Cross-generational Workplace Asset To Company

A cross-generational workplace is an asset to a company, says research from Ricoh Canada. Respondents across the United States and Canada showed 71 per cent find this is the case and 76 per cent of those same workers enjoy working alongside colleagues of different ages. Additionally, today’s workforce is more united than ever in its demand for a seismic change in the way business is conducted in the future. It’s no longer enough to measure just financial success, employees from across the generations are calling on businesses to be a force for good and drive positive change in the world. They believe the line between personal and professional worlds is blurring as technology frees workers from the traditional office set-up. “Today’s workforce is unique, as was the workforce 20 years ago, and 20 years before that,” says Donna Venable, executive vice-president, human resources and deputy general manager, shared services, at Ricoh Americas. “The truth is today’s current workforce, which consists of more generations than ever before, is unified. We’re seeing a greater understanding that no action is too small to contribute to the bigger picture and therefore a realization that the collective impact businesses can have will be significant to helping ensure a better future for generations to come. In a time of often unpleasant news, this unification is a positive statement.”

CPP Net Assets Increase

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Fund ended its fiscal year on March 31 with net assets of $392 billion compared to $356.1 billion at the end of fiscal 2018. The $35.9 billion increase in assets consisted of $32 billion in net income after all Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) costs and $3.9 billion in net CPP contributions. The fund, which includes the combination of both the base CPP and additional CPP accounts, achieved 10-year and five-year annualized net nominal returns of 11.1 per cent and 10.7 per cent, respectively. Mark Machin, president and chief executive officer at CPPIB, says, “We have gradually built a diversified, global investment platform and focused on executing our multi-year strategy – these are key drivers of our financial performance and our future success.”

Fiera Acquires Foresters Canadian Asset Business

Foresters Financial will sell the outstanding shares of its Canadian asset management business, Foresters Asset Management Inc., to Fiera Capital Corporation. This transaction is aligned with Foresters’ strategic plan to continue to focus on and invest in its core life insurance business. It follows the organization’s announcement in April to sell assets related to its U.S. asset management, mutual funds, and broker dealer and advisory businesses. Fiera will merge the Foresters Asset Management business into its existing Canadian operations.

Medavie Tests Pharmacogenetic Testing

Medavie Blue Cross is giving plan members and their treating physicians a new tool in their continued effort to prescribe the right medication at the right dose for optimal health outcomes. The company has launched a pharmacogenetic testing pilot to help plan members determine the best medications specifically for them, leveraging GeneYouIn’s ‘Pillcheck’ system. “Our overall goal with this pilot is to help our plan members with an active disability claim find the medication that is right for them,” says Marc Avaria, vice-president, product and disability management, at Medavie Blue Cross. “We understand how disappointing and frustrating it can be when a medication doesn’t work as intended. By bringing the Pillcheck system into our suite of offerings, we’re giving our disability claimants access to a new form of personalized care that aims to get them on the path to wellbeing as soon as possible.”

Manulife Helps With Behavioural Economics

Manulife Investment Management is partnering with Beworks, a behavioural consulting firm and research institute, to help advisors and their clients through market volatility with the help of important behavioural economics principles. This new initiative will enable advisors to access scientific-led research through presentations from across Canada and a newly launched ‘Advisor Volatility Toolkit’ microsite with videos – including the ‘Upside of Down’ documentary –, white papers and other resources to guide them through market instability. Speaking at a screening of the documentary, Dr David Lewis, chief client officer at BEworks, said people are living longer so they have to save more or spend less in retirement. While they don’t have the financial literacy needed to make these decisions, they are being forced to do so especially with the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution pension plans. Compounding this is humans are not fundamentally rational. Their biases keep them away from making only useful decisions and, as a result, they suffer the consequences. Biases which impact decisions include over-confidence where they refuse or ignore advice; loss aversion which makes them sell assets too quickly; representative bias where they believe what is happening now will continue for the future; and the illusion of control where they believe they can control seemingly random events. Advisors can help overcome these and biases and help people make better decisions, he said.

Gender Diversity Priorities Missing

While the Pension Investment Association of Canada (PIAC) supports the priorities of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) to promote confidence in Ontario’s capital markets, reduce regulatory burden, facilitate financial innovation, and strengthen the commission’s capabilities, it is disappointed to see no priorities related to corporate governance; reporting and disclosures of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks by issuers; say-on-pay; and gender diversity in its ‘Statement of Priorities.’ Notwithstanding its support for burden reduction, it says it should not be advanced at the expense of other investor protections which the commission previously established as priorities, but has not yet completed. These include corporate governance, ESG risk disclosure, and gender diversity. “We do not see sufficient improvement here, either in regulatory guidance nor issuer behaviour, for the commission to abandon these priorities and therefore urge they be reinstated in the work plan,” it says in a letter to the OSC.

Caisse Adds To Terminal Holdings

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has acquired a 45 per cent interest in DP World Chile, which operates terminals in Puerto Central and Puerto Lirquen. Located in San Antonio and Gran Concepción, the terminals serve Chile’s main consumption and industrial centres. Two years ago, the Caisse partnered with DP World to create a US$3.7-billion platform to invest in ports and terminals globally. DP World holds 55 per cent of the platform and the Caisse holds the remaining 45 per cent. The two new assets in Chile join a portfolio of ports, which includes terminals in Vancouver and Prince Rupert in Canada.

Factors Focus Of Session

‘Talking Factors: Finding the Right Approach for Institutional Investors’ will be examined by panel of experts at an S&P DJI and Northern Trust Asset Management session. They will discuss the multiple ways investors can access factors and risk premia including which combination of active, passive, single-, and multi-factor approaches may best serve institutional investors; correlations among factors and how combining them can influence risk and return in a range of market cycles; and how both fundamental active management and factor indexing can capture similar risk premia It takes place May 29 in Toronto, ON. For information, visit Talking Factors