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May 8, 2018


Money Stresses Canadians Most

Canadians ranked money as their greatest stress ‒ more than personal health, work, and relationships, says the ‘Financial Stress’ survey commissioned by the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC). The survey, a follow-up to a similar FPSC study in 2014, found Canadians report suffering emotional stress resulting from their financial situation even more than in 2014. Four-in-10 (41 per cent) rank money as their greatest stress and more than half of Canadians (51 per cent) are embarrassed about lacking control over their financial situation, a sizeable increase from 44 per cent in 2014. Younger Canadians and those earning less than $80,000 per year are significantly more likely to be embarrassed about lacking control over their financial situation.

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Manager Profitability Threatened

Asset managers should brace for threats to profitability by making aggressive moves such as acquisitions, says the Boston Consulting Group. While last year’s profits were “exceptionally good” for managers, it says the bull market is providing only a temporary reprieve from the pressures facing the asset management industry. Rising revenues and assets resulted in industry-wide profit margins of 38 per cent last year, a slight uptick from 2016. However, by 2021, it expects profit margins to revert to their downward trajectory, potentially falling to as low as 27 per cent in the event of a severe market correction. Underlying trends that are putting pressure on their margins include declining income from fees and revenue pressures such as the costs of investing in new technology and complying with new regulations. The downward pressure on fee income continued in 2017, with fees dropping by about 0.4 basis points. Fees as a percentage of assets under management have declined by about three per cent annually for the last three years. While the shift to cheaper passive strategies is often blamed for declining fee income, this has been largely offset by money flowing to high fee alternatives and ‘solutions’ products. Pressure on fees is primarily due to competition among asset managers for the business of the largest institutional investors and retail distributors who have a lot of bargaining power.

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Investors Shift From Canadian ETFs

Canadian investors shifted their assets away from Canadian equity ETFs in April and moved toward U.S. and international equity ETFs, says a National Bank Financial Ltd.’s (NBF) monthly report on Canadian ETF flows. Canadian ETFs had an inflow of $706 million in April, bringing assets under management (AUM) to a new total of $153 billion. Canadian equity funds had outflows of $391 million during the month. In contrast, U.S. equity funds had inflows of $432 million in AUM and international equity funds attracted $239 million in AUM. International equity ETFs were led by index-tracking passive products for the emerging market, Europe, Australasia, and Far East regions. Fixed income funds attracted $130 million in AUM in April as investors shifted out of high-yield and investment-grade bond funds and into government bond ETFs.

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Investors Prefer Higher-risk Strategies

The proportion of investors with a preference for higher-risk strategies such as special situations and distressed debt vehicles has increased from the first of quarter of 2017 to 2018, with the largest share (52 per cent) of investors now showing a preference for distressed debt, says the Preqin ‘Quarterly Private Debt Update: Q1 2018.’ This shift comes at a time in which a rising proportion of private debt investors feel that a market correction is imminent and when half of investors believe equity markets are hitting the peak of the cycle. Nonetheless, there were now more than 3,200 investors active in the private debt universe as of the end of the first quarter, an increase of 100 from the end of 2017. Appetite for investments in Europe has particularly seen an uptick over the past 12 months: 60 per cent of private debt investors are seeking opportunities in the region now compared to 41 per cent in the same quarter in 2017. Distressed debt was the most-preferred strategy for over half (52 per cent) of investors in the first three months of this year.

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Gibson Becomes CFO

Edward Gibson (FSA, FCIA) is chief financial officer at the Empire Life Insurance Company. He became its senior vice-president and chief actuary in June 2008. Throughout his 30-year tenure with the company, he has overseen finance, strategy, actuarial, and risk management functions.

