Industry News

Consider signing up for our Daily News Alert Email to receive relevant industry news, headlines and articles delivered directly to your inbox

Subscribe Now

January 3, 2019


Draft Regulation Addresses Windup Issue

A government of Quebec draft regulation has set out minimum solvency funding requirements of multi-jurisdictional defined benefit pension plans registered in the province, says an Eckler ‘Special Notice.’ It requires that a solvency deficiency must be determined in plans with a solvency ratio of less than 75 per cent after December 30, 2018. The draft regulation is in response to asset allocation issues pursuant to the 2016 Agreement Respecting Multi-Jurisdictional Pension Plans. Under this agreement, upon windup of a multi-jurisdictional pension plan, assets are allocated to members working in each province based on the members’ windup liabilities. However, provinces where solvency funding is not required are placed lower on the priority list for asset allocation purposes. For multi-jurisdictional pension plans in Quebec, this often means assets are allocated to members at a lower ratio than to members in other provinces. The proposed changes will correct this issue, giving Quebec members a comparable level of benefit protection and priority. The draft regulation sets out new requirements for contributions, funding, and special funding rules, information that must be included in any actuarial valuation report on a multi-jurisdictional pension plan where a solvency deficiency has been determined, and deadlines for filing actuarial reports.  

Share This:


Increased Allocations To Alternatives Continue

Public pension plans continued to increase allocations to alternatives and private assets during 2018, particularly to private equity, real assets, and other private market securities, says a report from Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM). “These adjustments may be motivated by a need for exposure to higher-returning asset classes to achieve a plan’s long-term expected return target,” says the report, “given we are likely entering a period of lower returns across a wide swath of asset classes.” Increased allocations to real assets may also signal increased concern about inflation, which “has shown signs of life in recent quarters after being dormant for several years.” While public pensions boosted their allocation to private assets in 2018, they also reduced their allocations to U.S. equities with many rotating to non-U.S. equities. The report said this change was “potentially driven by the outperformance of U.S. equities over non-U.S. equities in recent years.”

Share This:


Global Growth To Moderate

Global growth will moderate somewhat in 2019, although above potential in all the major advanced economies, says Aviva Investors’ ‘2019 House View.’ With growth in the United States accelerating sharply on the back of large tax cuts in early 2018, a material divergence in global growth occurred as other major economies slowed from their rapid pace of growth in late 2017. While it does not expect that divergence to increase in 2019, nor does it expect there to be much in the way of growth convergence among advanced economies. A modest convergence between advanced and emerging market economies reflects the more moderate growth outlook for the former. That somewhat slower growth backdrop, which has already become evident in a range of data over the second half of 2018, is likely to lead to a continuation of the recent challenging period for risk assets. In a slowing growth environment, market participants are likely to focus even more on the downside risks. And there are indeed a range of important downside risks, including an escalation in trade protectionism, the impact of tighter global liquidity, Brexit, and political pressures in Europe.

Share This:


ETFs See Inflows

ETFs and ETPs listed globally gathered net inflows of US$3.64 billion during November, says ETFGI. Total assets invested in the global actively managed ETF and ETP industry rose 3.11 per cent, pushing the record higher from US$106.09 billion at the end of October to US$109.39 billion. Net new assets gathered by actively managed ETFs and ETPs listed globally were $3.64 billion in November.

Share This:


PSP Acquires Stake In Wittur

The Public Sector Pension Investment Board will acquire a 32 per cent stake in a parent company of Wittur International Holding GmbH from a company controlled by Bain Capital Private Equity. The Canadian pension fund will closely co-operate with Bain as sponsor and trusted partner to further bolster Wittur’s international expansion. Together with PSP and Bain, Wittur intends to advance its global expansion strategy in the upcoming months. It is a worldwide producer and supplier of elevator components.

