2016 Certified Trade Mission to Toronto, Canada — September 19 – 20, 2016

2016 Certified Trade Mission to Toronto, Canada
for Private Equity, Private Debt, Venture Capital, Hedge Fund, Real Estate and Infrastructure Fund Managers

Monday September 19 to Tuesday September 20, 2016

An opportunity to meet active, screened and interested LPs from Canada‘s leading institutional and family office investors.


  • Minimum of 15 one-on-one personal meetings with Toronto’s institutions and family offices
  • Focused, structured, organized and pre-arranged meetings
  • Convened by the U.S. Embassy
  • No placement agency fees or commissions
  • You receive full contact information and background prior to all meetings
  • Promotion of your firm to 150+ local institutional and family office investors


Bernice Miedzinski, BA, FCSI
Founder and President, StarBridge Capital Ltd

Bernice’s experience spans 30+ years in capital markets and she is currently President of StarBridge Capital Ltd, a boutique alternative investments advisory and placement agent firm. Prior to founding StarBridge in 2012, Bernice was Managing Director, Institutional Sales for Man Investments Canada Corp. From 2004-2007, she was Managing Director of York Investment Strategies Inc., an alternative investments advisory firm. Bernice’s expertise in alternative investments includes hedge funds, private equity, real estate and farmland. Bernice started her career in the early 1980s in South Africa in corporate treasury. Upon immigrating to Canada in the mid-1980s, she spent several years on trading desks at two leading Canadian and U.S. banks. Bernice also worked for over a decade as an independent investment consultant. Bernice is a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI).


Brian Beams
International Trade Specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce

A veteran of the United States Air Force and graduate of Central Florida University, BS Finance, Brian’s private sector career began at International Assets Advisory as a Registered Representative (Series 7, 63, 65, & FL-215).  After some years at the boutique firm, he joined the U.S. Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions – USUN.  Where his focus was diplomacy and national security.
Brian joined the U.S. Commercial Service in September 2013 as an International Trade Specialist for the Northern New Jersey Export Assistance Center.  He counsels U.S. businesses that wish to begin exporting or increase their exports throughout the global marketplace.  He is the area sector coordinator for financial services and energy to list a few.  Lastly, he is the Deputy Team Leader for USCS’s Global Finance Team where he leads the financial services subsector.  He was born and raised in Northern New Jersey, has lived in Germany, France, and Bosnia, and traveled to 23 additional countries.


  • Canada is the one of the largest investors in the U.S., and has invested billions of dollars with U.S. alternative investment managers since the 2008-9 financial crisis.
  • Canada has some of the largest institutional investors globally (Overview of Canada’s top 10 investors) including:
    • Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)
    • Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (La Caisse)
    • Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP)
    • Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments)
    • Alberta Investment Management Co. (AIMCo)
    • Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS)

    These large pension funds all invest across the full range of alternative investments, and are leaders in investing globally.

  • Total Canadian pension fund assets are ~10% of total U.S. pension fund assets; However, the vast majority (>90%) of Canadian pension fund assets are in Defined Benefit (DB) Plans, with the balance of pension fund assets (<10%) in Defined Contribution (DC) Plans.
  • Over the past decade from 2004-2015:
    • The medium-sized DB Plans (and a select group of foundations and endowments) have decreased their Canadian equity allocations and increased their allocations to alternative assets, with a focus on real estate, infrastructure, and private equity;
    • The small-sized DB Plans (and most foundations) have been slow to diversify into alternative assets, but recognize the need to do so.
    • See this overview by Greenwich Associates on Canadian Institutional Investor Dynamics from 2004-2014.


In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration, U.S. Commercial Service, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Canada, you are invited to apply to join the Certified U.S. Trade Mission to Toronto. The Mission will introduce a small, select group of U.S. private equity, private debt, venture capital, hedge fund, real estate and infrastructure fund managers to meet pre-screened Canadian pension funds and other institutional investors, as well as single- and multi-family office investors. The Mission is certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and organized by Katsof Consulting.