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Benefits Fraud Examined

The CPBI Southern Alberta Region will examine ‘Benefits Fraud Management – Proactive Investigations and Plan Design.’ Steve Richardson, supervisor – benefits management and investigation services at Green Shield Canada, will share innovative ways to obtain and analyze benefits fraud information, the role of AI in proactively seeking fraud and abuse in the industry, and how people, such as field operations staff, impact fraud investigations. He will also offer suggestions for plan design to limit fraud. It takes place June 21 in Calgary, AB. For information, visit Benefits Fraud

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May 7, 2018


Financial Wellness Can Mend Gap

Canadian employers concerned about employees’ financial wellness can work to mend the retirement savings gap, says a Mercer ‘Our Thinking.’ One place to start is by having a better understanding and management of defined benefit plan risks. Better understanding of DB plan risks will lead to better management of these risks. As well, employees and plan members shouldn’t view financial wellness as a chore. Instead employers need to build trust and excitement so that it is seen as a simple but meaningful exercise that can help employees and plan members achieve their goals. A great place to start is with a financial education program to boost employees’ financial confidence and financial acumen with which to make the decisions before them. Employers and plan sponsors have also said that getting the highest returns on their plan investments would provide the biggest positive impact to their business. However, when asked about how they intended to do this, they struggled with how they would achieve this. When it comes to financial wellness, 59 per cent of Canadian employers feel it’s critical to help their employees better understand and appreciate benefit programs.

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Median Return Positive

The median return of the BNY Mellon ‘Canadian Master Trust Universe,’ a BNY Mellon Global Risk Solutions fund-level tracking service, was 0.37 per cent for the first quarter of 2018, marking the eighth straight quarter of positive results. The one-year return of 6.88 per cent was in line with the universe’s 10-year annualized return of 6.99 per cent and also marks the eighth consecutive quarter of positive one-year performance. The top performing asset classes in the first quarter were U.S. equities and non-Canadian equities with median returns of 2.38 per cent and 2.37 per cent respectively. The weakest performing asset class in the first quarter was Canadian equities which was down 2.98 per cent.

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Canada Remains Out Of Favour

One thing didn’t change in the last quarter is that Canada is out of favour, says a PenderFundManager’s Quarterly Commentary.’ ‘Increased Volatility and Continued Underperformance by Canadian Indices’ showed Canadian indices continued their lacklustre performance. What did change in the quarter was a dramatic spike in volatility and market turbulence. As a result, most major indexes are now down year-to-date in North America. However, this volatility gave fund managers a chance to deploy capital to small cap companies as these businesses tend to have characteristics that can drive long-term returns. They feature scalable business models with big markets that are in the early innings to allow for a long compounding period.

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Aviva Moving Into U.S.

London, UK-based Aviva Investors is hoping to extend the success of its UK, European, and, most recently, Canadian operations to the U.S. as well. It hopes to carve out a U.S. business focused on its multi-asset and fixed income capabilities, along with potential expansion into illiquid debt investments like infrastructure and real estate that already are popular with its UK and European clients.

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Alignvest Partners With INTEGRIS

Alignvest has partnered with INTEGRIS to offer a personal pension plan solution. The plan targets higher returns yet lower stock market exposure and less sensitivity to rising interest rates compared to conventional stock and bond portfolios. It gives investors the ability to invest their capital alongside some of the most sophisticated and diversified institutional investors in the country. It introduces diversification through the addition of differentiated and uncorrelated investment strategies sourced from around the world.

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Nunes Has New Position

Ana (Cacoilo) Nunes is senior vice-president, plan risk, at OMERS. She joined OMERS in 2007 as plan actuary. Since then she has held several position including president of OMERS Investment Management and, most recently, senior vice-president, pension services. She is also a member of the Benefits and Pensions Monitor Editorial Advisory Board.

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Session Looks At Financial Wellness

Marijuana and financial wellness will be among the topics at CPBI Ontario ‒ Ottawa Chapter ‘Spring 2018 Seminar.’ Christine Than, a senior drug solutions consultant at Aon Hewitt, will examine marijuana from a pharmacist’s perspective. Lindsay Bell, a senior health management consultant, wellness and disability, at Manulife Financial, will discuss how employees are struggling with debt which is impacting their financial wellness. It takes place June 5 in Ottawa, ON. For information, visit Spring Seminar

