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August 10, 2020


Shopping Centres Impact CDPQ

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) posted an annualized return of 6.3 per cent, representing investment results of $84.7 billion. The annualized return over 10 years is 8.7 per cent. Over six months, a period marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the average return for depositors was -2.3 per cent. CDPQ’s net assets were $333 billion. “In the first half of 2020, the global economy was hit by a crisis that was unprecedented both in its speed and reach. Exceptional central bank monetary policies coupled with historic government assistance programs have prevented the recession from becoming a depression, but there is a growing dichotomy between the real economy and financial markets,” says Charles Emond, president and chief executive officer of CDPQ. “With the pandemic having sharply accelerated trends, especially in technology and retail, our significant exposure to shopping centres and our underweight position in certain Big Tech stocks in equity markets impacted the portfolio’s performance in the first half of the year.”

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Canadian Funds Beat Peers

Canada’s pension funds are beating peers globally in investment performance and are stronger at hedging against liability risks, says research from McGill University and CEM Benchmarking. Their success is partly explained by the fact they are more likely to manage their assets in-house, says their July paper. The findings are based on a study of pensions, endowments, and sovereign wealth funds globally between 2004 and 2018. Large Canadian funds in particular outperformed in all measures of the study, which analyzed returns, asset allocation strategies, and cost structures. “Not only did they generate greater returns for each unit of volatility risk, but they also did a superior job hedging their pension liability risks,” it says. “The ability to deliver both high return performance and insurance against liability risks is notable because hedging is typically perceived as a cost.” While the Canadian model has yet to be fully tested by the Covid-19 pandemic, the research shows the strong performance of the country’s pension plans over the past decades kept them well-funded even as they faced the challenge of falling interest rates and rising life expectancy. U.S. corporate funds, meanwhile, are relatively expensive to run as they outsource a majority of their investments, says the paper. By managing a high proportion of their assets in-house, Canadian funds reduce costs by approximately one third, it says.

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Access To Medicine Needs Collaborative Effort

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) is calling on the federal government to work collaboratively with provincial and territorial governments and Canada’s life and health insurers to support workplace and individual drug plans that currently provide millions of Canadians with comprehensive access to affordable medicines. In its recommendations for the upcoming 2021 Federal Budget, this would include the establishment of a standard list of medicines that all Canadians will be covered for, regardless of whether they are enrolled in a private or public plan. It says private insurers want to work with governments to ensure access across the country not only to this standard list of medicines, but also to high cost medicines. Governments should work together to make sure anyone who needs coverage can get it, while ensuring that out-of-pocket costs are not a barrier. Canadians need to be better able to navigate existing public plans so that they can access the coverage they are entitled to. One approach might be to ensure all Canadians are covered through a plan offered either by an employer or the government.

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UTAM Shortlisted For Stewardship Award

UTAM has been shortlisted for an International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) ‘2020 Global Stewardship Award.’ These awards recognize individuals and organizations for excellence related to investor stewardship policies and practice. UTAM is on the shortlist for an ‘ICGN Global Stewardship Disclosure Award’ in the category of asset owner with less than £60 billion assets under management (AUM). This award is given to investors whose public disclosures provide genuine insight into their stewardship policies and how they have been implemented, and whose approach to transparency and reporting provides a model that others might follow. The awards program is international and UTAM is the only Canadian nominee in its category. It is also, by far, the smallest asset owner of the four nominees; the next smallest is almost four times larger. “This shows that significant achievements in responsible investing are possible even with a smaller AUM, if significant time, attention, and commitment are applied,” says Daren Smith, UTAM’s president and CIO. Award winners will be announced at the ‘ICGN Global Virtual Summit,’ November 4 to 5.

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RI Funds Hold Up

Data provided by Fundata shows that in the second quarter of 2020, as equity markets rebounded from first quarter losses, RI (responsible investment) funds continued to hold up well relative to their conventional fund peers, says the Responsible Investment Association Canada (RIA). A significant majority of Canadian RI funds outperformed their average asset class return in the three-month period, it says, and this follows the strong relative results in the first quarter when 83 per cent of RI funds out-performed their average asset class return in that quarter. Over the one-year period ending June 30, more than 86 per cent of RI funds outperformed their average asset class return. Roughly eight-in-10 of RI funds outperformed their average asset class return over the three- and five-year periods, and more than seven-in-10 outperformed over the 10-year period.

