Kahnawake Sovereign Wealth Fund deploys investments

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The Kahnawake Sovereign Wealth Fund (KSWF) officially hit the market on June 27, with $26.7 million deployed in public market investments.

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK) created the for-profit, diversified investment fund back in August of last year. It’s banking on the hope of it eventually making Kahnawake completely financially independent from the federal government.

Branden Morris, investment manager of the fund, valued at $33.3 million in total, said it felt incredible to finally see funds invested. It was a lengthy process for the MCK’s investment and revenue committee to narrow down the right portfolio managers to oversee how exactly the funds would be allocated. Over 20 proposals were considered leading up to the selection.

“We basically started from scratch with this project,” Morris said. “Finally, we’re here today. The portfolio has hit the market. I’m really proud of the work we’ve accomplished. We’re invested in some great quality assets. I’m really looking forward to seeing the progress of the fund.”

The fund has a target of achieving a net asset value of $1 billion by 2074.

The $26.7 million deployed so far in the market includes 50 percent invested in stocks and 50 percent invested in income-producing assets, such as bonds and guaranteed investment certificates (GICs).

Morris said a complete breakdown of where the money is invested and how well the fund is performing is expected at the end of the fiscal year, at the end of this March, when the KSWF is expected to release an annual report on its financial activities.

The fund’s two portfolio managers were also announced the day after the funds officially hit the market on June 27.

Canaccord Genuity Corp. has been mandated to oversee income and equity management for the fund, a portion amounting to roughly $20 million. That money will go toward government bonds, corporate bonds, as well as various, globally diversified, exchange-traded funds.

“The team was great. We were really impressed with the flexibility of their offering,” Morris said. “They had various proprietary funds. They had access to other portfolio managers, and they were also able to offer a very simple strategy of basically buying exchange traded funds, which is ultimately what we ended up going with.”

Giverny Capital will meanwhile manage approximately $6.7 million of the fund, focusing solely on equity investments.

The MCK’s investment and revenue committee will manage the remaining $6.6 million of the total $33.3 million in the fund, which represent its direct investment portfolio.

This can include direct investments into renewable power, real estate, infrastructure, private equity, etc.,” Morris said. “This money has not yet been invested, but a portion of it has been earmarked for upcoming renewable power projects.”


Miriam Lafontaine, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door