Adequacy Of Federal Plans A Priority
More can and should be done to prioritize coverage and adequacy of federally regulated pension plans, says the ACPM (Association of Canadian Pension Management) ‘Strengthening Canadians’ Retirement Security ‒ Proposals to Support the Sustainability of and Strengthen the Framework for Federally Regulated Private Pension Plans’ paper. Transformational initiatives such as consolidation among defined benefit plans, target benefit plans, and other cost efficient methods of benefit delivery that are not funded and designed around traditional guaranteed annuity purchases as the default outcome on plan termination or member default are needed. VPLAs (variable payment life annuities) are a strong step in that direction and it applauds the government for this initiative. However, DB plan coverage in the private sector has been on a strong decline over the past two decades and it encourages the government to take a renewed look at the bold initiatives undertaken in other jurisdictions, both Canadian and otherwise, aimed at improving pension coverage and benefit adequacy. Regardless of whether the government chooses to take on “big” transformational ideas at this time, ACPM believes it to be core to a strong and sustainable federal pension regime that government initiatives and the supervisory approach of OSFI (Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions) be aligned. For example, OSFI’s discretionary authority regarding the solvency funding methods and assumptions for DB plans should not be used to increase funding to DB plans at a time when the federal government is granting or contemplating solvency funding relief.
Quebec Modernizes Occupational Health And Safety
Quebec’s Bill 59, the act to modernize the occupational health and safety regime, may be an “excellent opportunity to modernize the occupational health and safety regime in terms of both the prevention and rehabilitation of occupational injury and disease,” says Sylvain Lebel, senior vice president, health and productivity solutions, Morneau Shepell. It has issued a report that provides an analysis of the main components of Bill 59 compared to the main provisions of other Canadian workers’ compensation plans (Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba), particularly with respect to safety obligations, return-to-work processes, compensation level, and plan financing. It says that the modernization should maintain the fundamental principles on which the regime has been based ever since it was first introduced.
Unusual Market Cycle Delivered
The unprecedented developments of 2020 delivered one of the most unusual market cycles on record, says HSBC Asset Management’s ‘January 2021 Canada Outlook.’ Despite the worst recession since the Great Depression, equities globally and in Canada posted impressive gains. But the most notable feature of financial markets in 2020 was the speed of market moves and the relentless flow of market-shifting news headlines. Last year witnessed the fastest bear market on record, with global equities losing a third of their value in one month as the global pandemic and lockdown hit. In Canada, the S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped by 37 per cent between February 19 and March 23 ‒ the date the index hit its lowest point during the pandemic. These dramatic declines were followed by the fastest recovery ever, when global equities regained their previous highs in less than six months ‒ although overall gains masked significant divergence in asset classes and sectors ‒ as central bankers and policymakers stepped in with extraordinary levels of support, and as macroeconomic trends improved. These developments have confused many economists, leading them to claim there is a disconnect and a bubble in markets. However, the view may be mistaken. While market action last year defied conventional experience, it was not irrational. Markets always lead the economy in the recovery phase. In particular, the market rally has reflected two crucial drivers: first, unprecedented economic policy support, and second, fading disaster risks surrounding COVID-19 and the dissipation of the economic fallout from it as aggressive policy moves help to support markets and economies.
AIMCo Negotiates IMAs
The terms and conditions included in the ministerial orders are in the best interest of both AIMCo and its clients and clearly align interests, says Mark Wiseman, chair of its board of directors. For much of the past year, the management teams of AIMCo and the Local Authorities Pension Plan Corporation, Public Service Pension Plan Corporation, Special Forces Pension Plan Corporation, and Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund have been working to negotiate satisfactory investment management agreements. He says a clear and unambiguous investment management agreement (IMA) that establishes the roles and responsibilities of the investment manager (in this case AIMCo) and its clients is critical to both good governance and operational independence. Its approach to IMAs is to ensure it is maximizing the advantages of this model to the benefit of all its clients.