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Hedge Funds Bounce Back

Hedge fund performance bounced back in the second quarter of the year, says Preqin. Following losses of 10.63 per cent in the first quarter, the industry posted its highest gains since 2009, returning 11.48 per cent on average. Launch activity has declined, however, and just 59 new funds were incepted in the second quarter, compared to 182 in the first quarter. While equity and credit strategies still accounted for the largest proportions of these, there was a significant uptick in the proportion of funds launched pursuing event driven and niche strategies, reflecting investors’ appetite for approaches that have proven more resilient during recent turmoil.

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August 7, 2020


CLHIA Wants All Stakeholders Reimbursed

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc. (CLHIA) wants all stakeholders impacted by excessive medication revenues, including plan sponsors (employers) who provide drug benefits plans for their employees, reimbursed equitably. In its submission to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) draft guidelines to support implementation of the amendments made to the Patented Medicines Regulations which will come into force January 1, 2021, it says when determining the maximum non-excessive price for medications, additional factors beyond those that have traditionally been used by public payers need to be considered. For example, a drug might help someone return to work, support productivity, and improve mental health and such factors have traditionally not been given sufficient weight in health technology assessments (HTA). A healthy, productive workforce ultimately benefits the public health system beyond reduction of hospitalizations and these are valid considerations in any HTA assessment methodology. Currently any excess amount is paid to the Receiver General for Canada and returned to provincial and territorial public payers based on a pre-determined formula. However, employers in Canada can incur significant excessive costs as well and they should also share in any reimbursements, says the CLHIA. Accordingly, a re-evaluation of the approach to how excessive revenues are determined through voluntary compliance undertakings, or orders by the PMPRB, and how they are returned by the patentees is needed.

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Pension Accounting Must Keep Pace

A good case can be made for the need for public sector pension accounting standards to keep pace with the changing nature of public sector pension plans, says Robert Siddall former provincial controller for Ontario and CFO for Waterfront Toronto and Metrolinx, in a memo to Canadian public finance officials. Citing a C.D. Howe Institute ‘Commentary,’ he says in the past, most public sector pension plans had defined benefits with one sponsor, who created the plan for a similar group of members. That sponsor determined what benefits were to be provided and unilaterally determined how these benefits would be paid for. “Today, pension practices are not so simple. In some cases, it is hard to identify the sponsor of a pension plan and how to measure risk inherent in these plans given plan flexibility,” he says. Multi-employer pension plans today not only include public sector employers but, in some cases, also include not-for-profit and private sector employers. As well, what was once considered immaterial may now be material. For example, the use of defined contribution accounting for members of a multi-employer defined benefit pension plan may have been an acceptable accounting practice in the past, given that using it was considered immaterial for any one of the employers in the plan. However, the number and circumstances of multi-employer pension plans today, and their impact on employers or the governments that fund these employers’ activities, may now be material to their financial operations. Accounting standards need to continuously evolve to remain relevant to users of financial information and to accurately reflect the state of affairs of the organization under review. This accounting is not necessarily driven by the standards themselves, “but by the fact that we continue to find new and often more complex ways of doing business,” he says.

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Economic Impact Of COVID To Last

Fitch Ratings warns that the economic impact of the COVID-19 recession will be felt for years, as it expects the largest advanced economies will stay three per cent to four per cent below their pre-pandemic trend path by the middle of this decade with a forecast based on an optimistic assumption. Updated gross domestic product (GDP) growth projections through 2025 for the 10 advanced countries covered in its ‘Global Economic Outlook’ are approximately 0.6 percentage points below its previous five-year projections. For example, it cut its forecast for U.S. productive potential growth to 1.4 per cent from 1.9 per cent, lowered the UK’s forecast to 0.9 per cent from 1.6 per cent, and dropped the eurozone’s to 0.7 per cent from 1.2 per cent. However, that’s only if there’s no setback in the fight against COVID-19 and countries aren’t forced to lock down again, which may be unlikely as the number of cases and deaths worldwide continue to climb. In the report, it says “a reasonable base-case working assumption for the purpose of economic analysis is that the health crisis gradually eases over time, with renewed nationwide lockdowns avoided and virus containment sought through more targeted responses.”

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Pension Funds Consider Terminating Managers

Pension funds and other investors are considering terminating relationships with external money managers that delivered disappointing performance in the first half of the year, says a bfinance survey of assets owners including pension funds. Of the pension fund respondents, 20 per cent are either very likely or already in the process of terminating external managers, with disappointing 2020 performance representing a significant contributing factor to that decision. A further 34 per cent are somewhat likely to terminate managers on that basis.

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Active Managers Beat Benchmarks

Active managers of U.S. equity strategies generated an average gain of more than 23 per cent in the second quarter, the largest positive return in 20 years, says eVestment. As a result, the majority of U.S. institutional strategies outperformed their benchmarks. Managers of strategies that invested outside the U.S. did even better. Among managers benchmarked against the EAFE index, for example, 73 per cent outperformed their benchmarks. However, the gains didn’t erase the losses from the first quarter. The average loss of all actively managed U.S. equity strategies for the first half of 2020 was around seven per cent. Strategies investing in growth stocks outperformed value all over the world. In the second quarter, the median growth manager across global, EAFE (Europe, Asia, Far East), emerging markets, and international stocks beat value managers by an even wider spread than they did in the first quarter, when value managers posted some of their worst returns ever. Yet, a bigger proportion of value managers outperformed their benchmarks than growth managers. Year-to-date, 67 per cent of large-cap value managers have outperformed their benchmarks compared to 45 per cent of large-cap growth managers.

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myHSA Expands Virtual Access

myHSA, a digital benefits solutions provider, has entered into an agreement with EQ Care, a Canadian  virtual healthcare provider, to expand access to telemedicine within its curated ‘Benefits Bucket’ suite. Over 50,000 Canadian families enrolled in the myHSA employee benefits program now have access to enrol in EQ Care’s virtual healthcare services, 24/7and in both official languages. With all organizations facing serious decisions on resource allocation, including employee benefits plans, myHSA allows benefits managers the flexibility to customize solutions for each workplace, including adjusting plan bundles, increasing investments in human resources, and prioritizing more critical services like emergency medical care.

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Ontario Teachers’ Invest In Fortnite Operator

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board is an investment partner in a round of fundraising for Epic Games. Following the closing of the funding round, Epic will continue to have only a single class of common stock outstanding and will remain controlled by its founder and CEO, Tim Sweeney. Founded in 1991, Epic Games is an interactive entertainment company and provider of 3D engine technology. It operates Fortnite, one of the world’s largest games with over 350 million accounts and 2.5 billion friend connections.

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Cleyn Joins T. Rowe Price

Samantha Cleyn (CFA, MBA) is vice-president and head of eastern Canada at T. Rowe Price. Most recently, she was a senior investment consultant in Mercer’s wealth business in Montreal, QC, a firm she joined in 2016 from Pavilion Advisory Group where she was research consultant and research team lead.

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August 6, 2020


Canadians Afraid To Return To Work

More than half (54 per cent) of Canadians are afraid to return to the workplace given just how contagious the COVID-19 virus is and six in 10 will refuse to go back if they feel it’s not safe enough, says a KPMG poll. Still, 82 per cent trust their employer to take and maintain all the necessary health and safety precautions. Virtually all Canadians (94 per cent) believe the pandemic is far from over and 83 per cent say they’re worried about catching the virus or transmitting it to their loved ones. But, as long as the number of COVID cases remains relatively low, as many as 72 per cent of Canadians would be okay going back to their physical workplace, although they believe there will be a second wave of infections in the fall or winter that will shut down workplaces all over again. The poll findings show that most Canadians (76 per cent) are satisfied with their work-from-home environment and almost six in 10 say they feel more productive.  However, they do feel their relationships with co-workers are suffering.

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Governance Focus More Vital

It’s more vital than ever for investment committees to focus on governance to improve the odds of achieving desired outcomes, says research from Willis Towers Watson’s Thinking Ahead Institute. ‘Going from good to great’ sets out best-practices for investment committees to follow to retain a strategic focus, establish disciplined oversight, and create a strong culture. For organizations with greater resources, the institute suggests adopting a total portfolio approach, which is used to “introduce more dynamism” into committees. Such an approach starts with identifying investment goals and creates competition for capital among all investment opportunities, rather than filling asset class buckets. “Large asset owners are using advanced best-practice governance to unlock the complexities of modern investment, notably when dealing with ESG (environment, social, and governance) considerations and employing TPAs (third party administrators) helps the integrated thinking required,” says Roger Urwin, co-founder of the Thinking Ahead Institute. “We believe that the (COVID-19) crisis will accelerate the adoption of TPA and, in time, it will become one of the defining innovations of this period.”

