BC Investment

Enough said

BC’s provincial pension fund management agency employs about 150 staff. One-third of them earn more than $400,000 per year.

Washington State Investment Board, which manages more assets and has a superior record of investment returns, pays only two people more than $400,000, including their Chief Investment Officer who was paid $657,300 in the last reported year.

Regular readers will be aware that BCI has a long history of extravagant rewards to insiders. These measure 3x to 5x amounts paid to top people at the similar organization in Washington, one which manages more funds and has generally had superior investment results.

There is no real transparency or public supervision of BCI. Instead, a relative handful of tame people provide the appearance of oversight. One involved in the process admitted to me that a person who showed inadequate deference to internal group-think processes is soon unwelcome and replaced.

Austerity Applies Only to the Little People

More about British Columbia Investment Management Corporation at In-Sights.

Categories: BC Investment

13 replies »

  1. Not for publication I’m aware of a real estate deal in which BCI when it was imcbc engaged in dirty tricks. There is a senior woman in there who is quite dirty. Good for you to speak out. J


    • I’ve heard accusations of wrong doing but none that have been successfully tested in court. In the absence of real evidence, we must assume that acts of the company are approved by management and not illegal.

      Of course, ethical business operation requires operation of strong internal controls and comprehensive independent oversight. I argue that oversight on behalf of pensioners and the general public is ineffective at BCI.

      Similarly, BCI does not pursue what we commonly understand to be ethical investment policies. As a result, public pension funds are invested in arms dealers, tobacco companies, scandal-tainted corporations and businesses domiciled in totalitarian countries.


  2. Norm, are there any other ‘public servants’ who are paid as highly as these nine, in B.C.?

    Even for BC Ferries, or BC Hydro? I’m thinking no.


    • Nine of the top paid ten public servants in BC are employed at BCI. Sixteen of the top twenty. Twenty-five of the top paid thirty.

      The top paid three at BCI average $2.2 million.

      The top paid three at Powerex, BC Hydro’s trading subsidiary, average about $860,000.

      The top paid three at UBC average $578,000.

      The top paid three at Provincial Health Services Authority average $429,000.


  3. That is a tad rich. What exactly are they doing for that money? If the top 3 at the Healthy authority average $429K and actually do something, like manage our health and we don’t know for sure what the million dollar class workers are doing, we do need to find out. I’ve really no difficulty with people making $400K and change in senior positions, but that million dollar and up group, we need to know how and why.

    Do wonder who these million dollar babies are related to and who appointed them.


  4. As for the who, why and how, it’s all here for the reading:



    The general public doesn’t view this as a problem because the salaries of these non-public servants come out of the public sector pension fund, not general revenue (i.e. their taxes). Current public sector employees see it as a problem not due to directly affect them until the nebulous future. Current pensioners, to the extent they are even aware of it, don’t have much of a voice. Traditional media couldn’t care less. Politicians see no upside to rocking the boat, and won’t do anything unless it somehow becomes a burning issue for their constituents.

    So where will the impetus for change develop?

    The public sector unions are ultimately responsible for this runaway gravy train. They could change it, given the will.

    It would be nice to see Norm’s work light a spark, but given the players and the field of play I’m not optimistic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had a conversation with the Leader of the Opposition before BC’s May 2017 election. He appeared interested and said it was a subject that could be reviewed by the Legislature’s standing committee on Finance, where even the lowly opposition had ability to draw public attention to a subject.

      As with many other subjects in which they professed interest, BC NDP developed different priorities and standards after taking power.


  5. I wonder about the salary paid to B. Thomson who is no longer with the BCi and is employed at PPI, a company headquartered in California. Was it a buyout?


  6. After over 35 years advocating for “affordable transit” I can make this observation.

    It is bureacrats that are running the show and the politicians, ever so fearful of loosing the next election, literally have given the shop away, placating this unelected, yet very powerful level of government, the senior bureaucrat.

    The rules are such that one can’t get rid of them nor call them to heel and they have become, in fact, government, with elected officials a mere side show.

    Once, in a dispute with the city engineer I said i will take this up with a council (not Vancouver) and he told me that he was “Mayor & Council”!

    What bureaucrats are very good at is increasing their wages, yet they vastly over rate their importance and today, the bureaucracy has become a repository of those so incompetent, they cannot get a job in the real world.

    The old fairy tale comes true: “Who is not afraid to bell the cat (bureaucrat)?


  7. A comment left on Facebook where this article was linked:

    “Pensioners like myself get an increase of $17.40 a year because the government cannot afford anymore, what a joke.”

    Another person asked:

    “How in hell did this become acceptable? How did this happen?”

    My response:

    When a relative few people are put in charge of other people’s money, they inevitably decide they deserve a generous share of the funds they manage. When those decisions are made in relative secrecy, inevitability turns quickly to certainty.

    I’d wager my next year’s income that very few public pension plan participants have any idea of BCI’s extravagant rewards to insiders.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well, it looks like the fat cats at BCI will be getting slapped with a tax hike, thanks to the BC NDP.

    “(Carol) James said nearly half of the revenue from the tax increase will come from people with incomes above $1 million.”

    “The new tax provides her budget $216 million in revenue for 2020/2021” says the CBC.

    Next order of business for the BCI: a wage increase, to make up for the new tax.



  9. There’s no other way around it. No mincing words. This pension fund board’s extravagant wages given to so many is just another yes another example of how stinking corrupt our system has become. I hope we the people can fix our democracy and get it back from the crooks who are feeding from it like vultures and parasites and ruining everything.

    Liked by 1 person

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