Share This:


Financial Education Boosts Wellness

The CPBI Northern Alberta Region will look at ‘Financial Wellness and Literacy.’ Kevin Cochrane, of the Enriched Academy, will share how unions, sports organizations, police associations, post-secondary institutions, and world class entrepreneurs have unlocked the key to success to implementing financial educational programs and the impact this has on employee health and wellness. It takes place January 16 in Edmonton, AB. For information, visit Financial Wellness

Share This:


January 2, 2019


Index Investing Isn’t Passive

Index investing isn’t really passive, says a paper by a University of Toronto assistant professor. Adriana Robertson, assistant professor in law faculty, says “Rather than being passive in any meaningful sense, index investing simply represents a form of delegated management.” In ‘Passive in Name Only: Delegated Management and ‘Index’ Investing,’ she says “tracking an index almost always implies choosing a managed portfolio. Not only are these indexes managed portfolios in the strictly financial sense, by their construction they imply a substantial amount of delegated decision-making authority.” While the paper doesn’t focus on institutional investing, she says the decisions made by index providers to determine how the indexes are constructed “should be a concern for all investors, including institutional investors.” In the paper, she argues that passive mutual funds and exchange-traded funds often follow indexes that were created for those funds. “The idea that an ETF might follow an index that it creates is counterintuitive and, to my knowledge, is not something that has been previously documented,” she says.

Share This:


CPPIB Now Managing Additional Contributions

Starting this week, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) will receive and invest additional Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contribution amounts, helping to safeguard increased retirement income for current CPP contributors and future generations. Federal and provincial governments decided in 2016 to expand the CPP to provide enhanced future benefits for workers who contribute, creating a stronger foundation for retirement. As the investment manager of the CPP Fund, CPPIB is responsible for prudently investing the additional contribution amounts arising from the enhancement to the CPP. CPPIB started investing CPP contribution amounts 20 years ago. “Over the past year, CPPIB has worked to ensure that both the base CPP and the additional CPP amounts will be managed efficiently and with a view to the opportunities that may be created as the CPP Fund grows,” says Mark Machin, president and CEO of the CPPIB. CPPIB has designed an investment structure that will address the different funding requirements of the base CPP and additional CPP.

Share This:


Province Must Support Workplace Drug Plans

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) wants the government of Nova Scotia to ensure that residents of the province have access to affordable prescription drugs. In its 2019 Nova Scotia budget submission, it says the province needs to support workplace drug plans that currently provide millions of Nova Scotians with comprehensive access to essential medicines. It also needs to work with the industry to co-ordinate efforts to bring down costs through bulk-buying and enhancing access to high cost medicines when needed. As well, it calls on the province to reduce and ultimately eliminate the premium tax on life, health, and disability insurance premiums as fiscal circumstances permit.

Share This:


UTAM Revises RI Policy

UTAM has made minor revisions to its Responsible Investing Policy. The revisions include its definitions of ESG factors and provide further guidance on its approach to active ownership, proxy voting, and engagement. It has also refined the role of its responsible investing committee. The changes reflect the evolution in its approach to responsible investing and in all areas in which it can integrate ESG considerations into its investment decision-making.

Share This:


Fiera Acquires Interest In Palmer

Fiera Capital Corporation will acquire an 80 per cent interest in Palmer Capital Partners Limited, a UK focused real estate investment manager. The acquisition will be made through its subsidiary, Fiera Properties Limited. Palmer was founded in 1992 and has over £800 million in assets under management with an additional £215.5 million managed through joint ventures with eight regional property companies in which it is a minority shareholder. It will remain independently managed, but will become the UK arm of Fiera Properties.

Share This:


Caisse Acquires SURA AM Interest

La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has acquired a minority interest in SURA Asset Management, a subsidiary of Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana S.A. (Grupo SURA). SURA AM, a Latin American financial institution with US$135 billion in assets under management, offers financial services to nearly 20 million clients in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, El Salvador, and Uruguay. Through this new investment and enhanced strategic partnership, it will pursue a sustainable growth strategy in the investment, savings, and pension fund management sectors throughout Latin America.