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May 4, 2018


Public Option Could Provide Access To Dental Care

Lack of access to even urgent dental care for many people with low income, seniors, and others is a problem that could be solved with a ‘public option’ for dental insurance, says a report by the C.D. Howe Institute. In ‘Filling the Cavities: Improving the Efficiency and Equity of Canada’s Dental Care System,’ the Conference Board authors ‒ Åke Blomqvist and Frances Woolley ‒ argue that provincial governments should strengthen and expand existing public dental programs and start moving toward some form of universal dental insurance, perhaps through a mixed system where people can choose between a public plan and private coverage. “Many Canadians today, including most of the working poor and the retired, are covered neither by government programs nor by private insurance. Lack of coverage is likely to worsen in the next decade as the baby boom generation retires and loses insurance coverage, and as more Canadians work in the gig economy where insurance benefits are rare,” says Blomqvist. Poor oral health may lead to substantial reductions in quality of life, disadvantage workers in the labour market, and is responsible for a significant amount of costly visits to emergency rooms and primary-care physicians. There is even research to suggest that lack of access to dental care may be linked to heart disease, strokes, and certain forms of cancer. Ensuring that all members of the community have access to urgently needed healthcare is a central objective of Canadian social policy. In other countries with universal health insurance plans such as France and the UK, these plans include dental coverage.

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Solvency At Post-recession High

As a sell-off in bonds pushed up yields amid a resurgence in commodities, Aon’s median solvency ratio for Canadian defined benefit pension plans rose to 101.7 per cent in April, setting a new post-recession high. Of surveyed plans, 54.4 per cent were more than fully funded as of May 1, compared to 45.8 per cent from the previous month. Gross pension assets rose by 0.6 per cent as Canadian stocks led all equity classes, with a 1.8 per cent return. U.S. and emerging markets declined on the month, by 0.2 per cent and one per cent, respectively. As bond yields rose (Canada benchmark 10-year: +21 bps; Canada benchmark Long-Term: +17 bps) to April 30, fixed income markets were down, with the FTSE TMX Universe index declining by 0.9 per cent and the FTSE TMX Long Term Bond index declining by two per cent. “The yield surge in April had something to do with the trend line for monetary policy, but a lot to do with higher commodity prices and the rising expectations of follow-on inflation,” says Ian Struthers, a partner and investment consulting practice director for Aon in Canada. However, “Trade-related worries still loom large for the Canadian economy and markets and the continuing rising rate environment is going to complicate the landscape and raises concerns about the durability of global economic expansion.” With pension solvency exceptionally strong, plan sponsors should continue to look for ways to lock in gains and mitigate risk going forward.

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Investors See Benefits Of Options

Although U.S. pension funds are looking to address a serious funding crisis through allocations to alternative investments such as private equity and illiquid credit, many funds are overlooking another tool that improves risk-adjusted investment returns and helps restore funding levels: exchange-listed options. Virtually all the institutional investors participating in a study from Greenwich Associates ‒ ‘How Institutional Investors Use and Think About Exchange-Listed Options’ ‒ acknowledge the potential benefits of options with only four per cent doubting that options can improve the risk-adjusted return profile of a fund or investment portfolio. However, only 17 per cent of the pension funds participating in the study invest in OTC options and only 46 per cent invest in exchange-listed options. “Although utilizing options to enhance investment returns is hardly a new concept, the pension community has yet to widely embrace a variety of well-proven options strategies that could improve returns while still minimizing risk,” says Richard Johnson, vice-president of market structure and technology at Greenwich and author of the report. Listed options are considered superior to OTC options across multiple factors, including real-time price discovery, greater transparency, lower regulatory complexity, and reduced counterparty risk. Across all types of institutions, 81 per cent of current exchange-listed options investors are pleased with the performance versus major benchmarks. For these reasons, some pension funds have already started using exchange-listed options to help them decrease portfolio volatility, increase yields, and implement portfolio protection.

