Apr 11, 2024


Interest Rates, Artificial Intelligence, and a Thousand Days of Transformation

In the inaugural episode of ABsolute Returns, host Alex Zabjek sits down with University of Toronto professor and author, Ajay Agrawal, to discuss how a new wave of artificial intelligence is challenging the status quo — and how you can get on board. AIMCo's former Board Chair, Mark Wiseman, reflects on the transformative changes over the last four years and why they can't be ignored. Finally, AIMCo's Chief Economist, Jean David Tremblay-Frenette, breaks down the numbers behind the Bank of Canada’s latest interest rate decision.

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Meet Our Guests

Ajay Agrawal, Professor, Rotman School of Management

Ajay Agrawal is an economist and professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. He conducts research on the economics of innovation and serves on the editorial board of Management Science. Ajay is the founder of the Creative Destruction Lab, a seed-stage program for science-based companies that is now featured at six different universities in Canada and the UK. He is also the cofounder of NEXT Canada and cofounder of Sanctuary. Ajay is also a co-author of “Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence” (Harvard Business Press, 2018) co-editor of “The Economics of Artificial Intelligence: An Agenda” (University of Chicago Press, 2019), and co-author of "Power & Prediction: The Disruptive economics of Artificial Intelligence" (Harvard Business Press, 2022).

Jean David Tremblay-Frenette, Chief Economist, Alberta Investment Management Corporation

AIMCo’s lead economist, Jean David Tremblay-Frenette, brings over 20 years of experience at leading buy- and sell-side firms including Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Credit Suisse. At AIMCo, Jean David provides detailed analysis of global financial markets, drawing on his expertise in macroeconomic drivers and the opportunities and risks they present across asset classes. With a focus that is both global and regional, he is an expert in economic trends and their impact on markets.

Mark Wiseman, Former Board Chair, Alberta Investment Management Corporation

Mark Wiseman is a leading investment manager and experienced corporate executive. He served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Alberta Investment Management Corporation until December 2023. Prior to that, he was President and CEO of Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board. He was Global Head of Active Equities for BlackRock, Inc. and Chairman of BlackRock Alternative Investors, and also served as Chair of the firm's Global Investment Committee and on its Global Executive Committee. Previously, Mr. Wiseman was responsible for the private equity fund and co-investment program at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan; was an officer with Harrowston Inc., a publicly traded Canadian merchant bank; and a lawyer with Sullivan & Cromwell, practicing in New York and Paris. He also served as a law clerk to Madam Justice Beverley McLachlin at the Supreme Court of Canada.

About the ABsolute Returns Podcast

ABsolute Returns will help you make sense of the world of institutional investing and Alberta’s place in it. Each episode will bring you insights and analysis from a variety of guests who will help demystify the complexities while adding finance related content and context. Institutional investors have the power to move markets and the duty to navigate them wisely. ABsolute Returns will help listeners better understand that work.

The content on this podcast is provided for general information purposes only. AIMCo is not a financial advisor, and the information provided does not provide legal, accounting, tax, investment, financial or other advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes. Every person’s financial planning needs are different. For advice on how you should prepare financially for retirement, please seek credentialed independent professional advice. Further, external speakers have been invited to provide their own viewpoints and do not reflect AIMCo views.