Share This:


Investment Forecast Offered

 

The CPBI Ontario ‘Investment Forecast’ will feature a global macroeconomic forecast and discussions on asset allocation trends, the U.S. mid-term elections, and upcoming fiduciary challenges. Speakers include Eric Lascelles, chief economist at RBC Global Asset Management; Marlene Puffer, president and chief executive officer at CN Investment Division; Davis Walmsey, managing director of Greenwich Associates; Terra L. Klinck, a partner at Brown Mills Klinck Prezioso LLP; and Julie Cays, chief investment officer at the CAAT Pension Plan. It takes January 7 in Toronto, ON. For information, visit Investment Forecast

Share This:


December 21, 2018


Themes Shape Market Dynamics

Four overarching investment themes will shape market dynamics in 2019, says a Mercer report. ‘Themes and Opportunities 2019: The Four Elements’ says greater volatility will occur as the business cycle winds down. Credit is overextended, with debt increasing and debt quality decreasing, yet the equity market continues to benefit from a positive macroeconomic backdrop. Such an environment requires that investors revisit and stress-test strategic asset allocation for fit and robustness, it says. Investors also should be alert to signs of market stress as accommodative monetary policy is removed and liquidity is potentially affected. Less ability for individuals and corporations to borrow for investment or consumption will likely impede economic growth. Political fragmentation is likely to be a concern in 2019 and beyond. It is exemplified by international trade woes. A potential impact of increased protectionism is greater divergence in investment returns across regions and countries, which could affect investing strategy. The final theme is sustainability, with governments and regulators now expecting that capital be allocated with a “broader perspective of risk and return,” says the report. While incorporating sustainability considerations into portfolios requires a longer timeframe than typically used for investment decision, that longer-term view may uncover opportunities not currently priced in, it says.

Share This:


MetLife Pays Settlement

MetLife Inc. will pay a $1 million settlement following an investigation by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts connected to the insurer’s revelation that it has not paid about 13,500 participants in its group annuity population over the past 25 years due to insufficient administrative practices. Last January, it said it had uncovered a “material weakness” in financial reporting and reached out to regulators about its lapses after determining that it didn’t have enough money set aside to pay some annuity and pension customers. The state’s primary goal was always to get this money returned to the retirees to whom it is owed and this settlement is in line with that focus.

Share This:


Unique Benefits Retain Staff

Unique benefits can help employers retain staff. “It is estimated that around 60 per cent of employees are either actively or passively searching for a new job, or they are being approached by other companies who want to ‘poach’ them for their own team. But, on average, replacing a salaried employee costs about $15,000 per employee,” says Rob Wilson, president of Employco USA and an employment trends expert. He cites a study that found employees prefer a heftier benefits package as opposed to higher pay. There are many benefits which today’s employees are looking for including pension matches and paid time off, along with medical, dental, vision, and life insurance. Many employees have pets and consider them part of their family, so offering insurance for them “can go a long way in showing that you are a compassionate and concerned employer,” says Wilson. Employers can also use anonymous surveys to measure job happiness as technology has made these easier than ever before.

Share This:


Reuters Insures Liabilities

The Reuters Pension Fund in the UK has insured $795 million in liabilities through a buy-in with Canada Life Financial Corp. The buy-in was the first risk transfer deal for the pension fund and the largest so far by Canada Life. The key rationale for the transaction was to achieve further risk reduction to reduce longevity risk. Its trustees are looking to carry out further transactions as part of a long-term derisking framework.