CFA Examines Climate Change
The CFA Society Toronto’s institutional asset management committee in partnership with PwC is presenting a three part series on climate change. Experts will walk the audience through the journey of integrating climate change considerations into their analysis, how to measure the risks, and how to think about proactively investing in green initiatives. These discussions will help organizations progress from a state of wanting to support the idea of climate change initiatives to one of having the ability to take tangible actions within their organizations. Sessions will take place February 2, 4, and 9. Information is at CFA Society Toronto Climate Change Series: From Idea to Action – Event Summary (cvent.com)
Chronic Disease Growth Drives Benefits Plan Cost
Growth in chronic disease and increased drug claims are two of the key factors driving up the cost of private health benefit plans, says Innovative Medicines Canada’s ‘2016-2019 Analysis of Private Drug Claim Cost Drivers’ report. However, the report finds that drug claim costs are rising at approximately five per cent annually, less than half of the 11 per cent that insurers have projected. It demonstrates that the major cost increases to private health benefit plans in Canada are a result of increased drug utilization due to the growth in chronic diseases, like diabetes, requiring access to more medications. Given the significant impact of chronic disease on private drug plan claims costs and growth, to say nothing of their social and economic costs, there is an opportunity for employers, plan providers, and other stakeholders to work together to enhance the opportunities for plan members to reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases. There is also a strong need for increased collaboration among drug manufacturers, insurers, advisors, and plan sponsors to work together to develop deeper insights into what is needed to address the specific challenges related to the increase in chronic disease, its impact on Canadians’ health, and to ensure that plan members have access to the critical health benefits they need.
Central Banks Willing To Boost Economy
Last year, the central banks proved there are no limits to the measures they can take and the measures they’re willing to take to boost the economy, says Esty Dwek, a global market strategist at Natixis Investment Managers. She told its ‘Markets after the vaccine ‒ what can investors expect?’ session, they always stand ready to do more if needed. In the current situation, the Democrats in the U.S. may even provide more stimulus in the next few months and it is definitely going to help the recovery. As a result, the U.S. Fed probably doesn’t need to do too much. She is not sure if it will start tapering ‒ reducing federal asset purchases ‒ at the end of the year, but “they’ll start talking about tapering at some point.” If there is enough stimulus and this results in a jumpstart of the economy in the second and third quarters, tapering could begin. However, this doesn’t mean hiking interest rates, They’re “not moving for a couple of years,” she said. And while some suggest there could be a taper tantrum or inflation scare and the markets are going to react or the Fed starts to sound “more hawkish, I don’t think that is going to happen,” said Dwek. Jack Janasiewicz, a portfolio strategist and manager at Natixis Investment Managers Solutions, said with the pandemic clearly driving the markets and the economy, the recovery unfolding now is actually pretty interesting “when you think about the short time window. It has basically hit all portions of that economic cycle,” although it has yet to hit the late cycle stage on the expansion. The bulk of the recovery is being driven by the manufacturing sector. The services sector continues to struggle because of social distancing measures and restrictions that are in place. It needs to play catch up, he said. “If you look at pre-virus levels compared to where we are today, there’s still a pretty significant gap there. It’s just a question of how fast the services sector will catch up.”
Alquity Partners With East Capital
Alquity is entering into a strategic partnership with East Capital Group to help reach its target of over $3 billion in assets under management (AuM) within five years. The partnership with East Capital will enable both synergies and scale. They will co-operate on business development and distribution in some European markets, as well as on fund operations. Both will also work together on strengthening sustainable investment, impact practices, and foster ESG (environment, social, and governance) excellence through the creation of a joint ESG and impact council. East Capital Group also acquires a 10 per cent stake in Alquity.
ETF Assets Hit Milestone
Assets invested in the global ETFs and ETPs industry increased by 25.6 per cent from US$6.36 trillion to a new milestone of US$7.99 trillion at the end of December 2020, says ETFGI. ETFs and ETPs listed globally gathered net inflows of US$92.30 billion during December, bringing year-to-date net inflows to a record US$762.87 billion which is higher than the US$568.98 billion gathered during 2019 and higher than the prior full year record of US$653.26 billion set in 2017.
