Learn more about the Investment Governance Award finalists

The Canadian Investment Review’s Investment Governance Award will go to a pension plan that has implemented improvements at the board, governance and/or policy level to improve outcomes for pension plan members and create greater efficiency.

Highlights about the three finalists are available below:

Desjardins Group Pension Plan

The Desjardins Group Pension Plan has over $16 billion in assets under management and is still open to new entrants. In 2018, the organization revamped and simplified its governance structure. In particular, it adjusted the number of plan committees from six to four. Previously, it had three committees related to investment management and these were consolidated into a single investment management committee. The investment committee meets weekly and has the ability to meet more frequently if market conditions require it to do so. Further, the pension plan moved its risk management advisory committee from the responsibility of the retirement committee to the responsibility of the plan sponsor. It also adopted an enhanced group profile to ensure specific competencies are identified and included when selecting committee members for the various pension committees.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1991-P Pension Plan

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1991-P Pension Plan created a defined benefit multi-employer pension plan in 1962 for its members. Any group of employees represented by the union is eligible to participate as long as participation is collectively bargained with the employer. The plan is administered by a pension committee made up of union representatives and both active and inactive plan member representatives. Participating employers are not involved in pension plan decision-making. The pension committee meets three to four times a year and routinely analyzes and reviews the investment policy as well as conducts asset-liability modelling studies. The total membership in the plan is about 3,000 members with assets under management of approximately $175 million.

Concordia University Pension Plan

The Concordia University Pension plan is an open defined benefit plan with $1.15 billion in assets under management. The pension plan has transformed its investment strategy and restructured its investment policy to be aligned to its funding policy. Originally, the plan’s governance was run by a single committee that covered operations, recommendations, decision-making and monitoring. After the governance transformation, the plan sponsor reshaped duties and created a dedicated operations team, specialized sub-committees and a global decision-making committee. It also implemented a governance budget concept that seeks to dedicate specific time at each meeting to strategic discussions, education, report reviews and administrative responsibilities. Further, the organization increased the level of governance engagement from four global meetings to eleven meetings at the investment sub-committee level and five meetings at the pension committee level.

To find out who wins, register today for the Defined Benefit Investment Forum, which will feature the Pension Leadership Awards Ceremony. Learn more: http://www.investmentreview.com/conference/defined-benefit-investment-forum-2020