Share This:


Employers Failed To Help Transition To Retirement

Two-thirds of U.S. retirees say their most recent employers did “nothing” to help pre-retirees transition into retirement and 16 per cent are “not sure” what their employers did, says a survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS). Among the 18 per cent of retirees whose employers helped pre-retirees, the most frequently cited offerings are financial counseling about retirement (six per cent), seminars and education about transitioning into retirement (five per cent), the ability to reduce work hours and shift from full- to part-time (five per cent), and accommodating flexible work schedules and arrangements (five per cent). Almost three in four retirees (73 per cent) wish they would have saved more and on a consistent basis. About two-thirds (67 per cent) say they did as much as they could to prepare for retirement, but almost as many (64 per cent) wish they had been more knowledgeable about retirement saving and investing. Three in 10 used a financial adviser before retiring to help them manage their retirement savings or investments.

Share This:


Rates Could Prompt Shift To Fixed Income

Higher interest rates could cause some investors to shift to fixed income alternatives from real estate, but the shift would be slow as many plan to hold real estate in their portfolios for the long term, says LaSalle Investment Management’s ‘Investment Strategy Annual 2019.’ While chances of sudden spikes in inflation and interest rates are low, what could increase the chance of a more rapid rise are trade wars, commodity price increases, and employment market tightening. It recommends investors’ real estate portfolios should have low beta investments that can withstand volatility in other asset classes, reflected in a core real estate portfolio. At the same time, the portfolio should have alpha-seeking investments that can outperform core real estate, expected to be about three per cent to five per cent.

Share This:


GroupHEALTH Selects HCM Solution

GroupHEALTH Benefit Solutions has selected Ultimate Software to provide a new human capital management (HCM) solution to the company. Ultimate Software focuses on cloud solutions that give customers the means to build people-centric environments that help elevate the work experience. The opportunity to explore strategic synergies between the two organizations was a key factor in the decision. Its benefits administration services and Ultimate’s enterprise solution represent crucial components of the human resources experience. By bringing these together, each organization can explore how the holistic human resources experience can be improved through systems and process integration.

Share This:


Scotiabank Sells Dominican Businesses

Scotiabank has sold Scotia Crecer AFP and Scotia Seguros, its pension and related insurance businesses in the Dominican Republic, to Grupo Rizek. This transaction supports its strategic decision to focus its Caribbean operations on core markets. Grupo Rizek is a diversified business groups in the Dominican Republic in agribusiness and the financial services industry.

Share This:


Managers Speak At Symposium

The CFA Society Toronto’s ‘2019 Annual Equity Symposium’ will bring together some influential portfolio managers who will share insights into their investment process, market outlooks, and top investment ideas Featured this year are Jennifer Radman, vice-president, head of North American equities and senior portfolio manager at Caldwell Investment Management; Jeremy Schaal, managing director and portfolio manager, U.S. and global equities, at Jarislowsky Fraser; John Chisholm, client portfolio manager, global and international equities at Schroders; Sam Shapiro, vice-president, quantitative investment strategies, at Goldman Sachs Asset Management; Sajan Bedi, portfolio manager at Canoe Financial; Sandeep Bhargava, managing director at J.P Morgan Asset Management International Equity Group; and Sebastian P. Bea, head of North America institutional active equity product strategy at BlackRock. It takes place January 22 in Toronto, ON. For information, visit Equity Symposium

Share This:


December 20, 2018


Bentall GreenOak Created

Sun Life Financial Inc. will merge Bentall Kennedy, the North American real estate and property management firm it acquired in 2015, with GreenOak Real Estate, a global real estate investment firm. Sun Life Financial will acquire a majority stake in the combined Bentall Kennedy and GreenOak entity that will be named Bentall GreenOak and be part of Sun Life Investment Management. Senior management of Bentall GreenOak will include executives from both Bentall Kennedy and GreenOak. Sun Life Financial will acquire a 56 per cent interest in the combined Bentall GreenOak entity, with an option to acquire the remaining interest approximately seven years from the closing.

