In its last fiscal year, BC Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC) paid its top five executives $7.25 million. In its last fiscal year, Washington State Investment Board (WSIB) paid its top five executives $1.76 million. In Victoria, CEO Gordon Fyfe is paid almost five times the amount paid Gary Bruebaker, WSIB’s Chief Investment Officer.
In 2013, bcIMC employed 55 people who earned more than $200,000. That includes nearly one in three full-time employees. WSIB paid seven people more than $200,000.
At bcIMC, none of the five highest paid and four of the 20 highest paid employees are female. At WSIB, two of the five highest paid and nine of the 20 highest paid employees are female.
After an earlier In-Sights report, a bcIMC associate contacted me and said the two organizations were not comparable. I agree, while they share the same objectives, manage reasonably similar investment sums and invest in the same marketplace, they are not comparable.
One conducts business with restraint and relative frugality, aiming to minimize overhead costs and maximize value to investment fund beneficiaries. The other does not.
To have appropriate housing for its many high paid executives, bcIMC moved in 2015 to waterfront offices developed by the BC Liberal’s favourite Victoria developer: Jawl Properties. The pension fund manager itself holds ownership of many office and commercial properties but perhaps sometimes, it makes sense to be a renter and let another operation earn the profits.
July 21, Finance Minister De Jong released information on executive compensation and announced the end of a”four-year wage freeze for public sector managers and executives.” Too often, corporate media believes its role is to echo government press releases without testing truthfulness so they repeated De Jong’s PR handout, even though it was not close to being accurate.
An example at CKNW: B.C.’s highest paid public sector employees
In the year before the freeze, the five top executives of bcIMC earned $4.7 million. As noted above, they earned $7.2 million. Not a very effective freeze Mike! Not a very accurate report CKNW!
According to the Daily Mail, only ten public servants in the UK earned more than £300k ($500k CAN) in 2015. In British Columbia, our pension fund manager had as many.
Once a year, bcIMC issues an inventory of investments. It is six months old when posted and is not updated for another year, which means the listing is from six to 18 months out of date. In addition, bcIMC publishes the inventory in a form that is protected by a password so that information cannot be sorted or extracted in whole or in part.
Protecting a 170 page listing that contains thousands of lines of data is intended to inconvenience researchers who need to categorize investments to make meaningful comments and reports. It demonstrates bcIMC distaste for an informed public. This shows the restrictions applied to the inventory of investments.