The University of Toronto Asset Management Corp. ended 2020 with pension and endowment returns of 11.7 per cent and 11.6 per cent, respectively.
In a press release, the UTAM said while the pension return matched that of its benchmark reference portfolio, endowments underperformed by 0.2 per cent. However, it noted long-term performance of the portfolios remains strong, with pensions and endowments generating annualized net returns of 8.7 per cent and 8.8 per cent, respectively, over the last 10 years.
The UTAM said its pension assets were valued at $6.3 billion as at Dec. 31, 2020, while endowment assets and short-term working assets were $3.7 billion and $3.1 billion, respectively, with total assets under management at $13 billion, up from $11.4 billion at the end of 2019.
And the UTAM further reduced its environmental impact in 2020, with its pension portfolio’s 2020 carbon footprint — 87.7 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per million dollars invested — equivalent to a 37-per cent cumulative reduction since 2017.
In the release, Daren Smith, president and chief investment officer for the UTAM, said he was pleased with the 2020 returns amid a challenging investment environment. “Over the last 10 years, we’ve exceeded the reference portfolio benchmark returns in pension and endowment by one per cent annualized, which is a testament to the skill of our people and the quality of our processes. We’re also pleased that we made substantial progress on a variety of responsible investing initiatives last year, including significantly reducing the carbon footprint of the pension and endowment portfolios.”