The AGAWA partners have a long history as practitioners of pension fund investing. We have over 50 years of cumulative experience working as fiduciaries and principal investors in meeting a pension promise. We know that paying a pension requires the delivery of absolute investment returns. We have concluded that the best way to deliver more consistent long-term absolute returns is through better portfolio construction and the application of business cycle insights.

We work together with select, like-minded client practitioners to accomplish this objective.




Chairman & Managing Partner

Jacques Demers

Jacques brings to AGAWA over forty years of experience in investment, law and pensions, both in Canada and globally. Jacques has been a lawyer since 1977. He co-founded one of Canada’s most respected business law firms, Meighen Demers (now integrated within Norton Rose Fulbright), and pioneered a number of “first-of-a-kind” corporate and project financings and infrastructure-related investments. Jacques has been a private investor since 1987 and was an initial investor in Cashway and Porter Airlines, among others.  He served, between 2008 - 2015, as a member of the Senior Executive Leadership team of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) and President & CEO of the OMERS fund’s strategic investment division, OMERS Strategic Investments, where he managed a $3 billion portfolio for OMERS and $500 million portfolio for its investment partners and led a number of innovative, strategic investment initiatives for the OMERS fund, including the USD$12.6 billion Global Strategic Investment Alliance infrastructure fund, OMERS Ventures program and Airports Worldwide. Jacques is a respected speaker on investment, legal, and policy matters. He has addressed institutional investor gatherings in Asia, Europe and the USA; including the United Nations Session on Financing Sustainable Ocean Development in New York, the Roundtable Japan in Tokyo, the Sustainable Ocean Summits in Halifax and Hong Kong, and the Ocean Economy and Future Technology Conference in Muscat.



Bachelor of Laws, []

Studies in economics, history and philosophy, [YEAR]

Activities & Affiliations

  • York University, Board of Governors Member

  • Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, Advisory Board Member

  • World Ocean Council, Board of Directors Member

  • Law Society of Ontario, Member

  • Barreau du Québec, Member

Professional Designations

  • Barrister & Solicitor



President & Managing Partner

James Donegan

James has over thirty years of investment experience in the pension management and investment dealer industries. For the last twenty-one years he worked as an investor in public market roles at OMERS.  From 2007 - 2015 he was President of OMERS Capital Markets and ultimately responsible for all publicly traded investment portfolios including equity, fixed income, currency, hedge funds as well as all aspects of risk management.  He was a member of the OMERS Executive Senior Leadership team.  In his role at OMERS he implemented a complete separation of portfolio Alpha and Beta in the capital markets portfolio, established the process of risk budgeting and created the risk-balanced approach to managing portfolio Beta that will be the investment strategy pursued in the Fund.  James has served on a number of Boards and Committees through the course of his career and currently sits as an independent Director on the Board of Directors of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and on the Investment Committee of the Archdiocese of Toronto.



M.A., Economics, [YEAR]

B.A., Economics, [YEAR]

Activities & Affiliations

  • IIROC, Independant Director

  • Archdiocese of Toronto, Investment Committee Member

Professional Designations

  • Chartered Financial Analyst




Elliott Airhart

Elliott has nearly twenty years of investment experience, fifteen of which were spent in public market roles at OMERS. Those roles included Portfolio Manager of a large external funds portfolio; co-manager of a business cycle-oriented multi-asset class portfolio; leadership of the Capital Market Research team that provided all investment groups with general insights into the nature and character of business cycles and the associated long-term drivers of asset class returns; and, within the Risk Management group, conducting research that broadened the understanding of short-term business cycles as part of long-term secular ones. His work on business and secular cycles led to the creation of an annual Secular Outlook that laid out a five-year expectation for economic and market developments.  He was a voting member of both the Asset Mix and Global Allocation Committees.  As well, he conducted the research that led to the implementation of an economic-risk balanced asset mix of the kind that will be pursued by the Fund. Elliott continues, in his roll with AGAWA, to pursue research into both business cycle developments and leading indicators of economic growth and inflation.



PhD Candidate

[Degree], [Year]