The Certified U.S. Trade Mission is not a conference. Rather, it is a well-structured and focused fund-raising event designed to provide U.S. alternative assets managers the opportunity to meet potential LPs in Canada from institutional investors and family offices.

Certified U.S. Trade Missions and similar events supported by the U.S. Commerce Department have attracted top funds from the U.S. See some of the funds that have attended in the past.

There have been sixty other Certified U.S. Trade Missions globally over the past 5 years, with the goal of helping promote U.S. economic growth by providing a forum to encourage and stimulate increased foreign business investment in the U.S. Since 2010, over 450 U.S.-based general partners (GPs) of alternative investment funds have travelled on one or more of the 60 certified trade missions to 30 cities globally. These GPs have been introduced to 1,000+ high-quality institutional investors and family offices.

GP Delegate Selection Criteria

Attendees must be invited to participate in this Toronto mission. Invitees represent a select group of top U.S. private equity, private debt, venture capital, hedge funds, infrastructure and real estate fund managers. The group will consist of senior executives and will have a mix of GPs with diverse investment strategies, sector focuses, and geographic preferences.

Attendance in the Certified Trade Mission to Toronto, Canada is limited to 12 U.S. managers and a maximum of 18 participants from these firms to maximize the level of overall access and one-on-one meeting opportunities with the institutional attendees. Based on past interest and participation, we expect demand to be very high. Attendees will be accepted on a rolling basis up until the deadline of September 6, 2016. All recent Trade Missions have sold out 5-6 weeks prior, and we expect that Toronto will be fully subscribed by mid-August, 2016.

Alternative investment firms will be selected according to the following criteria:

  • Minimum AUM of $50 million;
  • Diverse investment strategies, sector focus, and/or geographic preferences;
  • Industry-leading performance history; and
  • Sound management and institutional-quality best practices.

The Mission will provide:

  • Introduce and promote a broad range of U.S. alternative asset funds to Canadian investors.
  • An opportunity to meet Canadian institutional investors from pension funds, endowments and foundations, as well as family offices.
  • A forum to exchange ideas and strategies with Canadian investors, other U.S.-based fund managers, and policy-makers from both Canada and the U.S.
  • Opportunities for intimate interaction between U.S. GPs and Canadian investors (i.e., one-on-one meetings).

Benefits to Fund Managers

  • Exposure to top-level Canadian investors in an exclusive setting.
  • Opportunity to gain knowledge about Canadian investors’ specific needs.
  • Serve as a delegate in a U.S. government initiative aimed at promoting the nation’s leadership in alternative investments to foreign institutional investors.
  • Showcase your firm’s investment expertise directly to interested investors.


Monday September 19, 2016

Arrival in Toronto, Canada

Overnight at the deluxe Shangri La Hotel, 188 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M5H 0A3, Canada.

4:00 pm: Rooms available

6:00 – 8:00: Dinner on your own

8:30 – 9:30: Overview of investors attending the session and general Q&A regarding the Canadian market (hosted by Chairperson, Bernice Miedzinski and Trade Mission Organizer, Irwin Katsof)

Tuesday September 20, 2016
Certified U.S. Trade Mission

8:30 – 9:00: Registration for U.S. GPs and Canadian investors

9:00 – 12:30: One-on-one meetings: Members of the U.S. delegation will meet in one-on-one meetings with investment professionals from Canadian institutional investors and family offices.

12:30 – 1:30: Buffet lunch and informal discussion continues with U.S. fund managers and investors

1:30: Departure

NOTE: The U.S. Government, particularly the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U. S. Embassy is not involved in selecting or recruiting for this mission. Such selection and recruitment is strictly left to the mission organizer. The U.S. and foreign commercial service supports the goals of this event, but does not endorse the specific products or views of the participating organization.