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Caisse leveraging technology for investment, risk management – Benefits Canada



The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is introducing a new structure to maximize its impact in technology.

The integrated approach aims to leverage technology for performance, both in investment and risk management activities, as well as in transforming the organization.

“For many years now, CDPQ has made the integration of disruptive technology a strategic priority,” said Charles Emond, president and chief executive officer of the Caisse, in a press release. “With this new integrated approach, we will be even better positioned to seize investment opportunities and strengthen our business practices. Technology will play a central role in all of our activities going forward. The current crisis, which is accelerating the adoption of new technological solutions in every industry, has strengthened our conviction.”

Read: Caisse participating in financing round for Quebec payment-tech provider

To pilot the new strategy, Alexandre Synnett has been appointed executive vice-president and chief technology officer. He was previously the organization’s executive vice-president of digital technology and operations.

The new approach is based on three pillars. The first aims to anticipate and capitalize on investment opportunities created by disruptive technology and models. Led by Tom Birch, the Caisse’s global managing director of venture capital and technology, the team will work on increasing investments in technology companies from around the world, at all stages of maturity and across all asset classes. It will also continue to work closely with the group responsible for the pension fund’s investments in Quebec.

The second pillar aims to protect invested capital by further integrating technology into risk management. In addition to allowing it to better assess the impact that technological innovations have on its portfolio companies, this aspect aims to enhance the Caisse’s market intelligence on the business models of the future.

Read: Caisse and partner looking to accelerate AI developments in Quebec

The third pillar involves the digital strategy and will focus on the organization’s transformation so it remains an agile and cutting-edge organization, including through augmented and artificial intelligence, the digital experience and the integration of different technological innovations into decision-making processes.

In addition, the Caisse’s global research team, which is already involved in its investment teams for sectoral research, will add analytical services and data sciences capacities to its work, which were previously part of various teams across the organization. The new group will be led by Jim McMullan, head of global investment research.

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Emirex Exchange Receives Investment from Alpha Sigma Capital The capital will assist in the growth and expansion of Emirex in the MENA region including new products in DeFi industry – Financial Post



Dubai, Oct. 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — (via Blockchain Wire)  Alpha Sigma Capital (ASC), a pioneering digital asset fund investing in emerging cryptocurrencies and blockchain companies invested in the Emirex Exchange this week. Enzo Villani, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Alpha Sigma Capital and strategist for crypto and traditional exchanges such as OKEx and Nasdaq was appointed to the Emirex Advisory Board.

Founded in 2019, Emirex exchange operates in the Middle East and Asian markets with headquarters in Dubai. The company’s mission is to develop infrastructure that creates a new digital economy linking these markets with Africa, Europe, and eventually the United States. 

The exchange has grown to over 100,000 registered users with over 30,000 active traders from around the world. There over 150,000 subscribers among social networks and over 50 trading pairs listed and available on the exchange. 

Kirill Mishanin, CSO of Emirex commented, “Alpha Sigma Capital’s partnership with Emriex comes at a key time for the company. Emirex has entered a new strategic growth phase of bringing VCs, Angel Investors, and strategic partners to the MENA market that requires leadership with extensive blockchain development experience. In order to continue to capitalize on the opportunities ahead, and continue our DeFi growth in the MENA region, we are very pleased to have attracted Enzo Villani as a key strategic advisor.”

“Emirex’s leadership and the team have extensive experience in enterprise technology, blockchain, and financial markets. We’re excited to be aligned with our partners in the MENA region and plan to leverage our exchange experience to realize the vision and deliver for our customers.”, commented Enzo Villani, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Alpha Sigma Capital.

Emirex Expansion

Currently, Emirex is on the last step before the launch of DeFi aggregator platform EmiFlex which combines multiple DeFi solutions, including loans, borrowing, staking, decentralized exchange, insurance, and mining and allows users to get maximum results in a few simple steps.

EmiFlex benefits:

  • Provides its users with one the highest interest rates on the market
  • Combination of the most profitable DeFi services
  • Adaptive and automated management system based on a decentralized approach

Moreover, a part of the Emirex team takes an active part in the decentralised community developing an AMM DEX EmiSwap. EmiSwap is a fork of the Mooniswap decentralized exchange and was created in order to solve the current problems of the DeFi industry. EmiSwap is an open-source project with decentralized governance and several internal coins – ESW and ESD.

  • ESW – is a governance and voting token, that gives the right to receive a share of trading fees in proportion to the share of ownership and rights to participate in the voting procedure.
  • ESD – is a token that gives rights to receive assets in the basket of the yield pool denominated in DAI in proportion to the share of ESW token ownership.

About Emirex

Emirex exchange operates in the Middle East and Asian markets with headquarters in Dubai. In a broader sense, the company’s mission is to develop infrastructure that creates a new digital economy linking these markets with Africa and Europe. 

About Alpha Sigma Capital

Alpha Sigma Capital (ASC) is an investment fund focused on emerging blockchain companies that are successfully building their user-base, demonstrating real-world uses for their decentralized ecosystems, and moving blockchain technology towards mass-adoption. ASC is focused on companies leveraging blockchain technology to provide value-add in areas such as fintech, AI, supply chain, and healthcare. 

Disclaimer: This press release is for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest. Tokens and virtual currencies, in general, are not legal tender, in any country, and are not backed by any government as legal tender, nor should they be treated as such.