Share This:


Global Economy Faces Less Favourable Mix

With 2019 approaching, the global economy is facing a less favourable mix of growth and inflation, says an ‘Economic Perspectives’ from AB. Moreover, downside risks continue to cloud the outlook for Europe and China. If these risks materialize, recession awaits. Even if tail risks are avoided, the trade war between the U.S. and China remains a major concern. The standoff has the potential to create a permanent adverse shift in the global growth/inflation trade-off, especially if it’s a harbinger of a broader schism between China and the West. This drama is playing out with global debt levels elevated and central bank balance sheets starting to shrink. If growth slows more quickly than expected, investors will rightly question what’s left in the monetary policy toolbox. For markets, it says there are three important pieces to the puzzle: the global macro cycle, global liquidity, and the threat from rising populism. Together, these factors point to another volatile and challenging year for global risk assets.

Share This:


Use Of Factor Portfolios Grows

As respondents gain experience in utilizing factor portfolios, they are increasing their usage, says a study from Invesco. Factor allocations and factor applications among North American investors are expanding. The concept of factor investing – an investment strategy in which securities are chosen based on certain characteristics and attributes – has existed since the 1950s. However, the strategy has only gained prevalent acceptance in recent years. Since Invesco first polled investors about factors in 2016, North American respondents have increased their adoption of factor strategies at an average rate of five per cent per year. The study found that while an asset owner often commences their factor journey with a single strategy, as time goes by they tend to implement additional factor strategies and consider how to extend their factor portfolio from equities to fixed income and multi-asset. Nearly half of the respondents plan to increase their allocation to factor strategies in the next three years. Most investors strongly felt that past barriers to adoption have been rapidly falling away, as more firms have a greater internal capability to implement factor investing. The availability of a larger number of factor products is another reason for an increased factor allocation.

Share This:


Experience As Important As Information

Experience is as important as the information, says Brent Perdue, of Encana Corporation. He told the CPBI Southern Alberta RegionDiligence & Dazzle: Total Rewards Communication’ session that Encana has created short, succinct videos to break down total rewards information into bite-sized pieces. They house the videos on an intranet that has a uniform look and feel for all related information which is easy to navigate without having to click through countless pages. This allows employees to easily access information at a time that is suitable for them and moves employees to a self-service format. The result is a streamlined approach to onboarding and decreased questions to human resources that has saved time and money and has significantly increased employee engagement. Dylan Snowdon and Lauren Barteluk, of Carbert Waite LLP, said while a plan sponsor has a duty to inform employees, there are risks involved in all types of communication ‒ from formal presentations to casual discussions. Issues arise if employers are careless with their words that may lead to a loss to the employee and also in omissions to the information that is disclosed. Both are forms of negligent misrepresentation. Communication best practices to avoid liability include just informing employees, not predicting the future, and thorough documentation of the details of the communication.

Share This:


Industry Positive About Disruptive Technologies

Financial services professionals are broadly positive about the impact that disruptive technologies are having, and will have, on their businesses and their sectors, says a survey from AIMA. ‘Disruptive technology in financial services: Are you focused on the future?’ says currently, there’s an emphasis on how AI, robotics or data analytics can improve the effectiveness of back office operations. However, the survey shows respondents are confident that technologies will bring even more value to their organizations and sectors in the future. The challenge for many firms is taking proactive steps to attract the right people and skills to make change happen. It says successful organizations recognise that emerging technologies will not just impact their own businesses, but also the sectors in which they operate. The winners will be those that have the skills to turn vision into reality and have a transition program in place.

Share This:


Investors Bearish On Economy

A majority of investors are extremely bearish on the economy, said the Bank of America Merrill Lynch‘s monthly fund manager survey. Although only nine per cent of investors expect a global economic recession in 2019, a two percentage-point drop from the month before, a net 53 per cent expect global growth to weaken over the next 12 months, the worst outlook on the global economy since October 2008. December also has seen the third biggest decline in inflation expectations, down 33 percentage points to just a net 37 per cent expecting the global consumer price index to rise over the next year. This statistic is a major reversal from the recent peak of net 82 per cent in April. A possible trade war remains the biggest tail risk for managers, with 37 per cent of respondents putting it at the top of a list of concerns.