PSP Investments Sells Stake
The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) will sell its stake in Alpha Trains to the PGGM Infrastructure Fund. Alpha Trains is a European rolling stock company, providing flexible leasing solutions to train and locomotive operators across 17 European countries. Its portfolio consists of approximately 855 trains and locomotives. The majority of its fleet is electric.
Sicotte Joins BMO
Real Estate Perspectives Provided
‘Perspectives on Canada’s Commercial Real Estate Market for 2021’ is the focus of a Benefits and Pensions Monitor webinar, sponsored by BentallGreenOak. The featured speakers ‒ John O’Bryan, honorary chairman of CBRE Limited; Phil Stone, a principal and head of Canada research at BentallGreenOak; Christina Iacoucci, managing partner and portfolio manager for the Sun Life general account at BentallGreenOak; Kristen Ede, managing director and portfolio manager for the BentallGreenOak Prime Canadian Property Fund; and Simon Holmes, managing director and co-head of Canadian investments at BentallGreenOak, will tackle the pressing questions facing institutional investors including identifying the key considerations for investors as they manage their real estate portfolios in a challenging economic environment; which property sectors are poised to outperform over the next 12 to 24 months, and where the risks are. It takes place February 9. Information is at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8238593760206458125
Nova Scotia Teachers Want Plan Protected
Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) have appointed an independent three-person expert panel to recommend ways to protect and strengthen the teachers’ pension plan. The plan has an unfunded liability of $1.5 billion and a funded ratio of 78.2 per cent as of December 31, 2019. While there is no immediate risk the plan will be unable to meet its ongoing pension obligations, NSTU and the province, as joint parties of the plan, have a shared obligation to address the plan’s liability so teachers, like other public sector employees, have pension benefits that will provide financial stability during retirement. The panel will consult broadly with teachers and other plan members, conduct education sessions about the extent of the deficit and options for resolution, and bring forward non-binding recommendations to make the plan fully funded within a reasonable period of time and within its framework. Panel members are Elizabeth Brown, a pension lawyer at Brown Mills Klinck Prezioso LLP.; Gale Rubenstein, a lawyer at Goodmans LLP with experience with pensions arising from her practice as an insolvency lawyer; and Conrad Ferguson, an actuary based in Fredericton, NB. The panel will bring non-binding recommendations to the province and NSTU by December 31.
Sustained Negative Yields Likely
Policies likely to continue to be geared towards aggressive stimulus in both the fiscal and monetary spheres as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19, says Robin Marshall, director of fixed income research FTSE Russell. Speaking in its ‘Global Bond Markets 2021. The four big questions and risks,’ he said in this environment sustained negative real yields are likely. As well, financial repression will be used to help governments reduce the real value of debt over time. This is confirmed by the U.S. Fed’s willingness to accept a slightly different inflation target of a two per cent average. He also sees the U.S. President Joe Biden administration and Democratic Congress moving towards more fiscal stimulus. A $900 billion stimulus package is “pretty much agreed upon,” but that may well be increased now that the Democrats control Congress and the Senate. This could lead to a slight shift in the monetary fiscal balance. Looking forward, the key appears to be the race between the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines and the COVID second wave and mutations. This is likely to lead to more growth divergence around the world.
Institutional Investors Underperform With Cryptocurrencies
When it comes to trading cryptocurrency, institutional investors tend to underperform individuals on a risk-adjusted basis, says research by the University of Hong Kong and Georgetown University. Part of the reason for the less-than-stellar performance for both institutions and individuals, it says, is that neither have particularly diversified cryptocurrency portfolios. Cryptocurrency prices have skyrocketed in recent years and more institutions are open to including the asset in their portfolios, says the report. It shows on a risk-adjusted basis, individual investors outperform institutions. The risk-adjusted return of crypto purchases over relatively short time horizons (one to 70 days), ranges from zero per cent to a loss of 0.3 per cent for individuals and losses of between 0.5 per cent and 0.7 per cent for institutions. The research found that institutions do not have well-diversified crypto portfolios. On average, they hold just four currencies. Having portfolios of between 10 and 15 currencies would provide greater benefits to investors.
Europe Attracts Lion’s Share Of Real Estate Investment
Global real estate is set to attract about €64.6 billion ($78.9 billion) in investments this year, with European real estate set to gain the lion’s share of institutional investor commitments, says the ‘2021 Investment Intentions’ survey by the European Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles, the Asian Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles, and the Pension Real Estate Association. It says institutional investors intend to put a minimum of €55.4 billion in assets into global real estate, with funds of funds expected to invest €9.2 billion. Of the expected €55.4 billion institutional investor commitments, almost half, at €26.5 billion, will be committed to European real estate, €17.5 billion to North America, and €9.7 billion to Asia-Pacific real estate. The remaining €1.7 billion will target Americas ex-U.S. and Africa. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its continuing impact on investors and investments, the majority of respondents said they will not alter their future investment plans with 84 per cent of institutional investor respondents preferring office, industrial/logistics, and residential real estate. Retail no longer features in the top four. The average real estate allocation globally is 9.3 per cent with an average target of 10 per cent.
PSP Investments Leads Funding
The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) has led funding for Valo Health LLC. It is a technology company working to transform the drug discovery and development process and accelerate the creation of life-changing drugs. By combining its human-centric dataset (over 125-million patient-years) with its Opal Computational Platform, it is bringing the power of patient data and machine learning across the entire drug development lifecycle. The result of this systemic approach has been the rapid development of several key preclinical programs that have made significant progress on notoriously intractable to target therapeutic profiles.
Seitz Has New Role
Saskatchewan CPBI Conference Showcases Best
The ‘10th Annual CPBI Saskatchewan Regional Conference ‘All-Stars 2021: Showcasing the Best’ is structured into four half-days with pension sessions in the mornings, keynotes around noon, and benefits sessions in the afternoons The benefits of scale and collaboration in managing pension plans and a psychological perspective to help employees manage chronic pain are among the topics to be examined. It takes place April 19 to 22. Information is at http://www.cpbi-icra.ca/Events/Details/Saskatchewan/2021/04-19-10th-Annual-CPBI-Saskatchewan-Regional
Commuted Value 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 January 2020 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)
You can use this spreadsheet to compare the interest rates which you may have calculated and/or you can download the spreadsheet to your own computer. Another actuary has already provided a peer review of the updated rates in this spreadsheet and determined that he/she agrees with the results.
Private Markets Provide Opportunities
The experiences of previous crises have made investors more resilient, says strategic research from Mercer. ‘Private market challenges: Optimizing your portfolio and top considerations for private markets in 2021’ looks at issues such as the state of current market conditions and opportunities in real estate to potentially capitalize on post-COVID changes, the reasons behind the significant challenges facing the natural resources market and the opportunities inherent in the sector; and the growth and attractive performance of the infrastructure market as well as the challenges associated with managing significant market changes. “In 2021, investors should consider stretching their risk appetites and consider their allocation to real estate. Although the pandemic will continue to challenge the property market, 2021 is likely to be an opportune time for entering the asset class with a medium- to longer-term investment horizon. Initially, investors should prioritize allocations to the largest, most-liquid markets, where price discovery is furthest along, ” says Raelan Lambert, global head of alternatives at Mercer. Despite unorthodox challenges such as not being able to vet new managers in person, clients continued to put capital to work, especially with existing investment manager relationships across all private market segments, she says.
U.S. Equity Markets Change
Although overshadowed in a year of unprecedented crisis and volatility, U.S. equity markets experienced several important changes in 2020 that will have significant implications for how markets function in the future. A report from Greenwich Associates, ‘Investors’ Take on Market Structure Issues 2020/2021,’ analyzes the potential impact of these developments and reveals how the buy side views these important alterations to market structure. Perhaps the biggest development came near year-end, when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission surprised markets with the scope and breadth of its ‘Final Order on Market Data Infrastructure.’ One of the key elements of the proposal is a revision to the definition of “odd lot” orders, which have been growing as a share of overall market trading volume. Because much of the trading in higher priced securities is done in odd lots ‒ both in terms of actual trades, as well as in terms of what is actually quoted ‒ odd lots contain tremendous information.