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Employees Benefit From Vacations

With the goal of allowing businesses the opportunity to attract the best and brightest of employees, Stafits has come up with a wellness benefit ‒ vacation plans. The program works by giving employees contributions to their travel plan on a monthly basis. Employer involvement is kept to a minimum as Stafits takes care of all the details, even to the point of helping employees arrange their vacations. “What do all employees crave more than anything? A vacation, of course!” says Gil Koren, its founder. “Here’s a solution that will recharge and relax, help relieve stress, reduce burnout, improve morale, and increase productivity. Studies have shown that when employees choose to take advantage of wellness benefits, improvements in mental, physical, and financial health are noted and traditional healthcare costs are lowered.”

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Half Of Indices Increase

Twenty-three of the 47 Morningstar Canada Fund Indices increased during April, with nine increasing by more than one per cent. Funds in the energy equity category were the top performers once again as the energy equity fund index followed up its 3.1 per cent increase in March with a 10.6 per cent surge in April, ranking first among the fund indices. Funds in this category have been greatly helped by a resurgence in the price of crude oil, which went from a low near US$60 in early March to nearly US$69 by the end of April. After starting 2018 with three consecutive months in the red, diversified Canadian equity funds produced positive results in April, helped by their large allocations to the energy sector. The worst-performing equity fund category was emerging markets equity with a two per cent decrease. Much of the decline was due to currency effects as stock markets in Latin America and most of Asia had positive results.

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PSP Acquires Bombardier Property

The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP) is acquiring Bombardier Inc. Downsview airport property in Toronto, ON. Located in the North York district of Toronto, Downsview spans approximately 370 acres. It is surrounded by research and innovation centres and benefits from proximity and connectivity to public transportation and highways. Bombardier has owned and operated the site since the early 1990s, using it to manufacture and test its global series and Q400 aircrafts. Under the terms of the agreement, Bombardier will operate from Downsview for a period of up to three years with two optional one-year extension periods.

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Troy Offering Advisory Services

Terri Troy (CFA), an investment management professional, has founded Troy Advisory Services. Previously, she was chief executive officer and chief investment officer for the HRM Pension Plan. She joined the plan in 2006 from the Royal Bank of Canada where she was director of pension investment for its global pension plans for close to six years.

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Cryptocurrencies Discussed

The Economic Club of Canada will examine ‘Cryptocurrencies: Balancing Regulation & Innovation in a Booming Market.’ A panel of Som Seif, president and CEO of Purpose Investments, and Pat Chaukos, deputy director of OSC LaunchPad, will look at whether enough is being done to protect investors and the right path forward for cryptocurrencies. It takes place May 16 in Toronto, ON. For information, visit Cryptocurrency Challenges

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May 3, 2018


AI Limited By Lack Of Data

Markets are a social science, not a classical science which will limit the use of AI (artificial intelligence) in stock selection, says Kim Shannon, president and co-chief investment officer at Sionna Investment Managers. Speaking at its ‘2018 Market Review,’ she said algorithms work best with millions and billions of data which can be categorized into repetitive measurable activities. But financial market history is limited and there just isn’t enough of it to teach algorithms to take views on a stock for a day or a week. There are just 21 AI funds that have been around for five or more years, she said. These funds as a group have underperformed the S&P 500 by 30 per cent during that time. She suggested that in time, however, AI will be an additional resource in the tool belt of active managers.

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Collaboration Needed To Fight Cybercrime

Asset managers should increase collaboration across the industry to improve its resilience to cybercrime, says the Investment Association. The UK asset management trade body has launched a cybersecurity committee to assist asset management firms and work with them as well as regulators and public authorities to develop cybersecurity industry guidance. Creating a forum dedicated to collaboration would help asset managers in several ways, it says in a joint report with KMPG. Firms could share “threat intelligence” and best practice guidance, collaborate to collectively train staff on cybersecurity, invest in new technologies as a consortium, and share specialized resources. A forum for collaboration would also increase the industry’s lobbying and influencing powers over key third parties such as market data providers, stock exchanges, or custodian banks. It is working to produce a “tailored threat intelligence information sharing platform” to facilitate collaboration across the industry. Asset management companies are increasingly likely to be targets of cyberattacks given the significant value of assets under management, but they are generally less well prepared than banks and insurers, says the report.