Share This:


Rise People Launches Expansion Strategy

Rise People, a digital HR and payroll software platform, has launched an expansion strategy to become the technology backbone for the benefits industry, linking every benefits carrier and advisor with Canadian companies and their employees ‒ all within a single platform. The launch co-incides with the creation of a strategic partnership with Hub International Limited. Hub has acquired Rise’s employee benefits practice to provide health and retirement savings advice while Rise focuses on expanding its platform. Moving forward, Rise will co-operate with advisors, rather than compete against them.

Share This:


Efforts To Be Healthy Fall Short

WW, formerly Weight Watchers, has found 90 per cent of adults globally say that improving their physical, mental, and emotional health is one of their goals for 2019. The ‘WW Wellness Survey’ also shows that although Canadians want to feel healthier, 74 per cent are coming up short despite their best efforts. Lack of inspiration ‒ cited by 43 per cent of adults globally and 46 per cent in Canada ‒ is the number one thing hindering them from achieving a physical, mental, or emotional health goal. As well, nearly half of adults globally (48 per cent) and in Canada (45 per cent) say they can’t go at it alone – having a partner is imperative to staying on track. More than half of adults (55 per cent) have attempted several diets or eating plans in the past two years, with Canadians attempting three on average. However, more than three-quarters of Canadian adults (76 per cent) believe the results of short-term diets, that require extreme measures, are not sustainable for the long term.

Share This:


Global Market Outlook Provided

The CPBI Saskatchewan Region will present ‘Global Perspectives ‒ The Collapse of Intellectual Property.’ Robert M. Almeida Jr., an investment officer and global investment strategist for MFS Investment Management, will provide a global market perspectives outlook and will explore the effects of the collapse of intellectual property on global markets. It takes place January 16 in Saskatoon, SK, and January 17 in Regina, SK. For information on the Saskatoon session, visit Saskatoon Perspectives. Information on the Regina event is at Regina Perspectives

Share This:


December 19, 2018


Buying Retirement Most Expensive

The National Institute on Ageing (NIA) has partnered with the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) and Common Wealth to determine the value of collective approaches to saving for retirement. ‘The Value of a Good Pension,’ supported by the work of Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, the NIA’s director of financial security research, compares five types of retirement arrangements on a scale ranging from more individual to more collective approaches to saving for retirement. ‘Buying’ retirement security may be the most expensive purchase most people make, next to buying a home. The report shows a collective approach can reduce the amount that Canadians have to ‘spend’ in order to purchase a more secure retirement. As one progresses on the scale towards more collective arrangements, every dollar contributed to a Canada-model pension results in $5.32 in retirement income versus $1.70 using a typical individual approach. This means taking an individual approach would require approximately $890,000 more over a lifetime to generate the same level of retirement income as a worker in a Canada-model pension plan. The research determines that efficiency is created through saving, fees and costs, investment discipline, fiduciary governance, and risk pooling. When saving in an individual arrangement, people save less and later than they would under a more collective plan with mandatory contributions or automatic enrolment. In addition, fees and costs tend to be significantly lower than the cost of retail investing and advice.

Share This:


Growth In Headcount Could Add Cost

While 57 per cent of Canadian employers plan to increase employee headcount in 2019, that growth could become a financial burden, says Gallagher’s ‘2018 Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey – Canada Edition.’ That’s because employers will now bear additional healthcare costs, particularly for prescription drugs. Yet a majority (64 per cent) don’t have an effective strategy for managing healthcare expenses and almost none leverage advanced tactics to cut prescription drug costs. “Because we are in a tight labour market, organizations understand the importance of offering competitive benefit packages,” says Leslie Lemenager, head of Gallagher’s Canadian employee benefit consulting operations. “But today’s workforce encompasses five generations and each wants a benefits package that addresses their own individual set of needs. To win the war for talent while keeping costs sustainable, employers need to look beyond the most expensive options and incorporate data to ensure they offer benefits that are cost-effective, competitive, and appealing to key talent.” Most Canadian employers believe their benefits are competitive, but base that conclusion on perception rather than data. For example, 60 per cent of employers feel their workforce is highly engaged, but only 42 per cent have conducted an engagement survey since 2016. In addition, 32 per cent say they lack any communication strategy, making benefits education or feedback difficult. “Employers cannot afford to offer the same healthcare and retirement packages year after year,” Lemenager says. “Employee demographics are diverse and their needs are changing constantly. Organizations that recognize this, and continue to adjust accordingly, will do a better job of recruiting and retaining top talent.”

Share This:


Knowledge Of TFSA Rules Low

While Canadians are increasingly turning to tax free savings accounts (TFSA) for their savings and investments needs, knowledge of key rules that govern usage of the savings vehicle remains low, says the BMO ‘Annual TFSA Study.’ It reveal that in 2018, 69 per cent of Canadians said they have a TFSA – up from 56 per cent last year. The total amount Canadians hold in their TFSAs is up 23 per cent year over year, at an average of $27,053 in 2018 – up from $22,008 in 2017 and $17,382 in 2016. However, the average amount contributed is slightly down from 2017, coming in at $4,826 this year (down from $4,989 in 2017). As well, gaps in general knowledge of TFSAs are carrying over from 2017 and widening in some cases. The report shows 33 per cent of Canadians are not aware of the maximum contribution amount; 40 per cent do not know that there is a tax penalty for over contribution; and only 11 per cent were able to identify the new $6,000 contribution limit for 2019 correctly, while 66 per cent of respondents did not know that there was a change. Half of Canadians are looking to their TFSA for retirement savings and 39 per cent are leveraging it as an emergency fund.

Share This:


Investors Look Beyond Metrics For ESG

Canadian institutional investors are increasingly looking beyond financial metrics to consider environmental, social, and governance risks (ESG) when evaluating companies they invest in, says the ‘Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Institutional Investors.’ It says 91 per cent of institutional investors in Canada have changed their voting policies and/or engagement policy to be more attentive to ESG risks and 65 per cent have done so within the past year. “This data makes it very clear that issuers can no longer turn a blind eye to environmental and social considerations,” says David Ryan, executive vice-president, corporate and financial communications, at Edelman. “Canadian institutional investors are measuring companies not only on their financial returns, but also on their contribution to social issues that are shaping business and political environments.” The top three social issues that Canadian institutional investors feel companies need to take an urgent public stand on are cybersecurity, globalization, and income inequality. As well, 90 per cent of institutional investors say their firms are more interested in taking an activist approach to investing and 95 per cent will support a reputable activist investor if they believe change is necessary. Yet, a strong majority (90 per cent) of Canadian investors believe that most companies are unprepared for shareholder activism.

Share This:


Canadian ETFs See Inflows

Assets invested in ETFs listed in Canada reached US$121 billion at the end of November, an increase of 1.2 per cent from US$120 billion at the end of October, says ETFGI. Year-to-date, assets have increased by 3.5 per cent from $117 billion at the end of 2017. In November, ETFs listed in Canada saw net inflows of $1.60 billion.

Share This:


Forum Looks At Major Trends

The 10th Annual Alternative Investment Outlook Forum will look at the major trends and important considerations in the alternative investment industry and whether they will continue to play a big role in the future. Speakers at the AIMA Canada and CAIA Canada event are Priti Shokeen, vice-president of MSCI; Jennifer Coulson, vice-president at BCI; and Dr. Stephen Malinak, chief data and analytics officer, Truvalue Labs. It takes place February 12 in Vancouver, BC. For information, visit Alternatives Forum

Share This: