BENEFITS AND PENSIONS MONITOR LIVE WEBINARS

In Search of New Value: Trends in Canadian Pension Asset Management and Operations
Date and Time: Tuesday April 13, 2021 – 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM EDT

Many of Canada’s sophisticated pension funds are at the forefront of a trend to shift asset management functions in-house as well as to become more strategic in their outsourcing. In both cases, plans and managers face new requirements for their people, operations and systems.

In this webinar, we will explore key findings and trends from CIBC Mellon’s study of leading Canadian pension funds, and provide practical industry insights and examples as we look at considerations, risks and opportunities as plans seek to position their organizations for the future. What will life look like after COVID-19 from an investment strategy perspective, including expected exposures toward alternatives?  What are the top benefits of in-house asset management?  What are the key drivers for outsourcing?  Why are pension funds moving in-house?  What are some of the current and emerging investment models?

The case of Air Canada’s Canadian pension plan will offer an instructive example.  The top quartile returns delivered by the Trans-Canada Capital Inc. investment team have been a major factor in the financial turnaround of Air Canada’s Canadian pension plans, in which a $4.2 billion solvency deficit was eliminated and replaced by a surplus of over $2 billion.

Join us to hear from leaders from CIBC Mellon and Trans-Canada Capital Inc. as they address timely developments and trends facing pension plans in Canada.

Speakers:
Alistair Almeida, Segment Lead, Asset Owners, CIBC Mellon
Julie Pominville, Chief Operating Officer, Trans-Canada Capital Inc.

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Low Volatility Investing – Where do we go from here?
Date and Time: Wednesday April 21, 2021 – 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT

Even with the strong performance of equity and fixed income markets, 2020 will be remembered as a challenging year for institutional investors, indeed for all of us. As the global economy entered uncharted territory of physical lockdowns and massive government-injected liquidity, huge swaths of business ground to a halt. And time will tell about the permanence of this impairment. Yet, equity markets, despite suffering severe and sharp sell offs, recovered in one of the fastest market rallies on record.

As markets continue to test all time highs, investors who have been exploiting the low volatility premium are concerned this factor may no longer be rewarded given its recent underperformance and the secular changes that are occurring.

Please join Northern Trust Asset Management as they explore the original thesis of low volatility investing and its persistence in today’s investment environment. They will also investigate the wide dispersion of returns among low volatility strategies to understand what are the drivers of these outcomes and if there are lessons to be learned for investors as they continue to seek strong risk-adjusted returns and downside protection within their portfolios.

Speakers:
Michael Hunstad PhD, Managing Director, Head of Quantitative Strategies, Northern Trust Asset Management
Christopher Fronk CFA, CPA, Director, Equity Specialist, Northern Trust Asset Management
Alice Fang, President & CEO, Northern Trust Asset Management Canada

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Group Retirement Plan and Sustainable Funds: Now more than ever!
Date and Time: Wednesday April 28, 2021 – 1:00 PM to 2:15 PM EDT

In the past few years, responsible investment has come to the forefront and more and more investors are taking an interest as they realize that their financial interests and respect for environmental, ethical and social values go hand in hand.

Committed to promoting sustainability through continued initiatives, iA Financial Group is adding five new sustainable investment funds to its lineup of group savings and retirement investment options.

  • What makes these funds stand out?

  • What makes an investment truly responsible or sustainable?

  • Why is it important to offer sustainable investment options to your clients?

In a roundtable format, Amy Atack and Nessim Mansoor, respectively from Baillie Gifford and Fiera Capital, two renowned institutional managers and responsible investment leaders, will answer these questions by presenting the vision that guided the development of their sustainable funds.

More specifically, they will help you better understand how environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are integrated with fundamental financial analysis in order to select the best performing companies in terms of sustainable development.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn more about this type of value-added investment!

Speakers:
Amy Atack, Client Service Director and Partner, Baillie Gifford
Nessim Mansoor, CPA, CA, CFA, Head of Canadian Large Cap Equities, Fiera Capital

Facilitators:
Michel Cantin, CEBS, Regional Sales Director, iA Financial Group
Kirk Paulus, CFA, CAIA, Investment Specialist, iA Financial Group

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Navigating the Road to Recovery: Do you have the pension risk management tools you need to react quickly to economic challenges?
Date and Time: Thursday May 6, 2021 – 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EDT

Economic challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, combined with rising costs and a fast-changing regulatory environment, means that having a clear, real-time view of risk has never been more important.

More recently, we’ve seen some Canadian regulators urge plan sponsors to perform stress-testing to plan for further market shocks. As a result, plan sponsors are seeking absolute clarity on cashflows and funded status with effective ‘what-if’ testing to mitigate liquidity risk. At the same time, consultants and asset managers are seeking ways to understand the main drivers of asset-liability risks and determine downside risk budgets in order to develop effective asset allocation, LDI, and glidepath strategies for their clients. Additionally, the pension industry is currently being challenged to ascertain best value in terms maintaining or transferring longevity risk to insurers.

Join us to hear from leaders at Moody’s Analytics Buy-Side Solutions as we address the trends and challenges facing Canadian pension plans, consultants, and investment managers when it comes to protecting against downside risk. We will be bringing this to life with realistic examples played out on Moody’s Analytics’ risk management solution for the defined benefit pensions market, the PFaroe™ DB platform.

Speakers:
Owais Rana, Senior Director, North America, Moody’s Analytics
Michael Carse, Director, Product Management, Moody’s Analytics

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What’s hiding in drug claims data? Undetected health risks and unnecessary costs
Date and Time: Wednesday May 12, 2021 – 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT

Drug benefits claims have a wealth of hidden information. HumanisRx’s proprietary software and service, MedMonitor, uncovers medication and health risks in plan members’ prescription profiles. HumanisRx clinicians adjust treatment plans to alleviate side effects, get plan members on the right medications and even avoid trips to the emergency room. For insurance providers and plan sponsors, using MedMonitor translates to lower costs through reduced benefits and disability claims.

In this session, attendees will learn how HumanisRx applies this process to thousands of plan members, supporting efficiencies and generating cost savings across an entire organization.

Speakers:
Sayeh Radpay, President, HumanisRx
Natalle Chan, Clinical Program Lead, HumanisRx

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What does obesity mean for plan member health?
Date and Time: Tuesday May 18, 2021 – 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT

There is a significant lack of understanding of obesity. Many people living with obesity, healthcare professionals, and employers believe that weight can be controlled mainly through individual behaviours such as healthy eating and exercise. The truth is that weight is highly heritable and our brain defends against weight loss. People living with obesity also experience pervasive weight bias and stigma which further impacts their health and wellbeing. Consider that your employees past weight management efforts were difficult not because of some character flaw, lack of willpower or motivation, the wrong diet or not enough activity, but instead because they are living with a serious, untreated chronic disease. Obesity treatment guidelines exist. It is time to recognize obesity is a chronic disease, address weight bias in the workplace, and understand what it means for your employees’ health.

Speakers:
Arya M. Sharma MD/PhD, FRCPC, Professor of Medicine, University of Alberta & Scientific Director (outgoing), Obesity Canada
Ian Patton, PhD, RKin, CEP, Director of Advocacy and Public Engagement, Obesity Canada
Ximena Ramos Salas, PhD, Director of Research and Policy, Obesity Canada

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BENEFITS AND PENSIONS MONITOR WEBINARS ON DEMAND


Navigating Canada’s Mental Health Crisis: a look at trends in Canadians’ wellbeing and the next phase of digital solutions
Date and Time: Wednesday February 10, 2021 

Since March, the world as we know it has changed. Canadians have been faced with significant challenges across all areas of wellbeing, including physical, mental, social and financial, leading to increased feelings of anxiety, stress and in some cases, depression. This trend has become even more alarming in Canadian workplaces, with the extended period of strain leading to a decline in work productivity and in turn, higher risk of short-term disability claims. Mental wellbeing was top-of-mind for employers prior to the pandemic, and it’s now clearer than ever that a mental health crisis is well underway.

Leveraging research from its monthly Mental Health Index, Morneau Shepell’s Nigel Branker and Paula Allen will discuss the state of Canadians’ mental health, major trends that have contributed to declining mental wellbeing throughout the year and comparisons to global markets (United States, United Kingdom and Australia). The presentation will also focus on the importance of clinically effective support in addressing mental health concerns, and how Morneau Shepell’s digital solution, AbilitiCBT, is helping Canadians navigate these challenging times.

Speakers:
Nigel Branker, President, Health and Productivity Solutions and Executive Vice President, Morneau Shepell
Paula Allen, Global Leader, Research and Total Wellbeing, Morneau Shepell

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Perspective on Canada’s Commercial Real Estate Market for 2021
Date and Time: Tuesday February 9, 2021

Leaders from Canada’s commercial real estate industry tackle the most pressing questions facing institutional investors as they provide their outlook on the market in 2021. What are 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 12-24 months? Where are the risks? Join us for this special presentation on Canada’s space markets and the social and economic factors that continue to shape the value proposition for this exciting asset class.

Speakers:
John O’Bryan – Honorary Chairman, CBRE Limited
Phil Stone – Principal, Head of Canada Research, BentallGreenOak
Christina Iacoucci – Managing Partner, Portfolio Manager for the Sun Life General Account, BentallGreenOak
Kristen Ede – Managing Director, Portfolio Manager for BGO Prime Canadian Property Fund, BentallGreenOak
Simon Holmes – Managing Director, Co-Head of Canadian Investments, BentallGreenOak

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Elections, Vaccines and the Implications on Global Equity Markets
A Fireside Chat with Brent Puff, Senior Portfolio Manager at American Century Investments
Date and Time: Wednesday December 9, 2020

Please join us for an engaging and informative discussion with Brent Puff, Senior Portfolio Manager for American Century Investments, Global Growth Strategy.  Brent will review recent global macro events and the implications on global equity corporate earnings from the lens of a bottom-up fundamental manager.

Discussion will include:

  • Market trends and outlook
  • Equity valuations
  • Future opportunities
  • Q&A

Speakers:
Brent Puff, VP & Sr. Portfolio Manager, Global Growth, American Century Investments
Bernard Chua, VP & Sr. Client Portfolio Manager, Global Growth, American Century Investments

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Mental Health Insights from 2020 Claims Data and Survey Results
Date and Time: Tuesday October 27, 2020

This past year has been challenging for many Canadians. Julie Gaudry, Senior Director of Group Insurance at RBC Insurance, will report on RBC Insurance claims data and service utilization rates to help understand the pandemic’s toll on Canadians’ mental health. She will also present the latest findings from an RBC Insurance poll that sheds light on how reactions to the pandemic differ, and on how working Canadians are more willing to turn to virtual support as they continue to struggle with mental and financial health in 2020 and beyond.

Julie’s analysis, and that of partners inside and outside the organization, will add to our understanding of how employers and insurers can work together to provide meaningful support for their plan members.

Speaker: Julie Gaudry, Senior Director of Group Insurance, RBC Insurance

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Mental Health Always Matters: Proven Disability Solutions for the Pandemic and Beyond
Date and Time: Wednesday July 15, 2020

Recent surveys show there are two major health trends intersecting amid a global health pandemic: Canadians are experiencing a decline in their mental health due to the effects of COVID-19, and are embracing virtual care to treat stress and anxiety in growing numbers.* We’re at a juncture where integrated solutions like early-stage, online, psychiatric treatment and virtual Cognitive Behavioural Treatment are needed now, more than ever.

Drawing on real-life examples, Travis Kelly and Chris Anderson will share how partnering to provide early intervention and online therapy has been effective in managing disability claims. This includes removing barriers to care, reducing claim duration, preventing recurrence and ultimately leading to better health outcomes. Travis and Chris will walk you through the steps of an integrated, well-communicated, proactive approach to disability case management, offering their insider knowledge and expert advice along the way.

This is a do-not-miss event for employers who want a proven model of disability management to help their employees return to work and health quickly and safely well beyond the pandemic.

*Sources:

Canadian Medical Association
Mental Health Commission of Canada
Health Canada
Conference Board of Canada

Speakers: Travis Kelly, Director, Group Disability Management, Medavie Blue Cross
                    Chris Anderson, President, Medaca Health Group

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Return to Work Plan: Focus on employee’s mental health
Date and Time: Thursday June 25

Canada has begun to re-open the doors to the economy. Employers have started to make plans for re-opening their doors and considering how to do so safely, keeping in mind their duties to their employees and clients. When building their return to work plan, what are the employees’ stress and anxiety associated with the re-integration into a modified workplace? How can they support employee’s mental health during and after self-isolation to ease the transition? And how to restore productivity when employees are going back to an ‘office routine.’?

Speaker: Lori Casselman, President and CRO, Wello

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Overall Health: The key to employee well-being during and after the  pandemic
Date and Time: Wednesday June 17, 2020 

Covid-19 has seriously shaken things up for Canadians, both in their professional and personal lives. With our new normal, which—for many of us—means teleworking and homeschooling, we’re seeing an uptick in health problems that organizations and insurers need to address and adapt to. How can we take care of our employees from a distance? What health problems are we talking about, exactly? Are compassion and caring now central to the employer-employee relationship?

In this webinar, we’ll be looking at how overall health culture, which includes physical, mental and financial health, is especially important during a crisis. And how going forward, this culture will be an integral part of group plans.

Speaker: Charmaine Alexander, Senior Advisor, Disability Management, Desjardins Insurance

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Private Investments: Beyond the Pandemic
Date and Time: Wednesday June 3, 2020

As the current pandemic evolves and economies begin to prepare for a path forward, there is no doubt of the acute impact financial markets have sustained. While public investment valuations reflect the swift impact of a suspended global economy, private investments are not immune to the historic market impairment.

Private equity General Partners are actively engaged with their underlying management teams to understand the extent of the economic impact and ensure sufficient liquidity in debt facilities.  Portfolio companies have an opportunity to build market share through add-on acquisitions and consolidation of competitors who do not have strong balance sheets. Private lenders are segmenting portfolios into those companies most and least affected by the COVID-19 crisis to see which loans can be restructured and which firms may require capital injections from private equity sponsors. These are some of the topics that will be explored in an interactive and practical webinar digging into private equity, secondaries and sponsored private debt.

Please join industry veteran Bob Morgan, Managing Director of 50 South Capital Advisors, Inc., Northern Trust Asset Management’s private investment firm, as he shares his views and 20 years of demonstrated success in allocating capital through varying market conditions.

Moderator: Alice Fang, President and CEO, Northern Trust Asset Management Canada

Speaker: Bob Morgan, Managing Director, 50 South Capital Advisors, Inc., Northern Trust Affiliate

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