolving at a rapid pace - faced with diminishing returns and higher volatility in global equity markets, plan sponsors are searching for ways to maximize alpha.
The First Annual Alternative Investment Conference

At our first ever Alternative Investment Conference in November 2001, leading members of the plan sponsor, academic, custodial and money management communities gathered to explore alternatives to traditional investments such as equities and fixed income products. Working with our academic partner, the Richard Ivy School of Business, The University of Western Ontario, we covered a wide range of investment alternatives - from absolute return strategies to private equity to commodities.

This year's conference raised key questions about alternative investments and their role in an institutional portfolio - Do alternative investments constitute an asset class? What types of investments are considered "alternative"? What benchmarks can be used to track their performance? And, importantly, what role should these investments play in a pension fund portfolio?

The search for new sources of alpha requires a unique set of risk management protocols - that was the message given to us by Andrew Lo, our keynote speaker from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His groundbreaking work on "Risk Management for Hedge Funds" looks at alternative investments from the differing perspectives of both hedge fund managers and plan sponsors - and, as Lo points out, the gap between them is significant. The conference coverage that follows here takes you through the two-day conversation that took place in Niagara-on-the-Lake - it is filled with questions, but it provides some key signposts for a new and evolving investment landscape. -- Caroline Cakebread

Robert F. Adams, Bank of Montreal Adin Kahn, Deutsche Asset Management
Irshaad Ahmad, William M. Mercer Limited Ronald N. Kahn, Barclays Global Investors
F. Bruce Allen, Workers' Compensation Board of Alberta Bob Kamp, TELUS Corp.
Lori Bak, Canadian Investment Review Michael Keenan, Bimcor Inc.
Ray Benzinger, Dundee Private Equity Management Eric Kirzner, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
Robert Boston, RBC Global Services Wayne Kozun, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board
Wendy Brodkin, Goodman & Company Institutional Investments Marcel Larochelle, William M. Mercer, Inc.
Caroline Cakebread, Canadian Investment Review Tristram S. Lett, YMG Capital Management
Andrew Campbell, Nunavut Trust Dale Lockie, University of Guelph
Stephen Campbell, Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) Richard McAloney, Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations Pension Plan
J.D. Cannell, Toronto Transit Commission Pension Fund Society John Milne, Rogers Media
Chris Caswell, VIA Rail Canada Inc Catherine Mitchell, Rogers Media
James Colliver, Integra Global Advisors Ron Mock, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board
Kevan Cowan, Canadian Venture Exchange (CDNX) Brian Moore, William M. Mercer Limited
Rudy Dabideen, Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Pension Plan (CAAT) Geoffrey S. Moore, Deutsche Asset Management
Craig Dunbar, Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario Raymond Mui, Acadian Asset Management
Gregory P. Edwards, YMG Capital Management Philip Olsson, Altamira Investment Services Inc.
Leona Fields, York University Delilah Panio, CDNX
David C. Finstad, Alberta Revenue Tim Pardee, RBC Global Services
Stephen Foerster, Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario Gary Penrose, TransCanada Pipelines Limited
Bill Forbes, Queen's University John A. Poos, Stelco Inc.
Frederick Francis, RBC Global Services Johnny Quigley, Fondation Lucie et Andre Chagnon
Margaret Franklin, Altamira Investment Services Inc. Donald M. Raymond, CPP Investment Board
Henry W.C. Gibbs, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Graham S. Rennie, Integra Capital Management
Ned Goodman, Dundee Bancorp Inc. Bill Rentz, University of Ottawa
Robyn Graham, Altamira Investment Services Inc. P. Craig Russell, Deutsche Asset Management
Bruce J. Grantier, Scotiabank Adel Sarwat, PSP Investments (Public Sector Pension Investment Board)
Douglas D. Greaves, Canada Post Corporation Larry Seager, Kodak Canada Inc
Janet Greenwood, Aurion Capital Management Inc. Brian Stewart, University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation
Paul Halpern, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto Terri Troy, Royal Bank and Royal Trust
Eric A.T. Innes, YMG Capital Management Peter Van Loon, Nova Scotia Department of Finance
Robert A. Jaeger, Evaluation Associates Capital Markets Valter Viola, CPP Investment Board
Geraldine M. James, Barclays Global Investors Jason Wei, University of Toronto
Peter S. Jarvis, OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System) Mary Anne Wiley, Barclays Global Investors
Larry Johnson, Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. Barbara Zvan, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board
Richard Johnston, I.O.F. Foresters