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Mental Health Index Stays Negative

A consistent negative mental health score in Canada was reported for the fourth consecutive month, says Morneau Shepell’s ‘Mental Health Index.’ The findings show that the ongoing impact of COVID-19, coupled with the increased awareness and societal response to anti-Black racism, continue to affect the mental health of Canadians. This month’s overall score of -10 is one point higher than the score last month. “While many businesses, amenities and public spaces have reopened and a slight sense of normalcy has started to emerge across the country,” says Stephen Liptrap, its president and chief executive officer, “improving mental wellbeing takes time. In addition to restarting the Canadian economy, it’s critical that organizations and governments continue to be vigilant in providing mental health support.” The index found that overall, nearly 70 per cent of individuals believe that racism is a problem in Canada. Twenty per cent believe that racism is a problem in their workplace. When comparing results by race, 62 per cent of individuals who identified as Black agreed or strongly agreed that racism is a problem in their workforce, compared to 14 per cent of individuals who identified as White. Respondents who identified as Black showed a 1.8-point decrease in their mental health index score between May and June and a 0.9-point increase to -17.7 in July. Those who identified as White showed consistent improvement without the same decline in June, with a 1.2-point increase between May and June and a 1.8-point increase in July. These results demonstrate that the most intense period of awareness and response to anti-Black racism corresponded with decline in mental health scores among Black Canadians. As the conversation on systemic racism continues, the mental health score of Black Canadians is showing improvement.

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Hedge Funds Seen As Safe Haven

Institutional investors preparing for a continued economic downturn in the second half of the year are turning to hedge funds for safe haven, says Bloomberg Mandates. Its survey found about half of asset allocators have increased investments in hedge funds or are planning to this year. Part of the growing interest in the asset class is more market volatility. While the stock market enjoyed a record 20 per cent surge in the second quarter, investors are leery that an uptick in coronavirus cases or a continued social unrest, as well as the upcoming U.S. elections, may lead to a downturn. In fact, 94 per cent of investors are sure the global economy will contract by the end of the year. About half believe it could shrink by 10 per cent to 20 per cent.

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Chinese ETF Assets Rise

China’s exchange-traded fund (ETF) assets under management (AUM), excluding those of money market ETFs, rose by 14.7 per cent to US$93.6 billion in the January to May 2020 period, says Preqin. This was the fastest among Asia ex-Japan markets and, due to continued demand for passive investments, was led by technology-related ETFs. ETFs in China performed strongly in 2019, with AUM increasing by 49.7 per cent to US$81.6 billion. Growth could be further boosted by the investment advisory pilot scheme launched in October 2019, given that they are low-cost and effective investments for such a model. Total ETF AUM across Asia ex-Japan fell by 0.8 per cent in the first five months of the year, amid volatile market conditions triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, the region’s ETF AUM increased 48.9 per cent, led by Taiwan, India, and China.

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benefitsConnect Purchases Strategic Benefits

benefitsConnect has purchased Strategic Benefits & Insurance Service Ltd., headquartered in Kingston, ON. A soft launch has been ongoing since February 1. The acquisition will enhance the value of services offered to its Kingston and surrounding area clients through technology, value added services, advice, and innovation in the employee benefits marketplace.

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Blanchard Heads CDPQ Global

Marc-André Blanchard is executive vice-president at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and head of CDPQ Global. In this new role, he will have direct responsibility for its three main regional hubs outside of Canada: United States/Latin America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific. He is a lawyer and since 2016 has served as ambassador and permanent representative of Canada to the United Nations in New York. From 2010 to 2016, he was chairman and chief executive officer of McCarthy Tétrault.

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August 5, 2020


GLC Sold To Mackenzie

Great-West Lifeco Inc. (Lifeco) is selling its Canadian subsidiary, GLC Asset Management Group Ltd. (GLC), to Mackenzie Financial Corporation. The Canada Life Assurance Company (Canada Life) is also in the process of establishing its own fund management company, Canada Life Investment Management Limited (CLIML) and it is expected to commence operations in the fourth quarter of 2020. CLIML will assume fund management responsibilities for the Quadrus group of funds and other Canada Life branded investment funds in 2021. “Last year, we brought together our three companies as one under the Canada Life brand, positioning us for future growth and to better enable us to continue to meet the needs of our customers and advisors,” says Jeff Macoun, president and chief operating officer, Canada, Canada Life. “This transaction is an important strategic step as we continue to enhance and evolve our wealth business. ” Canada Life’s Canadian investment subsidiary, GWL Realty Advisors Inc., is not included in this transaction.

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Asset Owners Consider Offloading Parts Of Portfolios

The volatility and disruption brought by the COVID-19 pandemic may cause more asset owners to consider offloading at least parts of their portfolios, says research from Cerulli Associates. It found outsourced-CIO (chief investment officer) services were seen as one of the most likely beneficiaries, with 67 per cent anticipating an increase in RFP (request for proposal) volume for OCIO mandates. Similarly, 72 per cent predicted increased demand for multi-asset class products, while 56 per cent expected to see more RFPs for liability-driven investment strategies, which have been popular with corporate plan sponsors as a way to manage pension risk. All three types of strategies give asset managers more discretion over asset allocation decisions. “The demand for these services was increasing prior to the outbreak of COVID-19; however, it is no surprise that a challenging market environment has likely caused more institutions to consider solutions that offer asset allocation services,” says its report.

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Furloughed Workers Return By First Quarter

A majority of North American employers expect that most of their furloughed workers will return to work by the first quarter of 2021, says a Willis Towers Watson survey. However, relatively few employers expect this to be the case for laid-off employees. It says 55 per cent expect most (at least three out of four) of their furloughed employees to be back at work by the first quarter of next year; however, just one in six expect to rehire most of their laid-off workers by then. “One of the myriad of challenges employers face as they begin to restore stability in a post-COVID-19 era is deciding which employees to bring back to work and when,” says Ravin Jesuthasan, managing director, Willis Towers Watson. “While those decisions will ultimately depend on public health and economic recovery, employers will also need to adapt to having a larger percentage of remote workers, and this will fundamentally change their culture.”

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Fixed Income Needs More Innovation In ESG ETFs

Over 80 per cent of professional investors want to see more innovation in fixed income ESG ETFs, says a survey by Tabula Investment Management. While it found that 96 per cent of investors are already using ESG ETFs in fixed income specifically, the vast majority of respondents want to see more innovation, broader coverage of exposures, and more transparency around the effect of the fund’s approach. The research also shows that professional investors look for exclusion of the most harmful companies in ESG ETFs.

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Returns Reverse From First Quarter

The median return of the BNY Mellon Canadian Master Trust Universe was +9.23 per cent for the second quarter of 2020, marking a reversal in investment returns from the first quarter of 2020. The one-year median return as of June 30 was +5.1 per cent, while the median 10-year annualized return was +8.57 per cent. “Despite ongoing pandemic concerns, public markets rebounded with significant positive returns in the second quarter,” says Catherine Thrasher, head of strategic client solutions and global risk solutions at CIBC Mellon and BNY Mellon. “Canadian plan sponsors benefitted with positive performance results, led by equities from all regions.”

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Sustainable Finance Holds Up

Sustainable finance continues to hold up relatively well in the face of the economic damage inflicted by the COVID-19 outbreak, says data from Refinitiv. Its report indicates that nearly US$200 billion worth of sustainable bonds was issued in the first half of 2020, with the bulk of that (US$130.9 billion worth) coming thanks to a second quarter surge in issuance activity. “Social bond issuance accelerated during the second quarter, driven by an increase in capital raising by sovereigns, multilaterals, and banks for COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts,” it says. This represented the strongest quarter on record for sustainable bonds, although this data only goes back to 2015. On the strength of the strong second quarter, issuance was up by 47 per cent in the first half, compared with the same period a year ago.

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Virtual Care Offered To Members

Manitoba Blue Cross members with individually purchased health coverage can now enjoy access to virtual healthcare free of charge, 24/7, via EQ Care, a service that complements their existing coverage options. Through EQ Care, members gain digital access to a care manager, physicians, referrals to specialists, and more. This offering is in response to growing demand for online health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Ontario Teachers’ Buys Stake in Healthscope

Healthscope will sell its New Zealand pathology business, Asia Pacific Healthcare Group (APHG), to the NZ Super Fund and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers’) who will each take a 50 per cent stake. APHG provides pathology services to 75 per cent of New Zealand’s population with a network of 25 laboratories and 150 collection centres. It has been heavily involved in providing testing as part of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19.

