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Jagdeep Bachher, 39
Deputy CIO, Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo)
Bachher (that's Dr. Bachher to you) is an unusual kind of finance professional: a scholar (he has a formal appointment at Stanford), an investor (he runs AIMCo's venture group and global tactical asset allocation), and a leader (he is managing the fund's internal innovation program to build a new operating infrastructure). It is not a stretch, then, to see him in his current role at the $70 billion Albertan fund. His goal: Along with CEO/CIO Leo de Bever, create the world's preeminent institutional investor—in Edmonton, Alberta, no less. A pipe dream? Bachher's passion will make you a believer. Indeed, Bachher and de Bever plan to extend the "Canadian" model by embracing innovation ("We spend a lot of time looking at innovative investments between traditional asset classes"), data management ("When it comes to making day to day investment decisions, you need to know where you are to figure out where you want to go—we're investing heavily to advance our capabilities in this domain"), and network effects ("I'm constantly building relationships globally because I believe in the power of trust-based relationships. A network of reliable, global partners will help AIMCo get the local knowledge of foreign markets it needs to succeed. I spend a lot of time in places like China, Latin America, and Silicon Valley"). All of these efforts (and there are more of them) underpin a bold vision for the Alberta fund: That AIMCo should "become the first stop for companies and international institutional investors seeking a partner to help them become world class organizations," according to Bachher. With all he's already accomplished, this seems eminently feasible.
Mega-Fund Men: These five are achieving the near impossible: Standing out at the world's largest—and often most staffed—funds. They don't come from tiny plans of four people. No, they are being noticed within organizations that can reach into the thousands. This is also, you may have noticed, the most international of groups. Canada, Korea, Denmark, and the Netherlands are all represented here. With talent like this, it should be no surprise that any mention of the world's "best" asset owners will always include more than one of these countries.