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U.S. Plans Retain Risk

Faced with the dual goals of closing funding shortfalls and reducing pension plan risk, U.S. corporate pension plan sponsors have chosen to retain much of the risk and to let funded status guide their de-risking programs, says CEM Benchmarking. Its report says while few plan sponsors would want to return to the dark days of late 2008 and early 2009, the analysis suggests that subsequent years have brought their own challenges for pension plans. Equity prices have strongly recovered, benefiting funded status, but pension plan sponsors have faced periods of unprecedented volatility, a prolonged slowdown in global growth, and historically low interest rates. These factors have negated gains in equity asset prices and left many pension plans still far shy of a fully funded status. As a result, since the financial crisis, the predominant investment theme amongst U.S. corporate plan sponsors has been risk reduction, both on an asset only basis and also more importantly with reference to their liabilities. To do so, they have greatly increased their allocations to fixed income securities and reduced their exposure to public equities. Sponsors are also holding back de-risking strategies while in a deficit. It says one investment concept that has gained prominence as a result, is the de-risking glide path, a formulaic evolution of a plan’s strategic asset allocation that gradually reduces risk as either funded status improves, interest rates increase or both.

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Current Situation For Active Not New

The current situation for active managers is nothing new, says Kim Shannon, president and co-chief investment officer of Sionna Investment Managers. In its ‘2018 Market Review,’ she said there have been a number of occasions when active managers have underperformed, most recently in 2000. However, this is the first time when some are saying that active management is unable to survive. Yet, a shift back to normal is taking place and normal market behaviour is occurring. Typically, when fewer than 15 per cent of active funds underperform, a recovery to more than 50 per cent follows. In the last two quarters, including the last quarter which was very noisy, 48 per cent were able to outperform, she said. If anything, the current market reinforces the importance of taking a long-term approach. Long run valuation explains more than 80 per cent of return which emphasizes the importance of fundamentals. Long-term investing adds value, she said, and investing is based fundamentally in the long run. It is emotional in the short term.

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Commodities Worth Consideration

Investors should reconsider commodities as the sector shows signs of a marked resurgence after years in the doldrums, says bfinance. “After a decade of poor performance, many commentators delivered a more bullish outlook for commodities during the first quarter,” it says in a report. “Such predictions are buoyed by global economic growth and some helpful market dynamics.” While, the core tenets for allocation to commodities – inflation protection and diversification –still hold true, market participants have cited a long-term turning point in the decorrelation between commodities and equities in early 2017. The two markets appeared to be more positively associated through the last year. With potentially weaker diversification characteristics, investors with passive commodity exposure may be more inclined to consider an active approach, it says.”

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Investors Take Hard Look At Allocations

The continued pressure on plan sponsors to close funding gaps while managing risk is forcing U.S. institutional investors to take a hard look at their portfolio allocations, says Greenwich Associates. And U.S. investment consultants are using this opportunity to cement their strong client relationships with advice on how to structure and implement new strategies and allocation models. Firms that were once viewed almost exclusively as a resource for manager due diligence and selection now are routinely expected to provide advice and support to institutions on asset allocation, investment strategy, and a host of other issues. “Institutions’ need for ideas and solutions and new competition for advisory relationships from sophisticated asset managers are forcing investment consultants to up their game,” says Davis Walmsley, its managing director. 

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Aviva Launches Core Funds

Aviva Investors has launched Canadian core and core plus fixed income pooled funds. The funds are designed to help institutional investors achieve portfolio resilience from 2018 onwards through a holistic portfolio construction process that aims to keep portfolio risks and volatility contained to protect capital. The core plus fund also extracts additional value from a global opportunity set. The core fund implements its fixed income core strategy which was launched in 2009. The core plus fund implements the core plus strategy which was launched in 2012.

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Investors Group Adds T. Rowe Price

Investors Group’s partner relationship has expanded to include T. Rowe Price (Canada), Inc. as a sub-advisor. T. Rowe Price will provide investment advisory services for the IG T. Rowe Price U.S. Large Cap Equity Fund/Class.

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Amato Joins Rise People

Joe Amato is vice president of sales at Rise People, a digital HR, payroll, group benefits, and retirement savings software platform. He was formerly director of sales, Western Canada, at ADP. In this role, he will be responsible for all direct and channel sales, applying his experience to grow customer accounts and advisor partner relationships as part of its national partner program.

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ESG Integration On Agenda

Alison Schneider, director of responsible investment at AIMCo; Jane Ambachtsheer, a partner and chair for responsible investment at ‎Mercer; and Michael Jantzi, chief executive officer at Sustainalytics; will be among the featured speakers at the ‘2018 RIA Conference.’ Schneider will discuss engagement and the UN SDGs while Ambachtsheer will speak on ‘Global Financial Stability: Climate Disclosure to the Rescue?’ Jantzi will deliver a keynote address. Other sessions will examine ESG integration in alternative assets, managing climate risk across asset classes, and innovative disruption and responsible investment. It takes place June 4 and 5 in Toronto. For information, visit RIA Conference

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May 2, 2018


Conduent Selling Buck

Conduent will sell its U.S.-based human resource consulting and actuarial business, formerly known as Buck Consultants, to private equity firm H.I.G. Capital. The deal also includes its human resource consulting and outsourcing businesses in Canada and the UK. This sale is part of its plan to divest from non-core aspects of its business over the course of the year. Conduent will still retain certain proprietary offerings and services connected to its core technology business, including human resources outsourcing, total benefits outsourcing, BenefitWallet, and RightOpt. “With this divestiture, our human resource services business is now built around a diverse set of services supported by a portfolio of digital business platforms,” says Christine Landry, group chief executive, consumer and industrials. Xerox HR Services changed its name to Conduent in January 2017 after formally separating from its parent, Xerox Corp., and becoming an independent company.

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iA Adopts Sustainable Development

iA Financial Group has adopted a sustainable development policy. The company introduced this policy in its ‘2017 Social Responsibility Report,’ now available online. Earlier this year, its board of directors officially adopted a sustainable development policy, thus, clearly expressing the company’s commitment to creating not only economic value, but societal value as well. It has set out seven guidelines. They are to ensure the financial wellbeing of its clients; effectively manage risks; follow high standards of governance; actively contribute to its communities; manage environmental impacts; create a rewarding work environment; and practice responsible sourcing.

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Volatile Markets Offer Opportunity

Volatile market conditions can be a great opportunity for active managers, says Alain Carrier, senior managing director and head of international for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). Speaking in a panel discussion at ‘City Week 2018’ in London, UK, he said while recent market conditions have boosted a passive approach, the winds are shifting. “After years of powerful stimulation, strong global growth conditions could moderate as central banks step back and liquidity becomes tighter,” Carrier says. This shift fits CPPIB’s strategic outlook. “We are extremely long-term investors and the current investment backdrop is neither driving, nor making us question, our decision towards active management,” he says. Pointing to a disconnect between the global economy’s strength and the magnitude of geopolitical, financial, and operational risks faced by organizations, he says a phase is now underway during which central banks will continue tightening monetary policy. Those moves will create uncertainties, because, much like 2008, the current buyout boom is being fueled by cheap debt and ample cash. With global equities trading near their highest P/E levels since before the financial crisis, it behoves investors to approach the coming phase of the market cycle with both discipline and caution, he says.

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Sustainalytics Launches Carbon Risk Ratings

Sustainalytics has launched carbon risk ratings which measure companies’ exposure to and management of material carbon risks. The rating captures a variety of carbon signals in a single, quantitative assessment designed to support investment analysis, decision-making, and reporting. The solution provides insights related to material investment risk that cannot be calculated through the traditional approach of carbon footprinting. The ratings span more than 4,000 publicly-listed companies and encompass 147 sub-industries.