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Jobin Has New Role

Éric Jobin is executive vice-president, group benefits and retirement solutions, at iA Financial Group. He began his career at the company in 1999 in corporate actuarial services. Since then, he has risen through the ranks becoming vice-president of corporate actuarial services in 2015 and vice-president, actuarial and finance of group benefits and retirement solutions, in 2017.

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August 4, 2020


Pandemic Changes Market Outlooks

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the future outlook for various areas of the market, says Naomi Denning, a principal, investment consulting at Eckler. Speaking at its ‘The new normal: Considerations for benefit plan sponsors,’ she said while this is still fluid and unclear, there are implications that should be considered as investors adapt to the post-pandemic environment. One is the potential for lower rates of return moving forward. Prior to the market downturn, return expectations were already being lowered by investors due to expectations of slow long-term economic growth. Long-term macro trends are unlikely to improve so investors can anticipate this downturn trend to continue. However, some new strategies could outperform the broad equity market. Healthcare and IT are two sectors that have been identified as having above average prospects coming out of the crisis. There are also implications for private market investments, given the lag in valuations for illiquid asset classes. The impact will likely not be fully known until later this year or well beyond, but looking at the 2008 financial crisis, infrastructure assets tended to bounce back quickly while real estate took some time to rebound. If inflation emerges in the next few years, some strategists are predicting that certain real estate and infrastructure assets will provide protection against this. Finally, it’s unlikely interest rates will rise in the near term given the fragility of the economy. GDP growth is expected to slow as consumers remain cautious. Some are even discussing the possibility of negative interest rates and stagflation. This low interest rate environment presents significant challenges for core fixed income so it may be beneficial to consider alternative fixed income strategies such as core plus bonds and private debt that target higher returns than the broad fixed income market.

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ESG Momentum Growing

Momentum behind ESG (environment, social, and governance) investing has grown since the COVID-19 pandemic, says a survey of global institutional investors by CoreData Research. It found investors, including pension funds, endowments and foundations, sovereign wealth funds, and banks, were adopting more sophisticated and fully integrated strategies with 51 per cent of the global institutional investors now fully integrating ESG into their investment approaches, up from 36 per cent in the final quarter of 2019. North American investors lagged behind others in embedding ESG into the investment process, with 36 per cent using full ESG integration and 30 per cent incorporating active ownership. The highest percentage was among Asian investors, where 69 per cent use full integration and 61 per cent use active ownership. Active ownership strategies to engage companies on ESG more than doubled since the end of 2019, rising to 41 per cent from 19 per cent overall.

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Failure To Embrace Digital Marketing Loses Clients

Financial advisors who are not fully embracing digital marketing in 2020 are at risk of losing clients and unable to take advantage of the surge in investors looking for advice during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and massive market volatility, says ‘AdvisorStream: State of Advisor Communications’ research. The research found over half of advisors in the U.S. and Canada say their primary concern is client retention. However, they are still struggling with a lack of digital marketing expertise or don’t know how to maximize marketing tools. Conversely, advisors using effective digital marketing saw a 40 per cent growth in their leads compared to the pre-pandemic period. Among all advisors, 48 per cent are worried about losing clients in 2020. As well, securing new referral business (52 per cent) and standing out among the competition (49 per cent) during pandemic times are the top challenges currently facing digitally challenged financial advisors.

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Global Real Estate Market Increases

The size of the professionally managed global real estate investment market increased from $8.9 trillion in 2018 to $9.6 trillion in 2019, says the ‘MSCI Market Size Report for 2019/20.’ Currency movements had a marginal impact compared to 2018 figures. They impacted the size of the global real estate investment market by approximately +0.1 per cent in U.S. dollars, in contrast to the negative impact in 2018 (-2.6 per cent). Asset value growth and transaction activity of already existing portfolios, newly identified portfolios, and new developments in the market, such as new construction and sale and leaseback transactions, also contributed to the growth in market size. China continues to be the fourth-largest market for the second consecutive year behind United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom having overtaken Germany in 2018.

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Heagle Joins Manulife

Lauren Heagle is implementation manager, client relations, at Manulife. Most recently, she was a client service manager at People Corporation.

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