ETFs Experience Banner Year
It has been a banner year for ESG ETFs around the world, says data from TrackInsight. The global ETF (exchange traded fund) analysis platform shows that ETF assets in ESGs (environmental, social, and governance) funds globally nearly tripled in 2020, achieving 223 per cent growth over the year to reach a new AuM (assets under management) record of US$189 billion. Over the course of the year, nearly US$97 billion flowed into ESG ETFs around the world, with nearly 200 ESG ETFs brought to market.
Ontario Teachers’ Involved In Online Education Start-up
Zuoyebang, a Chinese online after school education start-up, has raised Series E+ financing from investors including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. With this capital, it will continue to focus on developing its core business of live streaming courses, enhancing its strength in after school education technology and market penetration capabilities, and investing to strengthen and expand its existing product portfolios.
Marks Joins Mackenzie
Lesley Marks is chief investment officer (equities) at Mackenzie Investments. She is one half of its new two CIO model, which has been created in recognition of the firm’s growing size and multi-boutique structure. She is a seasoned investment leader with more than 25 years of experience across asset and wealth management, including 22 years with BMO Global Asset Management and BMO Wealth Management.
SHARE Reveals 2021 Summit
The SHARE ‘Investor Summit 2021’ will bring together investment decision-makers and leaders to identify ways of working together to address the social and economic impacts of COVID-19, escalating wealth inequality, systemic racism, and the continuing climate crisis. It takes place February 16 to 19. Information is at https://events.share.ca
Acceleration Of Comparable ESG Data Needed
Despite the abundance of sustainability reporting frameworks in existence, there is a need to accelerate the emergence of comparable, material ESG (environment, social, and governance) data across jurisdictions, especially considering the urgency of climate change, says the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) in its comments on the ‘International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Consultation Paper on Sustainability Reporting.’ It believes there is a role for the IFRS to play in working with standard setting institutions such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to arrive at a comprehensive, inclusive and global sustainable financial framework that leverages existing standards. For any set of sustainability standards to be meaningful the standards body will require global buy-in. IFRS accounting standards are already present in 140 jurisdictions, yet not all jurisdictions approach sustainability with the same lens. AIMCo says it will be important to ensure that the standards created are principles-based and consider both jurisdictional differences and different user needs such as governments, central banks, regulators, investors, and civil institutions. In countries where there is no established ESG framework, IFRS principles and precepts could act as the default standard and assist in driving global convergence on disclosure of material ESG information, such as carbon emissions and emissions intensity.
OSFI Launches Climate Change Consultation
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) has launched a three-month consultation on risks arising from climate change that can affect the safety and soundness of federally regulated financial institutions (FRFIs) and federally regulated pension plans (FRPPs). It categorizes climate-related risks that affect FRFIs and FRPPs as physical risk, which arises from a changing climate increasing the frequency and severity of wildfires, floods, wind events and rising sea levels, among other things; transition risk, which stems from efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as the economy shifts towards a lower-GHG footprint; and liability risk, which relates to potential exposure to the risks associated with climate-related litigation. Through a discussion paper, ‘Navigating Uncertainty in Climate Change: Promoting Preparedness and Resilience to Climate-Related Risks,’ it is seeking to engage FRFIs, FRPPs, and other interested stakeholders in a dialogue on climate-related risks. It wants to know how FRFIs and FRPPs define, identify, measure, and build resilience to climate‑related risks. It is also seeking feedback on how it can facilitate FRFIs’ and FRPPs’ preparedness for, and resilience to, these risks. This input will guide the development of regulatory and supervisory approaches that meet OSFI’s mandate of protecting depositors, policyholders, and private pension plan beneficiaries while allowing institutions to compete and take risks. It says climate-related risks can affect a FRFI’s or FRPP’s safety and soundness by driving financial, strategic, and operational risks and by affecting a FRFI’s reputation. Comments and submissions on the discussion paper can be sent to Climateemail@example.com by April 12.