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Index Tracks Entire Curve

As interest rates rise, Canadian fixed income investors are becoming more interested in tracking the entire curve, including the short (zero to one year) segment of the market. To address this growing interest, FTSE Russell is introducing a ‘0+ Universe Bond Index.’ A longstanding design feature of fixed income benchmarks has been to not track securities one year prior to maturity to reflect convergence in their behaviour to money market instruments as they approach maturity as, typically, the longer end of the yield curve is more sensitive to changes in the interest rate. The index series extends coverage of securities through maturity and provides Canadian investors with the tools to measure a segment of the Canada bond market not previously tracked.

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Co-operators Partners For EFAP

Co-operators Life Insurance Company is partnering with Morneau Shepell to introduce ‘Here4You,’ an employee and family assistance program (EFAP). “We recognize that employees have a wide variety of reasons to use an EFAP program, including concerns related to legal, caregiving, finances, physical fitness, and mental health,” says Conor Quinn, vice-president of group benefits at Co-operators Life. ‘Here4You’ will provide its clients with a holistic wellness solution to effectively address their unique needs. In addition to its more comprehensive program offering, Morneau Shepell brings an expanded network of experts and increased accessibility to support services through its digital channels.

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BMO Acquires KGS

BMO Financial Group will acquire KGS-Alpha Capital Markets (KGS), a fixed income broker-dealer specializing in U.S. mortgage (MBS) and asset-backed securities (ABS) in the institutional investor market. Founded in 2010, KGS has built a reputation for providing institutional clients with innovative market-based structuring solutions and first-class client service. It offers idea-driven and market-based structures to help clients manage their portfolios. The acquisition complements BMO Capital Markets’ existing MBS trading business. Upon closing, KGS-Alpha will be rebranded as BMO Capital Markets. 

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Amazon Leases PSP Property

PSP Investments, in partnership with WS Development, has leased 430,000 square feet of office space at the company’s Boston, MA, Seaport development with Amazon. Amazon will occupy all of the office space in the building to be constructed in the Boston Seaport development, a 17-story mixed-use building. The 525,000-square foot building will also contain two levels of retail and will front on Harbor Square park, a 1.5-acre signature park. Construction will start later this year and be completed in 2021. 

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Jarislowsky Acquisition Completed

Scotiabank has completed the acquisition of Jarislowsky, Fraser Limited. The addition of Jarislowsky Fraser brings approximately $40 billion in assets under management to Scotiabank’s Canadian asset management business, making it the thirdlargest Canadian active asset manager with $166 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2017. This acquisition allows it to extend its institutional footprint and further diversify and grow its global wealth management business.

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Burgess Has New Role

Dale Burgess is senior managing director, infrastructure and natural resources, at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’). He will be responsible for overseeing its infrastructure acquisitions and asset management globally, along with its investments in agriculture, oil and gas, timberland, and minerals. He joined Ontario Teachers’ in 1996 and most recently was managing director, Latin America, infrastructure and natural resources.

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Course Examines Investment Basics

The CPBI Quebec Region is offering a basic investment course. It is intended for those who want to better understand the different aspects of investment management. Presenters include Daniel Primeau, of UBS Canada, and Johnny Quigley, of Hillsdale Investment Management. It takes place May 14 and 15 in Quebec City, QC. For information, visit Basic Investment

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May Interest Rate Assumptions

The interest assumptions required to calculate commuted values and marriage breakdown values for an event which occurs in any month up to and including May 2018 are now available at www.an-actual-actuary.com. An Excel spreadsheet on the website contains nine worksheets:

  • Commuted Values ‒ February 2011 CIA
  • Marital Breakdown ‒ CSOP 4300, January 2012
  • Ontario (Bill 133) Prior Rates – Rates for Ontario Marital Breakdown with valuation date prior to January 1, 2012
  • Annuity Proxy for Solvency Calculations for Non-Indexed & Fully-Indexed Pensions
  • Minimum Interest on Employee Required Contributions
  • HISTORICAL Marital Breakdown ‒ CSOP 4300, May 2009 (Now Frozen)
  • HISTORICAL Commuted Values ‒ 2009 Basis (Now Frozen)
  •  HISTORICAL Commuted Values ‒ 2005 Basis (Now Frozen)
  • HISTORICAL Commuted Values ‒ 1993 Basis (Now Frozen)

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