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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.

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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.”

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