Patience Required On Salary Increases
Despite an optimistic economic outlook throughout Canada, it will take patience for salary increases to return to the pre-pandemic levels of three per cent, says Normandin Beaudry. Its supplemental ‘Salary Increase Survey’ cites statistics published by Canada’s big banks which show that the economy has rebounded despite uncertainty in certain sectors. Still, approximately seven per cent of organizations expect to freeze salaries in 2021, an improvement from the 20 per cent of organizations reported in its original survey conducted during the summer of 2020. Ontario employers seem to be more cautious as 10 per cent expect salary freezes this year. In light of the supplemental survey results, the salary increase forecast across Canada is expected to be 2.6 per cent (excluding freezes), which is very close to the percentage forecast from last summer, 2.7 per cent. This decrease is partly due to the fact that approximately 35 per cent of organizations expect to allocate a budget that is less than what was initially planned.
IMC Opens Closed-End Fund
The Institutional Mortgage Capital (IMC) has launched an open-ended active mortgage fund (AMF). The AMF was originally launched as a closed-end fund in December 2016 and was converted from a closed-end fund to an open-ended fund as of January 1. “The Canadian commercial mortgage market continues to be a source of strong risk-adjusted returns,” says John Ho, CEO and CIO of IMC. “Commercial mortgages that are supported by strong loan fundamentals offer a compelling investment opportunity for investors seeking to enhance portfolio yield. We continue to experience a strong appetite from institutional investors for commercial mortgages to enhance portfolios in a low interest rate environment.”
Canadian ETF Flows Set Record
Flows into Canadian ETFs set a record last year, reaching $41 billion ‒ a 49 per cent increase over 2019 which held the previous record, says a report from National Bank Financial Inc. “ETF volume skyrocketed in the first half of the year amid the pandemic-induced sell-off and subsequent market recovery, driving inflows into all asset classes,” the report says. Canadian ETFs have now outsold mutual funds for the third straight year, with sales outpacing mutual funds by $13 billion as of November 30, 2020. Last year was a record year for inflows into equity, commodity, and multi-asset ETFs, while fixed income ETFs had their second-highest year of inflows. There were a record 1,010 ETFs in Canada at the end of the year offered by 39 providers. Five new providers entered the market in 2020 and one exited.
CPP Investments Acquire Windfarms
Renewable Power Capital Limited (RPC), the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) UK-based platform, has committed to acquire a 100 per cent interest in a portfolio of three windfarms from OX2. This is its first investment in European renewables since its launch in December 2020. OX2 will construct the wind farms and will, once commissioned, be responsible for the technical and commercial management of them. When all three are operational as planned in 2022, the portfolio is expected to produce close to 590 GWh per year, equivalent to the electricity consumption of approximately 118 000 households.
Sharma Joins MJ Hudson Amaces
Macoun Heads Benefits Alliance
Pension Outlook Looks at Post-COVID
The CPBI Ontario ‘Pension Investment Outlook’ will examine pension perspectives emerging post-COVID. A panel of senior industry leaders in the pension industry will offer insights on future opportunities, areas of risk, and investment perspectives on various asset classes and outlooks across the asset allocation spectrum. It takes place January 21. Information is at http://www.cpbi-icra.ca/Events/Details/Ontario/2021/02-02-CPBI-Ontario-Online-Seminar-Pension
Mental Health Care Navigated
‘Navigating Canada’s Mental Health Crisis: a look at trends in Canadians’ wellbeing and the next phase of digital solutions’ is the topic of a Benefits and Pensions Monitor webinar, sponsored by Morneau Shepell. Nigel Branker, its president, health and productivity solutions, and executive vice-president; and Paula Allen, global leader, research and total wellbeing, will discuss the state of Canadians’ mental health, major trends that have contributed to declining mental wellbeing throughout the year, and the importance of clinically effective support in addressing mental health concerns. It takes place February 10. Information is at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3788672289419900430