Sandra Ditore

Partner, Administration and Investor Relations

Alpha Sigma Capital


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Artis Real Estate Investment Trust Announces Receipt of Requisition – Canada NewsWire



WINNIPEG, MB, Oct. 01, 2020  /CNW/ – Artis Real Estate Investment Trust (“Artis” or the “REIT”) (TSX: AX.UN) announced today that its board of trustees (the “Board”) received a unitholder requisition on September 30, 2020 requesting the REIT call a special meeting of the REIT’s unitholders for the purpose of reconstituting the Board with five new trustees.

The unitholders making the requisition, Sandpiper Group and its affiliates, have advised the REIT that it is the holder of not less than five percent (5%) of the Units.

The Board is reviewing and considering the requisition with its professional advisors.  It will respond appropriately in due course. In the meantime, there is no need for unitholders of the REIT to take any action.


Artis is a diversified Canadian real estate investment trust investing primarily in office and industrial properties. Since 2004, Artis has executed an aggressive but disciplined growth strategy, building a portfolio of commercial properties in select markets in Canada and the United States. As of June 30, 2020, Artis’ commercial property comprises approximately 23.8 million square feet of leasable area.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy
or accuracy of this press release

SOURCE Artis Real Estate Investment Trust

For further information: Mr. Armin Martens, President and Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Jim Green, Chief Financial Officer or Ms. Heather Nikkel, Vice-President – Investor Relations of the REIT at 1.204.947.1250

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Investing In Black Women Tech Founders Is An Investment In Innovation And Growth – Forbes



Female founders are not monolithic. The intersection of gender and race has a multiplier effect on the challenges Black women face as founders starting and growing technology companies. 

To better understand Black women tech founders’ challenges in building scalable businesses, Black Women Talk Tech, the first chapter-based association of Black women tech founders, and its nonprofit arm, Talk Tech Association, undertook research. Results are based on 671 responses from Black women tech founders. 

The New Face of a Founder: Uncovering Black Women as the Next Billion Dollar Founder was commissioned by Samsung NEXT, Surdna Foundation, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The Report highlights Black women’s strengths and resilience and highlights their companies and how they are improving the lives of people, commented Esosa Ighodaro, co-founder at Black Women Talk Tech. 

Why should you care about supporting Black women tech founders? Black women represent 42% of net new women-owned businesses, which is three times their share of the female population (14%), according to the American Express 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses. Between 2014 and 2019, their growth in the number of firms (50%) outpaced all women (21%) and businesses in general (9%). 

Diversity breeds innovation. Creativity doesn’t just happen. It is the result of making unexpected connections based on things we already know. That’s why life experiences are so meaningful. Without diversity, the life experiences we bring to solving problems are limited. Black women are an untapped force that can rekindle the economy, create jobs, increase innovation, and improve the United States’ competitiveness. More than one-third—37%—of Black women founders of tech companies are in high-growth sectors, such as education, financial services, and healthcare, as well as emerging industries like artificial intelligence, machine learning, clean energy, and wearables. The combined market size for these industries is $5 trillion. 

Black women tech founders are highly educated: 85% have a college degree and 46% an advanced degree. With an average age of 37, they have years of business experience, though less than their male counterparts. Nearly two thirds—63%—increased traction in their businesses in the past six months. Very early-stage tech companies are often piloting their minimum viable product (MVP). They haven’t developed their revenue models: four in 10 Black women tech founders have paying customers.

Structural differences in personal wealth, the wealth of friends and family, business experience, and networks result in Black women’s startups’ underfunding. The typical high-growth startup has a friends-and-family round raising between $25,000 to $100,000. Only 18% of Black women raised money from their friends and family. They averaged $36,600. Of the 52% who have raised some capital for their businesses, over 50% raised non-traditional capital, such as crowdfunding, grants, and loans. 

Instead, 91% rely on a day job to support themselves. In fact, 52% of founders provide more than 20% of their income to their businesses. These were the most surprising stats to Ighodaro. 

While you may see this as a sign of true grit, determination, and passion for their businesses, angel investors and venture capitalists see this as a potential red flag. Working another job while founding a company becomes an impediment to equity investors. 

Oddly, investors—especially at the pre-seed stage when there are few indicators of a startup’s likelihood of success—rely on a founder’s passion as an indicator of success. However, they want their founders 100% dedicated to the companies they fund. 

Another red flag to investors and also to top business accelerators is not having at least two co-founders. Seventy percent of Black women tech founders are solo founders. 

The result: Between 2009 to 2018, tech startups led by Black women raised $289 million to launch, build, and sustain their businesses. This represents only 0.06% of the $425 billion in total tech venture funding raised. Clearly, investors don’t understand the unique challenges Black women face. 

For investors, policymakers, and support organizations that want to change the ratio:

  • Step outside your existing network. Look to those who are highlighting and funding Black women. Yes, Black Women Talk Tech does a conference. Attend Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Lab Demo Day and Founders of Color Showcase—produced by Next Wave Impact (which I recently wrote about). Invest in Venture funds that focus on investing in Black women, such as WOCstar Fund. Or, check out Project Sage to find a list of 34 funds with a gender and ethnic diversity lens.
  •  Don’t rely on the typical pattern you look for in a founder. Seek out new metrics to evaluate the likelihood of success.
  • Look beyond Silicon Valley for companies to invest in. Top states for Black women tech founders are New York, California (Los Angeles), Georgia, New Jersey, and Texas.
  • Develop innovative financing programs that better support the needs of Black women.

How will you help support the growth of Black women tech founders?

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