Pension funds used to invest exclusively in sovereign bonds. These days, they go for zombie reruns.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the manager of more than C$264 billion of assets, this year purchased an 18 percent stake in a company that owns and distributes film and television shows, including The Walking Dead. It was one of the more creative investments of Mark Wiseman’s tenure of as chief executive of CPPIB. Not that anyone should be questioning his acumen. CPPIB earned a greater return on investment than Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway in the most recent fiscal year.
By now, students of international development are beside themselves. Zombies! Everyone knows the need for infrastructure in poorer countries is immense. Asia alone needs $8 trillion a year in infrastructure investment between now and 2020 to close the gap with the richer world. Everyone also knows that long-term investors such as pension funds are prime candidates to put up the money for all those roads, ports, hospitals and water treatment plants. So why is CPPIB plowing hundreds of millions of dollars into B-grade visual entertainment?
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